Peterborough 2014

Annual Investiture 2014 – Peterborough

This year’s meeting took place on 10th May, after the decision made at last year’s AGM to move the annual investiture to the second Saturday in May.

There was just one postulant this year – Dame Penny Bell-Wright, but we were delighted to also welcome two junior members – Melanie and Ross McLellan. For many of the members present this was our first experience of the Ritual for junior members, and it was a unique and interesting experience.

The Grand Master then had great pleasure in promoting Dame Margaret Gunnell to the rank of Dame Grand Cross in acknowledgement of her continuing hard work as Custodian of Insignia.

Finally, the Consecration of the new Conclave of St Thomas Becket – Martyr took place, and the Grand Master presented the Conclave’s new Commander – Chevalier Norman Offield – with the Patent.

Following the service, the usual convivial meal took place, and after an enlightning talk by Jessica Hiscocks, the new Regional Fundraiser, the Grand Master took great delight in presenting a cheque for £350 to Whizz-Kidz.

The Grand Council meeting took place after lunch, and items discussed were as follows:
• Some difficulties had been experienced over the past year and the Grand Master has appointed David Starritt as Grand Treasurer. The GM reported that we currently had £1256 in current account and £1000 on deposit.
• Charitable donations – no new beneficiaries were put forward, but we have today given £350 to Whizz-Kidz.
• The Custodian of Insignia reported that Light and Boston have gone into liquidation and their assets purchased by Toye Kenning Spencer. There is currently an ongoing discussion with them to try and get the dyes back. The meeting also confirmed that Juniors will now officially have the Miniature medal as their jewel.
• There was only one promotion today, and Commanders and Vice Chancellors are encouraged to put names forward from their Conclaves for promotions and awards in the future.
• The GM confirmed that he has put the St William of Rochester Conclave into suspense for another year, and no meetings are to take place without his express permission. The Conclave will be made defunct in one year’s time if no meetings are held. The GM also expressed his delight at the recent Consecration of the Lion Rampant Conclave in Scotland and hoped it would go from strength to strength.
• The GM thanked David Haywood for the new website, and Margaret Gunnell for the re-written Consecration Ritual. The main Ritual service still contains some minor errors and DH offered to reproduce this. Any suggested amendments should be sent to DH by the end of July.
• The Grand Council instructed the new Grand Treasurer that a revised membership list be produced in conjunction with the Grand Registrar to ensure that only those paid to date should remain on the list.
• It was agreed that all Grand Officers must try to attend the annual Investiture, and if they did not attend for two consecutive years they would lose their post.

Photo Gallery

Grand Treasurer’s report 2019

Unlike last year’s report, which reflected the losses over the previous two years, there has been no significant costs arising from the website and newsletter or other commitments.

I am therefore pleased to report that the Order is in a sound financial position as at the end of the Financial Year 2018, and that the accounts show an improvement of £412 over the opening balance. As the accounts reflect a more stable position I would recommend that the surplus

accrued should be passed to the Conclaves for redistribution to charitable causes.

Nevertheless, there is still need for caution. We should bear in mind the recommendations that I made at last year’s AGM, that oblations should be regularly reviewed to ensure that they reflect increasing costs and commitments of the Order.

Brian D Everett, Grand Treasurer

Grand Treasurer report 2018

Grand Treasurer’s Report May 2018

The report presented reflects the position set out by my predecessor David Starritt as at 1 Jan 2018 and audited by Rhoda Ross at the end of January 2018. It reflects the accurate position as at the time. As the incoming Treasurer, however, I have to advise you on how I perceive the accounts in regard to our future as they show a continued deficit in 2017, following a similar loss in 2016.

As you will note the position at the end of 2016 showed a deficit of £524.66 and this was followed by a further deficit in 2017 of £760.53. The latter reflecting two aspects. Firstly, the transfer of £960 to the conclaves. Secondly, new costs of £558 for the website and newsletter.

Whichever way these figures are addressed, one obvious message remains, we are living beyond our means. For example, our income from subscriptions is £1,000 and yet we transfer £980 of this to the Conclaves at the same time as our assets are reducing. I understand the explanation given but it seems to be a strange way of transferring funds. Moreover, it raises the question as to why the Conclaves are not recovering subscriptions and raising their own funds. Clearly there is a need to offset some of the administrative costs arising from the Grand Council of the Order, but the individual membership aspect and fund-raising activities should be controlled by the individual Conclave.

If we continue with this trend of expenditure, in 4 years’ time we will run out of funds. I would advise that this aspect needs to be urgently addressed by the Grand Council. I’m also of the view that it would be prudent to increase subs by £5 and to review this on an annual basis. This would result in a modest increase of about £265 on our current membership, which would go some way to covering the central administrative costs. Whatever decision is taken, we must either find ways of increasing our income or cutting back on expenditure. We are existing on the earlier contributions made by those who are now life members – 14 in total, whilst the remaining 53 must fund the organisation through their subscriptions, aided by other donations.

