The following is a message for the Provincial Grand Master encouraging us to continue caring for one another whilst we are having to social distance. The message is provided below but the full letter can be found here.
The Coronavirus Pandemic is presenting challenges the like of which few, if any of us, have ever experienced. The social distancing guidelines that have been put in place are essential if the spread of the virus is to be slowed down. Ironically, following these guidelines, as we must, brings about unprecedented isolation which affects all of us. However, in following these guidelines, we are all playing our part. I was struck by a line which appeared on television. It said quite simply, “We have never needed each other more than we do now”. We must be there for each other in all aspects of our lives – which happily calls on values we as Freemasons hold dear – it’s what we do.
In the Mark, as in the Orders in Freemasonry, all our meetings have been suspended. However, this does not suspend Mark Masonry. Certainly not! Our strong shared commitment is that in Mark Masonry we will ever find friends. In these difficult times it is so important that each of us strives even harder to be one of those friends. Friends who regularly engage with one another, who care about one another, who take an interest in one another and who support one another.
Brethren, our care for others is demonstrated in so many ways in the Province and I am inspired by Almoners who care for those in some sort of need, by the lodge Secretaries and Scribes who develop communications initiatives such as Face Book Groups and Video Conferencing and by the brethren who pick up the phone to engage and chat with others.
In normal times our current practices may well be sufficient. However, I believe that during this period of increased isolation, more frequent one-to-one contact between brethren is required. Our aim should be that every member of a Lodge is in weekly two-way, one-to-one contact with at least one other member. No member should be left in isolation.
To this end brethren I have asked the Provincial Secretary to write to every lodge to ask the members to explore how this might best be achieved in their lodge. I am delighted that my Deputy and Assistant PGMs stand ready to help the lodges with this.
Brethren, let everyone of us be an active caring friend and show how true it is that “Among Mark Master Masons you will ever find friends, who will administer relief to your distress and comfort in your affliction”.
Above all, I hope you and your loves ones remain safe.