12 September 2012
United Grand Lodge of England has voted to withdraw recognition from Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF) with immediate effect.
A full statement will follow shortly.
At its Quarterly Communication in September 2011 the United Grand Lodge of England resolved that relations between it and the Grande Loge Nationale Française (“GLNF”) be suspended.
During the intervening months the situation within the GLNF has deteriorated rather than improved, and the continuing turbulence makes it impossible to determine the true state of affairs.
After long and careful consideration the Board of General Purposes will, in the absence of any dramatic change in circumstances, recommend in its Report to the September Communication of the Grand Lodge that it is in the best interests of the United Grand Lodge of England that recognition be withdrawn from the GLNF.
If that recommendation is accepted by Grand Lodge, a consequence will be that those members of Lodges under the United Grand Lodge of England who are currently also members of Lodges under the GLNF will be forced to choose whether to resign from all such Lodges or to resign from their Lodges under the UGLE.
13 June 2012
An address by the MW The Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes
I am pleased that we have had the opportunity today of acknowledging and celebrating, as Freemasons, the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen. Our association with members of the Royal family over the years has always been of great importance to us, not least the privilege of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent being our Grand Master.
We have already heard the address on ‘Royal Jubilees and Loyal Freemasons’ and most enjoyable it was, and also we have called off Grand Lodge for the Annual General Meeting of the Grand Charity. I feel that is quite sufficient for one day and I suspect you will be relieved to hear that you won’t be being detained by a further address by me.
So before welcoming our distinguished visitors it only remains for me to wish you all an enjoyable summer.
Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge
13 June 2012
Report of the Board of General Purposes
The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of 14 March 2012 and the Annual Investiture of 25 April 2012 were confirmed.
A Resolution was moved that the annual dues (including VAT) payable to Grand Lodge in respect of each member of every lodge for the year 2013 shall be:
In a lodge in England and Wales that is unattached ............................. £50
In a lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province .................................. £30
In a lodge in a District ............................................................................£7.50
In a lodge abroad not in a District ..........................................................£12.50
The Resolution was approved.
A Resolution was moved 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 ................... £106
2. A Deputy or Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master or a
Metropolitan Grand Inspector (under Rule 60) ............................... £59
3. A Deputy or Assistant Provincial or District Grand
Master (under Rule 66) .................................................................... £59
4. A holder of Overseas Grand Rank (under Rule 93) .......................... £23
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 ................... £59
In a Lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province ........................ £52
In a Lodge in a District ................................................................ £32
In a Lodge abroad not under a District ........................................ £44
(b) the replacement or amendment of a Grand Lodge Certificate .......... £58
(c) a certificate for a Serving Brother ..................................................... £32
(d) a Dispensation by the Grand Master ............................................... £30
a Dispensation by the Grand Master “nunc pro tunc” ............................. £60
The Resolution was approved.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE GRAND CHARITY
Under Rule 271, Book of Constitutions, Grand Lodge must fix each year the annual contribution that is payable to the Grand Charity. The Council of the Grand Charity had requested that for 2013 the annual contribution be increased to £16 in respect of each member of a lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province, or in England and Wales that is unattached.
The Resolution was approved.
2011: Was Sir Christopher Wren a Freemason?
The Lecturer, Dr J.W.P. Campbell, has informed the Board that in addition to the five official deliveries to 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), the Lecture was also delivered on eight other occasions throughout the Constitution. The Board expressed its thanks to Bro Campbell for the considerable time and effort he has spent in this connection.
2012: Scouting and Freemasonry: two parallel organisations?
The Prestonian Lecturer for 2012 is A.D.G. Harvey. Three official Prestonian Lectures for 2012 have been or will be given under the auspices of: Humber Installed Masters Lodge, No. 2494 (Yorkshire, North and East Ridings), Authors Lodge, No. 3456 (London) and North Notts Masters Lodge, No. 9525 (Nottinghamshire).
RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN GRAND LODGES
The Grand Lodge Oriental of Colombia “Francisco de Paula Santander”
The Grand Lodge Oriental of Colombia “Francisco de Paula Santander” was formed on 18 November 1945 from four lodges meeting in the region of Santander under the National Grand Lodge of Colombia, at Barranquilla, which is one of the four Colombian Grand Lodges currently recognised by the UGLE.
The Grand Lodge of los Andes
On 29 April 1972 the Grand Lodge of los Andes was formed by the Grand Lodge Oriental of Colombia “Francisco de Paula Santander”.