I could suggest that the costs of running the Order must be separated from the support costs of the Conclaves or reliance on charitable donations. Membership subscriptions should rest with the Conclaves and part of this, an amount to be agreed, should be passed on to support the central administration of the Order, not the reverse way around. There should also be greater encouragement to grow the membership if the organisation is to become financially viable;

I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that the matter needs to be addressed as a matter of some urgency if the Order is to survive as a financial entity.

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen shillings and sixpence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure  twenty pounds and sixpence, result misery”

(Charles Dickens)

Brian D. Everett, MBE (Grand Treasurer)

May 2018

Peterborough AGM 2018

Annual Investiture 2018 (see also attachments at end of page)

This year’s meeting again took place at the Masonic Hall, Peterborough on 13th May. The Grand Master opened the meeting and the Grand Chancellor read out the apologies.

There were no postulants this year, and so the Grand Chancellor and Grand Prior changed the format slightly to compensate for the loss of this part of the proceedings.

E Chevalier Leslie Grout was promoted in the Order of St Mark to Knight Grand Cross, Chevalier Ken Shipman and Dame Penny Bell-Wright were admitted to the Order of St Mark as Members, and E Dame Helen Neaves-Wilde was promoted to Officer. Unfortunately, Helen suffered some nasty injuries from a fall at home and was unable to travel, and the Grand Master agreed that the Grand Chancellor could present the certificate to her at home.

Lawrence Bell-Wright was then appointed as Commander of St Thomas Becket Conclave, and Grand Officer certificates presented to Penny Bell-Wright as Grand Custodian of Insignia and Helen Wilson as Grand Steward.

Following the service, the usual convivial meal took place, attended by 26 members and guests.

The Grand Council meeting took place after lunch, and items discussed were as follows:

  • The Grand Chancellor announced that the Order was required to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulations, and letters were being sent out today to all new members requesting completion of a form. It is important that our database is kept up to date, and those officers holding a separate list must ensure that this is also kept up to date. The Grand Chancellor will sent out updates of changes from time to time.
  • The Grand Chancellor said that a lot of positive reports were received following the Service of Thanksgiving at Rugeley, with an informal lunch. It has been decided to make this an annual event, but to move it to locations close to one of the Conclaves each year, on a rotating basis. This would give members of the Order an extra opportunity to meet and it was hoped numbers would swell over time. It is, however, too late to do this for 2018 and so we will once again meet at Rugeley on Saturday 13th A comment was made that the sound was not good in the Cathedral and the GC will ensure that we use a suitable sound system. Full details and application forms will be sent out later in the summer.
  • The new Grand Treasurer circulated a copy of the accounts to 31st December 2017 which had been presented to him, which showed a deficit for the year of £760.53, due mainly to donations now being made via the Conclaves, and a double year cost of the website and newsletter. The accounts had been independently examined by Dame Rhoda Ross. The new Grand Treasurer was concerned about our reducing assets, and issued a lengthy report, which can be read in full on the Order website.
  • The Grand Hospitaller explained how we had now changed our distribution process for donations and this is now split between the Conclaves to enable them to choose and distribute to local charities. The only criteria is that the charity must have a “human healing” aspect to it, and that details of any charities chosen must be submitted to the Grand Hospitaller and Grand Chancellor for approval before the cheques are issued by the Grand Treasurer. Commanders are to invite the local press and radio to any donations to ensure a photo opportunity.
  • Each of the three Conclave Commanders gave brief reports of their activities, and copies of the reports or events can be found on the website.
  • Chevalier Steven Turner updated the meeting about the International Confederation of Chivalric Orders (ICCO) which we agreed to join last year on a trial basis. It is still early days so we will wait another year to see what developments there have been.
  • Steven Turner also talked about the benefits of easyfundraising, which enables people shopping or searching on the internet to have a small amount donated to their charitable cause and issued instructions as to how members can support this.
  • The Grand Chancellor encouraged members to view our website and Facebook pages where up to date information can be found about events in the Order. He also thanked Helen Wilson for taking photos on the day, and it is hoped that these will be published on the website shortly.
  • The date for the 2019 Investiture is Saturday 11th May

St Mark Awards :

E Chevalier Leslie Grout (DGCSM)

Dame Helen Neaves-Wilde (OSM)

Chevalier Ken Shipman (MSM)

Dame Penny Bell-Wright (MSM)


Photographs of the event can be viewed in the Gallery on the website.


Lion Rampant Commander report 2018

St Martin Commander report 2018

St Thomas Becket Commander report 2018

Annual accounts 2017

GT report 2018


Annual Newsletter 2017

The newsletter will be sent out in the late summer. If any active member of the Order does not receive their copy, please contact the Grand Chancellor with your current contact details.

Annual Newsletter 2016

The newsletter was sent out in early December. If any active member of the Order has not received their copy, please contact the Grand Chancellor with your current contact details.