What a busy year! After almost two years of covid disruption it has been good to get back to something that is near normal. When I was installed as your Grand Superintendent in May I said I would try to visit every Chapter in my first year, I am on course for doing that. Thank you to the Companions of the Chapters I have visited for your warm welcome and hospitality, to those Chapters I have yet to visit I am really looking forward to being with you in the coming six months.
Thanks also to those Chapters who have joined in the Food bank project, at this time of year especially we should be thinking of others and helping those less fortunate, supporting Food banks is a great way of doing that.
It is an exciting time to be a member of the Royal Arch, there is a lot going on both nationally and locally. Nationally this Wednesday the new Pro Grand Master and First Principal, Jonathan Spence will launch the new UGLE/SGC strategy for the next five years. Two major objectives are to increase the membership of the Craft by 1% a year within three years and to increase that figure to 2% within five years. The other objective is to bring the Craft and the Royal Arch closer together, so that their operation is seamless. More Craft members will mean more members for the Royal Arch but as have said repeatedly, we must take positive steps to reduce the loss of members from our Chapters by looking after our new as well as our older members. Chapters must consider the appointment of a Chapter mentor to help with this.
Deputy Grand Superintendent, Clive Lambert who has diligently served in that position for five years will be standing down from that role in May 2023. I thank Clive for all his hard work and especially for the help he has given me over the past year.
At the Provincial meeting in May I will be pleased to appoint E. Companions Neil Hurcum as Deputy Grand Superintendent, Martin Slocombe as Second Provincial Grand Principal and David Maddern as Third Provincial Grand Principal, I sure you will all wish them well in their new roles and give them your full support.
As we approach Christmas, enjoying our Lodge and Chapter meetings with turkey, trimmings and festive cheer, let us not forget those who can’t enjoy those privileges this Christmas. The millions in Ukraine without enough food or reliable heating and those closer to home who will also struggle to put food on the table and heat their homes. The relatives of those killed in the explosion in Jersey and the tragic loss of the fishing vessel L’Ecume II. We think of them all and offer our hope for a better future.
Companions, I wish you and your families a Happy Christmas and I look forward to what, I hope, will be a Healthy New Year for us all.