To all Brethren of the Province November 2016
The new season is now in full swing and I have no doubt that you are back in your lodges enjoying that new beginning. As we start this season – one which embraces the Tercentenary Year of Grand Lodge and the commencement of our 2021 Festival on behalf of the Masonic Charitable Foundation. I am writing to you to keep you up to date with what is happening in our great Province to celebrate the Tercentenary of Freemasonry.
Service of Celebration
We had originally planned to hold this service at Liverpool Cathedral and it was publicised as such. However, after two discussions with the Vice Dean, it became ever more apparent that they were only willing to “fit us in “ to Choral Evensong. Our service, designed and intended to confirm and celebrate 300 years of Grand Lodge, would not sit easily with traditional Choral Evensong. It was felt by myself and the Provincial Grand Chaplain, who accompanied me, that the Brethren, who would attend this service together with their wives/partners, would be left feeling that their expectations of this Celebration would be unfulfilled. Equally, members of the public present for evensong may well feel nonplussed at the Masonic references in that service.
Consequently, alternative arrangements have been made and, following extensive discussions over many weeks, there are now to be two Services of Celebration to be held on consecutive Sundays as follows:-
Sunday 26 February 2017 at the Priory, Lancaster at 3.00 pm
Sunday 5 March 2017 at St Elphin’s Church, Warrington at 3.00 pm
As can be seen from the venues, we have taken travelling into account by organising the services to cater for the northern and the southern parts of the Province; given the time of the year, the services will permit a greater number of Masons to travel a shorter distance to support this element of our celebrations.
Brethren, there is one item concerning these services which I must draw to everyone’s attention and that is the question of regalia. Since the services are to be arranged to celebrate 300 years of Grand Lodge, it is the express wish of the Provincial Grand Master that only Craft regalia is to be worn and that Grand and Provincial Grand Officers wear full dress regalia.
This pageant outlining the historical development of Freemasonry, which has been devised by Frank Davies and colleagues in the St Helens and Prescot Group, will be advertised throughout the Province and Groups or individual Lodges will be able to invite the players to inform and entertain them by offering a historical “daily advancement in Masonic knowledge”.
Frank Davies’ email address is:firstname.lastname@example.org
The final details of the Gala Dinner to be held at The Hilton, Blackpool on Saturday 25 November 2017 have yet to be completed however, full information on that final event to close the Tercentenary Year in West Lancashire will be provided to all groups early in the new year.
There are so many ways in which the Tercentenary Year is to be celebrated in West Lancashire that I can only advise you to visit the Provincial website www.wlmasons.org.uk/tercentenary-home-page to see what is on in your group and in neighbouring groups. The only certainty of this very full diary is that we in West Lancashire are intent on making the 300 years of Grand Lodge a very memorable event throughout the calendar year of 2017.
Finally, Brethren, I would wish to place on record in this Newsletter, my grateful thanks to those colleagues who have worked with me as members of the Tercentenary Committee. They have all volunteered to help, their input to our planning meetings has been invaluable and, although each is a very busy man and Mason, they have been unstinting in their support; I deeply appreciate all they have done and have no hesitation in expressing my gratitude to each and every one.
May I extend my best wishes to each of you in all your Masonic endeavours in the coming year.
Warmest fraternal regards
Chairman – Tercentenary Committee