Celebrating 300 years
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 09:44

Digital delivery

Grand Secretary Nigel Brown explains why the new Freemasonry Today website is all about improving communication among members

Since the mid-1990s, the internet has had an increasing impact on culture and commerce; as the majority of our members now communicate electronically with the rest of the world, their expectation is to be able to do just that with their lodges and with us. With that in mind, I am reminded of the challenges we face in aligning ourselves to that expectation.

Two constant drivers to our thinking are: first, how best to ensure our members are kept informed and feel included; second, how best to communicate with the non-masonic community so that we put the correct information about us out there. In 2009, the main UGLE website was relaunched to provide information about the Craft for the non-mason. That site has proved to be a great success, with an average of thirty thousand visitors a month over the last six months; 58% via search engines; 25% via referral sites and the rest through direct traffic.

Benefiting members
However, this site, though very useful to existing members, was not designed for them specifically. On that understanding, the Board of General Purposes decided to have a second site developed, dedicated to the membership. It is this members’ site that we have had great pleasure in officially launching in 2011. The platform is the old Freemasonry Today magazine site and we have maintained that website address: www.freemasonrytoday.com. The benefits of this site are that it is article-based, and it will include many more stories and features than we have space for in the printed magazine. In particular, it allows us to be timely with getting news to you and our response to real time events.

An attractive feature of the website is that all members can submit articles for potential inclusion and an especially useful aspect is that it will allow us to conduct surveys and polls among the membership, gauging their opinions on selected topics. Additionally, the current issue of each magazine will be available to view as a digital copy on the site.

We realise that many members, especially the younger ones, prefer to read the magazine digitally, rather than receive the printed copy. With this in mind, we have now added a digital subscription facility so that members who wish to, will receive an email alert when each new edition is available on the site. This digital subscription is also available to non-members.

We are extremely pleased with the number of lodges now launching their own websites and seeking an UGLE charter mark – a mark of Grand Lodge approval. The sheer number of lodges applying for a charter mark has meant that we have a backlog, as we carefully check each one for technical and masonic compliance. To overcome this, we have updated the UGLE guidelines for lodge websites to better reflect the ever-changing online landscape.

We live in very exciting times and I hope that you find the new members’ website both useful and interesting as it continues to evolve over the many years to come.



Published in UGLE

Quarterly Communication

14 September 2011 
A Statement by the RW President of the Board of General Purposes Anthony Wilson concerning Grande Loge Nationale Française

Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master and brethren, at the June Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge I expressed the Board’s concern over the turbulence and discord within Grande Loge Nationale Française, including the appointment of an Administrative Receiver over its legal entity.

Since then, as stated in the Board’s Report, the situation has deteriorated. There appears to be no sign of it improving. On the contrary the disharmony within the Membership and the substantial number of Lodges, representing over one-third of the Membership, who appear to be distancing themselves from the leadership of their Grand Lodge continues to give cause for concern.

We cannot ignore the lack of harmony. Nor can we overlook the fact that a significant proportion of the Membership of the GLNF apparently no longer recognise the leadership of its Grand Master, which does not offer much hope for an end to the disharmony and turbulence. It is clear, therefore, that while the present situation continues our Members should not be in Masonic contact with our Brethren in France. Hence our recommendation that relations with the GLNF be suspended.

Set out in the Board’s Report is what we mean by the suspension of relations. I may add that the Board has consulted the Grand Registrar who is satisfied that the Report accurately describes the effect of a suspension of relations; and that the terms of the Resolution which appears at item 5 on the Paper of Business achieve the desired objective.

I should emphasise that the suspension of relations does not, of itself, force any of the Brethren who are currently also members of Lodges under the GNLF to resign from those Lodges. But I should draw attention to the possibility that – for so long as the GNLF is recognised by Grand Lodge as the Sovereign Grand Lodge having jurisdiction over freemasonry in France – those of our Brethren who are members of a French Lodge which formally repudiates that jurisdiction (even on a temporary basis) may find that Rule 176 in the Book of Constitutions requires them to make choice, in the future, between severing their links with that Lodge and remaining members of the Craft in our constitution. The Board will need to keep this issue under review as matters develop in France.

Published in Speeches
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 11:53

Masonic Communications in an Electronic Age

QUARTERLY COMMUNICATION
14 September 2011
A speech by the VW The Grand Secretary Nigel Brown

 

Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master and Brethren,

Like it or not, we are in an age of electronic communication! The task I have been set today is to bring you up to date with how we are attempting to align ourselves to the new age of electronic communications in general and, specifically, to let you know about the exciting new members’ website.

First, I ask you all to cast your minds back twenty five years and just think for a moment, how many members of your mother lodge were using computers or, indeed, if the lodge secretary even possessed a computer!

How dramatically different it is today, and certainly since the mid 1990s? The internet has had a radical impact on culture and commerce, including the rise of near instant communications by electronic mail, instant messaging and the world wide web, with its discussion forums, blogs and social networking. The internet continues to grow, driven by even greater amounts of online information and knowledge.

Communication has changed radically in those twenty five years, as you know only too well from your own experience. One of the knock on effects for us is that the majority of our members now do communicate electronically and, what’s more, are expecting that to become the regular way to communicate with their lodges and, here with us, at the centre. With that in mind, I am reminded of the challenges we face: in aligning ourselves as closely as possible to that expectation. From a quote made by John Maynard Keynes, the eminent economist, who spearheaded a revolution in economic thinking, “the difficulty lies not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones”.

