Brethren and Companions,
Further to my original notification, dated 22nd September 2021, regarding the Provincial Service of Thanksgiving, which is to be held this year at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit, Stag Hill, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7UP on Sunday 7th November 2021 at 3:00 pm.
In particular, I referred to the necessity to comply with the Cathedral’s COVID-19 guidelines regarding access to the Cathedral, which will be via the main west door only, with the seating being arranged to provide for social distancing and ‘Family Bubbles’; also that face coverings should be worn throughout the Service.
Following recent meetings with the Cathedral’s Dean and Chapter, the Province has been advised that, for personal safeguarding and social distancing reasons, a limit of only 200 attendees (excluding the Choir, Organist and Clergy) will be permitted to sit in the Nave for this Service.
This will be achieved by removing alternative rows of seats and providing a two-chair space between ‘Family Bubbles’ sitting in the same row.
Disappointingly, this will obviously restrict the number of members of the Province, their wives/partners, family members and other non-Masonic friends who will be permitted to attend the Service this year.
Consequently, you MUST register your intention to attend the Service by e-mail only to the Middlesex Provincial Office at: firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat(s), by no later than 12 noon on Monday 1st November 2021.
Seats will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis’, and you will not be able to turn up on the day and attend this Service if you have not pre-registered, as your name will be checked against a registration list.
Those members who have already responded need not do so again, unless they either wish to adjust the numbers planning to attend, or no longer wish to attend.
Consequent on the above, the Provincial Grand Master, HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO, has deferred his attendance at this year’s Provincial Service of Thanksgiving until 2022, which it is hoped will be held at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban without restriction on numbers, assuming the pandemic has further abated by then.
Please understand that the restriction on numbers is not within the control of the Province and has been imposed by the Cathedral’s authorities for your safety and to ensure compliance with social distancing best practice.
Nevertheless, I still hope to see many of you at Guildford Cathedral on the afternoon of Sunday 7th November 2021.
With kindest fraternal regards,
Peter R A Baker
Pro Provincial Grand Master for and
Grand Superintendent in and over Middlesex
16th October 2021
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