It goes without saying that we have all had a difficult 18 months. The way we live, work and play all changed overnight, and suddenly our community was forced apart as we were all instructed to stay home as much as possible. Events became virtual, social circles became small bubbles and masks became commonplace. The College itself seemed to fall into a sort of hibernation, particularly during the holidays when those students who could safely travel home did so, leaving the corridors empty of the usual chatter of conferences, staff and visitors. It was a uniquely strange time, and one from which we are now happily starting to emerge.

The last few weeks have seen a number of events return to College, and with it a new energy and sense of optimism, and many a friendly Churchillian face. We’ve had postponed MA and reunion dinners in College, including the 1960-65 and the 1988-92 cohorts, as well as enjoying some rowing from the boathouse with the former group. We were also able to enjoy the Association Weekend for alumni, with a talk by Professor Mark Goldie, Corbusier comes to Cambridge, in the Wolfson Theatre and dinner in the Dining Hall. We’ve even had the delayed graduation ceremonies that our students waited so patiently for (see the video at the bottom of this page). And most importantly of all, our students have been able to return to College this term, safe in the knowledge that the academic year 2021-22 will closely resemble the way things used to be, just with added masks and asymptomatic testing.

But one thing the pandemic has allowed us to do is improve our social spaces. We’ve revamped our buttery, vastly improving the accessibility to the area and providing a welcoming space to all. We’ve given both the gym and squash courts a makeover as well as introducing an exercise studio for yoga and dance sessions, and our new perimeter path means that visitors and members alike can enjoy everything our grounds and gardens have to offer without the need for wellington boots.

So while it hasn’t been an easy time for any of us, as we start to see the end of 2021, we can look forward to what 2022 has to offer, and most importantly we can do it face to face, together.