Two constant drivers to our thinking are: first, how best to communicate with our members so that they are both informed and feel included; second, how best to communicate with the non Masonic community so that we combat the myths and put correct inaccurate information about us out there, to be picked up by the increasing number of search engines.

Here is a flavour of what we are trying to achieve.

In 2009 the main UGLE website was re-launched. The driving force behind this was to provide information about the Craft for the non mason and, in particular, to attract potential candidates. It is also meant to be a public relations tool for people to understand more clearly what we are all about. That site has proved to be a great success, with an average of 30,000 visitors a month over the last six months; 58% of those coming via search engines; 25% through referral sites and the rest through direct traffic. However, as I stated earlier, this site, though very useful to existing members, was not designed for them specifically. On that understanding, the Board of General Purposes was minded to have a second site developed, dedicated to the membership. Let me be crystal clear! This site, as with the UGLE site, is an open site: no members; only sections; no logins and no passwords.

It is this website, the members’ site, that we have great pleasure in officially launching today. The platform is the old Freemasonry Today magazine site and we have maintained that website address, www.freemasonrytoday.com. The benefits of this site are, that it is article based, and it will include many more articles than we have space for in the printed magazine. In particular, it allows us to be timely with getting news to you and our response to real time events for, example, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis which, I know from experience you are, quite rightly, always keen to know what positive action we have taken say, through the British Red Cross, at a time when it really matters to the people on the ground. For example, if there is one of these natural disasters, we will publish our immediate response on the website, which will then be updated as required. In other words, you will no longer have to wait for the next edition of the magazine to be published.

The website now allows all members to submit articles for potential inclusion. These, in the first instance, go to the relevant Provincial or District Information Officer. He will have been briefed about the key part he has to play, and will make the judgement as to whether it merits inclusion, as well as making sure that the Provinces and Districts use articles for their own websites and magazines as appropriate. Having mentioned Information Officers, we have just called a halt to their intranet, largely because of a judgement in the High Court which resolved that permission must be obtained, from the publication itself, if media articles are to be reproduced online. Also because the members’ site will, in many constructive ways, naturally supersede it.

The state of the art software that we are using has the great advantage of allowing instant changes and updates. I believe that you will agree that one particularly useful aspect of the site is that it is going to allow us to conduct surveys and polls from amongst the membership and to gauge the pulse of members’ opinions on certain selected topics. Additionally, the current issue of each magazine will be available to view as a digital copy on the site, as well as back copies of the new version from issue fourteen and onwards. We have also selected articles of specific interest from copies before issue fourteen, the majority of which have now also been moved across on to the new site for your interest.

We realise that many members, especially younger members, prefer to read the magazine digitally, rather than receive the printed copy. With this in mind, we have now added a digital subscription facility so that members, who wish to, will receive an email alert when each new edition is available on the site. This digital subscription is also available to non - members.

We are also extremely pleased with the number of lodges now launching their own websites and seeking a UGLE Charter Mark; a mark of Grand Lodge approval. The sheer number of lodges, to give you an idea, is around one hundred at any given time. Applying for a charter mark has meant that we have a backlog, as we carefully check each one for technical and Masonic compliance, as well as suggesting possible improvements. To overcome this backlog we have updated the UGLE guidelines for lodge websites to greater reflect the ever changing online landscape. Indeed, let us not forget members’ increased abilities. In particular, we are now happy for sites to be launched, publicised and used as soon as the Province or District is happy that they comply with the guidelines. The charter mark will subsequently follow, meaning that lodges are not inconvenienced any more. At the same time we can still, importantly, maintain the rigour of our checks and, most importantly, the critical check for Masonic accuracy. The last thing any of us want is to allow a site to perpetuate the myths. We do also check through sites to make sure it really does work as it was planned. I am glad to report that we are starting to get good feedback from applying lodges about this new improved service.

Brethren, we have several other sites, but I am not going to talk about them today as time does not allow. So I will not be talking about the excellent new university scheme website, backing a hugely successful initiative. Nor will I, therefore, be talking about the four Masonic charity websites, so ably underpinning our freemasonry cares ethic. Nor the Library and Museum and Letchworth's shop sites or, tempting though it is, the pilot mentors’ website that we are currently working on and that will, in time, prove to be a fantastic tool kit for our budding mentors.

I would like to take this opportunity to mention that, on the business side, the members of the Board of General Purposes and the Grand Secretary are constantly looking at the efficiency of our business: dealing with a huge membership organisation to see that it is ‘fit for purpose’. Amongst other business practices, and relevant to what I am saying today, we are about to look at, in particular, the electronic submission of forms and a timely look at electronic payments. We believe, and I know first hand from travelling extensively in the Provinces and overseas, that this will not only help the Provinces but will be most welcomed by our Districts.

Brethren, we live in exciting times. I trust that this brief taster gives you more of an idea of what we are trying to achieve with our electronic communication initiatives, all of them supporting our policy of openness, and the importance we attach to this area. Specifically, on behalf of the Strategic Communications Committee and the Board of General Purposes, we all trust that you find the new members’ website both useful and interesting, from this memorable official launch day forth, as it successfully evolves over the many years to come.

Published in UGLE

QUARTERLY COMMUNICATION OF GRAND LODGE

14 SEPTEMBER 2011

REPORT OF THE BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES

 

Board of General Purposes

The Board of General Purposes will meet in 2012 on 14 February, 20 March, 15 May, 17 July, 18 September and 13 November.

