Spring Edition of Jerusalem Scene Magazine out now

View or download your copy of the Spring Edition of the Jerusalem Scene magazine from the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group:



Dear Brother Knights,

I hope you enjoy your latest edition of Jerusalem Scene, detailing some of the incredible ways that together we have helped over 147,000 adults and children in the last year. Without the Knights Templar’s generous support, we simply would not have been able to help so many people – thank you so much!

Spring is a wonderful time of year. The sunshine, daffodils and cherry trees blossoming across the country are tiding in the beginnings of new life and longer, sunlit days.

In Jerusalem, this season means the magnificent swifts have begun making their way back home, where they will nest in the walls of the Old City. It is a joy for our patients and staff to see. Especially for Marlene Katansho, our Muristan Clinic coordinator, whose office overlooks our Peace Garden where we have built nesting boxes to encourage migrating swifts to settle amongst the symbolic swifts on our Tree of Hope. You can see Marlene’s pictures of the swifts on our Instagram page.

In thanks for your generous support of our work, we are running a special Swift Appeal in 2019. Any Provincial Priory or unattached Preceptory that raises £5,000 more for our work in 2019 than in 2018 will receive automatic sponsorship of a swift on our Tree of Hope. A Provincial Priory or unattached Preceptory’s total will include all individual donations and legacies associated with them. This sponsorship will also include a large swift of your own to keep, which will be presented to you with your Annual Fundraising Certificates.

Our amazing staff across our hospitals, clinics and outreach services have been so busy over the last year, as we have worked to reach more patients than ever before. I am delighted to share the news that with your support in 2018 we increased the reach of our mobile services by 34%, and we performed 5,200 major sight-saving surgeries which is an 8% increase from 2017. We are very proud to see these results and we send our thanks to you for helping us achieve this.

In September, the Sir Stephen Miller School of Nursing welcomed our Class of 2019 who have almost finished their first module and are on their way to become the next generation of ophthalmic specialists in the country. One of our students, Dua, has written an update for supporters which you can read on page 3.

We also established our second Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness. This medical research study is investigating the causes of preventable blindness across the occupied Palestinian territories. Dr. Abdelhadi, our lead ophthalmologist based in the West Bank, has shared some of his experiences which you can read on page 4. The study will come to a close in May this year and our aim is to gain further insight into the causes of preventable blindness in order to ensure we are tackling it in the most effective way. 80% of blindness across the region is preventable or treatable – we must do more to stop preventable blindness.

Finally, I am sure you were concerned about the Emergency Appeal we were pushed into last year as a result of the US Administration cuts, which left us with an immediate funding gap of £500,000. I am very pleased to let you know that with the kindness and generosity of our supporters the Emergency Appeal raised a grand total of £551,425 - this show of solidarity from within the St John family has been uplifting and hugely appreciated.

We send our heartfelt thanks to all those that helped us during this uncertain time. It has allowed us to continue to deliver our vital services, and thousands of patients will be treated as a result of this support.

We hope you enjoy reading about what we have achieved together in recent months, and once you have finished please do forward it onto friends and family in the hope they will also be inspired by our work.

Thank you once again for helping us treat and prevent blindness across Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem – you are helping to make an incredible difference to lives across the region.

With sincere thanks for all that you do,


Amy Foster

Senior Supporter Relations Officer

St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group

Grand Master's Address 2019

Brother Knights, first, a big thank you to all attending Great Priory today for your continued support of our wonderful Order. Your presence is most appreciated and, I know, will mean so much to those Brother Knights receiving appointments and promotions. Looking around the room, I feel we are building in strength here at Freemasons’ Hall and, happily, we still have space for expansion. So if you have enjoyed the proceedings of the day and the fellowship and camaraderie of your Brother Knights, then tell those in your Preceptories what a great day they are missing and let’s build even further on the success of this meeting.

It has undoubtedly been a meeting to remember and I have reflected on the occasion in Birmingham 13 years ago today when Malcolm Ernest Slater became our Great Seneschal and I would, once more, wish to thank Malcolm for the outstanding services he has rendered to the Order since becoming a Great Officer 24 years ago. You will have heard earlier that he will still continue to serve on the Grand Master’s Council and has agreed to undertake duties representing me when the need arises. I am so grateful to him and I know you are too.

We all wish our new Great Seneschal well in his exalted role and I look forward to working with him in the years that lie ahead.

Read more ...

