Provincial Priory of Surrey

The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta in England and Wales and Provinces Overseas
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Christmas greeting from the Provincial Prior for Surrey
Dear Brother Knight,

As we prepare for the Feast of Christmas, that special date of 25th December, the birthday of our Blessed Saviour, it is important to reflect on the year which has just passed. The terrible worldwide pandemic we have endured, has caused severe disruption in different ways, to ourselves, our family and the wider community. I have asked myself many times if life will ever be the same again? The restrictions we have endured and continue to endure have, I believe, made us adjust to new ways of communicating with family and friends near and far.

As members of our Order you know, only too well, the difficulties which have prevented Preceptory Meetings being held. Positive efforts have been made to ensure we continue to keep in contact with each other via; phone, technology, letters, all of which has proved successful but they cannot replace participation in our ceremonies.

The Templars of old professed their Faith by protecting, Pilgrims, the weak, the old and sick on their way to and from the Holy Land. As Provincial Prior I have witnessed such commitment and kind acts from so many Knights throughout the year, directed for the benefit of individuals and communities in need.

In September we held our Service of Thanksgiving at St Mary’s Church, Thorpe. Father Damian Miles conducted a very inspirational Christian event. Numbers permitted to attend were restricted to comply with relevant legislation. However, Father Damian provided not only spiritual inspiration on the day but the technical skill and equipment which enabled the Service to be broadcast. Our grateful thanks are extended to Father Damian and his team for making us, yet again, so welcome in his beautiful Church.

So, what awaits us in the coming year ahead? I genuinely believe our prayers, for medical teams to develop a vaccine to defeat the pandemic and prevent further infections have been answered. As a result, we may look forward to the lifting of restrictions, being able to attend (safely) our encampments, greet each other in our unique way as Knights Templar and witness the Provincial Prior occasionally (no more than occasionally, please – I hear you say) on his walkabout around the Sepulchre!

As Knights Templar, our Christian Faith has helped us to cope with the pandemic through; Prayer, love in our families and consideration for our friends, neighbours and the wider community. The strength of our Band of Warriors is our desire to, conduct ourselves in modest ways, demonstrate our respect for all and genuinely desire to do good. All of these gifts enable us to stretch out our hand to those in need.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our blessed Saviour let us remember; he was born in a stable, helped people from whatever position in society and gave his life so that our sins may be forgiven. I have no doubt our Saviour looks down on us and welcomes our belief in doing good, in a modest way, in His Name despite the many challenges we face from time to time.

Christmas is a time for celebrations, spending time with our family and friends, decorating the Christmas tree, exchanging gifts, being happy and communicating happiness, despite the restrictions we now face. Let us raise our glass at 5pm on Christmas day in a toast to “Preserve, O Lord our Brother Knights by land and sea and air, and as we hold them in our thoughts, so keep them in thy care”. Quietly, we could offer the Lord’s Prayer, in thanks for all he has given us, spiritual and material and renew that pledge to serve him in whatever peaceful role we may be called upon perform in His Name.

I must express my sincere thanks to the Provincial Sub-Prior, E.Kt. Peter Brown, Provincial Vice-Chancellor, E.Kt Dr Miguel Godfrey and Chancellor, V.E.Kt. Christopher Cradock for the support, guidance and patience provided to me in my role as Provincial Prior. There are many other Knights who offer their assistance, knowledge and goodwill to help me in conducting the business of the Provincial Priory.

To brother Knights of the Provincial Priory, I thank you for the gift of allowing me to continue as your Provincial Prior. The members of my Body Guard have a difficult task in; keeping me on time, ensuring I do not misplace the valuable and historic Provincial Signet ring and delivering me home, safely, after a Preceptory meeting. I commend them for their tolerance and commitment. Finally, my sincere good wishes to each of you and to your family. May you have a Holy, Healthy, Happy Christmas and a Wonderful New Year. I look forward to having the joy of being in your company in the New Year, deo volente.

Stay safe and well.

Sincerely Yours,

Right Eminent Knight Patrick Peter Crossan
Provincial Prior for Surrey