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Born in Oxford in 1947 David Meara studied classics and then Theology at Oxford. He met his wife Rosemary while training for the ministry at Cuddesdon Theological College. Ordained in 1973 he began his ministry in Reading, and then became Anglican Chaplain to the University of Reading. He moved in 1982 to become Vicar of three Berkshire Villages, and served as Rural Dean of Bradfield. He was appointed Rector of Buckingham in 1994, and area Dean in 1995. Since 2000 he has been Rector of St Bride's, and since 2009 he has served as Archdeacon of London. He is an Honorary Canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquarians of London.
He is Chaplain to three City Livery Companies and numerous media organisations, and has continued to foster strong links between St Bride's and newspaper and broadcasting organisations. He has been President of the Monumental Brass Society since 2002, and has published extensively on Victorian and modern brasses.
He and Rosemary have four children and four grandchildren, and they share an interest in literature and the arts.
As the eldest son of a Camera Operator on the News Chronicle, I followed in my father's footsteps and became an apprentice with St Clements press, the commercial arm of the FT Group, in the shadow of St Paul's. Years later, as Marketing Director on the board of a leading typesetters, process engravers and printers in Clerkenwell, John Swain & Son and as Chairman of the Publicity Club of London, I read a lesson in the Publicity Carol Service (under the tutelage of the late Trevor Turner).
I fell under St Bride's spell and have become increasingly involved in the life of the church and its community, utilising my energy previously expended on chairing charity fundraising activities. As a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper makers I was married at St Bride's in 2003 and joined the Guild in 2004, often assisting at memorial services. Today I am also the Chairman of the Governors of the St Bride Foundation and a Trustee of St Bride's Media Trust.
As a Churchwarden I want to maintain and strengthen the ties between the Church and Foundation, ensure we continue to embrace our role as the 'spiritual home' of Fleet Street and also welcome the new professions that occupy the old newspaper offices and pressrooms of the past.
Jerry Wright is Chief Executive of ABC, the industry-owned body that provides a stamp of trust for media buyers, media owners, publishers and digital traders working in existing and emerging platforms. He has also been President of the IFABC, the 36-strong international federation of print and digital auditors, since October 2010.
Prior to ABC, Jerry worked for Unilever in the UK, Europe and Asia, latterly as Marketing Director at Birds Eye. He also oversaw the Unilever UK media planning and buying operation between 2004 -2006, when he was also a member of the ISBA Council.
Jerry has been involved with St Bride's since 1989, when he was married here and both of his children were christened at the church in the 1990s. He is a member of both the PCC and the Guild.
Jerry is a Liveryman of the Marketors, as well as a member of the Reform and Solus Clubs, and a particular enthusiast for music and sport, still actively participating in both. He is married to Clare and has two teenage children.
Helen Fraser was appointed as a churchwarden in 2013. She has been a member of the congregation for 15 years, and joined the PCC in 2012. Her stepdaughter was married in St Bride's in 2000, and two of her step-grandchildren were christened here also. She spent most of her working career in book publishing, working for Collins, Reed Consumer Books and for thirteen years was managing director of Penguin Books in the UK. In 2010 she moved into a very different area, education, and is chief executive of The Girls' Day School Trust, the UK's twelfth largest charity, which educates 20,000 girls in 24 independent schools and 2 academies. She was awarded a CBE in the New Years' Honours List for services to publishing.
Guy Black has spent most of his working life in the media and communications industry. Currently Executive Director at the Telegraph Media Group, which he joined in 2005, he started in the media as Director of the Press Complaints Commission in 1996. The PCC was then based in Salisbury Square, a stone's throw from St Bride's and Guy has been going there ever since.
Over the last few years Guy has played a leading role in the issues arising from the Leveson Inquiry. As Chairman of the Press Standards Board of Finance, he has been involved in setting up the new industry regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPS0), which is the successor body to the PCC. He is keenly involved in the battle for press freedom at home and abroad. In the UK he has led the industry's campaign against the Royal Charter on press regulation. And since 2009 he has been Chairman of the Commonwealth Press Union Media Trust, which seeks to preserve and enhance press freedom throughout the Commonwealth.
He has been closely involved in a number of the industry's charities. He is President of the Printing Charity, and is leading the Centenary Appeal for the Journalists' Charity. He is also President of the London Press Club.
Away from the media, Guy is a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum and sits on the Council of the Royal College of Music. Music has been a life-long passion, and so Guy particularly appreciates the extraordinary music-making of St Bride's choir. He is a Governor his old school, Brentwood School, and retains strong links with Peterhouse, Cambridge from which he graduated in history.
He was appointed to the House of Lords in 2010, and has spoken widely on issues ranging from press freedom to the welfare of cats and dogs and the future of England's Cathedrals.
Sir David Bell is the Master of the Guild of St Bride. Sir David, a former Church Warden 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.
I came to St Bride's on a temporary contract in September 1991, my task being to re-organise the church's accounts. I augmented this project with cleaning and administrative duties and continued to do so until becoming Administrator in 1995.
Since then, my role has expanded greatly to include revenue and capital fundraising, preparing and delivering high-profile memorial services, carol services and concerts, dealing with charity governance and liaison with our media and corporate supporters. Although finance is my background, however, the most rewarding part of the job has always been the human side, and I take great pride in thinking of St Bride's as a source of support throughout my life, where I have celebrated my Confirmation, Wedding and our childrens' Baptism.
As Administrator, my main role is to coordinate the day to day running of the Church. This job ranges from booking and organising weddings to sewing up choir gowns. My desk is the first point of call for any enquiry and if I can't deal with it I will direct you to the person who can.
My career at St Bride's began when, as a Post Graduate singing student at the Royal Academy of Music, I became a choir deputy. After a few years a vacancy opened up and I was given the job. I am still a member of the choir and a large part of my administrative duties involve the musical side of the church.
I came to St Bride's in 2008 from a background in catering and interior design. My first job title was Administrative Assistant and while that is still at the core of my job it has grown since then to encompass responsibility for all publicity material and arranging major events such as concerts, The Jubilee Lunch party and the annual Summer party.
Outside of St Bride's my interests include Latin music, DJing, wine tasting and travelling.
In the eight years since leaving my career in factory management, my duties at St. Brides have evolved from the ministry of welcome, service preparation, cleaning, and maintenance work to include the leading of minor worship, listening to personal problems, and guiding visitors. Basically I have tried to do anything which no-one else in our lovely team has had the time to do. It has been the sheer variety of the duties required, and the unpredictable nature of them which I have found to have made the job so interesting. To work in a house of prayer has been a great privilege.
Outside work, my wife Ann, for whom I left my beloved Peak District to come to London, has been my "rock" of support, and my three sons and four grand children have continued to be a great joy. Railways, walking, and gardening have proved to be as good in Kent as they were in Derbyshire.
I graduated with a BSc in Psychology from Durham University in 2011, and moved to south-west London. I started volunteering on the shop at St Bride's the following year, and after an internship in the USA, I came back to take on the role of a week-day verger. I do this part-time, and the rest of the time I am studying for an MSc in Environmental Psychology. I am thoroughly enjoying my role at St Bride's especially because it is so varied. I do anything from carrying the cross and setting up for services, to changing light bulbs and talking to visitors and the homeless community. It is a hugely rewarding job and I feel very lucky to be working with such a lovely team of people.