The Sovereign Grand Master has laid out his vision for the Royal Black Institution.
The Loyal Order must seek to “shape the future by preserving our heritage through a confident Institution ready to share the Reformed Christian Faith with the world”, said Rev William Anderson.
The Royal Black’s top official was speaking at a meeting of the organisation’s governing body last month.
The Imperial Grand Council is made up of Imperial officers, together with officers from various County and Provincial Chapters from across the Institution.
December’s meeting was held in Cookstown under the auspices of the County Tyrone Grand Black Chapter, who had made excellent arrangements for the gathering.
Sir Knights heard how Rev Anderson’s strategy was rooted in Scripture. The Sovereign Grand Master revealed how his principal motivation came from Proverbs 29 verse 18: “Where there is no vision the people perish.”
Upon his election to the top post in June 2018, Rev Anderson initiated a series of workshops across the Province. These informal seminars allowed the Royal Black’s leadership team to listen directly to the views of members and hear feedback on a range of issues.
The Sovereign Grand Master said that having prayerfully considered how to deliver the outcomes from the workshops, he felt the Institution needed to focus on two broad areas of policy – voluntary work and regulatory compliance.
“If we are to achieve our vision of creating a strong and healthy organisation which can proclaim the Reformed Christian Faith, then we need all our members to be working to the highest standards across the whole of the Institution,” said Rev Anderson.
“We will initiate training and educational support so that members will acquire new skills, thereby encouraging teamwork across both voluntary and regulatory areas within the Institution.”
Rev Anderson said that as an organisation in which the vast majority of work is undertaken by volunteers, it was essential that the Institution remained a viable and robust part of community and faith life. To achieve this, the Royal Black will provide a space where members can be taught the principles of the Reformed Faith and encouraged to evangelise and support others within their community.
On the issue of regulation, Rev Anderson said that a new Compliance Team would be established to make sure the Royal Black is meeting its obligations under current – and any future – legislation.
The Sovereign Grand Master concluded that in order to ensure delivery of their objectives, all members of Grand Council needed to ensure that there was the required response at all levels, with action in appropriate areas, backed up with prayer for strength “in the understanding that when God calls, He equips”.
Rev Anderson’s vision statement was received by a standing ovation, with many encouraging comments made by those in attendance.
The meeting concluded with all being thanked for their contributions.
The Imperial Grand Council meets twice-yearly, with the next meeting due to take place on Saturday, June 20 in County Antrim.