I hope this Newsletter finds you well and that you are enjoying the post-Omicron easing of Plan B restrictions. Fingers crossed for even more of a return to normal this spring!
It has been a busy time at the Guild, so it seemed a good time to bring you all up to date with goings on over the last couple of months.
Firstly, I would like to thank St. Paul's Girl School choristers and their staff, Heidi Pegler and Alexis White, for the superb performance they gave of Christmas choral music at our annual carol service 3rd December. Held for the first time at St. Margaret Woolnoth church in the city, the event started off the festive season in truly memorable style. Well done to all the girls and thank you to Rev. Jeremy Crossley for his Yuletide words and to Court Assistant Jack Armistead for his organisation of the venue and catering. I am also delighted to report that Alexis has now joined the Guild's Court as SCA for St. Paul's Girls. Congratulations, Alexis!
Although other face-to-events have been severely limited in recent weeks, we have ventured into online territory more boldly by hosting our first ever online Sixth Form Information Event by means of a Zoom-based Webinar with opportunities for Questions and Answers. Students in Mercers' schools (and their parents and Careers staff) were able to log on to the event on 25th January, but others not able to attend on the night may access a recording as set out by our Renter Warden below:
Thank you everyone that was able to join us tonight for the first of our GMS talk on 25th January. The feedback on the event has been really positive and we will be announcing the next event shortly. I will include your mail address in the distribution list, unless I hear otherwise from you.
Please find the link to the event below. I hope that it is useful to you, as I know that some of you were not able to attend due to the capacity limit and prior commitments. This is a separately recorded session, to ensure privacy of those on the call and covers the same key topics. You are welcome to share the link if you feel it is useful to others:
We are planning the rest of the Speaker Series and I would appreciate your feedback. The level of interest was wonderful to see, and I'm happy that the ideas resonated so well with you. If you have any requests for future events - topics of interest, careers you would like to know more about, or formats you would like to engage in, please do share them with me, and I'll ensure your feedback is included when we put together the upcoming program. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, and hope you will join us for future events.
Daniel Subramaniam, Renter Warden
My sincere thanks both to Daniel and Brendan Musgrave, Junior Warden, and Patricia Snook, School Court Assistant, for their excellent input and organisation, along with Daniel, in setting this event up and making it such a success on the night. We admitted 100 interested students and parents on the night and would have welcomed more but unfortunately came up against our Zoom capacity! Hence we have made a recording, which can be found here: https://theguildofmercersscholars.com/library/.
Thanks to Daniel for setting up the YouTube channel. Apprentice Masters and SCAs, please do look out for more such events in the near future.
I am also delighted to report on growing links with Gresham College regarding collaboration on future events. Here is a message from Dr. Wendy Piatt, Chief Executive, Gresham College:
Gresham College, a partner organisation within the Mercers’ Company educational family, has been running free public lectures since 1597. Many of these are now available online. Our current Professors include Chris Whitty, mathematician Professor Sarah Hart and MBA Professor of the year Alex Edmans. We also host guest lectures from the likes of Professor Anand Menon, who recently gave a balanced lecture on the impact of Brexit. Find all of our lectures here:
Chris Whitty https://www.gresham.ac.uk/series/infections/
Sarah Hart https://www.gresham.ac.uk/series/maths-art/
All Past lectures https://www.gresham.ac.uk/watch/
SCAs and SLOs are strongly encouraged to promote these online events with all students, especially aspiring Apprentices, in their partner schools. We will also provide links to Gresham College activities in the near future on the Guild website (https//:www.theguildofmercersscholars.com/library ). I have attached the programme of free lectures for the remainder of this academic year to this Newsletter.
Further to this new relationship with Gresham College, we are tentatively looking at an event at Barnard's Inn, site of the Old Mercers' School and now home to the College, for a Summer Reception to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Guild. Gresham are happy to facilitate such an event. The provisional date is Thursday 30th June, one week after our Midsummer Court on 23rd June. There will be a charge to attend, as yet to be determined, as the event will be catered for. Please will you email back any thoughts about date, venue or content of this anniversary celebration. It is a significant milestone and if, as is hoped, it can also serve as a celebration of new Apprentices being bound to the Guild, it could be a really enjoyable way to bring the past, present and future of GMS together for a memorable summer day out. Do let us know if you are interested in coming or have particular ideas at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You'll be pleased to know that our first social event of the year is upon us. You are warmly invited to join us for a virtual journey through history on Tuesday 1st March at 7pm, exploring the palaces of London, the Houses of Parliament and the power which they exerted then and today. Please see the recent letter of invitation from Jack Armistead, Social Secretary, and the notice on our Events page - https://theguildofmercersscholars.com/events/ . (Always remember to check your Junk Mail folder in your email system if you have any issues picking up our updates.) We will be reverting to face-to-face events for the remainder of the year.
Lastly, on safeguarding you will be aware that we have re-structured our Sixth Form programme to limit the burden of administration on the person or team responsible for making sure we exercise our duty of care to all our members in full compliance with public policy and guidelines. To that end we continue to seek a Guildmember or contact of a Guildmember to support us in this work. I am working with colleagues in the meantime to ensure we are complaint and that our training materials are up to date and disseminated appropriately. In addition, the post of Webmaster remains vacant. Please do email Gerry Edwards, IPM, if you are interested or have suggestions: email@example.com .
Thank you for all your continued support. Do let me know if you have any items you wish to publish in future Newsletters.
My very best wishes,
John Weeds, Master