By John Grimwood, Provincial Grand Almoner
I’ve always known that there were some very dedicated and committed Lodge Almoners in Lincolnshire – but I didn’t know just how dedicated they were until they came up against this pandemic.
Faced with a challenge of a kind we haven’t seen in our lifetimes, Almoners have not only risen to it, but have done far more than could reasonably have been expected of them.
Not only that, they’ve just got on and done it, offering help and support within the Masonic family and beyond it to the community at large. From the man who entertained his whole street on the anniversary of VE Day to someone who says he hasn’t done much for anyone outide the Masonic family, but has nevertheless been in touch with everyone in his village to offer what help he can. And what of the people who’ve been cooking and delivering hot food to the vulnerable, or the fish frier who’s been feeding not only the vulnerable, but also emergency services and NHS workers? All of them, and more besides, are worthy of our admiration and praise.
But please don’t think I’m talking as though we are out of the woods. This is not over yet, and we’re a long way from being able to say it is. As we keep going through such difficult days almoners and those supporting them continue to work hard throughout the Province. Lockdown, as we’ve grown used to it, may be easing – but financial difficulties could yet increase for many in the weeks ahead. It is therefore worth repeating details of the financial help available to individuals and businesses. There’s a lot of information in the three documents below. Thankfully, the calls on the Province to offer help for individuals have been few, but please don’t forget that we are here to call on and offer what help we can, should the need arise.
And finally, even if you’re not a lodge almoner, it doesn’t mean you can’t offer your help. Although there are some things that should be left to the people holding office, there are many that you could tackle – and almoners need help too! When did you last talk to your Lodge Almoner to see if he’s OK? Perhaps you could do that today. They all have my contact details and know that I’m here to listen if there’s something they want to share, but I’m sure they’d appreciate hearing offers of help from you too.Support for Individuals