R. A. Assistants News

Companions

The Royal Arch  Chapters of the Preston Group extend hearty  congratulations to our craft brethren who have formally  embarked on a ‘ Grand  Tercentenary Celebration’. Three hundred  marvellous years since the founding of the First Grand Lodge in 1717 in London. Numerous celebrations of various types, well supported by the Royal Arch  masons have been held both across the group and the Province of West Lancashire .The climax being at the Royal Albert Hall at the end of October which was filled to capacity by a joyous throng indeed.

At the same time much of our charitable giving has been  directed in support off the current ‘ 2021 Festival’ to benefit the Masonic Charitable Foundation. This is of course the  great umbrella charity which is able to channel our donations towards those central charities responsible for allocating grants to both masonic and   non masonic good  causes.This province   benefits positively  from those grants to freemasons and their dependants as well as grants to hospices and various medical research charities designed to help the wider community. We now take up  the opportunity to help replenish the coffers of the Grand Charities. I congratulate and thank the Royal Arch Masons for not only supporting their lodge charities but also for  generously digging ever deeper into their pockets and supporting the Festival through their chapters.

As Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals for Preston Group now commencing my fourth year in office it is perhaps a time to consider the current progress of the Royal Arch in Preston. The Provincial Cabinet has recently  been instrumental in developing numerous strategies shortly to be unveiled designed to reflect the colourful  and appealing nature  of this most important of Masonic orders and to promote it to  more recently initiated freemasons at the correct time in their masonic journey.

It is   proving successful and this new Masonic season witnesses a noticeable influx of new members who consider that by joining us they are taking that important next step in their masonic journey. We always assure new members of a hearty welcome into our Order.

Those chapters which are small in number I encourage to consider adopting strategies which will result in their becoming  more vibrant and attractive to new members, perhaps building happy associations with other chapters would assist them.

 Royal Arch  Chapters have always demonstrated  a relaxed attitude in their working, albeit  a strong awareness of the importance of well practised  ritual and congratulations are due to the members who strive to  successfully maintain those high standards within the group.

Numerous  chapter principals extend their range of friendships  by visiting others and this is a most welcome attribute surely worth encouraging .It is commendable how information technology has been so fully embraced within freemasonry  especially within our  Preston Group leading to considerable reduction in costs of communication with our members and  professional  efficient  interaction  between us all through the  various websites and modern promotional literature.

I  also  congratulate and thank the strong group executive in Preston under the Chairman Steve Bolton and the Royal Arch Lead Geoff Saul  for all their support and  the valuable  time they dedicate together with the other members of the Group Executive to further enhance our colourful local chapter scene.

Ian