Family Church Service.
I would like to thank everyone, who helped to bring our Annual Church Service to the best attended we have ever had, and for that I am eternally grateful.. We were treated to a beautiful Sunday as we all gathered at St. Mary’s Church, in Woodbridge, to listen to the Rev. Fr. Stephen Ferris deliver an uplifting homily, entitled ‘the empty chair.’ The assembled congregation enjoyed singing the customary hymns and joining in the various prayers, especially the ones concerning the Knights Templar, led by our Prelate V.E. Knight John Elmore. The collection raised £395. Unfortunately the weather was not as kind to us when we left the Church, but it did not dampen our spirits, as we made our way down to the Community Hall, where we all enjoyed a magnificent tea provided by Housden’s, one of our regular Masonic Caterers. I must thank E. Kt. Colin Birkbeck for overseeing all the arrangements, which to me went without any hitches, to my Bodyguard under their Commander E. Kt. David Hedges, as well as all the Banner Bearers who held the Banners proudly as they paraded to the Altar, and last but not least to E. Kt. Robin Shaw and his team, for making certain that all the processions were conducted in true Knight Templar Style.
Our next banquet is being held at Ufford Park, Melton, on Saturday 23rd. November, and is open to all Knights Templar, and the wives or partners, and I know that this, like all the former banquets, will be as enjoyable as all the former ones, but please get the forms back to Mike Smith, with your cheques and selected choices, so that all the arrangements can be made to your satisfaction.
The Banquet next year will be held earlier, as the team wanted to hold my last at one of the Cambridge Colleges, and that will be held at Clare College, on Saturday 18th. July 2020, to mark my retirement as your Provincial Prior, and from what I have been told the Banquet team are pulling out all the stops.
My last Provincial meeting will be held on Saturday 22nd. February 2020, where I hope we can muster 250 Brother Knights at Ashlar House, Bury St. Edmunds, to witness a few more Knights that normal, being invested, appointed or promoted, to enable me to say thank you to you all, for a wonderful ten years as your Provincial Prior, and one which; I can assure you all; that I will never forget.
I must also emphasise once more that all the Provincial Officers for 2019-2020, as well as the Provincial Officers for 2020-2021, are expected to attend, as well as the E. Preceptors and their Preceptory Banner Bearers, complete with their banners, to make this a meeting that we can all remember, and if possible I would like you all to try and stay for the luncheon, to make it truly a Knight Templar Celebration..
Over the past few months I have asked that the Provincial Vice Chancellor, receives from each of you, that all notifiable requests from the Executive goes out to each of you members, as many state that they have not received notifications of the Church Service, the Banquet or the Provincial meeting, which put extra pressure of the Brother Knights who have to arrange these functions, after all it is not much to ask with email communication.
Great Priory of Malta.
The meeting of Great Priory of Malta will be held at Great Queen Street, London on Tuesday 19th. November, where I hope that as many Brother Knights will join me, in support of those who are receiving their first appointments or promotions, as well as witnessing the Great team Installing a Brother Knight into the Malta degree, a truly memorable occasion, and of course any member of the Knights of Malta can attend, you do not have had to have been through the chair, and of course I hope that you would join us at the New Connaught Rooms, for the meal afterwards.
Walsingham Preceptory No. 497.
I would like to publically thank Walsingham Preceptory, for agreeing so readily, to change their February 2020 date from the 21st. to the 28th. so as not to interfere with our Provincial meeting, where the Executive and their helpers, would be setting up for the next day, so please put this date in your diaries as it is an Installation ceremony.
The two dates that remain until the end of the year are Monday 28th. October at Ely, and Friday 13th. December at Diss, (and yes I know it is Friday 13th.) where we will be dealing just with the Malta degree, and this is at the request of many of our members, so it really does prove I do listen!
Conformity was started for the benefit of all our members, so please do support it, as it is your chance to take on pieces of ritual, ask questions, and get to know your fellow Knights Templar to forge better friendships.
Stewart C.L. Middleton K.C.T.
Provincial Prior East Anglia