As you are fully aware, the Annual Provincial Grand Chapter Convocation did not take place on 21st May due to the current circumstances relating to Covid-19, and the subsequent announcement by The Grand Master and First Grand Principal, HRH the Duke of Kent, suspending Masonic activity until July 2020 at the earliest.
However, Provincial Grand Chapter is in the initial stages of planning a much reduced Annual Convocation to be held at Clevedon Masonic Hall, on 22nd October 2020.
The intention is to hold a Convocation of invited participants only, up to a maximum of about 25 persons, with the intention of installing E. Comp. Geoff Lester as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, approving our finances and electing a Treasurer etc. etc. It is anticipated that the duration of the Convocation will be no more than about 45 minutes, and of course there will be no Festive Board.
It is entirely possible that this very recent restriction of no more than six persons gathered together will still be in force, in which case the Convocation will still take place with a bare minimum quorum of six Companions taken from these 25 persons.
The Historical lecture was presented by E Comp W. Rash (J) and assisted by Comps: Part A Frank Suter, Part B Brian Gay , Part C Alan Watkins, Part D Grant Lyons, Part E Ken Sherring, Part F Rob Mitchell
The Symbolical lecture was presented by E Comp D. Spregg (H) assisted by Comps: Part 1 Rob Mitchell, Part 2 Adrian Horsey, Part 3 Alan Watkins, Part 4 Gary Hall, Part 5 Frank Suter, Part 6 E.Comp Clive Barlow, Part 7 E.Comp John Hawkins 8. E.Comp Brian Buckle
Following 3 months of closure, Wells Cathedral has reopened its doors for services and visitors. During the lockdown some 70,000 people have been unable to visit and now the Cathedral faces a very real financial challenge to support its unique heritage and historic buildings. To help with this a Bounce Back Appeal has been launched together with a sponsored pilgrimage. The proceeds of the Pilgrimage will be shared between St. Margaret’s Hospice and the appeal.
Somerset Freemasons, who have always had a close relationship with the Cathedral were pleased to support the appeal with a donation of £10,000. The Dean of Wells, The VR Dr John Davis said “The Freemasons have been great friends of Wells Cathedral in the past, and their generosity and friendship in the present crisis is hugely appreciated. The pandemic and experience of lockdown have been very painful for so many people. Now more than ever, support is needed to sustain the Cathedral and all that it does in its community. The Chapter of Wells and I thank the Somerset Freemasons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation for their support.”
Somerset’s leading Freemasons, David Medlock and Barry Woodside said “All during the lockdown Freemasons have supported their local communities, often unnoticed. They include manufacturing PPE for Doctors Surgeries, Nursing Homes and local Police, distributing food parcels to the needy and supporting Women’s Refuge Centres. We have donated Tablet PC’s to local hospitals to enable Covid-19 patients to keep in touch with their loved ones and distributed teddies to comfort children who find themselves in A &E. Freemasonry really is part of our community and we are delighted to be able to help Wells Cathedral at this difficult time.”
To see a letter of thanks from Very Reverend Dr John Davis please follow this link
Further to the recent correspondence you will have received from the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra, you will also by now have received and I trust been able to digest the content of the Provincial Grand Master’s letter dated 10th July 2020, (copy attached) in relation to the resumption of Masonic activities from the 18th July.
The contents are self-explanatory and address the very sensitive and difficult circumstances that we are all currently faced with; to that end I can confirm that I am in full agreement with Right Worshipful Brother David Medlock’s assessment and I would therefore respectfully request that you all accede to his recommendations and continue to do so until further notice.
Chapter Scribe E’s are reminded that all matters relating to administration under the Book of Constitutions including the short-term changes to ceremonial matters, are to be directed to the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra, E Comp Tony Beaumont for assistance and or clarification. Additional advice/assistance on ceremonial matters can be obtained from the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, E Comp Chris Moore.
Companions, believe you me this action has not been taken lightly, or to frustrate any of those who might be anxious to resume their regular Masonic activities, it has been taken with your best interests at heart and to protect your safety, health and welfare as well as those nearest and dearest to you. Similarly, all Provincial visitations; official or otherwise will remain suspended until further notice.
In the meantime, and until we meet again please continue to stay healthy, look after yourselves and above all keep SAFE.
With very best wishes to you all, Yours sincerely and fraternally
Barry Barry K Woodside Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset.
Companions I trust that you have all been looking after yourselves and looking forward to the day when we can enjoy Freemasonry as before. To this end I am very optimistic that our annual Provincial Weekend at Bideford will take place as usual and am now happy to receive bookings and deposits for this wonderful event. Should however there be any health reasons that may require the event to be cancelled then any payments will of course be refunded. Please click here for the link to the booking form.
Provincial Grand Chapter
E. Comp. Andrew S. Clapp PAGDC
Provincial Grand Charity Steward
1 The Lindens, Worle, Weston-super-Mare. Somerset BS22 9LU
Tel: 01934 515018. Mobile: 075843 04213
2nd June 2020.
Dear Companion Scribe E’s,
In the weeks following the end of March and in response to the joint communique by the MCF and UGLE, the Provincial Chapter of Somerset has been able to support our local communities with a total of £11,047.50 into the Covid-19 Relief Chest.
