Welcome back

My Dear Brethren,

I hope you have all enjoyed a break over the summer recess. It seems much longer than two months ago that 900 of us attended the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Provincial Grand Lodge meeting at Freemason’s Hall in London, where the Provincial Grand Master appointed and promoted many South East Area members, and I was invested as Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the South East Area.

September has arrived and we are now returning to our Lodges, visiting our friend’s Lodges, and enjoying the Fraternity we all love. The Provincial Grand Master’s, and therefore my focus, is the Membership Challenge. The Provincial Grand Master launched South East Area’s Membership Challenge in Cosham back in February, and as an Area, we can now look to support the Lodges in creating and achieving their own Membership Challenge goals. The challenge is not only to increase initiations and reduce resignations but to think about our members and our Lodges. We are the custodians of our Lodges and Fraternity now, as our members were 50, 100, and even 300 years ago. What will our Lodge meetings and Fraternity look like in 50 years’ time?

We are now two years into our 2027 Festival for the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The MCF supports many local charities; it supports national charities and disaster relief efforts; and to many, most importantly, it supports us, Freemasons and our families, and does so to the tune of nearly £1M each year across the whole province. Each Centre now has a Festival Champion to help Lodges with all aspects of the festival, particularly ‘Pay and Display’ where you can sign up to a regular pledge and receive your festival jewel immediately.

There are 16 official visits in the South East Area throughout the Masonic year. I have always found OV’s to be a great night to support and celebrate the Lodge and its members – please try and get along to a few of the visits. Most of all, please continue to enjoy your Freemasonry, and I look forward to meeting, and getting to know the members of the South East Area during this new masonic year.

Yours sincerely and fraternally,