In 2013, an ‘Emergency Ritual Team’ was launched with the driving ambition to try to ensure that every London candidate received an excellent ceremony where possible. It was recognised that for various reasons, a Lodge may find itself without someone to competently fill an office, or without someone to confidently deliver a particular piece of ritual without needing to read from the book, and that if left unaddressed, this may impact on the experience the candidate had while going through the ceremony. As such members of the Metropolitan Grand Stewards Lodge (with the valuable assistance of other outstanding ritualists – particularly members of the various Ritual Lodges of Instructions or Ritual Committees) formed an “Emergency Ritual Team” so that should a Lodge find itself in this situation, they could submit a request to the Emergency Ritual Team Coordinator who would allocate the work to an appropriate member of the team.
In terms of how the team is organised, these volunteer members identify which offices or pieces of ritual they are competently able to cover at relatively short notice, and for which ritual variation(s). The team coordinator then maintains that register of team members and what they are able to do, and so when a request comes in, he will contact the appropriate team members to see who is available and able to assist, and once identified, the coordinator will put them in touch with the requester to finalise any relevant details.
While the team was originally called the “Emergency Ritual Team”, and has on occasion been able to support requests that have come in on the same day of the meeting, the more notice the coordinator is given that a Lodge needs assistance, the more likely he will be able to organise someone to assist. Indeed, we have recently “re-branded” to be called the “Craft – Ritual Support Team” – to highlight that it is not just for emergencies that the team should be considered, but rather for any situation where a Lodge requires some ritual support to help ensure the best experience for their candidate(s), While we cannot guarantee that we be able to support every request, we will certainly do our best… At the time of writing, the team has assisted just over 100 meetings since it was established.
It is expected that Lodges who call on the support of the team to assist them would offer to cover the cost of the Team members meal, or should that brother not wish/be able to stay for the festive board, then an equivalent amount would be donated to the Ritual Support Team’s Relief Chest. Some Lodges have been generous enough and in a position to do both.
It is worth noting that while the craft team also includes many excellent Royal Arch ritualists, this team predominantly only supports Craft requests at this time, but there is an equivalent Chapter team who may be able to assist if required – they can be contacted via ChapterERT@virginmedia.com
If you have a problem… if no one else can help… and if you can find them… maybe you can hire… The R-S-Team! (cue the A-Team theme music)
Should you require assistance, please submit the contact form below which will go directly to the Ritual Support Team Coordinator – W. Bro. Tim Spriggs SLGR. Alternatively, email – MetGLCraftERT@9812.org.uk