Welcome to the Summer/Autumn edition of Freemasonry Today.  I first want to thank Michael Baigent who has retired, on behalf of all the readers, for the great job he did for us as editor of this magazine. I am delighted that he remains consultant editor and our thoughts and best wishes are with him in retirement. I would also like to thank Bill Hanbury-Bateman and Geoffrey Baber, who have retired from the Board of Grand Lodge Publications, for their enormous contribution to the magazine. I particularly wanted to highlight their tireless support during the merger of MQ magazine and Freemasonry Today. A merger that has evolved into the fantastic magazine we have today.

The first of the newly designed issues has been met with acclaim. What is particularly gratifying is the feedback from several members whose wives or partners have been interested enough for the first time to read the magazine and enjoyed it. One member even told me that, having read the magazine, his wife – for the first time – supported him being a Freemason.  This underpins our core philosophy that we should strive for the important support of our family and friends through open communication.

It is wonderful news that our new members’ website was launched at the end of July. This covers the magazine and latest news from around the Provinces and Districts. So we now have in our communications armoury the magazine, the members’ website – which is an open site – and the UGLE main site designed to direct the non-mason for more information.

We have a great cross-section of articles in this issue for you and your family’s interest. A balance has been sought between current stories and historical features to show how our past connects with our present.

For example, with the Rugby World Cup returning to New Zealand, you can read about the origins of the game to see why the principles that bond the Craft together have historically drawn rugby players from across the world to Freemasonry. Meanwhile, find out how brothers Mathew and Christian Cleghorn from Lewis Lodge managed to row across the Atlantic Ocean. Follow how they contended with lost rations, a capsized boat and a bird called Elton – in order to raise much-needed funds for Parkinson’s UK.

On the subject of fund-raising, there is a fantastic profile of two classic Ford enthusiasts Marc and Lee Lawrence. Freemasonry has been the driving force behind this father-and-son rally team who embarked on an epic journey across America in order to raise money for good causes.

Speaking of connecting our past with our present, we recently celebrated ten years of filming Spooks at Freemasons’ Hall. You can read about how the building, built in 1933, has been leading a double life for the last decade as both the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England and MI5’s fictional home. We are delighted that the building has become such a recognisable icon in the show. As programme producer Chris Fry recalls when he was shooting an episode: ‘I was on the phone and this couple walked past the front doors. One of them casually said, “That’s the Spooks’ headquarters.” I thought that was brilliant.’

Nigel Brown
Grand Secretary

Published in UGLE
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 11:53

Masonic Communications in an Electronic Age

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
Sunday, 01 May 2011 15:47

Madras Plays Host to UGLE Visitors

As part of the international relationship between Grand Lodges worldwide recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England, Grand Secretary Nigel Brown and Grand Chancellor Alan Englefield recently visited Madras, India. The District Grand Lodge of Madras, with 18 lodges, is the administrative and controlling body functioning in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.
Published in UGLE

I am absolutely delighted to be writing my column for this first issue of the newly designed magazine. Our publishing and design house has done an excellent job and I am sure you will like what you see. Importantly, we wanted a magazine you would enjoy reading and be proud to show to your family and friends; something that showcases the huge range of activities we are involved in and our openness.

In early March we ran the third Mentoring Conference for Provincial Grand Mentors here in London. It was a fantastic turnout. I thought I would share with you some brief thoughts on mentoring. I believe that we should have a mentor at all stages of our masonic involvement. Clearly, in the early days, guidance to the candidate on logistics is vital, but mentoring is far more than this. The mentor needs to be able to explain the meaning of everything we do as well as explain that ‘felt’ experience to family and friends. We will be giving you the tools to do this, so that in an ideal world we should all be ambassadors for Freemasonry. What do I mean by ambassador? A member who lives as honest a life as possible, understands and enjoys his Freemasonry and is happy, as appropriate, to talk in a relaxed way about his Freemasonry to the non-mason – particularly to his family. I am crystal clear that support of the family is crucial to both recruitment and retention. To further support this, and as I have touched on before, we are undertaking a lot of positive work from a communication point of view – talking openly about the Organisation and how we contribute to society. There is much work to be done but we are having many successes in our endeavours.

