Our Annual Church Service at St Matthew’s, Highfield, held on Sunday, 22nd October, was an excellent occasion. It was good to see so many members of the Group, their ladies and so other masonic friends in the Church. This year our Annual Service of Re-dedication incorporated the celebration of the Tercentenary. We were honoured with the attendance of the Town’s First Citizen, The Mayor of Wigan and the Mayoress, the Bishop of Liverpool and The Provincial Grand Master. How positive to have the Leaders of the local Community, the Church and the Craft gathered together under one roof to share in the happiness of the occasion. The Bishop delivered a wonderful address and was truly an inspiration, meeting and chatting with many members of our Group, their ladies and other masonic friends, over light refreshments in the Church Hall, after the Service.
The Evening Dinner at Ashton MH afterwards for those Brethren and Companions attending the Service was excellent and completed the day.
The Provincial Grand Master launched the 2021 Festival for the Masonic Charitable Foundation at Provincial Grand Lodge on Wednesday 10th May 2017. Members of the Group and their families enjoyed an afternoon in July along the Lancaster Canal to raise funds towards the Festival, whilst also enjoying a wonderful day together – over £2300 was raised, with possibly more to come, for which I say thank you to you all.
To the Companions who received Provincial Honours in October I extend my warmest congratulations. We again started the day with breakfast at Ashton MH and travelled to Southport with a coach filled with Companions determined to enjoy another day of celebration for our Group. Congratulations to all those Companions receiving Appointment or Promotion.
United Grand Lodge celebrated the Tercentenary at the Royal Albert Hall 31st October and fifty members of the Wigan Group journeyed to London to share in that historic occasion. It was a long day, starting when the coach left Ashton Masonic Hall at 6.45 am returning there at around 11.30 pm but what a wonderful day we all enjoyed.
I extend my thanks and appreciation to our Group Vice-Chairman for his organisation and to the fifty brethren from the Group who made the trip such a success. What a wonderful day. Definitely one that will stay in the memory for quite a long time.
The Provincial Care Team met with the Almoners and Mentors in October to explain their roles in supporting the brethren and companions. Their work never stops and the Group Executive is grateful for the work carried out by these Officers.
Likewise, the Charity Stewards and Festival Representatives met with the Group Charity Steward in November, supported by the Regional Charity Steward, Malcolm Warren. They were encouraged by the presence of the Festival Vice-Chairman, David Winder and the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, Phil Preston, who both addressed the meeting, thanking them for the efforts thus far.
Continue to appreciate and value your families, your friends and your neighbours.
Continue to care for each other and remember those who are no longer with us by keeping loved ones in our thinking and in our Prayers.
Continue to demonstrate to the world the happy and beneficial effects of our membership of Freemasonry.
I hope you all enjoy the Peace, Love and Happiness that comes with the forthcoming Festive Season. This is a time for being thankful for what we have, a time for sharing what we have and a time to reflect.
It is with sadness that I have to report that our Group Chairman from 2004 to 2008, David Mills, died on 23rd November and his Funeral Service – a beautiful Service – was held at Wigan Parish Church on Friday 1st December, attended by many brethren from the Group.
We should all cherish our loved ones ever more closely and appreciate all that they mean to us. They mean everything, more than any words of mine can ever express.