Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

It has been a mixed week has it not. Children returned to school and things appeared to be going along well and even some Craft Lodges holding meetings. Those Brethren who did attend a Lodge meeting were glad to be together but it was, from what I am told, a strange experience. That is understandable as we cannot hold, what we consider, a regular meeting, but I am pleased that there was some positivity. Then on Thursday came the change in regulations restricting no more than six persons to gather together. We are still awaiting how this is going to impact on our Organisation, some Orders need more than six to fill all the offices, we will have to watch this space very carefully.

On a lighter front, the soft fruits in the garden have almost come to an end, but there is a good stock in the freezer. As one Brother has informed me, he relies on this supply for breakfast each day, throughout the winter. The lawn has really improved and I removed a goodly amount of grass. We have collected a large amount of branches, wood and other waste from the refurbishment of the garden. Luckily, I was able to book a spot at the waste disposal unit in Andover yesterday and another one on Monday, but this will still leave quite a residue to dispose of still. Like many of you, we are still enjoying natures’ colours in the garden and we will soon be coming up to seeing the colours of the leaves changing to those beautiful Autumnal hues. Pat is not a great one for the dark evenings and is already feeling the loss of light at the end of the day.

Well the football season starts again today, albeit matches taking place behind closed doors. To those of you who are avid fans I hope that by some means or other that you might be able to watch your favourite teams. Let us hope that it is a successful season all round and perhaps part way through the doors might be opened up to a limited number of supporters, who knows we might even see restrictions lifted, but I do not hold my breath.

Many congratulations to those who were Appointed or Promoted to Mark Grand Lodge Rank this week. It is a pity that we could not be in London to enjoy such an occasion but wear your regalia, when we get back to meeting with pride, you would have earned the honour.

If like me, you have been able to book a place at your local church service, you would have experienced many changes due to the restrictions. One small story, last week our Vicar tried to eat the wafer before she raised her transparent face shield, she and us had a good laugh.

This letter has been written much later in the day than normal because when I sat down to write to you I had nothing in mind as to what I would say, somehow something has materialised.

God Bless you all

Malcolm Lloyd, GSD, Provincial Grand Almoner