The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master invited the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent to address the Brethren at the 2019 Provincial Grand Lodge Committee Meeting, who covered the following 4 areas:
- Relationship with the Craft and other Orders & Degrees
- Royal Arch Representatives
- Membership Figures
- Conversation with membership
Relationship with the Craft and other Orders & Degrees
Brethren, I am sure you are all conversant with the Book of Constitutions which states, by way of a Preliminary Declaration that “Pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, i.e. those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Royal Arch”. The Craft and Royal Arch are therefore inextricably linked, and the Royal Arch forms a vital and integral part of Pure Ancient Masonry – it being the completion of Craft Masonry.
Like many of us, we also very much enjoy our membership of other Orders and Degrees and these are to be celebrated and supported. As I have said on many occasions, active membership is to be applauded as the facts are that members of other Orders and Degrees retain their memberships and are keen Ambassadors for both the Craft and Royal Arch.
That said, the route of advancement must continue to be 1st The Craft 2nd The Royal Arch and then please consider joining the delightful Orders and Degrees that we have available to us.
Royal Arch Representatives
The role of the Lodge Royal Arch Representative is a hugely important position that I know the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master will refer to shortly and I wanted firstly to thank all the Lodges for embracing this innovation and secondly explain the Process of appointment. This is clearly a decision for the Lodge to take. However, please take great care in choosing the Brother concerned. Some Lodges had previously appointed Brethren who were sadly no longer subscribing Companions. We are there to discuss appointments with you and Provincial Grand Chapter will liaise with Provincial Grand Lodge and propose suitable candidates for consideration and the Joint leaders on this are APGM Marc Lewis and the 2nd ProvGP with the Officers in charge being the Craft Provincial Membership Officer; WBro. Neil Martin Evans and the RA Membership Officer, EComp Simon Daniel. Brethren, please select the best, most interested Brother as this Office is far too important to be offered as a mere sinecure. Stage 2 will be to review processes, measure Exaltations and movement of Companions and strive towards achieving the best possible outcome for those aspiring candidates that are waiting to be approached, at the earliest opportunity.
The Province of South Wales currently has 69 operating Chapters, following Crystal Chapter being erased from the register, at Supreme Grand Chapter, last Thursday. Sadly, the Chapter had not met for some considerable time and this was therefore an administrative necessity.
At PGC, next month, the ProvGReg will report covering the year 2018, but I am pleased to report that in the first four months of 2019, our memberships have continued to increase by 40 and our members by 35. Thank you for all your effort is continuing to share the benefits and enjoyment of membership of the Royal arch.
Conversation with membership
As I travel around the Province and indeed beyond, I value the conversations that I have with you all and want to learn more about what you really think. Therefore, with the help of the ProvGSec/GSE and others, I will be embarking on developing an interactive forum to better enable that conversation to take place; following PGC/PGL and over the summer.
The information from you will be treated with respect and if there are any points that you wish to get off your chest, I am also prepared to look at them and they can be submitted openly or anonymously (if you feel they are too hot a potato to put your name to), as long as they are polite and courteous.
The conversation will start with your preferred wishes for the Provincial Meetings, location, and type of event, meals, timings and days of the working week or Saturdays – should the Craft and Royal Arch meetings be joint or kept separate? Masonic Halls, costs and dining experience etc…
Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Brethren and Companions, I am most grateful for your time, enthusiasm and love of our Craft and Royal Arch.
D Gerald Rowbottom
ME Grand Superintendent