Brethren and Companions,
The first step along the road to recovery has been taken this week with pupils returning to school, care homes allowing one visitor and the chance to meet another person outdoors for recreational purposes. Whilst these do not affect Freemasonry directly, they are certainly very encouraging signs.
As the next stages on the roadmap are gradually introduced it is hoped that meetings will be able to take place again and, from the 21st June, all restrictions will be lifted.
There are already plans being drafted for our centres to support the NHS and front-line workers by displaying banners on Monday 5th July 2021 which is NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers’ Day. Additionally, some centres will open their doors to welcome in members of their local community for light refreshments and to have a look around the premises. This could be a first step to returning to our regular meetings.
I am aware that many Lodges have a backlog of candidates waiting to be initiated and all Lodges and Chapters have other ceremonies and Installation meetings to be conducted.
It is certainly not my intention to encourage Lodges and Chapters to meet if they do not wish it. However, for those who do, the Province will issue dispensations, in compliance with the Constitutions of the Order, to hold additional meetings or meetings with multiple candidates if required, thus helping to ease the backlog. The dispensations will be issued free of charge. Application for such dispensations should be made to the Provincial Grand Secretary or Scribe ‘E’.
A guide to holding multiple ceremonies is also being produced within the Province and will be circulated in due course.
Some Lodges have already indicated that they intend their first post-restriction meeting to be ‘ceremony-free’, to encourage Brethren to return comfortably to the habit of meeting in the lodge room again; an approach which sounds eminently sensible.
Finally, I have now provisionally planned my ‘team’ visits from September 2021 to May 2022 and it is my intention to visit as many of our centres as possible during that period. I will be fully supported by my Deputies, in both Craft and Chapter, together with my APGM’s, Principals and Wardens to provide as much support as possible to Lodges and Chapters as we emerge from the restraints of the pandemic to, what I am sure will be, a positive and exciting new period within Freemasonry in Lincolnshire.
Yours sincerely and fraternally
Provincial Grand Master Provincial Grand Superintendent