 

Attendance at lodges under the English Constitution by Brethren from other Grand Lodges

The Board draws attention to Rule 125 (b), Book of Constitutions, and the list of Grand Lodges recognised by the UGLE, published in the Masonic Year Book, copies of which are sent to lodge secretaries.

Only Brethren who are members of lodges under recognised jurisdictions may visit English lodges. They must produce a certificate (i.e. a Grand Lodge certificate or other documentary proof of masonic identity provided by their Grand Lodge), should be prepared to acknowledge that a personal belief in TGAOTU is an essential Landmark in Freemasonry, and should be able to produce evidence of their good standing in their lodges. It is the Master’s responsibility to ensure that the requirements of Rule 125 (b) are met.

It is particularly noted that the hazard of admitting a member of an unrecognised constitution arises not only in connection with overseas visitors (or individuals resident in this country who belong to an unrecognised constitution overseas). There are Lodges of unrecognised constitutions meeting in England, and care must be taken that their members are not admitted to our meetings.

 

Attendance at Lodges Overseas

The continuing growth in overseas travel brings with it an increase in visits by our Brethren to lodges of other jurisdictions, and the Board welcomes this trend. From time to time, however, Brethren become involved with masonic bodies which Grand Lodge does not recognise, e.g. in visiting a jurisdiction which, quite legitimately so far as it is concerned, accepts as visitors Brethren from Grand Lodges which are not recognised by the UGLE.

In this connection, Brethren are reminded that it is part of their duty as members of the English Constitution not to associate masonically with members of unrecognised constitutions, and should such a situation occur, they should tactfully withdraw, even though their visit may have been formally arranged.

To avoid this danger, and potential embarrassment to hosts, Brethren should not attempt to make any masonic contact overseas without having first checked (preferably in writing) with the Grand Secretary’s Office at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ, that there is recognised Freemasonry in the country concerned and, if so, whether there is any particular point which should be watched.

The Board recommends that the terms of this warning should be repeated verbally in open lodge whenever a Grand Lodge Certificate is presented, and in print once a year in a lodge’s summons.

Brethren should also be aware of the masonic convention that communications between Grand Lodges be conducted by Grand Secretaries. They should therefore not attempt without permission to make direct contact with the Grand Secretary of another Constitution. This does not preclude direct contact on a purely personal level between individual Brethren under different Grand Lodges.

 

Grande Loge Nationale Française

At the June Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge the President made a statement relating to the turbulence existing in the Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF) and indicated that the Board would continue to monitor the situation closely.

The Board regrets that the situation within the GLNF has deteriorated. Notwithstanding the letter its current Grand Master wrote to our Pro Grand Master, he failed to relinquish his mandate on 27 June. This has done nothing to ease the discord.

Some 600 lodges or more have dissociated themselves from the Grand Lodge or have indicated that they will be doing so. This means that their members, unless they have dual membership with lodges that remain under the GLNF or a lodge in another jurisdiction with whom this Grand Lodge is in amity, would cease to be able to visit our lodges. It would be an impossible task for our lodges to know which French masons could visit us and which could not.

Harmony within lodges and with fellow masons has always been one of the customs and usages of Freemasonry. This is a fundamental principle urged upon candidates at their initiation. Indeed, it is so fundamental that it has never been considered necessary to enshrine it as a Rule in the Book of Constitutions, though the Antient Charges which are published as a part of the Book of Constitutions urge the cultivation of brotherly love, ‘avoiding all wrangling and quarrelling, all slander and backbiting’.

The Board considers that the GLNF may be in breach of paragraph 8 of the Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition –‘That the principles of the Antient Landmarks, customs, and usages of the Craft shall be strictly observed’ – which are also included with the Book of Constitutions.

The evidence of substantial disharmony within the GLNF is overwhelming. However, the Board is reluctant at present to recommend withdrawal of recognition from a Grand Lodge with which the UGLE has been in amity for nearly 100 years. It therefore recommends that with immediate effect relations with the GLNF be suspended, that is to say that:

1. Our Brethren should no longer be permitted to join or to visit Lodges under the GLNF; and

2. Our lodges should no longer be permitted to elect as a joining member or admit as a visitor any Brother who is a subscribing member of a lodge under the GLNF, unless he is also a subscribing member of a lodge under UGLE or under a Grand Lodge, other than the GLNF, recognised by UGLE.

This suspension would not force any of our Brethren who are currently also members of lodges under the GLNF to resign from any such lodges, nor would it prevent such Brethren from continuing to exercise, as members of lodges under the GLNF, such rights, including those of visiting, as they enjoy under the GLNF.

A Resolution to give effect was approved.

The Board hopes that it will not be too long before harmony is restored within the GLNF so that we may resume normal relations with our Brethren in France.

 

Amalgamation

Sir James Martin Lodge No. 4255 has resolved to surrender its Warrant in order to amalgamate with Semper Vigilans Lodge No. 3040 (London).

A resolution that the lodge be removed from the register in order to effect the amalgamation was approved.

 

Erasure of Lodges

The Board had received a report that 23 lodges had closed and have surrendered their Warrants. The lodges are: Athenaeum Lodge No. 1491 (London), Lombardian Lodge No. 2348 (London); King George V Lodge No. 3529 (East Lancashire), Providence Lodge No. 3697 (London), Doric Lodge No. 4073 (Yorkshire, West Riding), St Helen’s Lodge of Integrity No. 4151 (West Lancashire), Portman Lodge No. 4747 (London), Pandora Lodge, No. 4966 (London), Winckley Lodge No. 5438 (West Lancashire), Woodland Lodge No. 5478 (East Lancashire), Estreham Lodge No. 5494 (London), Eureka Lodge No. 5505 (East Lancashire), Temple of Friendship Lodge No. 5886 (Surrey), Magnum Bonum Lodge No. 6613 (London), Fellowship and Peace Lodge No. 7002 (London), Hackney Brook Lodge No. 7397 (London), New Era Lodge No. 7400 (Hertfordshire), Teddington St Mary’s Lodge No. 7469 (Middlesex), Brookmans Park Lodge No. 7655 (Hertfordshire), Summa Petens Lodge No. 7682 (London), Tavistock Lodge No. 8376 (Surrey), Bi-Centenary Lodge of Nottinghamshire No. 9070 (Nottinghamshire) and Star and Phoenix Lodge No. 9286 (London).

The Board recommendation that they be erased was approved.

In 1993 a Warrant was granted for Lodge of Shankar No. 9526 (Bombay) and in 1996 a Warrant was granted for Universal Lodge No. 9644 (Guyana). Both Warrants were issued, but neither lodge has been, or is now likely to be, consecrated.

The Board recommendation that the lodges be formally erased was approved.

 

Masonic Communications in an Electronic Age

The Grand Secretary gave a talk to Grand Lodge on the above subject.

 

List of Approved New Lodges

28 April 2011: No. 9866 Abuja Lodge, Abuja, Nigeria and No. 9867 The Leeds Lodge, Leeds Yorkshire, West Riding.

 

Expulsions from the Craft

Twelve members have been expelled from the Craft.

 

Quarterly Communication meetings

The Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge will meet on 14 December 2011, 14 March 2012, 25 April 2012 (Annual Investiture), 13 June 2012, 12 September 2012 and 12 December 2012.

 

Supreme Grand Chapter meetings 

The Supreme Grand Chapter will meet on 9 November 2011, 26 April 2012 and 14 November 2012.

 

Report of the Council of the Library and Museum Charitable Trust for the year ended 31 January 2011

The Library and Museum of Freemasonry at Freemasons’ Hall in London is open to the public, free of charge, Monday to Friday 10 am–5 pm. The book, object and archive collections are available for the enjoyment of visitors of all ages by way of the permanent displays and increasing online resources which are also available for those who cannot visit in person. Temporary exhibitions highlight aspects of the collections.

During 2010 the Library and Museum organised two exhibitions: Freemasons and the Royal Society and The Masonic Emporium. Both exhibitions drew extensively on the Library and Museum’s own collections.

The Royal Society exhibition marked the 350th anniversary of its founding. Work related to the exhibition resulted in the online publication of a searchable biographical listing of nearly 400 Freemasons who were also Fellows of the Society. Loans to the exhibition were made by Alma Mater Lodge, No. 1492, in Cambridge. The Royal Society provided images from their collections.

In The Masonic Emporium the Library and Museum explored the growth of a commercial market for masonic items and the businesses which developed to supply it in the 19th century. The exhibition was supported by Toye, Kenning and Spencer, who kindly lent photographs and documents from their archives and specimen items from the manufacturing process. A number of objects were lent from private collections. A free illustrated exhibition guide was published for this exhibition.

Tours 

A record number of more than 30,000 visited the Library and Museum during the year (2009–2010: 25,622) of whom approximately 60% were not Freemasons. For many visitors the highlight was the tour of the ceremonial areas provided by Library and Museum staff. The Library and Museum and the ceremonial rooms of Freemasons’ Hall were opened on Saturday, 18 September 2010 for London Open House. More than 2,500 visitors were received that day.

Provision of research resources

Increasing use is being made of the Library and Museum as a research resource with over 170 new readers registered during the year (2010: 200). The issue of books and documents has continued to increase steadily. Many enquiries are dealt with by mail or increasingly electronically.

A new version of the Library and Museum website was launched in November 2010 designed with easier navigation and with more images to convey the variety of the collections. This provided the opportunity to reissue the series of downloadable Information Sheets on a range of frequently requested topics. Also included on the site is guidance for lodges and chapters about the care of their records.

Cataloguing

Good progress continued to be made with over 650 museum items catalogued (2010: 509). This included the collection of 18th century plated and pierced metal Masonic jewels. In addition, 2,755 books (2010: 4,810) and 1,835 detailed archive records (2010: 1,385) were added to the catalogue. Work has continued on cataloguing the print and photograph collection and over 1,500 images are now available.

Conservation

Following the Historical Records Survey which was undertaken in 2008–2010, the Library and Museum co-ordinated a grant scheme to support conservation work on lodge and chapter records. The scheme attracted 35 applications from lodges and chapters in 18 Provinces and 12 grants were made. It is intended to administer a similar grants scheme in 2011. Library and Museum staff also gave several presentations at Provincial offices on conservation.

Acquisitions

Donations of regalia, books and artefacts have continued to enable the Library and Museum to expand its collections and the Council is grateful for the generosity of all donors.

Raising awareness of the Collections

Members of staff spoke at lodges around the country and at meetings of family history societies and local and specialist history groups. The Curator, Mark Dennis, presented a paper on masonic regalia at the International Costume Conference in Athens in April.

