Brethren and Companions,
This notice may come as no surprise to you but, due to the escalation in the coronavirus infection rate, HM Government has now placed the majority of England in either Tier 3 (Very High Risk) or Tier 4 (Stay at Home) local COVID-19 alert levels – the whole of the Province of Middlesex was placed in Tier 4 prior to Christmas.
In accordance with the authority of the Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter, and under the limited power afforded to me as Pro Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent, it is my sad duty to extend the period of the discretionary suspension of all Masonic activities within the Province of Middlesex, to continue to prevent breaches of the law and to ensure the safety and well-being of our members, their families, loved ones and friends, and the general public.
The current period of discretionary suspension of all Lodge and Chapter meetings and convocations and associated Masonic activities within the Province, is due to expire at 2400 hours on Sunday 3 January 2021, but will now continue until further notice. However, I assure you that it will be kept under constant review by both the Craft and Royal Arch Executives and will be amended in the light of any further HM Government announcements or restrictions and/or the advice or directions of the Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter.
The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel, with the availability of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and now the announcement of the approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine last Wednesday, and with the commencement of the roll-out of the mass vaccination programme due to start this coming week, although the likelihood is that most of us may not receive the vaccination before Easter. So, until we can resume Masonic activity, I encourage all Lodges and Chapters to maintain regular contact with their members via social media, e.g. Google Meet, Zoom, WhatsApp Chat groups, etc, or by setting up telephone chains with their members.
The consequence of this further period of discretionary suspension is that UGLE’s guidance, given for the four-month suspension between 17 March and 17 July 2020, must continue to be followed. In particular, there will be no need to issue a summons for a meeting or convocation that falls within this extended period of suspension, but an entry should be made in the Minute Book that: “As a result of the further period of discretionary suspension, due to the local Coronavirus alert level restrictions, by the RW Pro Provincial Grand Master (or ME Grand Superintendent) of all meetings (or convocations) from Monday 4 January 2021 until further notice, the Lodge (or Chapter) was unable to meet”.
If you may have any questions regarding this notice, please address them to me via the Middlesex Provincial Office.
Finally, may I wish you, your families, loved ones and friends a happy and healthy New Year and let us remain positive for an end to this ghastly pandemic before too long and a return to our Masonic activities. In the meantime, please do keep safe and well and follow the simple actions we must always observe to continue to protect each other, that is to: “Stay at Home > Wash hands > Cover face > Make space”.
With kindest fraternal regards,
Peter R A Baker
Pro Provincial Grand Master for and
Grand Superintendent in and over Middlesex
Saturday 2nd January 2021
Download a copy of the Notice HERE
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