I would like to take this opportunity to wish you, and your loved ones, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

This has been a memorable year for West Kent and we can all reflect with huge satisfaction, and a great deal of pride, on the extraordinary achievement of exceeding our target for the 2015 Appeal by such a huge margin.   None of us in West Kent should in any way underestimate what a remarkable achievement that was – and all the hard work, done by so many people throughout the Province, that made it all possible.

However, our success does set the bar higher than ever for our Province – and I know that when we move into 2016, we will continue to “make a difference” and strive for excellence in everything we do.   We are very fortunate to live in exciting times, and a fast changing modern world – and on a personal note, I have been both humbled and greatly encouraged to hear so much positive and imaginative feedback about the future of West Kent – and the limitless possibilities that we can explore together in the coming years.

Whilst this energy and appetite to move forward is genuinely heart-warming, we should also take a few moments to reflect, particularly at this time of year, about the three concepts that link together our past, the present, and our future – Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.

Change – for its own sake – isn’t real progress.  I believe that our future strength and success lies in: the way we deal with each other, and the warmth and respect we display to everyone; our sincere efforts to support all those who are less fortunate than us; and our intrinsic integrity and honesty, both within our great organisation, and with the wider world.

And these, Brethren, are not new, or progressive, ideas.  These, as all of us once answered, are the three grand principles on which the Order is founded. 

Let’s reach out and embrace the future – but let’s also honour and respect the past, and everything that binds us together.

I hope you all have a wonderful time over Christmas and the New Year – and enjoy a well-earned rest with your friends and families.

You all richly deserve it! 

Mark Estaugh