26th May 2021
To: All Conclaves meeting within the Province of East Lancashire
Resumption of Masonic Meetings - Local Suspension
I am sure that you are aware of the various communications from the United Grand Lodge of England regarding the resumption of Masonic meetings from the 17th May 2021, in line with the relaxation of Government restrictions. On the 15th April 2021, Mark Masons Hall issued similar guidance, with the caveat of giving `Local Heads of Order,’ the authority to maintain any Local Suspensions, should they consider this to be appropriate. The Government has also set a provisional date of the 21st June 2021 for all Covid restrictions in England to be lifted, and in line with other Orders within our Province and
guidance from the Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler, a decision to take a cautious approach is to be adopted. It is felt that it is important to restart our activities as soon as we are safely able to do so. However, the resumption should be such that our meetings are as ‘normal’ as possible, that is with the full membership able to attend and to enjoy a festive board afterwards. It is envisaged that this may be possible from the 21st June 2021, and therefore a decision has been made, that the Local Suspension should be lifted with effect from the 21st June 2021, so long as the Government advice remains unchanged. After this date, summonses for all regular Conclave meeting should be issued as usual.
It is understandable that some Conclaves may be unable to meet owing to the unavailability of their Masonic Hall, or the fact that members are reluctant to return in sufficient numbers to ensure a meaningful meeting. If this is the case, the meeting would need to be abandoned - as has been the case since March 2020. Where a face-to-face meeting is impractical, it is encouraged that Conclaves carry on making use of Virtual Business Meetings, on or close to their regular meeting date.
Mark Masons Hall have indicated that these Virtual Business meetings will continue to be available until the end of the year. In lifting the suspension, it must be emphasised that no member should feel obliged to attend meetings if they are uncomfortable in doing so. There will be a constant review of this decision in light of guidance from the Government and Mark Masons Hall, together with the views of the members of the Province.
Yours in the Friendship of the Order
Christian A Givvons
Deputy Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler