PROVINCIAL GRAND ALMONER in the Royal Arch Province of Buckinghamshire supports, assists, trains and advises Chapter Almoners .
He also promotes and facilitates wellbeing in the Royal Arch Chapters in Buckinghamshire as well as to encourage brotherly cooperation between the Craft and the Royal Arch Almoners.
How to be a Good Chapter Almoner:-
The role of Almoner, is recognised and acknowledged by both Grand Lodge and Supreme Grand Chapter to be of great importance. In the Royal Arch he is involved in the general wellbeing of the Chapter members, not only for matters affecting health and money management, but also their enjoyment of Chapter meetings and being a member of the Royal Arch. He should work closely with and in conjunction with his corresponding Lodge Almoner to the benefit of members of both Craft and Royal Arch.
Role and Responsibilities:-
1. Keeping in Touch, together with the Lodge Almoner:-
- Maintaining regular contact with ill or troubled members.
- Maintaining regular contact with widows.
- Making contact with families of recently deceased Companions
- Monitoring absenteeism, determining the reason and providing help where needed.
2. Assist wellbeing by:-
- Making sure new members are welcomed into their Chapter, bringing together their Proposer, Seconder, Mentor and other Chapter members to foster engagement in Chapter life.
- Providing information on available sources of assistance, should any be needed, to all Companions and their families.
- Assisting the Provincial Grand Almoner by acting as a visiting brother, contacting widows, communicating with Companions from other Provinces and their families when requested.
- Promoting engagement into the Chapter by:-
- Providing information to ensure Companions understand the important lessons the RA ritual has to offer
- Helping the Companion to make a positive contribution to the Chapter by involvement in the ritual.
- Introducing the social aspect of enjoyment outside the Chapter room.
3. Record Keeping and Reporting:-
- Maintaining accurate financial records and provide an account to the Chapter Treasurer each year.
- Maintaining records of all pastural visits to Companions and others.
- Maintaining a record of the names and contact details of Companions, widows and dependents, including as far as possible the details of widows and family of resigned or excluded Companions.
- Reporting on the above to the members at each Chapter meeting, whilst respecting confidentiality.
In addition to the above, a good Almoner will make himself aware of happier events such as birthdays, births and special wedding anniversaries so that the Chapter can send appropriate greetings.
The role the Almoner requires many skills: tact, courtesy, discretion, patience and humour, empathy, and commitment to helping other people. It requires time. There may be new expertise to learn, particularly computer proficiency in spreadsheet, database and word processing ability.
5. Personal Relationships:-
Some Companions may convince themselves that financial difficulty and chronic illness in retirement are facts of life and fail to seek help. Health worries and lack of money are often concealed, only surfacing as absenteeism from Chapter. Some find it hard to admit to others what they see as failure and an inability to cope. Confidentiality and a caring approach based on Companionship can relieve these worries.
The office is one that benefits from continuity and it is suggested that a term of five years is generally appropriate.