Stephen Platten, the former Bishop of Wakefield, takes over from Trevor Fenwick, Euromonitor International co-founder and executive chairman.
His appointment marks a number of firsts for the Stationers’ Company, not only is he the first master to have attended its former school, he is also the first clergyman appointed to the role and the first master to be installed over Zoom.
According to the livery company, Platten has set three goals for his one-year tenure: first to strengthen the Stationers’ Company links with the Stationers' Crown Woods Academy; second to make the company more outward-looking and not so London-centric; and thirdly to ensure that the £7m refurbishment of Stationers’ Hall, which had been set to start this year, does not lose momentum.
The installation of lifts and air-conditioning has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but is now slated to begin in either Q4 2021 or early 2022.
Platten became a Stationers’ liveryman in 2005, primarily due to his work as a director of theological publisher SCM Press. He was encouraged to join by his wife Rosslie, who thought it would be a good way for him to meet up with other former pupils of the Stationers’ school, which closed in 1983.
“I don’t think she expected me to get as enthusiastically involved as I have become,” he said.