Christ Church’s iconic Tom Tower, designed by Christopher Wren, was lit up in bright blue tonight to mark this week’s nationwide NHS Clap for Carers. Christ Church alumnus Dr Evan Edmond, who has been redeployed to work in the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford during the pandemic, switched on the light. 

Medical student David Kim, who is also working at the John Radcliffe Hospital, said: “It’s a lovely tribute to the doctors, nurses, carers and researchers in Oxford who are working round the clock. It should remind us of just how privileged we are to have them.”

Christ Church’s Clerk of Works, Steve Brown, put the new lighting in place. Tom Tower will “go blue” every Thursday evening during the eight weeks of the Summer term as an ongoing reminder of the dedication shown by doctors, nurses, carers and other health workers across the country who are helping to keep the public safe and well.

In addition to housing medical students, Christ Church has provided accommodation in the College for doctors and other staff who are working at the John Radcliffe Hospital during the pandemic. Many NHS staff are being redeployed to support acute medicine and intensive care, with full-time clinical researchers like Dr Evan Edmond, a Christ Church alumnus. Dr Edmond is working at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford while his normal research on patients with motor neurone disease (MND) is paused. 

Several NHS workers are living in Christ Church accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many NHS staff are being redeployed to support acute medicine and intensive care at this time, with full-time clinical researchers also stepping in to support NHS services.

Christ Church’s Senior Censor, Professor Geraldine Johnson, said: “Our students have been telling us how much they miss being in Christ Church, particularly this week, as the reality of a new term under lockdown begins to sink in. Hopefully seeing the familiar form of Tom Tower in a new light, which makes visible our enormous gratitude for all that the NHS is doing in Oxford and across the country, will remind them of everything they love most about Christ Church.”

Lois Heslop

Lois Heslop is the co-founder of The Oxford Blue and was Editor-in-Chief for HT20 and TT20. She is in her second year studying Physics at Lady Margaret Hall, and hails from South London. Her other interests include classical music and opera, and she is currently a choral scholar.