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A message from the chairman

25 Apr 2020 - Tom Parsons

Dear SVCC Member,

At the risk of understatement, these are indeed trying times for all of us in virtually every aspect of daily life with the norms that we have taken for granted turned on their head.

First and foremost, what is most important is that we follow the government guidelines and do all we can to keep our families safe and healthy.

For the club, this pandemic is presenting challenges and the Committee has explored credible worst-case scenarios and mapped out contingency plans to sustain the club and our membership through this period. I suggest that within our rich history, this is not the first time the club has faced such difficulties and pulled through so I’m confident, with all our members and supporters working together in the common good, we will come through this with the club viable in all aspects. Indeed, earlier this week in conversation with our President, Robert Sackville-West, he offered this observation:

“My family has enjoyed almost 250 years of history with the Vine Cricket Club. In 1773, my ancestor gave what must be one of the most lovely cricket grounds in the country to the town of Sevenoaks. With the exception of the world wars (and the occasional break for rain), cricket has been played there almost continuously ever since. During this current interruption, I wish the Club all the very best, and hope that we will all be able to support it in any way we can.”

As a club founded in the community, we are committed to support all the recommendations and guidelines of the government, the ECB and Kent Cricket currently in place and those that will assuredly follow. There is considerable uncertainty at this time about the prospects for cricket this season. We simply don’t know, but the first of our scenarios has some form of cricket starting in mid-July and we will keep that option alive unless and until we hear differently.

Without going into the minutiae, the most immediate impact of any of the scenarios is financial. Ordinarily annual subscriptions would fall due at this time of the year for both playing and social members. Whilst this uncertainty as to when recreational cricket will resume is being addressed to the best we are able, there are minimum running costs that the club must bear and so in the interim we are asking the following of our members:

  1. Can all members please consider paying a non-playing or social subscription of £35 through the on-line portal managed by Alan Smith
  2. Those who are in a position to offer more are welcome to pay their full playing subscriptions in good faith
  3. Any member who, in the current situation, is unable to pay may contact an officer of the club. We completely understand that circumstances vary greatly across our diverse membership and any such discussions will be handled in the strictest confidence.

We are very grateful to the Junior Parents who have donated the Winter Nets fees to the club. A significant number of Junior Parents have already paid the full Junior Membership for the season, we will be in contact again as the prospects for the season become clearer.

These are difficult and uncertain times for all and I and the committee are well aware of the impact this is having on all members of our Vine family. As we work though this period it is important that we look out for each other and stay in contact with friends, family and fellow members. Should you become aware of any of our members that may be struggling, or in need of help, please let us know and we will endeavour to do what we can to lend support and assistance.

We hope to issue regular updates as things develop, until then do stay safe and healthy.

With Best wishes and regards

Andy Richardson

Chairman of SVCC