Fellow liverymen The last few months have been a challenging and unsettling time like no other, even in the long history of the Livery. As many of us prepare for a summer break, I want to take this opportunity to reflect on the current situation and look ahead to what the coming months may bring.
As you can see from the video clip circulated alongside this bulletin, I am sending you this message from my office in the Mansion House. While working from home will no doubt continue to be the norm for many, I am pleased that I've been able to spend more time physically in the City over the last few weeks. In doing so, I have seen first-hand the determination of the Square Mile - its businesses, its institutions and its communities - to confront COVID19 and build a safe and successful recovery.
The Livery is no exception. I have been struck by your resilience and your resourcefulness during this difficult time. The transition to virtual ways of working has been impressive to see. And I have been delighted to engage with you in imaginative new ways, joining webinars, virtual coffee mornings, and Zoom banquets as enjoyable and worthwhile as any Mansion House dinner.
During these virtual conversations I have especially noted how you have supported charities, key workers and the vulnerable, in ways large and small. Earlier this month I was delighted to visit some of the teams involved in the NHS Livery Kitchen project, providing daily meals to key workers in London's frontline hospitals.
And I have been so impressed with the COVID19 initiatives you have been sharing with me - from generous capital injections to individual volunteering, from the Musicians Company staging online concerts to support young artists to the Engineers Company consortium making ventilators for the NHS.
I am proud that the Livery is playing its part in this emergency. Later this year I hope to launch a new award to recognise the contribution that Liverymen have made during COVID19.
I can also tell you that plans are being made for a Lord Mayor's Show in November, adapted to the situation in which we find ourselves. While the traditional parade through the streets will not take place, we hope that the special event will nevertheless provide us with a fantastic platform to thank key workers and all those who have kept the country going during the pandemic.
2020 has turned a stark spotlight on other difficult issues too. Recent events have shown that it is more important than ever that all of us consider how we in the Livery can best support diversity and drive inclusion in all that we do - in our companies, our activities, our professions, our charities and our schools.
This current suspension of our normal way of life by the Coronavirus gives us a unique opportunity to reflect on what we want the Livery to stand for in the repositioned normality of the 21° Century.
What is clear from my conversations with you all is that many companies are already considering this. And as we return post summer recess, I am particularly keen to help support and stimulate that discussion, to determine the role and focus of the Livery in the years to come. What will be our contribution to civic citizenship, social inclusion and a sustainable future? I am confident that together we will find an answer.
The Lady Mayoress and I are grateful for the continued support you have shown us during this highly unusual Mayoralty. All of you have our support and admiration as you find a path through the current circumstances. I hope you all have an enjoyable summer break and an opportunity to reflect and recharge. I look forward to seeing you refreshed and renewed in the autumn.
Until then, Hilary and I send you our warmest wishes.
Alderman William Russell The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor
The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress with one of the teams delivering the NHS Livery Kitchen project.