Addresses by The Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master
Paul Raymond Clement, G.C.T.
to the Chapter of Great Priory
Wednesday 17 May 2017
Brother Knights, as the conclusion of this Chapter of Great Priory draws near I would like to thank you all for the outstanding support and encouragement you have given me for today. We stand before you as a new team. A new President of the Council, Great Vice-Chancellor and Great Marshal. It will be our mission over the years that lie ahead to serve you to the utmost of our abilities and to ensure the long-term future of this Christian Brotherhood which we all love so dearly. It has been an enormous pleasure to invest the new Great Officers this afternoon, both first appointments and promotions, and I do offer each and every one my heartiest congratulations. We trust that you will be further inspired to even greater service to your Preceptories and to the Order in general and we all look forward to your continued support at Great Priory in the years ahead. I am sure you will agree with me, Brother Knights, that the proceedings of today have been considerably enhanced by the presence of our Brother Knights from Sister Great Priories and Brother Knights from our own Constitution who have come from far afield to be with us. I would now welcome them all on your behalf.
2017 will indeed be a memorable year for English Freemasonry and, in the midst of all that’s going on around the Country, we at Great Priory, and that’s you and I Brother Knights, will be called on to witness our faith publicly at a Great Priory Family Service at Lincoln Cathedral on Saturday September 16th. It will have been 9 years since this event was last held and I would urge you all to support us if at all possible. It is an extremely important occasion for all Brother Knights and a great opportunity to host our friends and families and indeed, to demonstrate how proud we are to be members of this wonderful Christian Order. The registration forms are on the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons’ website and I do urge you to give this important event your full support. I would now normally pay tribute to the retiring Great Vice-Chancellor and thank him for all he has done, but in this instance, it’s more to thank him for what he’s going to do as our President and to welcome on board V.E.Kt. Ryan Williams as our new Great Vice-Chancellor. Not forgetting the Brother Knight on whose shoulders, the success of today’s Ceremonial has rested, I refer of course to Very Eminent Knight Timothy Wheeler the Great Marshal. Tim, on behalf of us all, thank you and well done!
If there’s one thing I have learned about Great Priory in my 13 years as Great Marshal, it’s that our meetings could not possibly work as they do without the skill and expertise of the Grand Master’s Bodyguard. Brother Knights of the Bodyguard, thank you so much for the manner in which you enhance our proceedings, it’s been an absolute pleasure working with you over the past years and I know you will give the same support to the new Great Marshal. We trust, Brother Knights that you will all feel so inspired to return at the Great Priory of Malta meeting in November where we are all looking forward to our Great Prior of Malta working his first Ceremony and to seeing all the Brother Knights who received honours today awarded their Malta ranks. In a moment, we will conclude Great Priory in the time-honoured fashion with a collection of Alms and a rendition of Bishop William Walsham How’s stirring words “For all the Saints”. This Hymn not only mentions those who have gone before but offers a prayer for the Saints of today, for you and me and those will follow us. “O may Thy soldiers faithful true and bold; fight as the Saints who nobly fought of old”. Brother Knights, there has never been a more appropriate time to raise our Templar Banners O’er a faithless, fallen world; Raise your banner in the sky; Let it float there wide unfurled; Bear it onward, lift it high.
Brother Knights, I thank you, and may the Most High bless each and every one of us.