The four Colombian Grand Lodges already recognised by the UGLE together with the above two cover distinct geographical areas in Colombia and all share mutual recognition.
The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Nevada
The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Nevada was formed on 16 August 1980, from three lodges meeting in that State under the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Arizona, which was recognised by the UGLE on 11 September 2002. 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, recommends that these three Grand Lodges be recognised.
A Resolution to this effect was approved.
ERASURE OF LODGES
The Board had received a report that 18 lodges had closed and had surrendered their Warrants. The lodges are:
Lodge of Emulation, No. 1505 (West Lancashire), Greenwood Lodge, No. 1982 (Surrey), Carville Lodge, No. 2497 (Northumberland), King Edward VII Lodge, No. 2969 (South Africa, Western Division), Napier Clavering Lodge, No. 3428 (Northumberland), Raynes Park Lodge, No. 4377 (Surrey), London Staffordshire Lodge, No. 4474 (London), Continuity and Perpetua Lodge, No. 4651 (London), Lodge of Progress, No. 5017 (Hertfordshire), Camperdown Lodge, No. 5250 (Hertfordshire), City Centre Lodge, No. 5787 (London), Hinchley Wood Lodge, No. 5809 (Surrey), Noel Acacia Lodge, No. 5852 (Surrey), Keystone Lodge, No. 6173 (Warwickshire), Rosemary Lodge, No. 6421 (Northumberland), Riverside Lodge, No. 7247 (London), Allegiance Lodge, No. 7434 (Cheshire) and St Ambrose Lodge, No. 8251 (West Lancashire).
A Resolution that these lodges be erased was approved.
THE RULERS’ FORUM
A recent review of the Rulers’ Forum and consultation with Provincial Grand Masters has led to the conclusion that the Forum is not functioning as originally intended. By contrast, the Rulers’ Forum Groups have proved remarkably effective in promoting discussion across Provincial boundaries. After careful consideration, the Board recommended that the Rulers’ Forum be dissolved and that the Rulers’ Forum Groups be reconstituted on an informal basis.
It further recommended that the members of the Commission for Appeals Courts and certain members of the Panel for Clemency, who are currently elected by the Rulers’ Forum at its meeting in December, be appointed in future by the Grand Master from among Brethren nominated for appointment in the same manner as currently applies for election by the Rulers’ Forum.
A Notice of Motion to amend the Book of Constitutions accordingly appeared the Paper of Business.
LIST OF NEW LODGES
List of new lodges for which warrants have been granted by The Grand Master showing the dates from which their warrants became effective:
14 March 2012:
9870 Sir Adeyemo Alakija Lodge (Ebute Metta, Nigeria)
9871 Sussex Motorcycling Lodge (Southwick, Sussex)
9872 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Lodge (Ramsey, Isle of Man)
9873 Ghana District Grand Stewards Lodge (Accra, Ghana)
ADDRESS: DIAMOND JUBILEE OF HM QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Dr J W Daniel gave an address entitled Royal Jubilees and Loyal Freemasons.
Grand Lodge will meet on 12 September 2012, 12 December 2012, 13 March 2013, 24 April 2013 (Annual Investiture), 12 June 2013 and 11 September 2013.
SUPREME GRAND CHAPTER
Supreme Grand Chapter will meet on 14 November 2012, 25 April 2013 and 16 October 2013 (transferred from 13 November by resolution of Grand Chapter).
QUARTERLY COMMUNICATION OF GRAND LODGE
WEDNESDAY, 14 MARCH 2012
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES
The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of 14 December 2011 were confirmed.
HRH The Duke of Kent KG was unanimously re-elected Grand Master.
GRAND LODGE REGISTER 2002–2011
The tables below show the number of lodges on the Register and of Certificates issued during the past ten years.
