Celebrating 300 years

Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge

14 June 2017 
Report of the Board of General Purposes

Minutes

The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of 8 March, 2017 and of the Annual Investiture of 26 April, 2017 were confirmed.

Rule 153 – Cheque Signatories

Rule 153 was amended in June 2013 to require that every cheque drawn on a Lodge’s bank account be signed by two duly authorised members of the Lodge, of whom the Treasurer must, unless it is impracticable, be one. The Rule had previously permitted a Lodge to resolve that a single signatory should suffice.

The object of the amendment was to reduce the risk of misappropriation of funds, by requiring a second signatory in every case. The Board still considers that to have been an appropriate objective, but has noted that Lodges have experienced difficulty in relation to bank mandates in respect of a second signatory. The Board recommended that Rule 153(b) be amended to enable cheques to be authorised on the sole signature of the Treasurer. Notice of motion to amend the Book of Constitutions accordingly appeared on the paper of business.

Annual Dues 2018

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 2018 shall be:

1

A Resolution to this effect was approved.

Fees 2018

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:

2

A Resolution to this effect was approved.

Contribution to the Masonic Charitable Foundation

Under Rule 271, Book of Constitutions, Grand Lodge must fix each year the annual contribution payable to the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The Trustees of the Masonic Charitable Foundation have requested that for 2018 the annual contribution remain at £17 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

2016: Foundations: new light on the formation and early years of the Grand Lodge of England

The Lecturer, W Bro Dr R.A. Berman, has informed the Board that in addition to the three official deliveries to Zetland and Hong Kong Lodge, No. 7665 (London), Bristol Installed Masters Lodge, No. 8168 (Bristol) and Temple of Athene Lodge, No. 9541 (Middlesex), the Lecture was also delivered on twenty-three other occasions throughout the Constitution. The Board expressed its thanks to Bro Berman for the considerable time and effort he has spent in this connection.

2017 The Grand Design

The Prestonian Lecturer for 2017 is RW Bro Dr J.W. Daniel, PSGW. Four official Prestonian Lectures for 2017 have been or will be given under the auspices of Lodge of the Grand Design, No. 6077 (Surrey); Worcestershire Installed Masters’ Lodge, No. 6889 (Worcestershire); Old Elizabethans’ Lodge, No. 8235 (East Lancashire) and The London Grand Rank Association.

Amalgamations

The Board had received reports that the following Lodges had resolved to surrender their Warrants:

(a) Lodge of Dedication, No. 7428, in order to amalgamate with Excelsior Lodge, No. 1155 (London); and

(b) Lodge of Concord, No. 7233, in order to amalgamate with Holloway Lodge, No. 2601 (London).

A Resolution to this effect was approved.

Erasure of Lodges

The Board had received a report that twenty Lodges have closed and have surrendered their Warrants. The Lodges are:

Addington Lodge, No. 1937 (KwaZulu-Natal); Lord Charles Beresford Lodge, No. 2404 (East Kent); Gwalia Lodge, No. 4213 (South Wales); Rosarium Lodge, No. 5147 (London); Horselydown Lodge, No. 5384 (London); Danson Park Lodge, No. 5700 (West Kent); Lodge of Assembly, No. 5747 (Warwickshire); Curfew Lodge, No. 5891 (London); Diligence Lodge, No. 5954 (Middlesex); Wilcumestou Lodge, No. 6090 (Essex); Lodge of United Friendship, No. 6284 (East Kent); Trident Lodge, No. 6407 (Nottinghamshire); Cowley Lodge, No. 7571 (Middlesex); Latton Priory Lodge, No. 8402 (Essex); Gayton Lodge, No. 8640 (Cheshire); Lodge of Good Report, No. 8646 (Middlesex); Oakfield Park Lodge, No. 8671 (West Kent); Manor Abbey Lodge, No. 8873 (Worcestershire); Lewes Priory Lodge, No. 9201 (Sussex) and Sure and Stedfast Lodge, No. 9365 (Worcestershire).

Over recent years, the Lodges have found themselves no longer viable. The Board was satisfied that further efforts to save them would be to no avail and therefore had no alternative but to recommend that they be erased. A Resolution to this effect was approved.

Expulsions

As required by Rule 277 (a) (i) (B), Book of Constitutions, eight Brethren had recently been expelled from the Craft.

Grand Lodge Accounts 2016

The Audited Accounts of the Grand Lodge for the year ended 31 December 2016 were adopted.

Election of Grand Lodge Auditors

Crowe Clarke Whitehill LLP were re-elected as Auditors of the Grand Lodge.

Talk: 1717 – Foundation and Formation

A talk was given by VW Bro J.M. Hamill, PGSwdB, Deputy Grand Chancellor.

