Dear Brethren and Companions of the Province of Bristol
Last evening, we held an Emergency Crisis Committee meeting to discuss the impact of the Covid-19 virus on our activities. The committee looked at advice from UGLE, the Government and also applied a risk assessment based on the demographics of the membership in the Province. We formed the opinion that this a highly sensitive area for discussion with a large number of diverging views. However, in the light of the evidence under review and the potential risk to the lives of brethren, and their families, we have made the following determinations. Following that meeting, we are making the following statements and recommendations to Lodges and Chapters in the Province. These recommendations will be shared with the other Orders meeting in Freemasons’ Hall.
1. Freemasons’ Hall will be closed to Members, with effect from Monday 23rd March at 9.00am. This should allow members to retrieve any personal possessions they might have left in Freemasons’ Hall.
2. The bar and dining facilities will be closed immediately until further notice.
3. The Annual Meetings for Provincial Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Chapter, due to be held on May 16th 2020, are postponed. The brethren due to receive their appointments and promotions will be honoured at a later date.
4. Detailed advice for Lodge Secretaries and Scribe Es concerning the management of their meetings will be issued just after 12.00pm, under a separate letter.
5. As our prime concern is to protect members from the virus, it is recommended that each Lodge Secretary and Almoner draw up a list of those members who are living alone or “at risk” and make regular contact. This work should be supported by Lodge members, who could be deployed to assist with food deliveries and other essential activities. In the event that there is insufficient help available within a Lodge, please contact the Provincial Secretary, who will work with the Provincial Almoner, to ensure that no member of the Province is left wanting.
6. Further to the announcement of the Prime Minister yesterday, all masonic social events should be cancelled or postponed.
The Committee will continue to monitor and review evidence and guidance which is released and undertake to report to the members of the Province on a regular basis. It is my sincere belief that we need to take this matter with the utmost seriousness in order to prevent the loss of a single Brother.
Yours sincerely and fraternally
Jonathan MW Davis
Provincial Grand Master