All Durham Congregations planned for summer 2021 have been postponed until September

This is the second year in a row that Congregations have been affected by Covid-19

An email sent out to last year’s graduates and this year’s finalists has confirmed that all Congregations at Durham Cathedral have been postponed this academic year due to Covid-19.

This is the second year in a row that summer Congregations at the Cathedral have been postponed due to the pandemic, and last year’s finalists have not yet received their graduate hood or had a Congregation day.

A Congregation for 2020 graduates had been rescheduled for this April, whilst ceremonies for this year’s finalists were expected to take place in late June and early July as normal.

The email from Vice-Chancellor Stuart Corbridge states that the postponing of these Congregations is to be Covid-safe and ensure international students and their families are not subject to any travel restrictions, which may prevent them from attending.

Corbridge writes that “public health and other considerations” permitting, the current plan is to hold postponed Congregations in September 2021. It is thought that these ceremonies will still be dependent on social distancing guidelines, and the university cannot currently guarantee that it will be able to accommodate all graduates at the Cathedral on the day.

The Vice-Chancellor assures those affected by the Congregation delays that: “We know how special these occasions are. All our staff are working hard to ensure that we can confirm dates and venues, and we will provide more information as soon as we can. If for any reason a place at a Cathedral Congregation cannot be guaranteed in September 2021, we will do our best to make it available at a later date”.