News from the CMA – Kent Group

Death of HM Queen Elizabeth II

The Chairman and Committee of the Constitutional Monarchy Association (Kent Group) extend their heartfelt condolences to HM King Charles III and all the Royal Family, at the death of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday 8th September 2022.

We commend her into the care and keeping of her sovereign Lord and Saviour, in whom she trusted and served so faithfully in this life. In 1952, seeking the prayers of her people, she prayed that God would give her wisdom and strength to rule justly and with integrity.  So many years later, reflecting in celebrating the Millenium, Queen Elizabeth spoke of the importance of her own personal faith stating, “For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life.” 

We know she has been tried and tested in that endeavour, and never faltered in her faith and devotion to God during her lifetime, or in her service and fulfilment of her duties and service of her peoples around the globe during her 70 years on the Throne.

+Rest eternal grant unto thy faithful servant, Elizabeth, O Lord and let light perpetual shine upon her.

GOD SAVE THE KING!

Summer Garden Party to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee

The Right Revd Damien Mead, Chairman of the Kent Group cordially invites Members, friends and families to join him for a Garden Party at his home to celebrate HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on Saturday 23rd July 2022 at 1pm. RSVP and Completion of the Form below is essential – places are limited.

Double Congratulations to our Chairman

Our Chairman, The Right Revd Damien Mead recently received two honours.

On 23rd February 2022, he was recognised by Andy Beshear, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, USA,  for his philanthropic work, especially in the provision of foster care for disabled children, and the Governor commissioned him the, Honourable Damien Mead, as a Kentucky Colonel and aide-de-camp to the Governor.

Commenting Bishop Damien said “I am so grateful for the nomination and humbled that my efforts should be so recognised. There are many other people who have worked so hard to make my hopes and aspirations for the disabled children in my care, thrive and prosper. I am thankful to them for their dedication and devotion and for sharing the vision of what can be achieved.”

On Saturday 7th May 2022 Bishop Damien was honoured by investiture as a Knight of the Order of St George. (https://orderofstgeorge.co.uk/) . In the presence of Deputy Lieutenant of Kent, Brigadier Peter Gilbert TD, Councillor Jan Aldous, Mayor of Medway, Admiral of the River Medway, Constable of Rochester Castle and her husband, Mr Tony Aldous, Mayor’s Consort, and other honoured guests.

The prayers were led by Order’s Chaplain General, The Revd Martin Charles, GCStG, the Preacher was Canon Dr Gordon Giles, Canon Chancellor of Rochester Cathedral. Mrs Susan Haydock, a former Mayor of Medway and a fellow member of the Constitutional Monarchy Association was present to support him, together with family and friends.

Successful March Meeting 2022

Saturday 26th March 2022. After meeting for lunch informally in Lenham, our group meeting with guest speaker, began in the Function Room of our regular meeting venue, The Dog & Bear Hotel, The Square, Lenham.

We were privileged to have as our guest speaker Richard ‘Dick’ Griffin a retired Metropolitan police officer and former Royal Protection Officer to both HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

Dick was born and raised in Newport, Wales, where upon reaching his 16th birthday he started work as a Police Cadet with Gwent Constabulary. During this period he undertook the challenge of The Duke of Edinburgh Award, successfully reaching the gold standard, and with no idea that HRH would one day be his employer. At 19 he decided that life in Wales was too quiet and moved to London where he joined the Metropolitan Police in 1970.

Dick served as a constable and sergeant in Central London before a tour of duty at New Scotland Yard. He was promoted to Inspector in 1981 when events elsewhere changed his life overnight. Michael Fagan had broken into The Queen’s bedroom at Buckingham Palace and Dick was part of a team of six police officers subsequently sent in to sort out the reorganisation of security procedures.

On completion of this task he was selected to be a Personal Protection Officer and was sent to Cambridge University to protect HRH Prince Edward, which he did for 3 years. Dick made the most of this and gained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from The Open University.

In 1986, Dick was promoted to Chief Inspector and moved to the Household of The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, for whom he worked over 13 very enjoyable years between 1986-1999, the highlight of which was being attacked by a giant panda whilst on a visit to China.

In 1999, Dick Griffin became a Personal Protection Officer to Her Majesty The Queen, for whom he worked during the next 14 years until his retirement in 2013. This period was the pinnacle of Dick Griffin’s career as he travelled throughout the world to over 150 countries with Her Majesty and was fortunate to meet Nelson Mandela, His Holiness The Pope, President Bush and sporting icons like Paula Radcliffe.