Director Diane Clements and Archivist and Records Manager Susan Snell, presented papers at the Women and Freemasonry conference organised by the University of Bordeaux in May and these will be published in 2011-2012.

Susan Snell also spoke to the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain and gave a paper to the British Records Association conference in December on Masonic charity.

In November 2010 a joint event, Freemasonry and Ancient Egypt, was run with the Petrie Museum at University College, London. Due to the success of this event it was repeated early in 2011.

Plans for future periods

One of the most important resources used by the Library and Museum are the membership registers maintained by UGLE for the century or so after the 1880s. These exist as unique volumes. During 2011 the Library and Museum is undertaking a project to microfilm these volumes to assist with their future preservation.

For 2011 the temporary exhibition programme will include Building Solomon’s Temple and The Patriot Freemason: Freemasonry in American Society. Work continues on documentation, cataloguing and re-storage.

Financial Review

As at 31 January 2011 the consolidated net assets of the Library and Museum Charitable Trust were £2,719,700 (2010: £2,634,699).

The activities of the Library and Museum are funded by donations, fees charged for genealogical research and booking fees for Saturday tours. The Friends of the Library and Museum established in 2001 enables individuals (whether Freemasons or not), lodges and chapters to support the Library and Museum by way of an annual subscription.

Friends receive regular Newsletters and can attend special events. The Friends scheme is open to all those interested in developing their understanding of the varied collections of the Library and Museum and who wish to contribute to their development and care.

The Library and Museum’s trading subsidiary, Letchworth’s (Freemasons’ Hall, London) Limited made a Gift Aid contribution to the Library and Museum of £92,202 (2010: £75,740).

This Report comprises extracts from the Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 January 2011. For a copy of the full Annual Report and Accounts please write to the Director.

Published in UGLE
QUARTERLY COMMUNICATION OF GRAND LODGE
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES
WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2011

The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of 9 March 2011 and of the Annual Investiture of 27 April 2011 were confirmed.

The Board has said goodbye with regret to David Jenkins, Past Provincial Grand Master of Somerset, who has served as a member since July 2003. The Grand Master has appointed Michael Penny, Provincial Grand Master for Devonshire, to succeed him.

ANNUAL DUES
The Board recommended that the annual dues (including VAT) payable to Grand Lodge in
respect of each member of every Lodge for the year 2012 shall be:
In a Lodge in England and Wales that is unattached . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£46.50
In a Lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £28.00
In a Lodge in a District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £6.80
In a Lodge abroad not in a District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £11.50
The recommendation was approved.

FEES
The Board recommended that the fees (exclusive of VAT) payable for registration, certificates
and dispensations should be increased in line with inflation to:
(a) the Registration of :
1. A Grand Officer, present or past, on first appointment. . . . . . . . £103.00
2. A Deputy or Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master or a
Metropolitan Grand Inspector) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                            £57.00
3. A Deputy or Assistant Provincial or District Grand Master ........  £57.00
4. A holder of Overseas Grand Rank . . . . . . . . . . . .                        £22.00
5. A Mason, inclusive of Grand Lodge Certificate (initiation,
or joining from a Lodge not under the Grand Lodge)
In a Lodge in England and Wales that is unattached . . . . . . . .        £57.00
In a Lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province  . . . . . . . . . . .        £50.00
In a Lodge in a District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         £31.00
In a Lodge abroad not under a District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        £43.00
(b) the replacement or amendment of a Grand Lodge Certificate . . £56.00
(c) a certificate for a Serving Brother . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   £31.00
(d) a Dispensation by the Grand Master . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  £29.00
a Dispensation by the Grand Master “nunc pro tunc” . . . . . . . . . . .  £58.00
A Resolution to this effect was approved.

CONTRIBUTION TO THE GRAND CHARITY
It was recommended that for 2012 the annual contribution be raised to £15 in respect of each member of a Lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province, or in England and Wales that is unattached.
A Resolution to this effect was approved.

PRESTONIAN LECTURES
2010: Music in Masonry and Beyond
The Lecturer, W W.B. Warlow, has informed the Board that in addition to the four official deliveries to Lathom Lodge, No. 2229 (West Lancashire), Guildhall School of Music Lodge, No. 2454 (London), Old Wycombiensian Lodge, No. 6754 (Buckinghamshire) and Proscenium Lodge,No. 9059 (South Wales), the Lecture was also delivered on 13 other occasions as well as to the Sheffield Masonic Study Circle. Overseas deliveries were made in New York and Toronto. The Board expressed its thanks to Bro Warlow for the considerable time and effort he has spent in this connection.

2011: Was Sir Christopher Wren a Freemason?
The Prestonian Lecturer for 2011 is Dr J.W.P. Campbell, Five official Prestonian Lectures for 2011 have been or will be given under the auspices of Isaac Newton University Lodge, No. 859 (Cambridgeshire), Christopher Wren Lodge, No. 4855 (Berkshire), Archibald Campbell Lodge, No. 4998 (Madras), Alphin Lodge, No. 8461 (East Lancashire) and Metropolitan Grand Stewards’ Lodge, No. 9812 (London).

