The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent addresses the Annual Convocation

A strong recognition of support and thanks for the hard work being undertaken by the Province

Distinguished guests, Companions all,

Firstly, I would like to again welcome our honoured guest, the 2nd Grand Principal, Russell Race. I think that you don’t regularly visit the deepest, darkest parts of Essex, so, we are very happy to bring Essex to you today in London.

This is a special day for so many reasons. It has of course been my pleasure to honour all those who have received promotions and appointments today, especially since we are back here again in the centre of English Freemasonry.

I am optimistic when I see the can-do attitude of Essex Freemasons. We all know about the cost-of-living crisis, the situation in the Ukraine and many other issues our members face.

However, a lot has happened over the year. We have engaged with the community via local schools across the province providing free school meals. Many of the Chapters have supported various local charities. We truly do make a real difference in our communities, and they need us more than ever.

You raised £40k for the Ukrainian appeal. I feel immense pride when I hear what individual Chapters are doing to help across Essex.

We have received strong leadership from Supreme Grand Chapter and UGLE with a clear focus on the fact than the craft and the Royal Arch are one organisation.

The executive has been out and about visiting many Chapters especially for celebratory and combined meetings, and we’ve kicked off our Romanian adventure, supporting the start of Royal Arch in Romania.

The Royal Arch plays a massive part in the Masonic journey, but you already know this or you would not be here today.

 If you are thinking like me - then you would naturally assume - that every Mason would automatically want to join his local Chapter. I would like to see new Masons introduced to the Royal Arch as soon as possible.

Some Masons suggest that new members should not do this, but wait instead until they have gone through the chair of their respective Lodges.

Companions - the facts suggest otherwise. New Masons who join the Royal Arch tend to remain as members, they seem to get more enjoyment from their Freemasonry, to be more involved and willing to participate in ceremonies and other Lodge activities.

The Royal Arch rep role is critical. We have freshened up our guidance and the Deputy GS in keeping in touch with them all. Continuing raising the profile of the Royal Arch in Essex is a key objective. Please spread the word about the benefits and enjoyment we get from belonging to a good Chapter.

Once you have new members, join the welcome seminars to engage your new companions. Make your meetings exciting. Join the RA engagement call, hosted by the executive to share ideas and support. Ensure your RA Mentor is engaging all your members and join the parliament of Essex Royal Arch Freemasonry – Essex First Principals.

Companions, it is my privilege to be your Grand Superintendent. It has been my honour to present you with your new collars to mark the further progress you have made in your different Masonic journeys – and I thank you for your continued support.

May the True and Living God Most High keep you safe and well.