As we come to the end of a most unusual term, I’d like to wish you all a restorative summer break.
All of us have faced an unusual (not to say unprecedented) level of disruption to our personal and professional lives: the impact on many has been significant.
The Inn has adapted in ways that we could not have foreseen in early March: the rapid development of online Qualifying Sessions; the virtual committee meetings; an online library enquiry service; music and prayers from the chapel; and Council meetings by Zoom. All of this is testament to the flexibility and hard work of committees, tutors, our preacher and, above all, our Under Treasurer, Anne, and her team. I would like to pay a heartfelt tribute and extend my thanks – and I believe yours – to them all.
We have been acutely aware of our role in supporting members of the profession who are in real difficulty as a result of the pandemic, making a sizable donation to BBA; providing help for those not eligible for BBA support; and putting in place arrangements to assist tenants. Many of you will have supported the BBA’s Covid appeal personally as well – you will want to know that by the end of July the appeal had supported 123 applicants. If necessary, we and the other Inns stand ready to provide additional funding. Please do encourage anyone you know is experiencing hardship to approach them.
All remains very uncertain, particularly with concerns growing by the day of a “second wave”, but let us hope that the next few months will see continued progress towards something closer to normal. It is wonderful to know that the library is open to users on a rota with other Inns and then every week from September. And I’m very much looking forward to lunch in the Great Hall and to the MCR reopening from 7 September. I hope to see many of you there, summer plans permitting.
Enjoy the summer break, wherever you may be taking it, and I hope we can meet in person before too long.