Centenary Meeting of The de Tabley Preceptory, No. 100

It’s not often that a Preceptory celebrates its Centenary meeting some 151 years after it was Consecrated but his was the unusual position that The de Tabley Preceptory found itself in on Wednesday 27 February.

The de Tabley Preceptory, or Encampment as it was then known, was consecrated on 15 April 1868 and named 'de Tabley' in celebration of the appointment of George Leicester, or Leicester-Warren, the 2nd. Baron de Tabley, as the Provincial Grand Master for Cheshire.

In 1873, as a result of falling numbers, the Preceptory moved to Altrincham where it continued to meet for a number of years. Membership remained low and in 1884 the Preceptory committee proposed to move to Crewe or elsewhere.

A year later there was a change of mind and the Preceptory remained in Altrincham, but numbers did not improve.

The Preceptory had made no Returns to Great Priory since 1881, and held no meetings at all after December 1886. Eight more years elapsed before anyone noticed, it seems, for it wasn’t until 1894 that Provincial Priory advised that as de Tabley had not complied with a Resolution of Great Priory, and not sent the required Returns, the Warrant was forfeit and must be surrendered.

Whether it was by accident, or intent, the Warrant could not be found and so was not returned as instructed. By a stroke of luck, it was re-discovered a year later in 1895, when The Great Sub-Prior, Lord Euston, came to Chester to Install the Hon. Alan de Tatton Egerton - soon to be Lord Egerton of Tatton, and who was already the Provincial Grand Master - as Provincial Prior. Discussions took place whereby the Resuscitation of de Tabley Preceptory found favour, ultimately resulting in Great Priory cancelling the forfeiture of the Warrant and waiving all unpaid fees.

On the 16 May 1896 the Resuscitation meeting took place at Altrincham Town Hall.

However, records could not be found in 1996 to support one-hundred years of continuous working and only recently did the requisite proofs come to light.

The Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master, Paul Raymond Clement, G.C.T. was delighted to be present to join the Preceptory in the long-awaited celebrations. (Pictured left to right, the M.E. & S. Grand Master hands the Centenary Warrant to E.Kt. David Hinde, P.Gt.W. of R. in the company of R.E.Kt. Dr Anthony George Mathie, Provincial Prior for Cheshire and North Wales.)

Sesquicentenary of Ancient Ebor Preceptory, No. 101

The ancient city of York has a long and fascinating history so it made a particularly fitting venue to head to in celebration of the Sesquicentenary (150th Anniversary) of Ancient Ebor Preceptory, No. 101 on Thursday 14 February.

Having welcomed the Provincial Prior, Right Eminent Knight Paul Martyn Darley, BEM, K.C.T., and his team, the Eminent Preceptor, Eminent Knight Neil Webster, was pleased to receive the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal, Malcolm Ernest Slater, OStJ, G.C.T., and offer him the Baton, which he was pleased to accept.

Following the reading of the original Warrant of 1868 the Knights present were treated to an excellent history of the Preceptory which took them on a gallop through the last 150 years of its working. The Chaplain then gave an Oration highlighting many key events that had occurred during the Preceptory’s existence. The Knights of the Preceptory were then arranged around the Sepulchre by Right Eminent Knight Timothy John Wheeler, K.C.T., Great Marshal, while the Sesquicentenary Warrant was read.

A pleasant surprise announcement came from the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal who asked that Very Eminent Knight Eric Gordon Thompson be presented to him in order that he, on behalf of the Grand Master, could confer on him a field promotion to the rank of Past Second Great Constable, in recognition of his many years distinguished service to the Order since being Installed as a Knight of the Order in 1974.

This wasn’t the only surprise of the evening though as the Eminent Preceptor and the Provincial Prior made presentations to the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal comprising cheques for the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group, one from the Preceptory for £1500.00 and a further 10 of £150.00 from each of the Preceptories in the Province. The Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal accepted them with gratitude and gave the Knights present a moving insight into his experiences of the work carried out by the Hospital.

After the meeting the Knights moved to the dining room to enjoy a meal and the Knightly conviviality these meetings generate, at which time the celebration cake was cut by the Provincial Prior, the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal and the Eminent Preceptor (pictured left to right).

More information about the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group can be found here: St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Charity



M.E. & S.Kt. Paul R. Clement, G.C.T.
Grand Master

V.H. & R.E.Kt. Andrew C. Rainbow, G.C.T.
Great Seneschal