Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge
8 June 2016
Report of the Board of General Purposes
The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of 9 March 2016 and the Annual Investiture of 27 April 2016 were confirmed.
Rule 110 Book of Constitutions
Rule 110 of the Book of Constitutions currently provides:
110. Should a Prince of the Blood Royal honour any private Lodge by accepting the office of Master, he may appoint a Deputy Master, qualified in compliance with the provisions of rule 105, who shall be regularly installed, and be entitled, when in office, to all the privileges of Master, and, after he has served his period of office, to those of a Past Master.
In the early part of the last century, HRH the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, the then Grand Master, was permanent Master of Lodge of Antiquity, No. 2 and Royal Somerset House and Inverness Lodge, No. 4, which were at that time the only two Lodges formally recognised as enjoying time immemorial status. In 1967, Lodge of Fortitude and Old Cumberland, No. 12, the third of the three surviving Lodges which had come together in 1717 to form the premier Grand Lodge, was permitted to surrender its Warrant and thus regain the time immemorial status it had lost in 1722 by accepting a Warrant from the premier Grand Lodge.
It has been suggested that, with the approach of the tercentenary of Grand Lodge, it would be appropriate for the present Grand Master to follow the example of the Duke of Connaught and accept the permanent Mastership of the three time immemorial Lodges. To facilitate his so doing, it is recommended, following advice from the Grand registrar, that the rule be amended by the addition of a further sentence to the rule. notice of Motion to amend the Book of Constitutions accordingly. The amendment was approved.
2017 the Board recommended, in accordance with rule 269, Book of Constitutions, that the annual dues (including Vat) payable to Grand Lodge in respect of each member of every Lodge for the year 2017 shall be:
2017 the Board recommended, in accordance with rule 270, Book of Constitutions, that the fees (exclusive of VAT) payable for registration, certificates and dispensations should be increased in line with inflation to:
Contribution to the Grand Charity
Under Rule 271 of the Book of Constitutions Grand Lodge must fix each year the annual contribution that is payable to the Grand Charity. The trustees of the Masonic Charitable Foundation have requested that for 2017 the annual contribution remain at £17.00 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 put this into effect appears at item 9 of the Paper of Business.
On 1 April 2016 the Masonic Charitable Foundation came into existence, to take over in due course the functions of the four main Masonic Charities. Although the Grand Charity remains a constituent part of the new Charity it is considered more appropriate that the annual contribution should for the future be directed to the new parent charity, which will enjoy greater flexibility in the distribution of its funds. Notice of Motion to amend the Book of Constitutions accordingly was approved.
(i) 2015: Wherever dispersed - the Travelling Mason
The Lecturer, W Bro Prof R. Burt, has informed the Board that in addition to the five official deliveries to Royal Standard Lodge, No. 398 (Montreal and Halifax); Shepherdʼs Bush Lodge, No. 1828 (London); Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge, No. 4538 (Warwickshire); Torbay Masters Lodge, No. 8227 (Devonshire); and Worthing Lodge of Installed Masters, No. 9860 (Sussex), the Lecture was also delivered on twenty-two other occasions throughout the Constitution. The Board thanked Bro Burt for the considerable time and effort he has spent in this connection.
(ii) 2016: Foundations: new light on the formation and early years of the Grand Lodge of England
The Prestonian Lecturer for 2016 is W Bro Dr R.A. Berman.
Three official Prestonian Lectures for 2016 have been or will be given under the auspices of:
Zetland and Hong Kong Lodge, No. 7665 (London)
Bristol Installed Masters Lodge, No. 8168 (Bristol)
Temple of Athene Lodge, No. 9541 (Middlesex)
(iii) 2017: The Grand Design
The Board has submitted a nomination to the trustees of the Prestonian Fund and they have appointed RW Bro Dr J.W. Daniel, PSGW as Prestonian Lecturer for 2017. Bro Daniel states that the title of his Lecture will be: The Grand Design.
