Notice of continuing Suspension of all Norfolk Masonic Meetings until 17th May
The government has announced that it expects that indoor meetings of up to 6 people will be permitted in England from Monday 17 May “at the earliest”. The date may change depending on how far the data departs from current predictions. The detail of the restrictions that will remain in place from 17 May (or any substitute date), has also not yet been finalised.
When Masonic meetings become lawful again in England, those Lodges that wish to meet may do so provided that they comply with any applicable government guidance. Throughout the pandemic the Norfolk Executive has emphasised that, while Lodges and Chapters are free to meet when it is lawful, there must be no pressure placed on any Brother or Companion to attend a meeting.
The good news is, that with an end to lockdown in sight, we can start to plan for the future. Our major centres have indicated their readiness to welcome back meetings and resume normal service as soon as possible. I would suggest that every Lodge and Chapter that normally meets during the winter seriously considers booking at least one meeting during the summer months. If the members are comfortable, use the time when the rule of six applies to get business meetings out of the way allowing you to catch up on Initiations and Exultations once the limits on social contact have been lifted. We will issue free dispensations for any catch-up meetings held during the year.
At the Craft level it must be our priority to Initiate all those who have been waiting so patiently to join us, and to do so as soon as possible. Please consider double and extra ceremonies even if this is not the norm for your lodge. If you have a backlog of members waiting for Passing and Raising, again consider double or extra ceremonies and the option of asking a lodge, without a waiting list, to carry out the ceremony for you. Since the government announcement last Monday, the Provincial office is already receiving requests for dispensations and booking extra meetings, make sure you book yours.
During the coming winter both Norfolk and UGLE will be launching a membership campaign to build on the surge in interest that has been shown in Freemasonry across the country. The tremendous work carried out by our members during the current pandemic has been noticed by our communities. We need to be in a position to give a warm and speedy response to those who have shown an interest and after due process welcome them into our lodges.
Brethren and Companions, the path out of this pandemic has been indicated to us, the ultimate timing will depend on many factors, but the direction of travel is now clear. I like you can’t wait to again enjoy the fellowship of our meetings; it won’t be long but, in the meantime, take care of one another and stay safe.
We will continue to monitor the government roadmap for lifting the lockdown and have scheduled the next formal review for Monday 10th May.
Yours sincerely and fraternally,
Provincial Grand Master.