2012: A.D.G. Harvey has been appointed as Prestonian Lecturer for 2012. The title of his Lecture will be Scouting and Freemasonry: two parallel organisations?
Arrangements for the delivery of the Lectures to selected Lodges will be considered by the Board in November and applications are now invited from Lodges. Applications should be made to the Grand Secretary, through Metropolitan, Provincial or District Grand Secretaries.
The Board emphasise the importance of these, the only Lectures held under the authority of the Grand Lodge. It is, therefore, hoped that applications for the privilege of having one of these official Lectures will be made only by Lodges which are prepared to afford facilities for all Freemasons in their area, as well as their own members, to participate and thus ensure an attendance worthy of the occasion.

RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN GRAND LODGES
The Grand Lodge of Cameroon
The Grand Lodge of Cameroon was formed on 15 September 2001 from four Lodges which comprised the District Grand Lodge of Cameroon under the National Grand Lodge of France.

The Grand Lodge of the Most Serene Republic of San Marino
On 3 April 2003 the Grand Lodge of the Most Serene Republic of San Marino was consecrated by the Grand Orient of Italy from three Lodges meeting there. Although the Grand Orient of Italy is no longer recognised by this Grand Lodge we have publicly stated that we accept that its Lodges are working regularly.

The Grand Lodge of Ukraine
The Grand Lodge of Ukraine was jointly formed from five Lodges on 24 September 2005, by the Grand Lodge of Austria and the National Grand Lodge of France.
Having shown that they have regular decendency and that they conform to the Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition, the Board, having no reason to believe that they will not continue to maintain a regular path, recommended that these three Grand Lodges be recognised. The recommendations were approved.

AMALGAMATIONS
Six Lodges had surrendered their Warrants in order to effect amalgamations and a proposal from the
Board that they be removed from the register in order to effect the respective amalgamations was approved.

ERASURE OF LODGES
The Board had received a report that 33 Lodges had closed and surrendered their Warrants. Over recent years, the Lodges had found themselves no longer viable. The Board recommendation that they be erased was approved.

EXPULSIONS
Two Brethren were recently expelled from the Craft.

Grand Lodge Accounts 2010
The Audited Accounts of Grand Lodge for the year ended 31 December 2010 were approved.

Election of Grand Lodge Auditors
Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP were reappointed as auditors of Grand Lodge.

LIST OF NEW LODGES FOR WHICH WARRANTS HAVE BEEN GRANTED
Allegoria Lodge No. 9865 ((Limassol, Cyprus) from 9 March 2011.

QUARTERLY COMMUNICATIONS OF GRAND LODGE
14 December 2011, 14 March 2012, 25 April 2012 (Annual Investiture), 13 June 2012 and 12 September 2012.

CONVOCATIONS OF SUPREME GRAND CHAPTER
9 November 2011, 26 April 2012 and 14 November 2012
Published in UGLE
Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge
Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of 8 September 2010 were confirmed.

Nomination of a Grand Master for the ensuing year: HRH The Duke of Kent was nominated as Grand Master for the ensuing year.

ANNUAL INVESTITURE OF GRAND OFFICERS – 27 APRIL 2011

So that sufficient accommodation can be reserved for those Brethren who are to be invested and their friends, admission to the Annual Investiture is by ticket only. Brethren to be invested for the first time may invite to be present with them three qualified Brethren, and those to be promoted two qualified Brethren.
     Written application for these seats may be made to the Grand Secretary between 1 March and 31 March by Brethren qualified to attend the Grand Lodge: Past Grand Officers, Masters, Wardens (not Past Wardens) and Past Masters qualified under Rule 9 of the Book of Constitutions.
     Applications should state clearly the name, address and lodge of the Brother concerned and under which of the four categories mentioned his application is made. If necessary, a ballot for the allocation of seats will be held in early April.

MONACO

Port of Hercules Lodge, No. 4626 has met in Monte Carlo since its consecration in 1924 as an unattached Lodge overseas under the direct jurisdiction of the Grand Master. In September of this year it voted unanimously to combine with lodges under the National Grand Lodge of France and the United Grand Lodges of Germany to participate in forming a Grand Lodge of Monaco. It is intended that the Pro Grand Master will inaugurate the new Grand Lodge of Monaco on Saturday, 19 February 2011.
     By the time this Grand Lodge meets in March 2011, the Grand Lodge of Monaco will have been in existence for some weeks. The Board recommended that, as in similar cases recently, the new Grand Lodge be recognised from the moment of its creation, rather than after a delay, even if this is less than a month.
     A Resolution that recognition of the new Grand Lodge, conditional upon its being constituted, be granted, was approved.

MASONIC YEAR BOOK

The next edition of the Masonic Year Book, 2011–2012, will be available next summer. The charge remains at £12 per copy, plus postage and packing where appropriate. It is not proposed to produce a new edition of the Directory of Lodges and Chapters during 2011. Copies of the current edition are still available from Letchworth’s shop.
     Every Lodge will receive one copy of the Masonic Year Book free of charge. The Board emphasises that these copies should be available to all the members of private lodges and not regarded as for the exclusive use of the secretary to whom, for administrative reasons, they are dispatched. As in previous years copies will be dispatched direct to secretaries of lodges. Sufficient copies will be dispatched to District Grand Secretaries for distribution to lodges in the Districts.
     Lodges abroad not in a District will receive their copies direct.

PRESTONIAN LECTURES FOR 2011

The Board has considered applications for the delivery of the official Prestonian Lectures in 2011 and has decided that these should be given under the auspices of the following: Isaac Newton University Lodge, No. 859 (Cambridgeshire), Christopher Wren Lodge, No. 4855 (Berkshire), Archibald Campbell Lodge, No. 4998 (Madras) and Metropolitan Grand Stewards’ Lodge, No. 9812 (London).
     The lecturer, Dr. J.W.P Campbell, states that the title of the lecture will be Was Sir Christopher Wren a Freemason?

