It’s quite natural at this time of year to look back on the last twelve months and assess what’s been achieved and what remains to be done. But we should always bear in mind that the past should not dictate who or what we are, it should be part of what we become.
This sentiment encourages us to look to the future and build on our achievements. It’s a call to action to be bold and brave and meet our future challenges head on.
2019 hasn’t been plain sailing all the way but I’m delighted to say that we’ve continued to make progress in several key areas, including developing our understanding of the factors that affect our headcount and membership numbers, and extending the reach of our various recruitment and retention initiatives.
Perhaps the greatest progress we’ve made this this year has been in the way we communicate with you and our wider audience. Internally, I have continued my commitment to more open and transparent communication through regular reporting to our various Boards and Executive Committees; to annual conferences with the leaders in our various Orders; and most importantly by getting out to the Provinces and Districts and sharing news of what we’re doing directly with our members.
For the first time, we have a coherent communication strategy in place founded upon three core values of Respect, Friendship and Care. We aim to be better, easier and fairer in the way we communicate.
Externally, we’ve been working hard since the summer to improve our outreach through a variety of communications channels and the results clearly show that there’s an appetite out there for more news and information about who we are and what we do.
2020 will bring with it new and different challenges; challenges we must turn into opportunities.
We are all rooted in the Craft and the Royal Arch which completes our initial journey into Freemasonry, and we must always acknowledge that fact. But it’s time to be bold and proud about our Orders and celebrate the heritage, colour, ritual, ceremonial and diversity they bring to the table.
Our Orders are progressive and provide a doorway to greater enlightenment and I encourage you all to do whatever you can to increase awareness of and interest in the rich tapestry of Masonic knowledge that the progressive Orders provide.
What we have achieved this year has only been possible with the support of the staff at Mark Masons’ Hall, those who lead and administer the Orders in the UK and abroad and most especially you.
None of us knows what the future holds but our expectations must be for good health and happiness; the love and support of our families and friends and, of course, a brighter future for our Orders.
Wherever you are and whatever you may do over the coming festive season, I send you my warmest fraternal good wishes for Christmas and the New Year and look forward to your continuing support in 2020.
Ryan A. Williams