David Woodward, founder and director of luxury upholstery maker and logistics company Celtheath, has been installed as the 59th Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company in an historic virtual ceremony.

The annual installation ceremony normally takes place at St Mary-le-Bow Church in the City of London, followed by a commemorative white-tie dinner at Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London, but plans were cancelled just prior to the lockdown announcement in March.

This year members of the Company swapped celebrating in the Egyptian Room at Mansion House for logging in to a Zoom Room in their own house to commemorate the occasion and watch David’s extraordinary installation.

David, who succeeded Dids Macdonald OBE, will serve an additional year in office to ensure continuity and stability of leadership during the COVID-19 outbreak. He will be the first Master in the Furniture Makers’ history to be in office for two years with Senior Warden Tony Attard OBE DL and Junior Warden Amanda Waring also serving an additional 12 months.

As Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, David says: “I am deeply honoured to have been installed as Master of this great livery company and been shown the trust by peers to hold the office for two years.

“While times are hard, our resolve must be positive in the belief that better days are to come. Our main priority now is to provide support through our welfare grants, which we have seen a huge increase in applications for as a direct result of the pandemic. We expect this to continue as the financial effects hit more people and companies in the forthcoming weeks and months.”

Outlining plans for his time in office, the Master stated that he wants to build upon the successful One Step at a Time campaign and increase the number of One Step Champions to 350, with the intention of launching a fundraising campaign ‘Step 2 It’ at the beginning of 2021.

The Master added: “When the pandemic has been beaten and companies can get together, we will be launching a nationwide fundraising campaign that will encourage the industry to get active and run, swim, walk or row 100,000 miles and raise £100,000 in the process.”