PM John Burrell has been acting as Almoner over recent years but in effect much of the work has been done by his wife, Michèle. At the Master’s Weekend in Cambridge the Master was pleased to announce that Court had extended an invitation to Michèle to become an Honorary Member, which she had graciously accepted. Michèle will now therefore formally be our Almoner.
The word “Almoner” is historic and started as being the title given to a chaplain or church officer who was originally in charge of distributing money to the deserving poor. It has to some extent fallen out of use in modern day English, although there are still many Alms Houses in existence throughout the UK. The word “Almoner” is derived from the Ancient Greek ἐλεημοσύνη eleēmosynē (alms), via the popular Latin almosinarius.
The Almoner remains an active and important office in the Livery Companies of the City of London and is the member of the Company who is responsible for ensuring that the Company cares for its members whenever they are in need. “Care” might be just a friendly telephone call to a member who is ill, fallen on hard times or has recently been bereaved or might be far more involved depending on the circumstances.
Within the Worshipful Company of Constructors the Almoner is usually advised by the Gallant Clerk of any issues that might merit her involvement, but any member of the Company who feels that a fellow member might benefit from the Almoner’s involvement is encouraged to contact her direct at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 01252 842874, where she would be pleased to assist wherever possible.
All matters are confidential although good news of a return to good health or improved circumstances can be made to the Company if consent is given.
We are very pleased that Michèle has agreed to formally become our almoner since she has undertaken a similar role with Breast Cancer Care offering peer support to those afflicted with the illness from initial diagnosis through to the end of their treatment. We are sure that those of our members who might have need to call on her services will find her both a sympathetic listener and someone who will do her best to help at all times.