We have much to look forward to in 2018 and fortunate to have two excellent masonic halls to meet in. The numbers of new joining members continues to show a steady increase born from our open policy of inviting non masons to our social events in masonic environs and our willingness to talk openly about our freemasonry and how and why we enjoy it so much.
The light blue club continues to go from strength to strength and seeks to support new members in their understanding of joining a new organisation. I know that this is further enhanced within our lodges by the now well established mentoring systems and the care provided by brethren.
Charity is one of the main keystones within masonry and is at the heart of what we do, not only for masons, widows and dependants; but for the community at large.
It is comforting to know that outside the National Lottery and the Red Cross, Freemasonry is the biggest charitable giver to communities in England and Wales. Almost 130 million pounds given since the mid 1980’s!
You will be aware that our Province has the privilege to be in ‘Festival’ and it is our turn to support the Masonic Charitable Foundation in particular during this festival period, to enable charitable monies to be given to those in need in communities and within masonry.
You can be a steward of the festival for little more than 20 pence a day! Could I therefore invite you to take up that patronage if you have not already done so for the remaining 3 and half years of this festival and help to make that difference?
It would be remiss of me not to thank those many brethren who have already taken up patronage! It is wonderful to see you wearing the bespoke West Lancashire Festival Jewel, proudly displaying our coat of arms in the knowledge that you are helping others in need. I would also like to thank lodges and chapters and the South Fylde Group for the generous donations to Festival to date.
I continue to be delighted, proud and grateful for the happiness and camaraderie that freemasonry provides for masons and their families. An organisation that really does care, does support, and provides continuity that is so difficult to find in society today. It is indeed in my opinion an oasis of friendship and stability in an ever more challenging and unpredictable world.
Freemasonry is in many ways unique in that it does not differentiate on religious grounds or indeed age and currently has a membership ranging between the ages of 18 to 105 years old. It simply seeks out men of sound morals.
And so, if you are not yet a mason, why not give it a try? Most people who join say that in retrospect they wished that they had done so earlier.
Dear Brethren, please continue to enjoy your freemasonry and have a healthy and fulfilling 2018.
I look forward to being in your company in the year ahead.
With very best regards and wishes.