by Adrian Joyce, Provincial Grand Scribe E
As I am writing this, we are moving into week nine of Lockdown. My last meeting was my own Craft Lodge, Ancholme at Brigg on Monday March 16th, which in itself was very different to the norm. We opened with only 16 members, had a small amount of business on the agenda, discussed the Coronavirus and how we could support our older and more vulnerable members, closed then went home, with no Festive board.
The word ‘lockdown’ sounds very draconian, which in real terms is the only route we can take during this unprecedented and difficult time. None of us know the answers to the questions being asked or how long this situation is going to affect our Freemasonry, but more importantly our lives, both personal and professional.
Like me, many of you will have businesses to run, and jobs to go to, so these are worrying times for all. There will be vulnerable people in your local community, the elderly, those with health issues and those that are struggling financially.
I am sure you would echo my sentiments in giving very grateful thanks to the NHS, the volunteers who have put themselves onto the frontline and those who are working in the care system, supermarkets and essential services.
In Freemasonry we have a wonderful UNIQUE structure and system which is able to offer support and help quickly to those who need it, whether that is within our own Lodges and Chapters or our local communities, at both Provincial and national levels through Grand Lodge, Supreme Grand Chapter and the Masonic Charitable Foundation. We are at the beginning of our #Lincs2025 Festival in aid the Freemasons’ Charity the MCF, and your continued support is greatly appreciated. The funds are already being put to good use in the community.
The reaction of our Craft and Chapter Masons in Lincolnshire to Coronavirus has been very special to see, and very humbling to be a part of. There are too many positive stories to list here but please, I ask you to go to the Provincial Website, www.lincolnshirefreemasons.org, everything is there for you to read and catch up on. A big thank you to Stuart Pearcey, our Communications Officer and, as of Wednesday May 13th, our Provincial Senior Grand Warden, and Chris Bradley, our Webmaster who are both working hard to keep us updated.
There has never been a time in my 20 years as a Freemason when the words we are taught at our first meeting in the North East Corner have been more relevant and inspiring. Get your little Blue book out and have a read.
As for the Royal Arch in Lincolnshire, we are still working hard behind the scenes. I would like to take this opportunity to give special thanks to the hard-working Scribes of your Chapters for their support and assistance in getting the messages out to you. Part 4 of the ‘Lincolnshire Royal Arch Keep in Touch’ emails will either be on their way to you or will have already landed in your inbox. I am very grateful to E Comp Mike Rix, our Second Provincial Grand Principal for the hard work he is doing preparing it all for us.
I would like to congratulate the new Craft and Royal Arch Provincial Teams who took up their new appointments on Wednesday May 13th via a Zoom meeting with the PGM/Grand Superintendent, and thank those who have been in office for the past year. It was a very different experience from normal, and a lot less work for Provincial Secretary Tony Miller and I. That said, we would both have preferred to have done the work and shared the day with you all.
The Craft and Chapter Executives work very closely together and are here to support you with any issues you may have. My job title is Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra. The name ‘Ezra’ means ‘Help’, that is what I am here to do so if you require anything don’t hesitate to get in touch, even if it is just for a chat.
I cannot express how proud and humbled I am to be part of such a wonderful organisation. There will be lots of Positives to come out of this difficult time, keep moving forward in a clockwise direction, supporting, communicating and contacting each other and those in your community.
I cannot match the video of W Bro Bruce Goodmans’ Lancaster Memorabilia but I am sure there will be many of you out there who like me, are missing the mountains and getting out for a proper walk. For the walkers amongst you, the footpath to Helvellyn’s Striding Edge, not recommended in the snow by the way!
Be careful, look after your families, your Brethren and Companions, I hope to catch up with you all soon. Stay safe.