I hope and trust that you are all well and that you and your loved ones are also safe and well.
I'm acutely aware that so many of us are missing the friendship and Brotherhood that binds us together as Freemasons. More especially that unique bond which we share within the Masonic Order of Athelstan.
On Friday 20th of November, a virtual meeting of the Grand Witan was convened to discuss the current suspension, which was due to expire on 1st January 2021. The unanimous view of the Grand Witan reflected that of my own, that the current suspension of Masonic activities within the Masonic Order of Athelstan in England and Wales must be extended to midnight on Sunday 28th February 2021.
The suspension in Overseas Provinces and Courts will be remain guided by the Assistant Grand Master's in charge and the Provincial Grand Masters in consultation with their Craft Grand bodies and their local governments.
Whilst encouraging, the news of successful vaccine trials which provide hope for early 2021 remind us that it is important as an Order that we provide decisive and clear guidance. The Grand Secretary has previously issued clear administrative guidance, which I fully endorse and remains in place following this announcement.
The suspension will be subject to regular review and updates will be provided. Our Order will not only survive this pandemic, indeed it will continue to flourish; it is, after all, built on the solid foundation of your dedication.
Brethren, stay safe, stay well, stay alert and above all else please stay happy.
Yours sincerely & fraternally,
Paul W. Johnston
Grand Master, SGM