Alan Englefield has become the first Chancellor of Grand Lodge
At the Annual Investiture on 25th April, RW Brother Alan Englefield was invested as the first Grand Chancellor of the United Grand Lodge of England.
Since the early 1990s, Masonic international relations have become something of a growth industry. That is partly a result of the rebirth of Freemasonry in East Europe, the Balkans and Baltic States.
It is also partly because the ease and speed of both communications and travel have resulted in much more communication and inter-visiting between members at all levels within regular Grand Lodges around the world.
When the Pro Grand Master’s Strategic Working Party was considering the role of the Grand Secretary in the 21st century it was decided that such were the demands of his responsibilities to the English Craft and Royal Arch, both at home and in our Districts overseas, that another officer was required to carry out Grand Lodge’s policy in relation to external relations and to share with the Rulers the honour of representing the Grand Master on formal visits to sister Grand Lodges.
Brother Englefield brings a wealth of experience in international relations to the new role. As Grand Secretary General of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Rite he gained a firm grounding in the complexities of international Masonic affairs. On retiring from that office he became a member of both the Board of General Purposes and the External Relations Committee, succeeding Sir John Welch as chairman of the latter.
The office of Grand Chancellor is not a full-time, salaried post within the administration of Grand Lodge. Brother Englefield will be backed up by a secretariat consisting of John Hamill, Director of Communications, and Peter Roberts, who has been for many years the Administrative Assistant on External Relations.
The creation of a new office required the design of a new emblem and jewel. The globe symbolises Masonry Universal and the clasped hands fraternal relations and brotherhood.
Brother Englefield commented: 'I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed as the first Grand Chancellor. External Relations is a complex subject but, with the support of my team, I look forward to carrying out my new duties, not least the pleasure of assisting the Rulers and the Board in cementing and maintaining the warm relations we have with our old friends around the world and in developing close relations with the newer members of our world wide fraternity.'