A year ago I forecast a period of significant changes in the Kingdom as our communications and services were improved and our recruitment and retention efforts were redoubled. Whereever possible, the aim was to simplify and clarify procedures and improve the overall reliability, resources and professionalism of our officer corps at all levels. In that way, our game should be gradually getting easier, more attractive and more enjoyable -- delivering better results with less effort.
There has been much progress in the past 12 months, with many noticeable changes made - the new Masonry team and servers, new lochac.sca.org domain name, new SCAA Ltd structure and constitution, Stronger Kingdom Fund, free Heraldic registrations, much-improved Canon Lore and new commentary system, improved dispute resolution and Seneschallate and Hospitaller resources, financial changes, revised officer procedures, a significant improvement in Scribal activity, with a consequent reduction in the backlog of scrolls, Chirugeonate policy simplification, technical postcode revisions and so on. Naturally, there are a few projects to be commenced or completed soon, such as the introduction of the new SCAA Registry, and valuable new ideas continue to arise.
But already the results are very pleasing. The most noticeable improvement is the 40% increase in subscribing membership since the start of last year, visible in almost every group. This reflects very well on the efforts of B&Bs, Seneschals, Hospitallers and group members everywhere. With improved resources and attention in this area, there is good reason to hope the trend will continue. And our newcomers are taking up offices - most groups, including Kingdom itself, are having fewer difficulties filling positions or running quality events.
The good news doesn't stop there. We've had a string of successful and enjoyable Crown events, authorised combatants have increased markedly, the financial health of Kingdom, almost all groups and both local "Incs" is good, communications within and around the Kingdom seem to be at an all-time high, and SCAA, SCA NZ and SCA US will be renegotiating their affiliation agreements shortly.
While there is always more to do, the rate of change is gradually slowing. However, the benefits will continue to accrue -- please make the most of them, and remember to enjoy yourselves in the process!
And finally, thank you, everyone, for the efforts that you are putting in to improving our game.
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