Master Ken Grattan OBE message re Livery and coping with COVID-19
These are difficult times: above all, I hope that Liverymen, Freemen and their families are keeping safe – I wish everyone well as they cope with restrictions on our movement that are unprecedented in my lifetime and the strain that this brings to our everyday lives. Above all, I wish everyone well, in whatever circumstances you are: whether you are self-isolating, working from home or caring for family or friends.
I wanted to send a short message to let you know what is happening – clearly it will be some time before we can all meet again. Let me update you on several issues about life and work associated with the Livery:
As I end, I had asked our Honorary Chaplain, the Revd Preb Jeremy Crossley for a message for us all at this time and I quote Jeremy’s reflections below, which I hope you will find helpful:
The Master has very kindly given me the opportunity to write as Chaplain to the Company; & as always when doing anything with the WCSIM, I’m aware that I’m writing to a group of the most intellectually gifted people I know. I hope, therefore, that you will be as gracious as you normally are with me as you read this reflection.
We are certainly living in extraordinary & disorienting times and facing the most enormous challenge as a country & throughout the world. In line with many similar organizations both the Livery and the Church are thinking of how to respond positively and strengthen the communities of which we are part & encourage people we know.
Many of us will have heard the Director of the World Health Organization recently on television describing Coronavirus as an “enemy of humanity:” and however we interpret that description it means that we have to take the current situation seriously.
A couple of days later, I heard someone describing a virus as “a small, infinitesimal bit of genetic material that has somehow gone wrong. It lives by attaching itself to healthy cells and destroying them; its activity always begins a process of disintegration and destruction.” As a priest, I find this sounds like the nature and activity of evil.
It would be easy in the light of this to keep our heads down and wait for this crisis to pass as all crises eventually do; but this could all too easily leave us feeling even more anxious & helpless. However, for Christians, and all who believe in the efficacy of prayer, we instinctively want to pray, sustained and encouraged as we do so by memories of prayers answered in the past.
Praying for family & friends, colleagues & those in the front line such as doctors, nurses; all in the emergency services and those scientists who are seeking a vaccine or who by their modelling are helping shape government policy.
Of course, there will be many of us who don’t feel able to pray but are acutely aware of the importance of our fellowship as a Livery. Now more than ever this matters enormously. We can’t meet as we would do normally but we can be in touch with one another, encouraging each other & looking forward with confidence to the evening when we will all assemble once again in the Hall, able to value more than ever our friendship and fellowship and surprised, perhaps, that both have been strengthened by all we have been through and the support we have given one another.
Thank you, Jeremy, for your supportive and helpful message, so appropriate at this challenging time for us all, and undoubtedly especially so for many of our friends who have underlying health issues and feel particularly vulnerable.
Let me encourage us all to keep in touch – by e-mail, social media, video link or simply a phone call. I am sure that at this time it will be appreciated. In the meantime, until we can all get together again in the Livery Hall and enjoy each other’s fellowship and company, let me wish you all well – and a Happy Easter.