Lodges on the Grand Lodge Register
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
London 1,581 1,570 1,556 1,552 1,532 1,489 1,458 1,433 1,397 1,374
Provincial 6,231 6,212 6,170 6,130 6,075 5,996 5,900 5,840 5,774 5,694
District and Abroad 793 791 787 784 782 768 736 731 722 724
Total 8,605 8,573 8,513 8,466 8,389 8,253 8,094 8,004 7,893 7,792
Grand Lodge Certificates Issued 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Issued at Freemasons' Hall 8,116 8,106 7,953 8,092 7,336 7,490 7,539 7,538 7,078 7,391
Issued by District Grand Masters 817 790 450 770 763 613 695 753 478 698
Total 8,933 8,896 8,403 8,862 8,099 8,103 8,234 8,291 7,556 8,089
COMMISSION FOR APPEALS COURTS
The following have been elected by the Rulers' Forum as Members of the Commission for Appeals Courts, with effect from the Annual Investiture of Grand Officers, for 2012 to 2015:
J.R. Bevan (South Wales), C.G.A. Aylwin (London), P.J. Rodd (East Kent), S.S. Howarth, (London), J.K. McLauchlan (Leicestershire and Rutland), C.C. Hodson (Nottinghamshire),
A.R.P.A. Ullstein, QC (London) and R.A. Bayliss (Surrey).
Additionally, His Honour Judge D.E.H. Edwards DL, has been elected to serve until 2014, filling the vacancy caused by the appointment of G.G. Dearing as Provincial Grand Master for East Kent.
PANEL FOR CLEMENCY
The following Brethren have been elected by the Rulers' Forum to serve on the Panel for Clemency, with effect from the Annual Investiture of Grand Officers, in addition to the President and Deputy President of the Board of General Purposes:
M.B. Davies, J. Gillyon, W.C.M. Dastur, R.B. Pemberton, D.H. Lane and .J. Burger.
3.4 Notice of Motion to amend the Book of Constitutions to introduce the office of Mentor was given at the Quarterly Communication in December 2011. The Notice of Motion included a description of the jewel, but no illustration was at that time available. The Board has now considered the design of the jewel, as follows:
HALL STONE JEWELS
Two versions of the Hall Stone Jewel issued to reward donations to the Masonic Million Memorial Fund, established to finance the building of the present Freemasons' Hall as a Masonic Peace Memorial are in common circulation: the individual subscriber's breast jewel, 1½" wide, in silver, engraved with the name and lodge of the Brother, which is suspended from a dark blue ribbon; and the Hall Stone Lodge Jewel, 17⁄8" wide, in silver gilt, engraved with the name and number of the lodge and date of its presentation in the Grand Lodge, which is appended to a light blue collarette, as prescribed in Plate 58 of the Book of Constitutions.
Very few Brethren indeed are left who are entitled to wear the small individual jewels, and those jewels now appear to be regarded as collectable items, which are traded quite regularly. The Board sees nothing objectionable in this.
The Lodge Hall Stone Jewels were presented to qualifying lodges by the Grand Master to mark the contributions those lodges had made. They were not, however, bought by those Lodges, and have always been the property of the Grand Master, to be returned, along with the Warrant and lodge's records if the lodge ceased to exist. Such returned Jewels have then been available as a source of replacements where a Hall Stone Lodge has lost – whether through theft, accident or otherwise – its original Jewel.
The Board is concerned both at the frequency with which Lodge Hall Stone Jewels have recently been offered for sale over the internet, and that former members of certain lodges which have been erased have refused to return the Hall Stone Jewel despite repeated requests that they do so.
The Board therefore recommends that the Grand Lodge place the matter beyond argument by declaring that a Lodge Hall Stone Jewel remains the property of the Grand Master and must be delivered up along with the Warrant if the Lodge is erased.
CHARGES FOR WARRANTS
In accordance with the provisions of Rule 270A, Book of Constitutions, the Board has considered the costs of preparing the actual documents specified in this Rule and recommends that for the year commencing 1 April 2012 the charges (exclusive of VAT) shall be as follows:
(a) Warrant for a new Lodge .......................................................... £320
(b) Warrant of Confirmation ........................................................... £800
(c) Warrant for a Centenary Jewel .................................................. £480
(d) Warrant of Confirmation for a Centenary Jewel ........................... £690
(e) Warrant for a Bi-Centenary Bar ................................................. £735
(f) Warrant of Confirmation for a Bi-Centenary Bar ........................... £735
(g) Certificate of Amalgamation ....................................................... £80
(h) Enfacement (Alterations) Fee ...................................................... £110
ERASURE OF LODGES
The Board has received a report that 35 lodges have closed and have surrendered their Warrants. The lodges are:
Ancient Union and Princes Lodge, No. 203 (West Lancashire), Blair Lodge, No. 815 (East Lancashire), Mayo Lodge, No. 1413 (Middlesex), Musgrave Lodge, No. 1597 (Middlesex),
Leopold Lodge, No. 1775 (East Lancashire), St Oswin Lodge, No. 2327 (Northumberland),
Willesden Lodge, No. 2489 (London), Friendship and Fellowship Lodge, No. 3333 (Cheshire), Gaddesden Lodge, No. 3398 (Hertfordshire), Chatsworth Lodge, No. 3430 (Derbyshire), Evening Star Lodge, No. 3644 (Cheshire), Cardiff Exchange Lodge, No. 3775 (South Wales), Camberwell Old Comrades Lodge, No. 4077 (West Kent).