Our members’ website is nearly ready for launching. I am hugely impressed with what I have seen – and when it is launched you will be able to see regularly updated national masonic news, as well as looking at the latest issue of the magazine and important past articles.

Enjoy your read!

Published in UGLE
In January, Assistant Grand Master David Williamson and Grand Secretary Nigel Brown visited Britannia Masters Lodge, No. 9575, in the afternoon to confirm the appointment of Robert Scott Levitt as the new Grand Inspector of the Group of Lodges in Portugal.
This was followed by the Installation meeting of Lancaster Lodge, No. 9413, in the evening and a festive board enjoyed by about 70 brethren. The lodges in Portugal had all been consecrated within the District of Gibraltar 20 years ago, and a strong contingent, led by District Grand Master Alfred Ryan, was in attendance, as was the Grand Inspector of the Grande Loja Regular de Portugal (Legal).
The following evening, at a meeting of Lancaster Chapter, Robert Levitt was confi rmed as Grand Inspector of the Group of Chapters in Portugal.
English masons in Portugal have three lodges: Prince Henry the Navigator Lodge, No. 9360, Lodge of Discoveries, No. 9409, in the Algarve and Lancaster Lodge, No. 9413, in Estoril, as well as a roving lodge, Britannia Masters Lodge, No. 9575, which has one meeting a year in each of the homes of the three other lodges.
The first three lodges each have a Royal Arch Chapter attached to them. Estoril Lodge is nearly 350km away from the Algarve, so visiting is no easy matter. However, all lodges and chapters extend a very warm welcome to any brethren visiting from England or any other constitutions recognised by UGLE.
Lancaster Lodge recently passed and raised a brother from the Grand Lodge of Texas, on instruction from UGLE, via the usual channels, and he is to join the lodge. Scottish and German masons have also been recent visitors. Anyone interested in visiting any of the lodges or chapters in Portugal should check details on the Group website: www.freemasonryinportugal.com

1972    Initiated, Barnard Lodge, No. 5100
1980   Master, Barnard Lodge, No. 5100
1987   PProvDGDC (Warks)
1990   Founding Secretary, Prince Henry the Navigator Lodge, No. 9360
1992   PDistGSuptWks (Gib)
1993   Joined Lancaster Lodge, No. 9413
1993   First Exaltee, Prince Henry the Navigator Chapter, No. 9360
1995   Founder, Britannia Master Lodge, No. 9575
1996   Master, Lancaster Lodge, No. 9413, and 2008 & 2009
1996   Overseas Grand Rank
2000   First Principal, Prince Henry the Navigator Chapter, No. 9360
2002   Founder, Lancaster Chapter, No. 9413
2003   Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
2004 & 2005   First Principal, Lancaster Chapter
2005   Master, Britannia Masters Lodge, No. 9575
2007   Perfected, Bayard Chapter, No. 70, Rose Croix

Former Grand Secretary Jim Daniel was recently made a Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Sheffield for his thesis, The 4th Earl of Carnarvon (1831-90) and Freemasonry in the British Empire.

When in 1989 Jim Daniel was abruptly switched into a second career in masonic administration as Grand Secretary General of the Supreme Council and then Grand Secretary of the UGLE, he became interested in the Ancient and Accepted Rite’s history and its relationship with the Craft.

One of the names in the lists of Sovereign Grand Commanders of the Rite and Rulers of the Craft was that of Lord Carnarvon – not the Carnarvon involved with discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb – but his father, the 4th Earl, whose main residence was Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey was recently filmed.

Lord Carnarvon was Grand Master of the Mark and the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council. While he was Secretary of State for the Colonies for the second time, he was appointed Pro Grand Master of the Craft, in which capacity he installed the Prince of Wales as Grand Master in 1875 and presided over UGLE’s decision in 1877, in effect, to break off relations with the Grand Orient of France.

Those few historians who have commented on Freemasonry in the British Empire have tended to argue that it played a crucial role. Daniel, however, concludes that the fact that Victorian politicians like Carnarvon were Freemasons as well as important figures on the imperial stage, does not mean that Freemasonry as an institution had an imperialist agenda or even played a significant part in building and maintaining the British Empire: correlation does not mean causation.