AMALGAMATIONS

The following lodges had resolved to surrender their Warrants: Borough Lodge, No. 1064, in order to amalgamate with Ashlar Lodge, No. 4858 (East Lancashire); Saint Alphege Lodge, No. 1431, in order to amalgamate with Lodge of Hope, No. 4436 (Warwickshire); Elizabethan Lodge, No. 7278, in order to amalgamate with Molesey Lodge, No. 2473 (Surrey); Unity and Friendship Lodge, No. 8224, and Temple of Harrow Lodge, No. 8287, in order to amalgamate with Harrow Lodge, No. 1310 (Middlesex) and Runshaw Lodge, No. 8537, in order to amalgamate with Euxton Lodge, No. 7192 (West Lancashire).
     A Resolution that the lodges be removed from the register in order to effect the respective amalgamations was approved.

ERASURE OF LODGES

The Board had received reports on an unusually large number of lodges that had either formally closed or had not met for a substantial number of years, and had surrendered their Warrants. The lodges are: Star Lodge, No. 1275 (West Kent), Ashton Lodge, No. 1140 (West Lancashire), Kilburn Lodge, No. 1608 (London), Northern Bar Lodge, No. 1610 (London), Penge Lodge, No. 1815 (London), Montague Guest Lodge, No. 1900 (London), Londonderry Lodge, No. 2039 (Durham), Rocky Park Lodge, No. 2252 (South Africa, Eastern Division), Woodgrange Lodge, No. 2409 (London), Longsight Lodge, No. 2464 (East Lancashire). Perseverance Lodge, No. 2628 (South Africa, Eastern Division). United Wards Lodge, No. 2987 (London), Manchester Bon Accord Lodge, No. 4025 (East Lancashire), Pennine Lodge, No. 4177 (Yorkshire, West Riding), Rhetoric Lodge, No. 4265 (London), Hampdenian Lodge, No. 4290 (London), St Luke’s with Old Masonians Lodge, No. 4294 (East Lancashire), Hardy Lodge, No. 4628 (West Lancashire), Deptford Lodge, No. 4847 (London), Cloisters Lodge, No. 4944 (London), Asbestos Lodge, No. 5201 (Zimbabwe), Libra Lodge, No. 5333 (East Lancashire). Marlborough Lodge, No. 5335 (Cheshire), Towneley Lodge, No. 5589 (East Lancashire), Confraternity Lodge, No. 5825 (London), Ravensfield Lodge, No. 5833 (Middlesex), Surrey Downs Lodge, No. 5851 (Surrey), Edgeley Grange Lodge, No. 5863 (Cheshire), Lodge of Serenity, No. 5917 (East Lancashire), Lodge of St George, No. 5926 (Cheshire), Quest Lodge, No. 5969 (East Lancashire), Turton Lodge, No. 6232 (East Lancashire), Old Stopfordians’ Lodge, No. 6255 (Cheshire), Galen Lodge, No. 6366 (South Wales), Wrekendike Lodge, No. 6401 (Durham), Harmony Lodge, No. 6470 (South Africa, North), Star of Friendship Lodge, No. 6496 (West Kent). Lodge of St Christopher, No. 6796 (Cheshire), Woodford Wells Lodge, No. 6929 (London), De Merlay Lodge, No. 7008 (Northumberland), Smithills with Rectitude Lodge, No. 7068 (East Lancashire), Wickham Court Lodge, No. 7084 (West Kent), Beulah Spa Lodge, No. 7138 (Surrey), Tranquillity Lodge, No. 7287 (Zambia), Derwent Lodge, No. 7402 (Surrey), * Goswell Lodge, No. 7450 (London), Imperial Lodge of Chislehurst, No. 7822 (West Kent), Lodge of the Cardinal Virtues, No. 8270 (West Lancashire), Fidelis Lodge, No. 8688 (East Lancashire) and Regency Lodge, No. 9434 (London).
     A Resolution to erase these lodges was approved.
     Additionally, Castle Garth Lodge, No. 7574, was erased on 22 August 2010 on disciplinary grounds following a recommendation by the Provincial Grand Master for Northumberland, which was confirmed by an Appeals Court.

QUARTERLY COMMUNICATION

The Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge will be held on 9 March 2011, 8 June 2011, 14 September 2011, 14 December 2011 and 14 March 2012. The Annual Investiture of Grand Officers will take place on 27 April 2011.
Published in UGLE
Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge
8 September 2010

The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge of 9 June 2010 were confirmed.

Board of General Purposes
Meetings in 2011: The Board will meet on 8 February, 15 March, 10 May, 19 July, 20 September and 15 November.

Attendance at Lodges under the English Constitution by Brethren from other Grand Lodges
The Board considers it appropriate to draw attention to Rule 125 (b), Book of Constitutions, and the list of Grand Lodges recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England, which is published in the Masonic Year Book, copies of which are sent to lodge secretaries.
     Only Brethren who are members of lodges under recognised jurisdictions may visit English lodges. They must produce a certificate, i.e. a Grand Lodge Certificate or other documentary proof of masonic identity provided by their Grand Lodge, should be prepared to acknowledge that a personal belief in TGAOTU is an essential landmark in Freemasonry, and should be able to produce evidence of their good standing in their lodges.
     It is the Master’s responsibility to ensure that the requirements of Rule 125 (b) are met. It is particularly noted that the hazard of admitting a member of an unrecognised constitution arises not only in connection with overseas visitors or individuals resident in this country who belong to an unrecognised constitution overseas. There are lodges of unrecognised constitutions meeting in England, and care must be taken that their members are not admitted to our meetings.

