Following yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister that the UK government is attempting to delay the spread of coronavirus and the decision by the UK Chief Medical Officers to raise the risk level from moderate to high, we have updated the advice given in the joint statement issued by Mark Masons’ Hall, the United Grand Lodge of England and the Ancient & Accepted Rite, last week.
The above-average age profile of our membership means that there is a higher risk posed to our more elderly members which is why we have decided to strengthen our existing advice beyond that issued by Public Health England.
- Members over the age of 65 and those with hypertension, heart disease, lung disease or diabetes should not attend masonic meetings for the foreseeable future.
- Masonic meetings may still go ahead at the discretion of the members but those over 65 or those with health problems should not attend.
- If a Unit decides to postpone a meeting to a later date, a Dispensation will be required from the Provincial Grand Master (or equivalent) for which no charge will be made. If, after issuing a summons, a meeting has to be abandoned due to insufficient attendance, a note must be entered in the Minute Book stating that ‘the Regular Meeting of the Lodge on [insert date] was duly called but abandoned due to the incidence of coronavirus’.
- With effect from next Monday, 16 March 2020, meetings of over 100 members should not take place, until further notice.
- Check on the more elderly and vulnerable members of your Units, especially those that live alone, remembering that a phone call is probably safest for them rather than visiting in person.
You should also be aware that Mark Masons’ Hall will remain open for masonic meetings (and associated dining) for the time being but administrative staff will, where possible, work from home except on Tuesdays and Thursdays, until further notice. Members wishing to contact the Secretariat or other departments are asked to do so by email in the first instance.
Brethren resident in our Districts and Provinces outside England and Wales are strongly advised to observe whatever measures have been prescribed by the local public health authorities.
We will review this advice as the situation develops. With fraternal regards and best wishes.
R.W.Bro. Ryan A Williams, P.G.J.W. Grand Secretary