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. www.orderofstraphael.org.uk