Each year the Carmen’s Company admits a small number of new Liverymen, Freemen and Apprentices.
Apprentices, aged between 14 and 21, are sponsored by Freemen or Liverymen Apprentice Masters. They are apprenticed for at least four years, after which they may be admitted to the Freedom of the Company by servitude.
Freemen of the Company must also become Freemen of the City of London and may seek to progress to the Livery. Other than through apprenticeship, candidates may be admitted by patrimony, if they are born sons or daughters of Freemen or Liverymen, or by redemption (on recommendation of existing Carmen, after payment of an entry ‘fine’).
Liverymen are those who seek more than the Freedom, in giving and participation. From application through interview to acceptance, they seek clothing with the Livery, or uniform, of the Company – a simple, ribboned gown. They pay extra dues then and thereafter, qualify for Court election, and accept the obligation of the civic vote. They are ‘bound in token of their marriage to the Company’.
The Company’s renowned welcome and fellowship extends equally to all, regardless of nationality, gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs or other extraneous factors, although Carmen retain their historic formal affiliation to the Christian faith.
Liverymen and Freemen of the Company experience lifelong fellowship, are generous in charitable giving, participate enthusiastically in the life of the Livery, welcome the opportunity to serve the City of London Corporation the wider community, and enjoy the privilege of association with those who serve Queen and country.