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Brethren,
I write to you this evening after not only a very clear guidance from Grand Lodge but also from our very own P.M this evening in regards to the suspension of all masonic activity and the UK lockdown.

Obviously my main concern is the health and wellbeing of all our members, their families and friends and I hope you are all doing well and continue to do so throughout this dreadful situation. 

These are very difficult and unnerving times for us all. Having to adapt to entirely new way of life is not always easy and it can bring many challenges and complications. Many, if not all us will be effected by this pandemic, Even those that don't get effected by the virus itself, will be effected by other many eliments whether it be being laid off at work, financial hardship - particularly those of our brethren who are self employed (myself included!), anxiety, or just a sense of being stuck inside and alone and so on. It is absoloutely paramount, more so than ever, that we stay strong for ourselves, our members, families and friends and support each other in any way we can. 

You have already had an email from our brother Almoner- Brian Mcarthur, explaining that we are esembling a small group of brethren who are more than willing to help you all, in any way you should you need assistance. We can pick up medication, supplies, food, drink or will be at the end of the phone for a conversation, to check in with you and keep you company for a short while. It may seem silly. But sometimes all it takes is a phone call to really make a difference to somebody. Anymore volunteers would be warmly welcomed! 

We have also begun setting up a WhatsApp group for instant updates on all things woolmer forest and its members, important government guidelines and just a bit of general chit chat and a few jokes here and there to keep our spirits up. May I ask the members of that group to invite all members of Woolmer Forest who are on WhatsApp - if you are not on WhatsApp and don't desire to download it onto your mobile phone - any important information will be emailed in the usual way. If you do wish to download it our brother secutary Steve Russel has just sent an email out with details on how to download it to your devices. 

Looking forwards, 

With an evening or two a week to spare now we don't have an LOI or meeting(s) to attend I would like to inspire you all to pick up the ritual book and learn something new or dust off the cobwebs of those parts you've grown fond of over the years. Challenge yourself with the 2nd degree tracing board like Brother Justin has already announced, the charge after initiation or the working tools! I will look forward to hearing all your new pieces once we are back in the lodge!

Brethren, please look after yourselves and do not hesitate to contact Brian should you need any help or assistance we are here to help and remember that we are all in this together. We must support each other in these extremely difficult and uncertain circumstances. 

Stay safe. Follow the guidelines, protect yourselves and the NHS and save lives. 

Kindest and fraternal regards, 
Elliott
W.M