The Clerk's Blog
It was a great pleasure to represent the Stationers' Company at a barbecue lunch in Leeds on 1 August 2017 to celebrate Yorkshire Day, as well as print, creative and digital success in the north of England. The event was jointly organised by the BPIF and CDI Yorkshire.
The guest speaker was Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, (pictured above), who spoke eloquently about the importance of devolution and the vital need for infrastructure investment in the north of England.
It was great to see so many Stationers at the event and I was delighted to hear that Liveryman Robert McClements, who has done so much to champion print in Yorkshire and the Stationers' Company's Northern Region group, has just been appointed the new President of CDI Yorkshire. A very well-deserved accolade!
I am delighted to announce that the acting Bishop of London has appointed the Rt Rev'd Dr Stephen Platten as the first Chaplain of St Martin-within-Ludgate (SMWL). As you may already know, Bishop Stephen is a Court Assistant of the Stationers' Company and an old boy of the old Stationers' Company's School. I am sure that you will all join with me in congratulating Bishop Stephen on his appointment.
The appointment by the Diocese of London of a Chaplain at SMWL coincides with a new agreement that the Company will take over operational control of the entire interior of the church in addition to its meeting rooms, which we were already managing. This agreement is an exciting step forward for the Company as it extends the footprint of our Hall to include SMWL.
There is still work to be done to make the project viable in the longer term and much depends on getting permission to re-design the fixed pews in order to make the main body of the church more flexible in terms of its use. It will always remain consecrated but its purpose, which is currently limited, can be extended beyond being merely a place of worship and this will give it a whole new lease of life.
Bishop Stephen describes the project eloquently thus: “our garden has become a cloister; a modest city square has morphed into the equivalent of an Oxford quad! But the truth is more interesting still, for garden and square remain, quad and cloister are now alongside them! This intentional ambiguity stands at the heart of the future vision. Quad and cloister point to education and religion, but garden and city square speak too. As ever, Stationers’ events will enjoy a beautiful but contained space for gathering at events in church, and hall alike; city square speaks of heritage and of letting a wider public access to appreciate the history and nobility of both Church and Hall”.
This is an exciting and wonderful vision and one that fits perfectly into the Stationers’ Company’s determination to contribute to the good of the nation as well as to its members.
It was humbling to listen to Jess Inaba, the elected President of the Sixth Form at the Stationers' Academy, speak so fluently at our Livery Lunch on Monday, 6 March 2017. It takes a lot of guts to stand up and speak in Stationers' Hall in front of 180 guests; to do it so well when you are only eighteen years old and visually impaired was very very impressive indeed.
After waiting what seems to have been an eternity, we have at last started work on building a door from the Stationers' Garden into the church of St Martin-within-Ludgate. The building work, and the work on redesigning the garden around the door, will start next week and will be completed by the end of August.