Wednesday, 01 December 2010 14:57

Grand Secretary's column - Winter 2010

2010 was a busy and exciting year for Freemasonry. We are continuing to work on several initiatives, designed to ensure the future of Freemasonry, particularly on our public relations. You will hear a great deal about this next year but as an example, this issue will be the last one in the present format. Freemasonry Today will have a new look designed to be truly representative of the official journal of the United Grand Lodge of England. We want it to be a potentially award-winning magazine and one that your families and friends will enjoy as well as you. The approach will be entirely supportive of our outward-facing ethos – a magazine that you will be proud to have on display in your home.

In this issue you will find an insert for the Royal Arch Masons 2013 Bicentenary Appeal for the Royal College of Surgeons. Equally you can find the detail of this and the donation form on both the Supreme Grand Chapter and Grand Charity websites. To quote the First Grand Principal: ‘This campaign gives us an excellent opportunity to contribute further towards something that is helping to save lives and improve the quality of life for us, our children and grandchildren’.

The Pro Grand Master referred to our visit to the eighth regional conference of the District Grand Masters of the Caribbean and Western Atlantic in Barbados in his speech at the December Quarterly Communication. He also mentioned that we were caught in Hurricane Tomas – the first time that the island has been hit since 1955! I write this column in Chennai in the fervent hope that the monsoons will not delay my return for Christmas.

I wish you all, on behalf of the Grand Lodge team, a happy and enjoyable 2011.

Published in UGLE
Wednesday, 01 September 2010 15:27

Grand Secretary's column - Autumn 2010

We were all delighted to receive from the Pro Grand Master such clear direction on how we should communicate our Freemasonry in his speech at the September Quarterly Communication. His remarks are summarised below and represent true leadership on a subject that up to now has been confusing to many members. His speech is also very timely as I have now completed a detailed study, with the help of all Provincial Grand Masters, on the initiatives used by them to assist their members to communicate with family, friends and acquaintances. We will continue to build our strategy on the good work they have already achieved.

Additionally, the communication strategy which takes us up to 2017, will now be approved by a body of the highest level consisting of the Craft Rulers, the President and Deputy President of the Board of General Purposes and the Grand Secretary.

So you will have the confidence that all the initiatives contained in the strategy will first be approved by our leaders and that they are specifically designed to make sure that Freemasonry has a long-term future in this ever changing world. It is designed to give you as individuals clarity on what you talk about and the plain English to do so.

You will have heard of the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. This has affected all our Brethren from the District of New Zealand South Island who live in that general area. I am told some 100,000 homes were hit and the miracle is that nobody was killed. Our members’ homes had variable damage from cracks throughout and broken china to total destruction. The Grand Charity and Board of General Purposes have taken action, including a donation to the Mayor’s Fund from the Grand Charity, for immediate relief for the people of Christchurch. We have also sent messages of support and brotherly love from all of us in the rest of the English Constitution.

Published in UGLE
Tuesday, 01 June 2010 15:17

Grand Secretary's column - Summer 2010

The pictures at the top of each of the next two pages, represent two aspects of my recent trip to South Africa, when I accompanied the Pro Grand Master. One shows us with the District Grand Masters of Southern Africa and the second, the plane that we flew in on the last leg of our adventurous trip back – beating the volcanic ash. We arrived in South Africa before the volcanic eruption, first visiting our Brethren in KwaZulu-Natal, before moving to Johannesburg to install the new District Grand Master for South Africa North. This was also the opportunity to run a business meeting for District Grand Masters attending.

The eagle eyed amongst you will notice that the Pro Grand Master is wearing the regalia of a Past District Grand Master and I that of a Past Grand Deacon. This was because the two Deputies who were to bring out the regalia were unable to leave the UK due to the imposed flight restrictions. For the purists amongst you it is perfectly correct, in these circumstances, to wear the regalia of an appointment junior to your own. I hope I have saved a lot of letter writing having pointed this out!

