The Armed Forces Covenant - What does it mean?

The Armed Forces Covenant: What Is It and What Does It Mean to Essex Freemasons?

In the presence of the Pro Grand Master, Peter Lowndes, the Provincial Grand Master (PGM), Paul Tarrant, signed the Armed Forces Covenant at the Annual Meeting on 24th March 2022 with the Deputy Chief of Staff for Colchester Garrison, Major Kevin Fitchett MBE.

What is the Armed Forces Covenant?

It is a Government policy to help the Armed Forces community, which includes veterans, bereaved families and service personnel with adaptive needs, in areas such as healthcare, education, accommodation and employment. It is an obligation on the whole of society including voluntary and charitable bodies, private organisations and individuals, all of whom are asked to recognise our Armed Forces and offer respect, support and fair treatment. 

What does it mean to Essex Freemasons?

In the Provincial Mission Statement, the PGM stated “We support our local communities through our charitable endeavours”. The Province of Essex has built up an exceptional track record of helping local communities and this is now officially recognised by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).  Such high-profile recognition by the MoD adds credibility in the public eye to all we do and our values of integrity, friendship, charity and respect.

What can Essex Freemasons do?

There are many ways we can help. Our ‘charitable endeavours’ for the Armed Forces community should be no different to those for other local communities. There are many Essex Freemasons who have served in the Armed Forces. They can explain how important our support is to help bridge the gap from that provided by the MoD and service charities to wounded, injured and sick personnel when making the transition into the community and civilian life.

One Essex Freemason who served for 27 years is the Provincial Membership Pathway Officer for Colchester Masonic Centre, Brian Chenier. He said “As an Army veteran it made me feel incredibly proud of my military service and my masonic endeavours. The fact that the PGM, on behalf of Essex Freemasons, has formally recognised the sacrifice of so many and the selfless commitment of the Armed Forces is fantastic. The Armed Forces community give so much during and after service. I hope that by signing the covenant it will help raise the profile of our Military and their families and the value we add to society”.