St Margaret's Lodge, No. 4489 (Middlesex), Lodge of St Margaret, No. 4619 (West Lancashire), Whitton Lodge, No. 4770 (Middlesex) and Gibraltar Lodge, No. 4997 (London),
Royal Chase Forest Lodge, No. 5706 (Middlesex), Hastings Lodge, No. 6035 (Northumberland), Peace and Concord Lodge, No. 6065 (Cheshire), Forest View Lodge, No. 6588 (Essex), Old Grammarian Lodge of Waterloo, No. 6776 (West Lancashire), St Cuthbert Lodge, No. 6865 (Sussex), Albion Lodge, No. 6980 (Zimbabwe), Broad Acres Lodge, No. 7012 (Yorkshire, West Riding), Fairfield Lodge, No. 7501 (Surrey), Research Lodge, No. 8309 (Zimbabwe), New Milton Lodge, No. 8370 (Hampshire and Isle of Wight), Kymer Lodge, No. 8521 (Sussex), Cloisters Lodge, No. 8623 (East Lancashire), St Michael in Castro Lodge, No. 8838 (East Lancashire), Haven of Peace Lodge, No. 8857 (London), Naval Lodge, No. 9294 (South Africa, Western Division), East Lancashire Rotary Lodge, No. 9345 (East Lancashire) and Millennium Lodge of Research, No. 9728 (Durham).
Over recent years, the lodges have found themselves no longer viable. The Board is satisfied that further efforts to save them would be to no avail and therefore has no alternative but to recommend that they be erased. A Resolution to this effect was approved.
3.13 As required by Rule 277 (a) (i) (B) and (D), Book of Constitutions, 12 Brethren were recently expelled from the Craft.
LIST OF NEW LODGES FOR WHICH WARRANTS HAVE BEEN GRANTED BY THE GRAND MASTER
With effect from 8 June 2011
9868 Idris Lodge (Perak, Eastern Archipelago)
With effect from 9 November 2011
9869 Lakeside Lodge (Paralimni, Cyprus)
QUARTERLY COMMUNICATIONS OF GRAND LODGE
25 April 2012 Annual Investiture), 13 June 2012, 12 September 2012, 12 December 2012, 13 March 2013 and 12 June 2013.
CONVOCATIONS OF SUPREME GRAND CHAPTER
26 April 2012, 14 November 2012, 25 April 2013 and 16 October 2013 (subject to the approval of Grand Chapter).
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.
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?
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.
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.
10 DECEMBER 2008
An address by the MW The Pro Grand Master The Most Hon The Marquess of Northampton, DL
I have had the great privilege of being Pro Grand Master since March 2001 and before that I was Assistant Grand Master for five years in charge of London. I have decided that the time has come for me to step down in March and give someone else the chance to steer the Craft for the next few years.
These past eight years have continued a process of great change for English Freemasonry, helping it to come through one of the most difficult periods in its history.
As the Grand Master pointed out recently, we are entering a period of consolidation, and if we continue to build on the foundations of openness we have laid for the 21st century there is every chance that we will start to grow again. I welcome an increase in our numbers as long as we continue to maintain the highest standards and concentrate on the quality of our candidates.
I am pleased to tell you that the Grand Master has appointed RW Bro Peter Lowndes, Deputy Grand Master, to succeed me. He will be installed as Pro Grand Master at the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge in March. He will be succeeded as Deputy Grand Master by RW Bro Jonathan Spence, Grand Director of Ceremonies, and he in turn by W Bro Oliver Lodge, Past Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies. I am pleased to say the Assistant Grand Master will be continuing in office. I shall be presiding at Grand Lodge for the last time in December.
I wish Bro Lowndes every success in his new important role and have every confidence that the Craft will be in very capable hands. For my part I shall continue to enjoy my Masonry, albeit at an easier pace and with less direct responsibility.
I look forward to helping in any way I can to ensure the future good health and happiness of English Freemasonry. It has been an honour to serve the Craft.
