Companions, I would like to re-iterate my very warm welcome to all of you attending this Convocation, and I would particularly like to highlight two groups – over 40 companions from Cambridgeshire and some 28 from Cheshire; indeed, a big thank you to all those who have travelled long distances to be with us today.
I trust that you have found the two presentations, on Archway and on the Narrative for the 21st Century Freemason enlightening, and that the Archway document will prove to be an invaluable weapon in the armoury of all of you when encouraging Craft masons to consider joining the Royal Arch, and also in maintaining the interest and attachment of those already in our order.
Today's presentations, and the actions which will flow from them, are further examples of putting into practice the Strategy outlined by the Pro First Grand Principal last December – and they affirm the absolutely complementary nature of Craft and Royal Arch in our Constitution. They further demonstrate that exaltation into this very special order should be the next logical step in the Masonic journey.
Provincial Grand Masters, Grand Superintendents and District Grand Masters are wholeheartedly embracing our new strategy, but they, in turn, will depend on all of you and your Companions to ensure that the message gets through undiluted to the individual members in our lodges and chapters.
The Membership challenge which we all face is just as relevant, if not more so, for the Royal Arch as for the Craft, and if we are to succeed in developing thriving lodges and chapters, inaction is not an option. There are many ways in which chapters can evolve to ensure future success, and sometimes these may involve quite subtle changes rather than wholesale alterations to ritual or other practices. Companions, please be open to considering all of the possibilities available to your Chapters and ensure that these discussions involve the more recently joined members, as well as the senior Companions.
Companions, as always on these large events, much work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure smooth running, and I would like to express my personal thanks, and I am sure yours, to the Supreme Grand Chapter secretariat – and also to the GDC and his team.
Thank you for your attention, Companions, and I trust that you all enjoy the rapidly approaching festive season before we next meet in Convocation.