Below in an extract from the Provincial Prior’s address
‘When I addressed you virtually last year I spoke of the testing and challenging times we faced. Brother Knights by the attendance here today I am content that we have weathered those elements, better than any of us may have thought. This was also patently obvious at the Provincial Dinner in July which heralded our return to something like normal with a capacity attendance. It is good to see you all, particularly our guests from other Provinces.
I have today appointed, re-appointed and promoted certain Knights in Provincial Priory. I collectively offer my congratulations and best wishes to them all. To the Acting Officers who are retiring I extended my thanks for your fealty and support.
Brother Knights I am hearted in the manner in which the Province has responded to the enforced suspension of our regular activities. We have continued to meet with Preceptories holding Zoom meetings, with representation from the Province and a short informative talk. We also held a virtual Church Service on Low Sunday, led by our Prelate assisted by the Great Prelate.
At the onset of the suspension the monthly newsletter ‘Non Nobis Domine’ was introduced, and has now become a permanent feature. It deals not only with current issues in the Province, but also a wide selection of items relating to the current and historical context of the Order. These, together with ‘Bohemond’s’ book review, have proved popular and received high acclaim, not only within the Province, but a wider readership. My congratulations to the editor in chief and his team, together with all the contributors who provide interesting and thought provoking articles.
Your Provincial Executive haven’t been standing still either. Whilst dealing with the day to day machinations of the Province, they have been looking to the future. I passionately believe that if the Order is to continue to flourish then we have to be proactive. Nothing is going to happen if we sit back in a hope that members are going to come knocking on our doors. We have therefore developed our ‘Strategy for Growth.’
A strategy that contains four essential elements: Awareness – Recapture – Growth – Dialogue
We are going to ensure the widest possible awareness of the Order within the Province,
We are going to endeavour to recapture those Knights who whilst still being members don’t for whatever reason attend,
We are going to grow the membership by targeted initiatives, and
We are going to establish a regular dialogue with other Orders that have a defined link to our Order.
So Brother Knights remember those four words Awareness – Recapture – Growth – Dialogue
because I want you to work with me, and the Executive Team, to take this strategy forward in a measured way, so we become a pre-eminent Order within the Province.
The Strategy has already started with the Introductory Card, which you should all have to pass on to those you feel may be interested in the Order. I am encouraged with the report I have received this week that we now have 28 potential candidates in the pipeline and of those 10 are still to join Chapter, so the Royal Arch are reaping the benefits of our efforts.
The Development pilot scheme in Leeds has commenced and initial reports are heartening. The recent Beauceant Breakfast attracted interest with seven prospective Knights attending, and all showing enthusiasm to join. Over the coming months other initiatives will be introduced, including the appointment of Development Co-ordinators in each Preceptory
We have also established a Closed Facebook Group, which I am delighted to say we now have almost 100 members in the Group, with postings being regularly read by 70% of the Group. We all look forward to the offerings from the Development Team in the ‘Fact Friday’ postings. We have also taken the opportunity to re-launch our Provincial Website in a new and informative style which includes a members section where all members can access more detailed information about the Order. This is launched today, and I thank the Webmaster for his work in creating this and his continued involvement
As we return to normal activity the Province has set up a scheme to provide extra help to Preceptories and Priories should they need it. The ‘Ritual Rovers’ is a team of volunteers who are available to either deliver ritual or act as Officers if Preceptories and Priories have absentees that might mean it will be difficult to deliver fulfilling ritual to a new candidate. This team is NOT there to replace Preceptory members. If your Marshal finds you need help then contact the Development Officer; the more notice he can give them the more likely it will be that the team can help.
I must express my thanks to the members of the Provincial Priors Council for their continued support and encouragement.
Finally Brother Knights we celebrated the Centenary of De Ros Preceptory earlier this month with the attendance of the Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master, and we will be celebrating Wharfedale Preceptory Centenary in November. An excellent history of De Ros was presented on the night and I would like to leave you with an extract that appears in the history. It is from the Oration given in the Preceptory on the passing of the Earl of Harewood, who was of course Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master as well as being a Past Preceptor of De Ros. I quote – “He consecrated by faith an eternal edifice. In this faith he lived and laboured and by the faith he proved the means by which the world could achieve happiness, contentment, and peace.” Oh that we could all live by, and uphold such noble ideals and faith.
Brother Knights I wish you all well in your endeavours, with renewed vigour to uphold the excellent ideals of this Order, and strength to continue to profess our Christian faith.