The Grand Superintendent was overwhelmed by your generosity and sends his best wishes to all those who gave donations and organised or took part in fundraising activities towards that marvellous figure.
It shows true Masonic support for the community and all Companions should be very proud of this achievement.
Please send this onto your members of your respective Chapters it helps to keep them updated on what we as a Province are responding to in this crisis.
I hope you are keeping well and safe, and look forward to the time we can all meet up and attend the meetings in our
Sincerely and Fraternally
E.Companion Andrew Clapp PAGDC
Provincial Grand Charity Steward
E Comp Peter Light, MEZ of the Chapter of St George, no 3158, passed to the Grand Chapter Above on Wednesday 6th May 2020 at home with his family around him. Peter had been suffering from cancer for the past eight weeks.
E Comp Peter was a well liked and respected member of the Chapter and Craft, he was enthusiastic in all that he did and looked to bring more into our organisation. A keen wine maker and friendly, generous and kind hearted person.
As the Covid-19 shutdown is upon us there could not be the usual funeral service, family only could attend. As a consequence E Comp Adrian Halliwell, a friend of Peter and a fellow member of Vivary Lodge, organised a Guard of Honour to line the approach road to the Taunton Deane Crematorium. Companions of his own Chapter, others from Taunton Chapters and Brethren from Vivary Lodge, and wives, formed the Guard of Honour, about 35 in all, showed their respect. He will be sorely missed.
Being of a certain age I have been self isolating since Anne and I returned from our aborted trip to Australia. Our cruise to the Great Barrier Reef was cancelled due to New Zealand closing down ports to cruise ships. But we had nine days visiting our son and family in Adelaide before hand. With only four days before the cruise was to depart Sydney it was cancelled we had to rearrange our flights back to UK, which is another story.
Mrs H and I brought the fine weather back with us from Australia and it was shorts on again. One of our hobbies is our garden, which we established seven years ago. It was basically overgrown with trees, bushes, and wayward plants which we removed and started with a blank canvas. Over the years we have established the garden changing parts as things become too hard to maintain or we have different ideas.
As part of the changes in the garden we take cuttings, split plants and propagate allsorts, Mrs H is the one for this. As a consequence we have a surplus of plants so we decided to put a table outside the bungalow and sell them off. We have been doing this for several years with monies from the sales going to Teddies For Loving Care, TLC for short, which I am the Taunton Area Coordinator. However, this year we have given the money to Captain Tom’s Appeal and Love Musgrove Covid-19 Appeal, together amounting to £130. Our plant sales are now well established and the number of people coming has meant that we have been wiped out of plants. Put the table out and within an hour it was nearly all gone! There are still plants coming on so perhaps we shall have more for sale later.
Thanks to the good weather, garden centres being closed and people taking their exercise we have once again had a good year for selling plants. So next year who knows…
Having read about Barry’s accident and his recovery I asked him for an article on his hobby. Here is an article by E Comp Barry Jones which may be of interest to some Companions:
Adrian Halliwell Provincial Liaison Officer
During my recuperation following my recent painfully decent down my stairs I have occupied myself with one of my hobbies, along with my Wife Karen, we are keen clay pigeon shooters with 6 shotguns between us. Due to everything being closed I decided to get my shooting fix from my airguns/airweapons whatever name you give them will upset someone. I have 18 rifles and 33 handguns I call them handguns as I have a range of revolvers, semi automatic to single shot. My rifles vary from purest air rifles to military, fully firing replicas. In calibre off ·177, ·20, ·22 and ·25. My interest in shooting is target only, I don’t hunt with them not that I am anti hunting I just don’t see the need… but if needs must! I do a bit of pest control for my elderly neighbours as they are keen bird feeders and watchers which unfortunately attracts the rats out of the nearby stream.
I have the following power plants in my collection of rifles and handguns; spring power, nitro piston(very similar to spring), pneumatic (it has a self contained pump) precharged pneumatic or PCP (requires a compressed air tank or stirrup pump) and CO2 (12gm and 88gm cartridges).
My firing point is a comfy chair and foot stool in my conservatory giving me a range of up to 25 yards I can extend that to 35+ yards by moving back into the sitting room. I have a 5 meter range in my garden shed for handguns and bad weather.
I have a variety of targets, paper targets which I place in brought pellet catchers, knock down resetting targets, chalk targets and back stops, which I use for any other targets, and those I have made myself, from tin cans, old fruit, eggs (messy and smelly) bottle caps, the list is endless. The law regarding air weapons is not too complex but is another subject on its own but simply they generally (there are some types that do) do not require a licence (except in Scotland). It can be an inexpensive hobby in which you can include all of the family. I find it fun and very satisfying to place a projectile exactly where I want it.
There is a sport side to this hobby which I have tried in Field Target and Hunter Field Target. Also major international competitions which I have NOT tried. I have included a few photographs of some of my rifles, I would be happy to write other articles in more detail about my hobby Including pictures of all the types of airweapons I own. I would like to add I don’t consider myself an expert or authority in the subject, it’s just been an interest of mine since the age of 14. If any Companions would like to learn more or share an interest I would be happy to be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07411035541 also via WhatsApp.