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CHAIRMAN’S AUTUMN BULLETIN 2020 In my August bulletin I reported on the start of our remote live lectures using Zoom, and there was plenty to be pleased about the way they started - enough for a monthly bulletin, anyway. Unfortunately, I spent 10 days in hospital in September, recovery through October and into November - you can see where this is leading: monthly bulletin out the window, in with the seasonal one! My thanks for the many well wishes I received and I am delighted to say my recovery is going very well. Well enough to be chairing Committee meetings again, anyway! I know you agree with me that your Committee has done an amazing job in organising and running the live lectures, including the just completed three ‘Study Day’ lectures on Byzantine icons. They (the Committee, not the icons) don’t like being singled out for thanks, you know who they are anyway, so on your behalf I thank them all most sincerely. There have been some stunning lectures this Autumn, with Leslie Primo’s “The Magi: The true story of the Three Kings” to come as our Christmas lecture to round off this unique year. I must thank you all for endorsing our proposals at the remote EGM and AGM in September. The issue of length of tenure of office for Committee members is a pertinent one: I have committed to another year in office as Chair, if confirmed by you of course - i.e. into the 21/22 season. The Committee are considering their own positions on this, especially where they are coming to the end of their term in office. I mention this because succession in the Committee is so important for our continued success, not to say existence. In the current circumstances recruitment to the Committee without face to face contact is very difficult. I am asking, therefore, for any of you who would like to be considered for service on the Committee to contact us. The membership has held up amazingly well at over 300 - a reflection, I hope, of what we have done to keep lectures going, so a sincere thanks for your continued support. At the recent East Midlands Area Meeting (Zoom, of course!) it was very gratifying to find that we are amongst the ground breakers in exploring remote lectures. I must say, also, that The Arts Society has done a great job in both helping us with our Zoom contract and providing excellent online lectures which any of us can access. We will be planning our 21/22 lecture programme over the winter in the hope that we could be meeting physically, vaccines and government rules permitting, so there is hope for optimism. Until that is a safe and permissible option, we will be continuing our remote lectures of course. Our Volunteering sections, Church Recording, Trails of Discovery and Arts in the Community are all on hold to varying degrees at the moment. We hope to resume when conditions are conducive and safe. If you are reading this I don’t need to badger you into using the website. You might, however, help us encourage as many members as possible to make use of it. It is updated regularly and is an efficient way to disseminate information and help communication. All that remains is to wish you all a Happy Christmas and look forward to actually seeing you in 2021! Nigel Harper, Chairman
The Arts Society Oundle