11 JUNE 2008
AN ADDRESS BY THE MW THE PRO GRAND MASTER THE MOST HON THE MARQUESS OF NORTHAMPTON, DL
On the nineteenth of July, this very fine building – created as a Masonic Peace Memorial – will be seventy-five years old. At the June Quarterly Communication in 1933, held seventy-five years ago last Saturday at the Central Hall Westminster, Lord Ampthill, the then Pro Grand Master, thanking Lodges for their generous response to the appeal for the erection of this building said that, “it would be an outward sign of our pious memory of the Brethren who fell in the Great War and, at the same time, a fulfilment of the duty we owe those who came after us.”
I believe that the building remains today as a fitting memorial for the Brethren who fell in the Great War. And a fitting fulfilment of the duty the planners and builders owed to those who came after them. I am confident that that fulfilment will continue for many generations of future Masons.
Referring to the building the then Pro Grand Master continued, “it is a duty we owe to the cause of Masonry, and to Freemasons all over the world, that the headquarters of the English Constitution should be worthy of the honour and reputation that we enjoy, and that the place of assembly of the Grand Lodge of England should be fully significant of our faith and cause, our confidence in the future, and our determination to make Freemasonry more and more a potent influence for the good in national life.”
Shortly afterwards, the Grand Master, His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn held an especial meeting in connection with the dedication of this Masonic Peace Memorial at the Royal Albert Hall, followed the next day – 19 July 1933 – by the dedication itself, here at Great Queen Street. So, the first Quarterly Communication was held here on 6 September 1933. To commemorate that, at our next Quarterly Communication in September, I have asked Brother John Hamill, Director of Communications, to talk about the history of the building.
Towards the end of last year I launched a survey of Lodge and Chapter records. This survey will be an important building block for the book on Masonic history which we are planning to publish in 2017 as part of the Tercentenary celebrations of the formation of the first Grand Lodge. Undertaking this survey within an organisation of this size and age is ambitious. But I am confident that, with your help, it will be successful and that the results will also be important in encouraging further research into our history.
I have been following the results very closely and I am pleased that the project has been enthusiastically supported. All our Provinces have now appointed a volunteer co-ordinator to organise the survey. Most of these co-ordinators have taken the opportunity to attend a briefing meeting here at Freemasons' Hall, and have already started the survey in their Provinces. We hope to have completed the survey by the summer of 2009.
At the end of May the Deputy Grand Master opened the Women and Freemasonry Exhibition in the Library and Museum. It covers the development of Freemasonry for Women in the early years of the last century. At the preview guests included lady representatives from the various women’s organisations including the Order of Women Freemasons and the Honourable Fraternity of Antient Freemasons. We maintain our independence from the women’s organisations and they are happy to maintain their independence from us. Apart from the historical interest, the Exhibition has a valuable public relations benefit. It will help to dispel the commonly held myth, among non-Masons, that there are no women in Freemasonry! I commend the Exhibition to you.
The Hampton Court Flower Show in July will feature a garden with a Masonic theme which I hope will encourage some of you to visit, if you have an interest in gardens. It is sponsored by the Metropolitan Grand Lodge and twelve Provinces in the south of England. I am looking forward to attending and the dates and details can be found on the UGLE website. Brethren, returning to the words of the Pro Grand Master in 1933, and comparing those words with the situation today: this fine building is fully significant of our faith and cause; we have confidence in the future and we remain determined to make Freemasons more and more a potent influence for good in our national life. In fact, I believe that the Craft is in a much stronger position now than it has been for many years, and I end my remarks by wishing you and your families a very happy summer.
Because this Quarterly Communication has included the presentation of the Rulers’ Forum Mentoring Project and the meeting of the Grand Charity, I will keep my remarks brief.
I am pleased that the legislation has been passed enabling the appointment of Provincial and District Grand Orators. This means that we can now start the Orator Scheme in earnest. I have asked for intended orations to be approved before they are delivered and the Orators will now be fully briefed on the procedure for this.
In January you will have received your copy of the new Freemasonry Today. I was impressed with all the work done on this first issue and I know that it will become a valuable tool for promoting a better understanding of the Craft and Royal Arch as well as wider topics of interest. The next issue will be with you at the beginning of April.
Since the last Quarterly Communication the Deputy Grand Master has installed the District Grand Master for Gibraltar and the Assistant Grand Master inaugurated the new District of Northern India before installing the District Grand Master. He also attended the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Combermere Lodge in Melbourne, Australia.
