Message from the Provincial Prelate, Eminent Knight Rev. Bryant Sanders, P.Gt. Almoner
Dear Brother Knights,
I do hope that you have been spared the worst aspects of the present pandemic and please accept my heartfelt condolences if you have been robbed of a close friend or relative because of it. The demographic of the members of our order means that many of us are in the group of people who are at most risk.
I am writing to you at this time when we would normally have been looking forward to our annual Family Service. It is always a most uplifting occasion and it serves in a very real way to help us recharge our spiritual batteries as a community of believers. We are able to re-affirm and display our belief in the one trinitarian God by worshipping him, by praying together, in the name of our Heavenly Captain, listening to the scriptures and by making, as the psalmist would say, a joyful noise… (some more joyful than others…I can’t sing a note!). It looks as if it will be a long time before we will be able to take part in public acts of worship again, but given safe, mitigating physical arrangements we may soon be permitted entry to our own churches for private devotion and prayer.
So, we may be sad that we cannot meet together in our various places of worship but there are effects of this crisis for which we may be grateful. You may, like me, have discerned several changes for the better, changes in the way we behave towards one another. There seems to be more compassion shown these days and more concern for those less fortunate than ourselves. As a community we show more gratitude for the work done by those who, in pre-Covid19 days, we might well have taken for granted. In many ways we seem to be living in a gentler, kinder, more generous country. Think of those hundreds of thousands of people who volunteered to help the NHS! All these changes cannot but please the great Captain of our Salvation.
As the country gently moves towards an end to the lockdown we have endured since the early Spring, there may, with good reason, be many who will be afraid to venture out into what is called a “new normal”. This might last for a long time. Our duty to help and support such folk will remain. If it is in our power this can be in the form of physical aid, but just as important we should remember them in our daily prayers. To be afraid is a perfectly understandable human reaction. No wonder the injunction “Do not be afraid” is mentioned in the Bible more times than any other commandment. I should point out that the fear of God, as we are reminded of every time we meet, has a different meaning…in this context fear means “awe and reverence” …after all, why would we as Christians be afraid of God? he loves us as a father loves his children, and we must try to love him back. We can demonstrate our love for him by loving our fellow men and women through prayer and through the way we behave towards them.
We as Brethren of the Temple are familiar with several passages of scripture from the Old as well as the New testament. When I arrived back from the Holy Land on the 6th of March this year, I heard that Bethlehem had that day been put under lockdown. I had been unable to visit the Eye Hospital in Jerusalem…And the Holy City features in our thoughts this coming Sunday with those familiar words “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” …” May they prosper who love you.” On Sunday we would also have listened to the excerpt from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians where he asks that Christians should “put on the whole armour of God”. It’s a thought isn’t it? that only soldiers put on armour…in this case Christian Soldiers! Verse 18 of that letter enjoins us to “Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and persevere in supplication for all the saints.”
Our task is always to proclaim the gospel. We need to ramp up our efforts to spread the Good News, yes! By our prayers but also by what we say and do…how we lead our lives! And here’s the crunch…We mustn’t be complacent. STAY ALERT…SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS…SAVE LIVES!
Yours in the Bonds of the Order
From the Provincial Prior:
APPOINTMENT OF PROVINCIAL SUB-PRIOR
I am very pleased to announce E.Kt. Julian Mitchell, Gt Herald will be appointed and invested as Provincial Sub-Prior of the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight at the Annual Provincial Meeting, at the Novotel, Southampton, on Saturday 7 September 2019.
As our previous Provincial Registrar, Vice-Chancellor and now Chancellor he has worked tirelessly for the good of our Order and this Province and I am delighted he has accepted my invitation to be Provincial Sub-Prior.
From the Provincial Prior:
On Tuesday 5th September, the Grand Master invested the new Provincial Prior of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Charles Aspinell. More details to follow.
The Grand Master, the Provincial Prior and the Provincial Sub Prior.
Rt. Em. Kt. Charles Aspinell with the Grand Master of Scotland
NEW PROVINCIAL PRIOR
The Provincial Sub-Prior in Charge is pleased to inform you that the Most Eminient and Supreme Grand Master, Paul Raymond Clement, G.C.T. has invited E.Kt. Charles Jonathan Aspinell, P.Gt.A-de-C, to be the new Provincial Prior for Hampshire and Isle of Wight.
E.Kt. Charles has accepted the office and will be installed as Provincial Prior on Tuesday 5th September 2017 at the Novotel in Southampton, details of which will be circulated shortly.
It is hoped that as many of you can attend the meeting to see the installation of E.Kt. Charles as well as the investiture of the Provincial Officers for the year.
Provincial Sub-Prior Appointment
The Provincial Prior Nominate, E.Kt. Charles Aspinell, P.Gt.A-de-C, is pleased to announce that E.Kt. James Colville, P.Gt.St.B. (B) has been pleased to accept the office of Sub-Prior and will be installed at the investiture meeting in September.
This photo was taken at Royal Naval on Friday 13th on the official visit of the Great Seneschal, Malcolm Slater who presented, on behalf of the M.E. and S. Grand Master, a field Promotion of P.Gt.A-de-C to E.Kt. Peter Gilham. Those in the Photo are: E.Kt. Timothy Wheeler, Deputy Great Marshal, Provincial Prior, Provincial Sub-Prior, Great Seneschal, E.Kt. Peter Gilham, R.E.Kt. Angus Hannagan K.C.T. the Great Vice-Chancellor.
