Provincial Almoners Letter from Andover

Some early potatoes have been planted while other types are laying in trays awaiting their turn to be planted. As mentioned before we are still experiencing frosts in this area so have to be careful. We are having to pay attention as some of the birds in the garden are building nests and we do not want to disturb these little creatures. Recently we have had the pleasure to see goldfinches, which may be nesting close by, dunnocks, a very friendly robin, many sparrows, and other species visiting the garden and taking advantage of the food which Pat puts out for them.

During the week I attended a seminar at Mark Masons’ Hall for Provincial Almoners, this was quite well attended, some in person and others on zoom. It was well presented and covered some subjects which we were not expecting but very informative. There will be some matters discussed being sent out from MMH in the near future. It was good also to hear how other Provinces have dealt with these difficult times. Some Almoners have been very busy and have shared items with us all and I will be adapting some literature for our use, this is with their permission. One thing mentioned was that petitions are down in numbers and ideas were shared as to why this might be the case, when it is felt that more might be asking for help. A few theories were expressed, one being may be, as we are not meeting those in need may not be identified. Over all though the feeling was that it is so important to keep in touch with one another, pick up the phone, perhaps invite someone for a coffee and have a chat.

One Almoner was able to say that by going meeting up with someone for a face to face chat there was an excellent result. The brother contacted was so down that he was contemplating ending it all, but by sharing thoughts and perhaps giving a listening ear and support, that brother is now in a much better place. We do not know all of the answers but as I have said before a problem shared is a problem halved. I, and many others, are here if you need us. No subject is too small to be discussed. Rest assured, all matters are treated with strict confidence and nothing goes further without consent.

It is still disturbing that the virus is still spreading so easily, I did hear that a meeting on the Isle of Wight had to be called off due to covid. Therefore be cautious, look after yourselves and loved ones.

Happy Mothering Sunday.

Best wishes.

Malcolm Lloyd, G.S.D., Prov. Grand Almoner