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 desires to 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.
The Board had received reports that the following Lodges have resolved to surrender their Warrants:
(a) Semper Fidelis Lodge, No. 3453 and Sinceritas Lodge, No. 4934 in order to amalgamate with Lodge of Sincerity, No. 428 (Cheshire)
(b) Comet Lodge, No. 7710, in order to amalgamate with Oakfield Lodge, No. 7011 (Surrey); and
(c) Norman Arches Lodge, No. 7761, in order to amalgamate with Borlase Lodge, No. 6216 (Buckinghamshire).
The Board accordingly recommended that the Lodges be removed from the register in order to effect the amalgamations. A resolution to this effect was approved.
Erasure of Lodges
The Board has received a report that thirty-seven Lodges have closed and have surrendered their Warrants. The Lodges are:
Humphrey Chetham Lodge, No. 645 (East Lancashire), Renaissance Lodge, No. 1219 (East Lancashire), St James’ Abercorn Lodge, No. 1579 (London), Vincent Lodge, No. 3031 (London), Ribblesdale Lodge, No. 3393 (East Lancashire), Facta non Verba Lodge, No. 3409 (London), Marble Craft Lodge, No. 3522 (London), Crescent Lodge of Good Intent, No. 4524 (East Lancashire), Sunnyhurst Lodge, No. 4631 (East Lancashire), Justice Lodge, No. 4632 (East Lancashire), Collagen Lodge, No. 4733 (London), Madrigal Lodge, No. 5039 (East Lancashire), Vis Unita Lodge, No. 5041 (East Lancashire), Bromsgrove Lodge, No. 5414 (Worcestershire), Yale Lodge, No. 5636 (North Wales), Ormerod Lodge, No. 5713 (East Lancashire), Tylney Lodge, No. 5856 (Essex).
Lodge of Accord, No. 6195 (London), Bright Morning Star Lodge, No. 6245 (Surrey), Lodge of Thanksgiving, No. 6256 (Cheshire), Huntroyd Lodge, No. 6385 (East Lancashire), Lodge of Futurity, No. 6455 (Worcestershire), Lodge of St Andrew, Great Ilford, No. 6515 (Essex), Fairway Lodge, No. 6693 (East Lancashire), Fairfield Lodge, No. 7224 (East Lancashire), Golden Hind Lodge, No. 7325 (London), Dene Head Lodge, No. 7594 (East Lancashire), Lodge of Unanimity, No. 7721 (Surrey), Farfield Lodge, No. 8112 (North Wales), Lodge of Saint Jude, No. 8138 (Surrey), University of Aston Lodge, No. 8305 (Warwickshire), Huncoat Lodge, No. 8542 (East Lancashire) True and Faithful Lodge, No. 8562 (London), Lodge of Enterprise, No. 8757 (South Wales), Lodge of Good Heart, No. 8890 (West Kent), Erddig Lodge, No. 8933 (North Wales) and Debdale Lodge, No. 9400 (East Lancashire).
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.
As required by rule 277 (a) (i) (B), Book of Constitutions, 12 Brethren were recently expelled from the Craft.
Grand Lodge Accounts 2015
The audited accounts of the Grand Lodge for the year ended 31 December 2015 were approved.
Election of Grand Lodge Auditors
The re-election of Crowe Clarke Whitehill LLP, as auditors of the Grand Lodge was approved.
There was a presentation from the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
List of New Lodges for which Warrants have been granted
9 March 2016
9925 Cornucopia Lodge of Provincial Grand Stewards of Derbyshire
9926 Buckinghamshire Motorcycle Lodge
The Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge will take place on 14 December 2016, 8 March 2017, 26 April 2017 (Annual Investiture), 14 June 2017 and 13 September 2017.
Convocations of Supreme Grand Chapter
9 November 2016, 27 April 2017 and 8 November 2017.