Canterbury Centre reopens

I am delighted to confirm the success of the procedures which were previously imposed. There have been some 17 Meetings held since the Centre reopened on 17th May and thus far there have been no recorded cases of Covid-19.

At last Board meeting, the CMCA agreed the following changes to those procedures for use of the Canterbury Centre.

1 Common sense must prevail. Should any individual feel unwell they should not attend any Meeting in the Centre. For as long as HMG recommend the use of free home asymptomatic lateral flow tests twice weekly, it is recommended one be taken an hour before attending any Meeting.
2 The air purifiers must still be used. One person should arrive 60 minutes before the start of any meeting to switch them on to full power, and then reduce to minimum speed after 30 minutes.
3 There will be no requirement for temperatures to be checked at the doorway.
4 Numbers attending will be down to individual Orders. There is no limit restricted by the CMCA.
5 The Mandatory Attendance Form is no longer required. Individual Orders should use their usual Attendance Register. Should anyone test positive for Coronavirus within 10 days of attending a meeting they should notify their Secretary, who in turn will notify all those present at the meeting along with the CMCA Secretary.
6 Use of face masks is a personal choice in line with the First Rising document.
7 Gloves may once again be worn where appropriate.
8 The dining room layout will be returned to the usual format of Top Table with two or three Sprigs. Should any Lodge wish to retain individual groups of tables of six, they must communicate that to the caterer at the same time as ordering the meal.
9 Bar service will also return to the usual format.
10 As previously covered under Item 7 of the Procedure Document, the janitors will use the fogging machine in the corridors, stair wells and lift after each meeting.

The Board wishes to stress that there is no pressure whatsoever on anyone to attend a Meeting, nor should any prejudice be held against anyone who is not yet ready to return to a Masonic Meeting. However, it is hoped that these measures will add assurance to those who are able to do so.

Masonic Activity

Here is an interesting article taken from The Telegraph Magazine, published on 26th June 2021.

Gives an unbiased view of Freemasons and their activities and is worth a read .. click the image to download.

Masons outside Great Queen Street Lodge
Article from The Telegraph Magazine – 26th June 2021

Latest Covid 19 Update

The UK Governments position in England from 17 May is: 

Masonic meetings of up to 6 people are permitted. 

If a Masonic Centre has conducted a risk assessment, taken into account government guidance and taken all reasonable steps to minimise the risk of transmission of Covid then it may host Covid-Secure Masonic meetings of more than 6 people, up to the lower of: 
a. the maximum capacity identified in the risk assessment; or 
b. 30 attendees. 
Please see Regulation 6 of statutory instrument 2021/364 for more details.

Dining is restricted to groups of up to 6 people.

As far as we can ascertain Canterbury Masonic Centre has undergone major works to enable it to open from 17th May with maximum of 30 attendees, and dining in at tables for 6 persons.

We will therefore be starting again at our normal meeting on September the 2nd, 2021 – assuming no further/new restrictions are in place at that time.

Photo Competition

Many thanks to all who took part in the photo competition.

Here are the entries for the Lockdown class:

Here are the entries for the Pets class:

Here are the entries for the Selfies class:

Here are the entries for the Spring class:

Covid 19 update

Dear Brethren & Companions
Covid-19

You will, I am sure, be aware that further covid-19 restrictions came into force in certain defined areas of England at midnight yesterday, 15th October. These additional limitations are, as is to be expected, having a substantial effect in some parts of England and Wales on the ability or otherwise to hold Craft meetings and Royal Arch Convocations. The Province of East Kent is, however, unaffected by this latest Government announcement and we remain in Tier 1.

Therefore Lodge and Chapter meetings may continue to be held provided that the Rule of Six is complied with at all times in terms both of the meetings and, if offered by caterer, dining afterwards in covid-secure conditions.

Whilst I have a duty as Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent to impose suspension of meetings in order to prevent breaches of the law, ensure the safety of the Craft, its members and the public, that position has not been reached in East Kent. We all, of course, hope that that will remain the case until restrictions are no longer necessary.

However, should any areas within our Province be lifted into a higher Tier of restrictions then an appropriate, but targeted and localised response will be applied by the Province. If that becomes a reality then Tier 2 will make the holding of meetings highly unlikely and Tier 3 would result in holding, or travelling to meetings in another area, impossible.

You may hear, or have already heard, of the impact of these changes on other Provinces and London, and I am in no doubt that this situation is going to remain fluid for us all for some time to come. I can, however, reassure you that the Provincial Executive of East Kent will respond quickly and effectively to any and all developments having an effect on Masonic meetings as soon as they become known.

Neil H Johnstone
Provincial Grand Master
Grand Superintendent

Wickhambreaux School Playground (plus) Renewal Project

News update from Melanie, the chair of the PTA at Wickhambreaux School, by WB Tony Eldridge.

She is pleased to report that just before lockdown, she, contractors and parents put our donations to very good use and she has now sent several photos.

They have now completed 80% of the planned work.  And in addition to replacing the (condemned as unsafe) playground safe/soft surface, and climbing frame & activity house, they have also been able to acquire an ergonomic den, a unique nature play hideaway.

Our donation has also enabled them to buy storage units for the back and the front of the school, to enable the children to look after and access their toys. These new tidied areas have inspired the parents to donate wooden palettes so that on these palettes creative parents could make things like Lego boards for the children to use outdoors and ‘outdoor music making areas’.

This has been a big project for our Lodge 31.  Moved by their story, we gave them £6000 with an additional contribution of £250 from the  Masonic Cornwallis Trust.

We are now looking forward to when things eventually get back to normal, to an on-site celebration with PTA members and staff!

EDITOR: Well done Tony and thanks for the update!

Covid-19

Letter from Neil H. Johnstone – Provincial Grand Master – East Kent.
Dear Brethren,
It is with great personal regret that I write to you now to reiterate the communication from the Most Worshipful the Grand Master, issued at midday today (17th March 2020), that all Lodge meeting under the United Grand Lodge of England are suspended with immediate effect for a period of four months.
This includes Lodges of Instruction, Committee meetings and I have extended the suspension to all Masonic social activities within the Province.
This causes me, and I know all of you, enormous disappointment. How we proceed at the end of the suspension period is yet to be clarified but you will be advised at the earliest opportunity.

The primary responsibility we all now share is the welfare of our Brethren, and their families. Whilst it is in normal circumstance the Almoners role, in this current situation, we are all Almoners. We must all share that responsibility and be aware of and react to the needs of our Lodge members particularly those who we know are more vulnerable. Unfortunately personal visits are precluded, but phone calls, email or any other form of communication, I am sure, will be welcomed by the recipient.

This is the opportunity for the true spirit of Freemasonry to shine through and I have no doubt that you will all continue to support your Lodge and Brethren in these troubling times.

Neil H. Johnstone
Provincial Grand Master/
Grand Superintendent

New Lodge Members

We at the lodge have been very fortunate to attract 4 new initiates this year – all have been made Entered Apprentices and are keen to further their masonic knowledge by attending Lodges of Instruction and rehearsal.

WB Peter Swinbourne with 4 new members

From left to right:
Bro Richardson, Bro Murphy, WM Peter Swinbourne, Bro Blythe, Bro Burton

The Worshipful Master WB Peter Swinbourne has been ably assisted in the ceremonies by WB Adrian Keep, WB Ray Hubbard and WB Tony Eldridge – plus the rest of the floor officers.

Well done to everyone – we are planning another initiate for September!