|Image: © Norfolk Museum Service 2016|
Re-founding a Guild...
It is less than two years since I had the honour of becoming the founding Clerk of the Guild of St Stephen & St George. During that time I have learned much, made some mistakes and have - at times - found my character being tested. Re-founding a guild that has to build from next to nothing in terms of financial capital, is a challenge - but it is one we will meet.
New Kids on the Block...
We may be 'new' in terms of our foundation date, but our foundations are ancient. Through our Master Mason, international Guild Master Dr. Stephen L'Normand, we are connected to a line of Masters who can be identified by name in a continuous line since 1080. It isn't only their skills, it is the accumulated culture of these Masters that lives on within and through him. It is this that he is passing onto a new generation.
We are training the future elite of stonemasonry. The Master's standards are exacting. However, working alongside him as I do, I see that he never asks of the apprentices anything that he can't or won't do himself. I also see the immense capacity for work and indomitable will power that drove him to be a world class craftsman and a Guild Master (one of only twelve such in the world). We will never give up in our pursuit of excellence. With hard work and character, the apprentices who have what it takes to succeed will flourish and earn the right to be the next generation of elite level stonemasons.
The Will to Succeed...
Finally, as I said to the assembled guild members as we gathered at the end of our last procession, talent per se means nothing. What matters is making the most out of what you've got - and there are no short cuts.
Guild of St Stephen & St George
Summa inter mediocria