My appointment, as Assistant to the Grand Superintendent, has now encompassed a whole year and has passed with indecent haste. I thought a progress report would not go amiss. I am indebted to the support given to our Order by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, David Winder who unfailingly encourages craft masons to join us at an appropriate time in their Masonic development. The good news is that we have initiated several new freemasons into the group and as the Royal Arch is so highly dependent on new blood entering the craft this surely bodes well for the future.
Our more senior members have received Provincial Honours at the delightful setting of the Floral Hall in Southport at Provincial Grand Chapter and we offer them our congratulations for their unstinting efforts in their chapters and across the group.
I have suggested that principals and companions should support other chapters by visiting them when able, even as a non diner and I request that we re-double our efforts in this field. By supporting others we will sow good will and reap support amongst the family of chapters within the group. Also I commend to you Setantia Chapter of First Principals No 7755 which is intended for those who have passed through the chairs of their respective chapters and wish to extend their friendships and knowledge of the Royal Arch. You are always welcome both as visitors and as joining members.
We have already demonstrated the Talking Heads incentive within the group, perhaps a little early in the season although with electronic communication it is not difficult to inform our members of important communications even whilst in the close season. My thanks go to all those who attended and particularly Philip Cragg and Howard Linaker who took the principal parts in the demonstration.
I commend the practice of sending out a summer newsletter to keep our members aware of what is happening in local freemasonry during the close season and indeed to disseminate news of chapter members and their families.
It is anticipated that Talking Heads which encourages those yet to take the next important step into the Holy Royal Arch will be worked once again, later in the season when we hope to attract support from across the craft lodges.
My sojourn so far has also seen me visiting the Wigan Group and Leigh Groups on numerous occasions where I have made many new friends and been heartened by the warmth of my reception. It is informative to see how the other groups are progressing and the extent to which freemasonry is raising money and supporting so many good causes across the North West and well as nationally.
We intend to hold a Group Joint Convocation of Chapters on 24th November under the auspices of Salwick Chapter 9115 and every chapter in the group has nominated one or more companions to participate, an evening not to be missed and a joyous celebration of the Holy Royal Arch in Preston. The main business will be to explain the colourful banners which adorn every chapter, please try to attend if you are able.
May I once again remind you of the forthcoming ever popular Family Carol Service on 6th December 2.15 p.m. at Christ Church Fulwood where we have been made so welcome in recent years. Please offer your support, there are also still a few vacancies in the choir.
The booklets detailing recommended enhancements of our ritual have now been circulated by the group to every chapter and we hope will assist them in making their ceremonies even more meaningful and dramatic. Contrary to some suggestions they are not obligatory, it is left to individual chapters to decide how they might best be utilised. Always remember that a good ceremony well worked is imperative.
Once again, I thank the group and all its officers for their unfailing support of the Royal Arch and their help towards me when it has been requested.