Last Thursday, 12th March 2020, the last ‘team’ visit of the year for the Provincial Chapter team was held at the Chapter of St. John in Scunthorpe. Less than 12 hours later I called together an emergency meeting of the Provincial Executive to set in motion the wholesale postponement of our Provincial meetings and events, which meant that the visit to the Chapter of St. John was the last ‘team’ visit for the foreseeable future.
I have no doubt you all understand the necessity of the difficult decision, disappointing though it is, to postpone Provincial events and whilst unprecedented, this may play a part in minimising the spread of the pandemic and its impact.
Although it seems devastating now, we should remember that through these postponements Freemasonry is carrying on what it does as a matter of course; looking out for each other and the communities in which we live, helping where we can.
Freemasonry’s demographic is such that a significant proportion of our members are within the ‘most vulnerable’ category, through age, through illness, or through a combination of both. We must think of their families too, who may also fall into that category.
The lack of regular meetings that form such a large part of our lives has undoubtedly come as a shock to the system – but just because we may not able to be in the same room does not mean we are not able to be in contact with each other.
The current situation is a milestone in our Masonic history. Whilst we wait for the clouds to pass, I would urge everyone to keep in touch with other lodge members, especially those who live alone, for regular chats and updates. The more ‘tech savvy’ amongst us have all sorts of means of communication, through text messages, video calls, and even chat groups such as WhatsApp or similar. Just because we have all this technology, don’t be blinded to the value of the ‘old school’ telephone call.
I would also urge you to keep an eye on the Provincial web site, and offer whatever items for publication to Stuart Pearcey (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chris Bradley (email@example.com). They’ll be working to keep the site’s news section refreshed, and need your help to do that. Any news I have in the weeks ahead will also be shared through the website.
The word to remember is ‘postponement’ rather than ‘cancellation’. The situation will ultimately be resolved, and we shall be able to return to normal. I’m looking forward to that, and I’m sure you are too.
Yours sincerely and fraternally,