May I acknowledge the tremendous work done by my predecessor, David Randerson, who has set the bar very high and I will be doing my utmost to maintain the momentum set by David. I have joined a very active Cabinet who are working hard to ensure that the Royal Arch is at the forefront of people’s minds and is a high quality experience which can only be good for the future of the Royal Arch in our Province.
The Provincial Grand Chapter meeting was once again a splendid occasion and can I congratulate all who received appointments or promotions. Can I encourage all Acting Officers to visit as much as your circumstances will allow. It is a wonderful year and you will make many new friends along the way, in addition to enhancing the proceedings of the meetings you attend. Once again PSA testing for prostate cancer was provided at the meeting by the West Lancs Freemasons Charity and I hope as many of you as possible took advantage of the service. It is certainly worthwhile and some Brethren are currently undergoing treatment as a direct result of having that test.
Royal Arch masonry is looking strong on the Fylde Coast and practiced in twenty Chapters, all of which have their own individual character. Can I thank the three Royal Arch Leads David Cook, Robbie Porter and John Cross for their constant support, encouragement and hard work and all the Royal Arch Contacts who also have a very important role to play.
It is great to see so many exaltation ceremonies within the different Groups and for those Chapters who need candidates can I recommend the “Talking Heads” presentation which has proved to be a very successful recruiting tool. This is usually held in Lodges but we recently performed it at a Chapter and were delighted to sign up three of the four Brethren that attended. My team and I will be delighted to come along to your Lodge or Chapter to deliver it. Just send me an email with the required date and diary permitting we will book you in.
I have also been delighted to see a number of Chapters using different parts of the enhanced ritual which adds to the entertainment and understanding of the ceremony, not only for the candidate but for all present.
Recently each Chapter was sent the “Best Practice Guide” produced by the Royal Arch Cabinet which is split into four different sections with various bullet points for each. Can I ask you to take time to consider the document at your committee meetings. You may already be doing a number of the items within your Chapters and if so great, but if not please consider them and decide whether they would be appropriate for your use. Planning for the future is vital and that section should be of particular interest.
May I wish you all a healthy and successful year ahead and I hope you continue to enjoy your Royal Arch Masonry.
R Duncan Smith
Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals