During these difficult and uncertain times, the care and welfare of every member of the Province has been my over-riding concern and, sadly, the Masonic suspension which prevails has led to the cancellation of our Provincial Grand Lodge meeting in May.
Although we would all like meetings to resume as soon as possible, my responsibility to our members and a duty of care for you all must, and will, prevail.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday evening, uncertainty surrounding large scale social gatherings still remains, which has led the Provincial COBRA team to reconsider our arrangements for Craft and Royal Arch Provincial meetings for 2020 and beyond.
In light of the above, we have decided on the following course of action for 2020 and beyond: –
- The joint Craft and Royal Arch investiture ceremony in November will be cancelled,
- When feasible, Craft and Royal Arch Provincial business meetings will take place at Oakley House when Active Craft officers for 2020 may (if circumstances permit) be invested,
- A joint Craft and Royal Arch Investiture ceremony will be held at Great Queen Street in May 2021, with investitures in both Orders taking place on the same day,
- Active Royal Arch officers, appointed in November 2019, will be reappointed until May 2021, and
- Active Craft officers, appointed in May 2020, will be reappointed in May 2021.
Key factors influencing our decision: –
- The current period of Masonic suspension and Lockdown period could be extended,
- Social distancing measures may still apply – even after the Lockdown period is removed,
- A restriction on “large scale social gatherings” is likely to be the last state measure to be lifted,
- Given the age profile or medical wellbeing of some of our members, they may delay a return to meetings until there is categorically no impact to their health.
Key benefits to our members are:-
- A joint Craft and Royal Arch meeting will enable members, guests and their families to attend both meetings on a single annual occasion,
- Considerable savings to members by combining the Craft and Royal Arch meetings,
- Our Craft and Royal Arch Provincial meetings remain at an iconic Masonic venue,
- For those members in full time employment, only one day’s annual leave is required,
- By member request, our Provincial meeting date will move from a Bank Holiday week to a more popular Friday date in late May, and
The active officers in the Craft and Royal Arch affected by the suspension will enjoy at least a full year in office.
Whilst any change to long-standing arrangements is not always popular, I very much look forward to your continued support and attendance at our next Provincial meeting in May 2021.
Yours Sincerely and fraternally,
Provincial Grand Master – Grand Superintendent