The Resumption of Meetings in South Wales – 26 April 2021

The below letter from the Provincial Grand Secretary / Scribe E
was sent on 26 April 2021

Dear Brethren and Companions,

I greet you well and trust that you will have read today’s special edition of First Rising, which sets out the position in Wales regarding the resumption of our meetings from 17 May (subject to Welsh Government guidance and Regulations in force at that time).

If the prevailing public health conditions continue to improve then arrangements are in place to permit the incoming Welsh Government to move to Alert Level 2 from 17 May. This will permit Masonic Centres in Wales to host Masonic meetings of up to 30 people, or the maximum capacity identified in the Masonic Centre’s risk assessment (whichever is lower), if:

a. it has complied with the requirements set out in the Regulations; and
b. had regard to any guidance published by the Welsh government from time to time.

Note that licensed premises are subject to additional restrictions.

Meeting organisers, who will ordinarily be Lodge or Chapter officers, have an additional obligation to take all reasonable measures to ensure that no more than 30 people (or the Masonic Centre’s maximum capacity, if lower) attend any meeting. The Tyler/Janitor is not included in this number.

If the meeting is held in a Masonic Centre which has indoor spaces open to the public then each attendee will also be subject to the usual face coverings rules.

Dining must comply with the law and any local authority guidance, which means that groups of no more than 4 people may pre-book and dine together. Festive Boards are not currently permitted by the Regulations.

Should the Welsh Government complete the move to Alert Level 3 from 03 May, then Lodges and Chapters may wish to take advantage of the ability for no more than 15 people to meet together indoors to undertake rehearsals or committee meetings in readiness for meetings to resume from the 17 May.

Please remember that Lodge Secretaries and Chapter Scribes E. should submit summonses to the Provincial Office no later than 14 days before the meeting date. Those Lodges and Chapters due to meet, per their By-Laws or by Dispensation, from 17 May onwards now have just a few days in which to submit their summonses and make arrangements with their respective Masonic Centres.

The Provincial Secretariat continues to assist Secretaries and Scribes E. with their preparatory work and welcomes requests from Lodges and Chapters for Provincial representation at Installation meetings. It is hoped that the increased maximum of 30 people (in most cases) will allow the Provincial Grand Master, Grand Superintendent and their representatives to join you at Installation meetings without being detrimental to the number of members that can attend. The attendance of members is the priority.

Alas, singing is not yet permitted during our meetings. Ceremonies of Raising and Exaltation should not yet take place, and consideration should be given to the previously issued adaptations to ceremonies.

Brethren and Companions, the resumption of Masonic meetings is excellent news following such a difficult period of suspension. I do not doubt that we look forward to enjoying each other’s company immensely. However, please remember that no brother or companion should feel under any pressure to attend, or stay away; and that rank, office or position within a Lodge or Chapter should not play a part in that individual’s personal decision to resume their Masonic labour.

With sincere and fraternal regards,

W.Bro./E.Comp. Ben Gait
Provincial Grand Secretary/Scribe E.