The challenge of returning to England represented, for me, the very essence of the true meaning of support. Our challenge was to return to England and in time for the Annual Investitures. Clearly our return flight had been cancelled as were all the subsequent flights we had been booked on by one of our brethren via for example Namibia, Dubai, Malta, Casablanca and Tripoli. Eventually, one of the flights on Air Angola via Luanda to Lisbon had clearance.

We were rushed to the airport and I rapidly wrote on the back of an envelope the flight details as there was no time to even collect our e-tickets. We were somewhat surprised that the flight took off an hour and a half early but at least we made it! In Luanda we went to collect our baggage when they demanded visas which, as we were in transit, we did not have.

They promptly confiscated our passports and after ages eventually, under escort, allowed us to collect our cases. Security checks abounded when we, at last, arrived to a point where the check-in desks were in sight and demanded to see our tickets. Etickets were not in their vocabulary and the production of our flight details on the back of my envelope did not seem to do the trick. After some considerable diplomatic negotiation we were checked onto the flight to Lisbon, and not knowing to the last minute whether we would be diverted because of the ash, we arrived in Lisbon.

As Lisbon is in our Inspectorate of Portugal it was arranged for one of our brethren to drive us ten hours up to Bilbao, where another of our brethren flew over to pick us up in his twin-engine propeller plane. We landed on a grass airfield in Essex where the accompanying photograph was taken. Needless to say, one of the rumours is that we flew back from South Africa on a private jet! Our grateful thanks for the wonderful support we had.

Many of you would have seen the recent article in The Times explaining that I am the new public face of Freemasonry.

Overall it was a well balanced piece with great publicity for our open policy.

Published in UGLE
Monday, 19 April 2010 15:18

The Business of Freemasonry

The Grand Secretary Explains to Michael Baigent the New Approach of Grand Lodge

There was a time, not so long ago, when Freemasonry was run discreetly, like a private gentleman’s club and the Grand Secretary seemed a distant, even aloof, figure gazing down from privileged heights. But no longer: Freemasonry is now run as a modern business and the Grand Secretary is a hands-on chief executive but accountable, not to shareholders, but to a large and diverse membership. It is a job needing skill, business acumen and diplomacy.

It seemed right, at a time when important changes are taking place amongst our rulers, that I should speak with Nigel Brown, Grand Secretary, about the changes in the administration of Grand Lodge since he was appointed and the plans for the future which he is tasked with implementing. 
The first thing, he explained, was to understand that Grand Lodge was the centre of a large and dynamic international network of Freemasons. 
As an example he mentioned the trip he recently made to Singapore to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the District of the Eastern Archipelago - which covers masonic lodges of the English Jurisdiction in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. This was an important milestone and celebrated not only the District’s longstanding success but 150 years of contribution to the local communities. 

Many District Grand Masters from other areas were present and so he took the opportunity to chair business meetings to ascertain how well they are supported by Grand Lodge and how easily can they communicate their needs and concerns. 
‘The Districts have long supported us and we need to demonstrate that we are constantly supporting them,’ he explained. 
‘The Districts are a good example of the dynamic network of Freemasonry founded upon a shared moral understanding which, far from being anachronistic, is actually the way forward in the twenty-first century.’ 
‘In England and Wales we are increasingly dealing with a diverse population and Freemasonry could not be better placed to support and promote an understanding of that diversity since, in the end, what we are looking for are men of quality.’ 
‘And how would you define quality?’ 
‘People who understand the need for mutual respect of each other, who seek to become better men themselves and who understand that the community is better served by an active participation without expecting any reward. Therefore the need to select candidates of quality is essential.’ 
‘In Singapore, almost seven thousand miles away, I was heartened to find myself in the company of just such men of quality who selflessly give to their local community as we do here in England and Wales.’ 