The lunch after Quarterly Communication is restricted to Grand Officers. I am minded that from the June Quarterly Communication this should be extended to include anyone who is qualified to attend Grand Lodge. In order to control the numbers it is likely that, at least initially, applications should be made through Provincial Grand Secretaries or the London Office or alternatively Grand Officers will be allowed to invite guests who are qualified to attend. The Grand Secretary will be explaining how this will work in practice when he sends you the usual form.
12 DECEMBER 2007
An address by the MW The Pro Grand Master the Most Hon the Marquess of Northampton, DL
You will have seen reference, in the Paper of Business, to the European Grand Masters’ meeting held here on the 5th and 6th of November. This was an historic occasion, and was planned as a one-off meeting so that we, as the mother Grand Lodge, could make clear our views on regularity, recognition and sovereignty. We had been under pressure, for some time, to give guidance and a clear stance on our position. This we did, and my speech to open the conference is printed in full as an appendix to the Paper of Business. I draw your attention to the first paragraph where I set out our position on regularity, and later I make the important point that it is not Freemasonry but the individual Mason, imbued with the principles and tenets of the Craft, who has a positive influence on society.
The Grand Master hosted an enjoyable reception and dinner on the eve of the formal meeting for representatives of forty-four European Grand Lodges, which included no less than forty-one Grand Masters.
What was apparent from the meeting is that while we may have a wide diversity of customs and practices in European Freemasonry, we all subscribe to the same basic principles and tenets and are determined to maintain and preserve regularity. From the feedback we have received the meeting was considered a success and there is now a determination to continue the contacts which were made and to strengthen the lines of communications between European Grand Lodges. This can only be good for the future of regular Freemasonry.
It was an historic occasion, and like all major meetings did not just happen. I would like to place on record my thanks to VW Bro John Hamill and all the other members of the Grand Secretary’s staff who worked so hard to make it enjoyable and successful.
Brethren, you should know that at the meeting of Supreme Grand Chapter in November I announced that the working group set up last year under the Chairmanship of the Second Grand Principal, had now published its report into the recruitment and retention of Royal Arch Masons. The first conclusion of the report relates to the additional paragraph to the 1813 Declaration in the preamble to the Book of Constitutions, relating to the status of the Royal Arch. This was added to by Grand Lodge, in December 2003. In short, this describes the Royal Arch as “an extension to, but neither a superior nor subordinate part of the Degrees which precede it”. There is no doubt that the Royal Arch is not the completion of just the third degree. But it is not felt that the 2003 declaration accurately reflects the relationship of the Royal Arch to the three Craft degrees. The result is that it has not been helpful to those joining or seeking to recruit new members. So, I am minded to request Grand Lodge to give careful consideration to replacing the 2003 paragraph with a fresh definition. I feel that, in general terms, we should all seek to describe the Royal Arch as the next step in Freemasonry after the Craft degrees and the final step in pure Antient Masonry.
The other important conclusion of the report, in relation to recruitment, is a recommendation to Grand Lodge from Supreme Grand Chapter, that a Royal Arch representative should be appointed in each Craft Lodge. This representative, at least until further research and consideration, would not be a Lodge officer. But he would have responsibility for promoting the Royal Arch within the context of the Lodge. Where his role has already been implemented in some Lodges, it has had a dramatic effect on the levels of recruitment and retention. Representatives need to be carefully chosen and the report gives advice and guidance on this matter.
Since the last Quarterly Communication I have visited our three Districts in India, accompanied by the Grand Secretary. This proved to be a very successful trip visiting the District of Bombay and Northern India in Mumbai; the District of Bengal in Kolkata and the District of Madras in both Chennai and Bangalore. This was my first visit to India and we were greeted by everyone with great warmth. I held a business meeting in each District and we met as many of the Brethren and their wives, as possible.
At the request of the District Grand Master of Bombay and Northern India we are reforming the District back into two Districts. The District has been a happy one and the split is purely based on the enormous distances between some of the Lodges. The inauguration of the District of Northern India will take place in early January.
At the third Rulers’ Forum meeting yesterday, Brethren from three of the Groups gave a presentation on the best points from all the mentoring schemes that exist and more. Retention depends on mentoring and education and the CD-ROM which they have produced contains information and guidance for mentors from the interview stage through to third degree and beyond. It was so impressive that I have asked them to repeat the presentation at our next Quarterly Communication in March.
Finally, Brethren, I wish you and your families every joy for the Festive Season and a very happy New Year.