Attendance at Lodges Overseas
The continuing growth in overseas travel brings with it an increase in visits by our Brethren to lodges of other jurisdictions, and the Board welcomes this trend. From time to time, however, Brethren become involved with masonic bodies which Grand Lodge does not recognise, e.g. in visiting a jurisdiction which, quite legitimately so far as it is concerned, accepts as visitors Brethren from Grand Lodges that are not recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England.
     In this connection, Brethren are reminded that it is part of their duty as members of the English Constitution not to associate masonically with members of unrecognised constitutions, and should such a situation occur, they should tactfully withdraw, even though their visit may have been formally arranged.
     To avoid this danger, and potential embarrassment to hosts, Brethren should not attempt to make any masonic contact overseas without having first checked, preferably in writing, with the Grand Secretary’s Office at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ, that there is recognised Freemasonry in the country concerned and, if so, whether there is any particular point which should be watched.
     The Board recommends that the terms of this warning should be repeated verbally in open lodge whenever a Grand Lodge Certificate is presented, and in print once a year in a lodge’s summons.
     Brethren should also be aware of the masonic convention that communications between Grand Lodges be conducted by Grand Secretaries. They should therefore not attempt without permission to make direct contact with the Grand Secretary of another Constitution. This does not preclude direct contact on a purely personal level between individual Brethren under different Grand Lodges.

Annual Dues in Lodges Abroad
Rule 269 of the Book of Constitutions provides that lower rates of annual dues shall be payable by lodges in districts and by lodges abroad not in districts, and that such dues are not to exceed fixed percentages of those paid by lodges in the Metropolitan Area of London or in provinces.
     The Board has considered the matter and has concluded that the great improvement in communications in recent years has led to more time at Freemasons’ Hall being spent on district matters than in former days when such matters had perforce to be dealt with locally. As a result, the percentages no longer reflect the true cost of administering Freemasonry in districts and other lodges overseas.
     It has been the Board’s policy for some years that the cost of administering English Freemasonry should be covered by the amounts levied each year in fees and dues, and it believes that this policy requires that the different categories of lodges should pay their way without excessive cross-subsidy.
     The Board is anxious to stress that it does not intend to recommend that lodges abroad should pay Grand Lodge dues at the same rate as lodges in London and provinces, but it does recommend that the present percentage cap on dues for lodges abroad be removed to enable their dues to be set at rates that more closely reflect the administrative costs attributable to them. A Notice of Motion to amend the Book of Constitutions accordingly appeared on the Paper of Business.

Installed Masters’ Work
The Board has been asked to give guidance on which parts of the Craft ritual allocated to the Worshipful Master may be performed by Master Masons and which may only be carried out by an Installed Master. It notes that it is becoming increasingly common for Brethren who have not yet reached the Chair to be invited to undertake part of the work.
     The Board considers that it is a matter for the Master, having regard to the custom of the individual lodge, to decide what arrangements should be made when allocating work to other Brethren. The Board, however, hopes that those portions of a ceremony that can properly be carried out by junior Brethren should not be allocated to them to the complete exclusion of Past Masters, and in particular of the more junior Past Masters, who having neither an office in the lodge nor an early prospect of receiving one may need to have their interest maintained.
     It therefore recommends that both the administration of the obligations and the communication of secrets be the preserve of those who have reached the Chair, and it hopes that the Grand Lodge will endorse the following list as comprising the work that must be performed by an Installed Master:
    the Ceremonies of Opening and Closing the Lodge;
    the Ceremony of Initiation down to the end of the entrustment of the candidate with the secrets of the degree;
    the Ceremony of Passing (including the test questions and the subsequent entrustment) down to the end of the entrustment of the candidate with the secrets of the degree;
    the Ceremony of Raising (including the test questions and the subsequent entrustment) down to the end of the main part of the Ceremony, the Traditional History (but not necessarily the explanation of the Tracing Board) and the communication of the full secrets; and
    the entire Ceremony of Installation, including the three Addresses, but excluding the Working Tools.

Amalgamation
The Board has received a report that Lillistone Manor Lodge, No. 8030, has resolved to surrender its warrant in order to amalgamate with Lodge of Finsbury, No. 861 (London). The Board accordingly recommended that the lodge be removed from the register in order to effect the amalgamation. A resolution to this effect was approved.

Erasure of Lodges
The Board has received a report that seven lodges have closed and have surrendered their warrants. The lodges are: Greater London Lodge, No. 2603 (London), Cestr Leasowe Lodge, No. 3761 (Cheshire), Sincerity and Service Lodge, No. 5096 (London), Wellington Lodge, No. 5248 (Cheshire), Kalahari Lodge, No. 5524 (South Africa, Central Division), Gateway of Friendship Lodge, No. 8363 (London) and John Stephenson Lecture Lodge, No. 9571 (Northumberland). A resolution to this effect was approved.

Expulsions
Thirteen Brethren were expelled from the Craft.

The Library and Museum of Freemasonry
A talk was given by Diane Clements, Director of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry.
Published in UGLE
Page 4 of 4

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