Freemasons are calling for the whole community to ensure no one feels alone, even if they are physically self-isolating, by drinking a toast at 9pm tonight.
We have adapted the usual 9pm – or sometimes 10pm – festive board toast join in to toast ‘absent friends, and those working on the frontline in the NHS’, as well care workers and all those looking after those less able to care for themselves, the delivery drivers, shelf stackers, and everyone else supporting the community in any way.
Dr David Staples, Chief Executive of the United Grand Lodge of England, has called for the Freemasons’ regular toast to be a ‘virtual’ toast – using the #TimetoToast hashtag – and extended to all those we cannot meet with, yet remain close in our thoughts.
He said: “We want everyone to join in at 9pm tonight and raise a glass to those we cannot be with in person due to the huge challenges facing the country. Stay safe, self-isolate but know that you are not alone.
“We are all unable to do those things we previously took for granted, that are so precious to us all – meeting with friends at the pub or for a coffee, enjoying each other’s company. Being social, in its small way, is something we can still all share. We invite everyone to raise a glass to help raise spirits.”
Christine Chapman, Head of Freemasonry for Women, added: ‘We must combat loneliness by ensuring that, even if we are all in our own homes, we are still connecting across the country.
Dr Staples and I urge everyone to charge their glass at 9pm and say a toast to absent friends, and those working on the frontline of the NHS.”