Saturday, 01 May 2021 17:15

Provincial Almoners Weekly Letter

Dear Brethren All,   

Here we are into May already. I wish to share with you some good news that I received in the week, and I hope that some of you are aware of this already. I received a letter, dated 26th April 2021, from the Grand Secretary of Mark Master Masons’, and I quote, “Mark Benevolent Fund, Major Capital to support Hospices in England and Wales. In recognition of a lifetime and dedication to the Crown, and the nation, by His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the Trustees of the Mark Benevolent Fund (M.B.F.) have approved a Major Capital Grant of £1.25 million to support hospices in England and Wales.

Every Mark Lodge in England and Wales will be invited to nominate a local hospice to receive a £1,000 donation wholly funded by the MBF with nominations being co-ordinated by each Province. Full details of how the Grant is to be distributed will follow shortly.” This is wonderful news and I look forward to the implementation of this project as I know that many brethren in all areas may need, unfortunately, to call on this facility for some reason or another.

Pat had a bit of a surprise in the week, whilst walking up the drive near the house, a Thrush flew very close to her and disappeared into the soffits under the eaves. On looking up she saw the head of a small chick poking out. One of the covers in the soffits had fallen out enabling the birds to get in and nest there. It was a good feeling in some ways but means that we have to get another cover later, when the chicks have fledged, to stop them getting in next year. We were aware that there are several birds’ nests in the garden in various bushes and shrubs, hence we will not be cutting them back for a while. 

With this welcome rain during the week the garden has benefitted, and Spring is really taking off. The carrots are pushing on well and there is plenty of blossom forming on the soft fruit plants and bushes.

Some of my thoughts have been for the country of India where the Virus has taken a very strong hold again and they are finding it very difficult to cope with this upsurge. It does reinforce the need to remain diligent and careful. We cannot allow ourselves to drop our guard, but I pray that relief from the rest of the world will be forthcoming so that there might be a chance to slow the spread down and bring some comfort to those suffering, both in the loss of loved ones and trying to get on the road to recovery.

It appears that there are steps being taken to test the waters regarding the way forward in this country, test cases of meetings are being arranged, such as more people attending sports events, a music concert in Liverpool, to see if we can contain the spread of this pandemic. Let us hope that it all goes well. It might bode well for the East Lancs MBF Festival in July.

Enjoy this May Bank Holiday weekend, I hope that the weather is not too bad and that we can meet up with family and friends for a while. Continue to keep in touch with one another, keep safe and well.

Best wishes to you all.

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