Temporary Closure – Covid-19

Dear all,

The Main Committee met this morning (Tuesday 17th March) as a matter of urgency to consider the escalation of the Covid-19 threat and its impact on Club in terms of the safety of staff, Proprietors and visitors.

In considering an appropriate response the Committee were mindful of our membership, government recommendations and the very real risk of voluntary isolation becoming more prevalent.

In taking all of these factors into account, the Committee has made the decision to close the Club with effect from the end of business today, until Monday 4th May. This will be regularly reviewed by the Club Secretary and Officers of the Institution and any relevant news will be published as it comes to hand.

This decision is not one that has been taken likely and many of our Proprietors will have been involved in similar decisions within other organisations that they are involved with and have an understanding of the complexities of a rapidly changing environment. The Committee’s main consideration is to ensure that everyone connected with The Athenaeum is kept as safe as possible. 

This is a difficult time and each of us is faced with our private and professional challenges, and I hope that we can rely both on your understanding and support as we look forward to welcoming the membership back into the Institution as soon as is practicable.

As part of the agreed plan, the phone lines will move to voicemail this evening, and the email address of the Club Secretary (secretary@theathenaeum.org.uk) will be given to all callers. This will be monitored daily and Proprietors may expect a response to any questions that you may have in a timely fashion. Over the next couple of days, the Club Secretary will be in regular email contact with further information and a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) will appear on the website.

Lastly, may I take the opportunity, as has been reiterated elsewhere, to remind you that regular contact with your friends, by telephone or email will be the best indication of your concern for their well-being, and will be appreciated more than face to face visits. The majority of the Member’s email addresses and telephone numbers, should they have been approved, are available through the Members’ Area of the website and contact between Proprietors is naturally encouraged.

Stay safe and well, with every good wish,

Dr Gaynor Bresnen


Tuesday 17 March 2020