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Sir David Bell, who fittingly has enjoyed a distinguished career in the newspaper industry, is the new Master of the Guild of St Bride's Church, the spiritual home of journalists, in the heart of what was once the centre of the British newspaper industry, Fleet Street, London.
In a special ceremony during Eucharist at the church on February 6, before a packed congregation, Sir David was installed into the ancient post - it was founded by Edward III in 1375 - by the outgoing Master, Mr Vyvyan Harmsworth, LVO, himself a distinguished newspaper executive, who now goes on to enjoy the role of Past Master.
Sir David was escorted to the High Altar for his installation by two sponsors - Edward Bevin and Geoffrey Burgess- who were both celebrating their 40th anniversary of Guild membership. Earlier, several newcomers were installed, swelling Guild membership to well over 100.
Canon David Meara, Rector of St Bride's, and Archdeacon of London, presided at the service and the sermon was preached by Canon Bill Christianson, one of the Guild Chaplains. After the service, luncheon, organised by Mrs Janet Smith, wife of Guild Marshal, and her team, was held in the St Bride Institute.
Sir David rose from being Washington Correspondent of the Financial Times to Chairman in 1996. Since then, he has held many senior and executive positions in public life and was the major force behind the building of the pedestrian bridge spanning the River Thames, known originally as the wobbly bridge.
Warm tributes were paid to Mr Harmsworth for his outstanding service as Master since he succeeded the late Sir Edward (Ted) Pickering in 1997.