Highlights of those years were his involvement in the arrangements of both the Golden and Diamond Jubilee Celebrations as well as The 2012 London Olympics. Dick was sworn to secrecy about the James Bond clip for the opening ceremony, and even his wife didn’t know about it.

In 2010, Dick was promoted to Superintendent and held the position known as ‘The Queen’s Police Officer’ until he retired, when he was honoured by being made a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO), a personal decoration from Her Majesty as a way of rewarding distinguished personal in her service, and on her own initiative rather than by ministerial recommendation.

In addition to illustrating his talk with a film clip and projector slides there was also a table display of items of memorabilia and awards detailing his fascinating career.

Mr Griffin’s fee for speaking was a donation to the KSS Air Ambulance Charity – which we rounded up to £200 in support of this worthy cause.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the CMA Kent Group will be on Saturday 26th March 2022 at the Dog & Bear Hotel, Lenham, Nr Maidstone, Kent.

Tea, Coffee and Biscuits will be served from 1:30pm and at 2pm we welcome as our guest speaker Richard Griffin, a retired Royal Protection Officer. His talk will be illustrated and followed by a question and answer session.

Members have been sent a booking form. Non members should telephone our events organiser Mrs Wendy Henderson on 01732 451769 to book a place. Tickets are £12.00 per person including the refreshments and room hire.

Guest speaker Dr Barry Twigg, MBE, gave an interesting and challenging presentation on the disturbing rising trend of various Republican organisations seeking to take advantage of the transition period which they know will occur naturally when the succession passes to HRH. Combating the misinformation and scandalous untruths about our Constitutional Monarchy is an essential part of our work. Our Chairman, The Right Revd Dr Damien Mead, spoke about the importance of the CMAs presence online, especially on Social Media. He confirmed he was currently building a new website for the Kent Group.

A raffle of donated prizes raised money (£100) for a Group donation to the Princes Trust. We are grateful for the hospitality of the Dog & Bear Hotel, Lenham.

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New Website Planned

The Kent Group met for our first meeting since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Saturday 25th September 2021 at our usual venue, The Dog and Bear Hotel, Lenham.

This well attended meeting was a wonderful start to meeting in person again. We were grateful to our guest speaker Mrs Melanie Gibson-Barton who gave a very interesting illustrated talk entitled “Murder, Madness & Mayhem – the Belgian Royal Family”.

Before the meeting some of our members met for lunch. After the meeting the Committee met for a brief catch up and discuss the planned new website.

Return of Chairman

The Kent Group is pleased to announce that our former Chairman, The Right Reverend Damien Mead, who resigned from the role in March 2018, has agreed to return to the position.

The group is extremely grateful to Mr Peter Homewood, former Chairman of Kent County Council, who has been the CMA Kent Group Chairman since 2018, and who has stepped down.

Bishop Damien was born in 1968 in Chatham, Kent and raised in Canterbury. He entered Christian Ministry in 1990, serving congregations in London and Whitstable before joining the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC) in January 1999. From 1999, he served as Parish Priest of the ACC Church of Our Lady of Walsingham and St Francis of Assisi, Rochester, Kent.

 In May 2005 he became Rector of St Augustine of Canterbury, Painters Forstal, Kent, where he still serves.

In March 2008 he was elected and 6 months later duly consecrated as a Bishop and appointed and enthroned as the Second Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the United Kingdom, on 20th September 2008.

Bishop Mead, as with all ACC Clergy in his Diocese is bi-vocational and non stipendiary. In his secular career he has, since August 2000, worked as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Credo Care Limited, an Independent Fostering Agency specialising in the care of children and young people with disabilities and complex medical needs.  Prior to that he worked in retail and residential social work. Bishop Mead holds a Diploma in Theology and a Fellowship in Theology from Victoria College, London. In October 2020 he had conferred upon him an Honorary Doctor of Divinity (Hon.DD) by the Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi Christian University, in Miami, Florida, USA.

He is a long standing member of the British Institute of Directors, a Life member of the Royal Society of St George, and a Knight of the Order of St George, He has been a member of the Constitutional Monarchy Association for many years and is pleased to be asked once again to serve as Chairman of the Kent Group.

Bishop Damien lives on the Romney Marsh. He is kept busy with his two Miniature Jack Russell’s Daisy and Minnie, and also keeps Chickens.

Follow us on Facebook

For a number of years we have been slowly developing a presence on facebook. While awaiting a relaunch of our website we have, at the time of writing, almost 1000 followers on that social media platform.