COVID 19 Bulletin 2Publish Date: Fri 20th Mar 2020
Further to the previous communication and the need to continue to review the needs of the members and so avoid any unnecessary risk, the following changes have been decided.
GB ANNUAL CONFERENCE
The Annual Conference in Aberdeen has been cancelled and so all members who have booked and paid for the events will be reimbursed.
The deadline for cancelling your bookings for rooms in the Conference Hotels has been extended until March 29th, so provided you cancel before then you will be fully reimbursed.
We have no way of knowing the individual arrangements made and so it is up to each member to reclaim the costs.
Crisis Management planning has been in existence for many years, but as a result of the current crisis the following additional measures will be in place.
Head Office will be closed to all except the Employees, so there will not be any meetings or visits allowed. Dependent on any personal health problems and other statutory decisions (school closures etc) that some staff could work from home. Should this be the case, it may mean that some services may suffer. Miniatures, Handbooks etc may not be sent.
The AGM will still be held on May 14th. using video Skype or similar. The first meeting of GBNC will be held using Skype where all other GBNC members can join in from home. In this way we will endeavour to carry on as normal using available technology, which although will never fully fulfil our fraternal needs, it will assist us to stay in touch as much as possible. GBNC urges that all Circles use whatever technical aids are available to them during this time.
The Association is not qualified to advise on best practice I wish to draw your attention to the helpful documents issued by State and Church authorities.
Statutory/Church bodies have issued guidelines regarding best practise in order to protect ourselves and each other as much as possible and here are links to them:
NHS UK –
UK Government –
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales –
Please remember to check that you are considering the latest version of the official advice which are changing almost daily. We have just heard that the cancellation of all masses has been announced by the Cardinal.
If you live outside the UK, please refer to the advice given by your own statutory bodies.
Please remember that these are the latest guidelines that we are all expected to observe and are likely to be the minimum requirement in the event of any insurance matters.
Meetings and Social Events
Just to remind you that it is up to every member to recognise the need for fraternal care for each other and guests, and so every effort should be made to observe the guidelines we receive from the Government, Church and the NHS.
Reg. 8 requires us to hold monthly meetings, but the circumstances and advice in this crisis obviously overrides that requirement. The Manual allows every Circle the right to adopt whatever safeguards that it deems necessary, particularly in the way we greet each other, and it is also the individual right of each member or visitor to decide what is considered appropriate for him or herself.
If Circles do choose to cancel meetings, then do please remember to keep in touch with Brothers – particularly those who may experience loneliness and concern.
Perhaps an additional prayer for those who do become ill could be added to prayers, should Circles so decide.
Phil Brown GB National President
Eddie O’Donnell GB National President Elect
David Arundale GB National Vice President Elect
Bernard Noakes GB National Secretary