Life in the time of Coronavirus

Life in the time of Coronavirus

10 Jun 2020 - 16:04 BY Admin

  • coronavirus
  • covid19
  • lunesdale

Dear Member

I hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well. As you can imagine your committee has been giving considerable thought as to how we can best preserve our Arts Society during this uncertain time.

The situation

The need to observe safe social distancing measures means that for the moment our usual lectures, study days and trips and tours outings are not possible. We cannot plan anything with any confidence at present. Like every other organisation we are having to wait and see how the situation develops.

We had recently completed our membership renewal process and collected in the subscriptions for 2020.   We enjoyed just one lecture (Feb) from our 2020 programme before everything came to a standstill in March. 

The plan

After much discussion the committee is taking a practical, positive approach and now intends to suspend the Society’s membership and activities from February 2020 and re-activate them in March 2021. 

This means that existing memberships will not need to be renewed this autumn but will resume in March 2021 and run through for the rest of that year. This preserves the membership of the society and allows us to bypass a complex and unnecessary process of refund and resubscription.

Sadly, all this years’ remaining lectures, study days and outings are cancelled. The subscriptions paid for this year will roll over to cover 2021 and we will prepare a fresh lecture and events programme in readiness. We will implement the plan to align the lecture programme to the calendar year (Jan-Dec) so we will plan in an additional July 2021 lecture, with the programme finishing in December 2021. The new programme will be sent out to members towards the end of this year.

I know next year feels a long time away. However, if the social distancing restrictions are eased earlier, we may be able to offer some ad hoc events before then.  We are as keen as anyone to get things up and running again and we will explore all opportunities as the situation develops.

If by Spring next year there is no significant change to the guidelines around group meetings, then we will have to think again, but this postponement approach at least allows time for the situation to improve, whilst conserving the membership and fabric of the friendly, informative Arts Society Lunesdale that we have all worked so hard to build.

In the meantime I would encourage those of you who are missing your Arts activities to visit the main website where the national Arts Society are busy creating and  promoting a wonderful programme of online talks and  events, which members can enjoy.

This year’s AGM

It will not be possible for us to hold our 2019 AGM which was scheduled for June 2020, as our constitution requires members to be in attendance, so we intend to again defer it for a year and hold it in June 2021.  We will however post a Chairman’s summary statement and the accounts on the website for those who are interested, but with the formal business of the meeting held over till June 2021.  The changes we were proposing, to our membership year and subscriptions, will all be pushed a year further away. This is not ideal but everyone is having to be flexible in these unforeseen and unprecedented circumstances. 

There is one exception which is that we are proceeding with the appointment of the new Chairman Dr John Houghton, who will take up his new position from 1st September. I will remain available to him and the Committee during this rather strange period but John will formally take on the role of Chairman from September onwards. I am sure you will all join with me to wish him well in his new role.

With all good wishes


Martin Gillibrand



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