The Administration of Freemasonry

The precise role of a Grand Secretary is to represent the Rulers - the Grand Master, Pro-Grand Master and his Deputy and Assistant - and the executives, the Board of General Purposes. He is rather like an honest broker to both these groups, advising them on all situations which arise. His task is also to implement whatever action they decide as a result of that advice. 
‘So that takes care of missives from the top down,’ I commented on hearing this explanation, ‘what about concerns from the bottom up?’ 
‘We needed to reorganise the staff in Grand Lodge to create clear communication lines in order that Provincial, District and individual concerns can quickly be addressed by the right people and in a timely manner.’
‘At the beginning of my appointment one of the first objectives I was given was to make sure that Grand Lodge was run as a business. Of importance was the need to focus on an ease and efficiency of communication.’ 
‘Lord Northampton has been an enormous influence and working with him has been a very constructive experience. He was the right man in the right place and right time, the catalyst driving all these major initiatives vital for us to be a member of the twenty-first century.’ 
‘You have been Grand Secretary now for two years. How well have these objective been met?’ 
‘We are well on the way to achieving them. In fulfilling this remit the first organisational changes were made after my first six months in office and on behalf of the Board. I now have a clear understanding of what still remains to be put in place.’ 
The two main changes which were made were firstly to address the problem that Grand Lodge operated like a series of independent entities and that sometimes Provinces and Districts were not receiving the attention they deserved. Grand Lodge needed to understand fully what it was required to provide to Provinces and Districts and so a close analysis was made of the relationships. 
At the same time Nigel Brown travelled around the Provinces and Districts with the Pro Grand Master, Lord Northampton, to be introduced to the Provincial Grand Masters and hear directly their concerns and requirements. 
As Grand Scribe E he also performed the same task for the Royal Arch. ‘One of the great decisions to allow me the time to concentrate on Provinces and Districts was the appointment of the Grand Chancellor. We have regular meetings and discuss any matters which might impact on the Districts. There can be issues between Districts under our jurisdiction and a sovereign Grand Lodge in the same country but, to date, all such issues have been resolved.’ 

Initiatives for the twenty-first century

One important recent success has been the Library and Museum Trust which has been transformed under the direction of Diane Clements. It has achieved official recognition by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council for its displays, comprehensive holdings and research. 
Freemasonry has also been capitalising on the extraordinary nature and architecture of Freemasons’ Hall itself which is now listed among the ‘Unique venues of London’. 
Shows, concerts, lectures and presentations have all been held here and, as most will now know, it is also used as a film and television location - most notably in recent years as the headquarters of the Intelligence agency featured in the Television series ‘Spooks’. 
A major initiative about to bear fruit is the new United Grand Lodge of England website which is designed to be extremely easy to access and explore and will be regularly updated. It should provide everything anyone needs to know about Freemasonry and is designed particularly for the under-forty-five age-group both for members interested in Freemasonry and those thinking of joining. It will make it clear that Freemasonry is founded on Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth and explain what that means in a twenty-first century context. In this way it will underpin English and Welsh Freemasonry’s desire for more open communication. 
‘But what then should we keep to ourselves?’ 
‘The only things we wish to keep private are the modes of recognition which might be required when entering a lodge of which you are not a member. Of course, there should be an element of mystery about the rituals but it is not exactly secret since ritual books are freely available. Of course, reading the ritual is one thing, being part of it is another. What really counts is the felt experience of the ceremonies.’ 
‘One word we do not like is ‘secret’ for there are no secrets in Freemasonry. Nevertheless, at its heart is that great mystery of what it truly means to be human in an uncertain world and our ceremonies are a personal journey of discovery deep into this often uncharted region. Here, the recently introduced Orator and Mentoring programmes are important for they are focused upon the help, advice and support of those who choose to make the masonic journey.’ 
‘To have respect for others, give to the community and to journey towards insight and wisdom is to fully adopt those fundamental and ancient masonic principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth which have served Freemasonry since time immemorial and which will serve Freemasonry just as well into the future.’ 

Born in Northern Rhodesia in 1948. Educated in South Africa and Southern Rhodesia, he entered the British Army and after graduating from Sandhurst joined the Grenadier Guards with whom he served in Northern Ireland, British Honduras, Kenya and Cyprus. He was an instructor at the School of Infantry and commander of the Queen’s Company. After leaving the army he first entered financial publishing then later ran a company advising clients on winning global tenders.

Published in UGLE
Page 11 of 14

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