At Royal Gloucester on Wednesday the 18th January, the Great Seneschal presented V.E.Kt. Walter John Wild, P.2nd.Gt.Con. with a 50 year of Service Certificate. He was installed into the Order at Royal Gloucester Preceptory on the 13th January 1967. The Provincial Prior presented John with a 50 yr Provincial Lapel Badge. Also at that meeting Kt. Stewart Wilkinson and Kt. Neil Ratcliffe received field promotions from the Provincial Prior to Past Provincial Aide-de-Camp.
Address at the Provincial AGM by the Provincial Prior:
Although I have welcomed everyone today, on behalf of the North & South Island I thank you all again for supporting the Province at its annual meeting here at Rookesbury Events Centre. Some of you have travelled far to be with us. It is an aspect of this wonderful, progressive and select order that support is exchanged all over the country and it gives a warm feeling. I have visited nearly every Province over the past year and know the joy it has given me and today we can repay the hospitality received and hopefully renew and recharge friendships.
As always at these annual gatherings, we have to say good bye to some Knights and welcome others into the team, it is a progressive part of what we are. So thank you in particular David Nash & Peter Sanders who have done so much for the Province whilst in office. Thank you indeed for the hard working Julian Mitchell our Provincial Vice-Chancellor and the support of my Sub-Prior and other Members of the executive. It is appreciated. To all the background team led by our Provincial Marshall and Bodyguard Commander I thank you and wish all those whom I have appointed and invested today a happy and enjoyable year.
My official visits to all twelve Preceptories over the past year have been very enjoyable, happy occasions and thank all Members for their welcome and good humour. The support you have given me in my golf challenge this year to raise monies for the Hospital of St John and Hospital of St Cross resulted in a cheque for £1135 (plus 20% gift aid) being donated to each. A hard day indeed consisting of 108 holes and 33 miles walked, but worth the effort. Our bi-annual church service was held in June at St Cross, it was led so well by E Kt Rev Bill Whitfield and was supported very well by other Heads of Orders in our Province, but attendance by our own Knights was disappointing.
It has been said that the membership of any organisation is made up of four sets of bones. There are wish bones, which spend most of their time wishing someone else would do the work. Along with them are the jawbones, who do all the talking about the work and very little else. Another group is the knucklebones, who knock what others try to do. But most valuable are the backbones that get under the load and actually do the work. Let’s all be backbones. Enjoy our Order. Support the Craft, the bedrock of our Masonic journey, but encourage our Chapter Companions to come along and crusade with us on our journey.
Today is the last time I will be attending as your Provincial Prior. The Grand Master has accepted my request to stand down next year on the 1st March 2017.(St David`s Day). I was `given` three years and will have done four and by this time next year I will be in my 78th year and think it right to stand to one side and let someone else carry on the work in this Province. Just to be sure and squash any rumour; I jumped and was not pushed. The Installation of the next Prior will take place on Tuesday 5th September 2017 and therefore from March until that meeting the Sub-Prior will be in Charge. I wish him well. I want to take this opportunity of thanking you Malcolm (Slater) for all your encouragement and advice since you installed me. Thank you!
I end this address by saying once again how unexpected the honour was to become your Provincial Prior in this Progressive & Select Order and the custodian of this Office. I have been proud and privileged to have served in this capacity over such a wonderful Province. I will miss you all!!
Thank you .
From the Provincial Prior:
I would like to you for your generous donations to the above in aid of Hospital of St John & Hospital of St Cross.
The total raised (so far) is approx. £1800, which is great.
The actual holes played on the 23rd May was 108, Strokes 557 and 33 miles walked. The winners of the competition are:
Simon Bottom (Wilfrid Attenborough RA Chapter) 108 miles
John Kean (William Stuart 76A) 560 strokes
David Evans (Royal Gloucester 32) 30 miles
Well done to them and a bottle for each!
My special thanks to my `carers` for the day-Duncan Coombes, Pam Read, Roy Rowe and Dave Wood
The Provincial Prior is pleased to announce that the following Knights of the Province are to be honoured by the Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master at the meeting of Provincial Priory on the 18th May 2016.
E.Kt. Brian Wisbey – Great Herald
E.Kt. John McKinlay – P.Gt.St.B.(B)
E.Kt. Robert Spilsbury – P.Gt.A-de-C.
E.Kt. John Marshall – P.Gt.A-de-C.
E.Kt. Robert Blackman – P.Gt.W.of.R.
Congratulations to all of those knights who are receiving honours. They are well deserved for all the dedication and hard work you have given to our order.
At the Great Priory meeting at Great Queens Street, on Tuesday 17th November 2015, V.E.Kt. Jon Whitaker was appointed and invested as the Great Prior of Malta in succession to R.E.Kt. Eddie Goodwin.
Other knights of the province were :
Anthony Lawrence Bargrove, Gt.1st.Lt.
Anthony James Digweed, P.Gt.1st.Lt.
Leslie Roy Dear, P.Gt.2nd.Lt.
William Whitfield, P.Gt.Hospitaller
James Alan Kerr Colville, P.Gt.Admiral
Lt.Col. Roger John Ellis Jenkins, TD, P.Gt.Turcopolier