List of new Lodges for which Warrants have been granted by the MW The Grand Master showing the dates from which their Warrants became effective:

8 March 2017

9944 Lodge of XV (Braintree, Essex)
9945 Buckinghamshire Classic Car Lodge (Beaconsfield Buckinghamshire)

27 April 2017

9946 Berkshire Lodge of Enlightenment (Berkshire)
9947 Constructors’ Lodge (Berkshire)

Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge

A Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge is held on the second Wednesday in March, June, September and December. The next will be at noon on Wednesday, 13 September 2017. Subsequent Communications will be held on 13 December 2017; 14 March, 2018; 13 June, 2018 and 12 September, 2018.

The Annual Investiture of Grand Officers takes place on the last Wednesday in April (the next is on 25 April 2018), and admission is by ticket only. A few tickets are allocated by ballot after provision has been made for those automatically entitled to attend. Full details will be given in the Paper of Business for December Grand Lodge.

Convocations of Supreme Grand Chapter

Convocations of Supreme Grand Chapter are held on the second Wednesday in November and the day following the Annual Investiture of Grand Lodge. Future Convocations will be held on 8 November, 2017; 26 April, 2018 and 14 November 2018.

Published in UGLE

Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge

8 June 2016 
Report of the Board of General Purposes

Minutes

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.

Annual Dues

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:

Annual Dues Jun 2016

Fees

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:

Annual Fees Jun 2016

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.

Prestonian Lecture

(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.

Amalgamations

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.

Expulsions

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.

Presentation

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

Quarterly Communications

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.

Published in UGLE

Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge

9 December 2015 
Report of the Board of General Purposes

Minutes

The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge of 9 September 2015 were confirmed. 

Annual Investiture of Grand Officers (27 April 2016)

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.

Masonic Year Book

The next edition of the Masonic Year Book, 2016–2017, will be available next summer. the charge will be £14 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 2016. Copies of the 2015 edition will still be available from Letchworth’s Shop.

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. 

Prestonian Lectures for 2016

The Board has considered applications for the delivery of the official Prestonian Lectures in 2016 and has decided that these should be given under the auspices of the following:

Zetland and Hong Kong Lodge No. 7665 (London)
Bristol Installed Masters Lodge No. 8168 (Bristol)
Temple of Athene Lodge No. 9541 (Middlesex)

The lecturer, W Bro Dr R.A. Berman, states that the title of the lecture will be: Foundations: new light on the formation and early years of the Grand Lodge of England.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation

The MW The Grand Master has approved the name “The Masonic Charitable Foundation” as the title for the new umbrella organisation under which the existing main masonic charities will operate from 2016. He has also agreed that the President and Deputy President of the new charity should take precedence among the Grand Officers immediately after Past Grand Chancellors. The Board accordingly recommends a number of amendments which will be required to the rules in the Book of Constitutions and to the plates in the Appendix. The Board has also noted several existing anomalies particularly in the numbering and descriptions of the plates and recommends that the present opportunity be used to correct these.

Notice of Motion to amend the Book of Constitutions accordingly appeared on the Paper of Business.

Lodge Minutes

It has been brought to the attention of the Board that many lodges are less meticulous than was formerly the case in recording, and subsequently preserving, minutes of their meetings. Rule 144 of the Book of Constitutions requires every lodge to keep a minute book and lays upon the Master or the Secretary the duty of regularly entering the names and particulars of all candidates, together with the names – and, in the case of visitors, their lodges and masonic ranks – of all those present at each meeting, and minutes of the business transacted. Any deficiency in this respect will inevitably have an impact on those who in later years may be charged with the duty of writing lodge histories and may even in an extreme case prevent a lodge from being able to establish its entitlement to a Centenary or Bi-Centenary Warrant. The Board therefore trusts that the Grand Lodge will endorse the following guidance which, apart from being largely a matter of common sense also draws in some respects on previous edicts of the Grand Lodge.

1. Every care should be taken to ensure the permanence of minutes or other records. In the present context a “Minute Book” is a permanently bound volume in which the particulars required by Rule 144 are entered either in handwriting or by affixing sheets by means of permanent glue or gum (and not by means of adhesive tape, which deteriorates over time and loses its effectiveness). A loose-leaf folder or binder is not a suitable substitute for a bound book and the Board recommends, for the avoidance of any doubt, that such folders and binders be not used.

2. Rule 144 is not complied with by keeping minutes exclusively or partly in electronic form. The Board feels impelled to point out that, apart from the inherent risk of corruption of electronic data, the software necessary to read an electronic document is liable to become obsolete within a relatively short time.

3. Where minutes are handwritten, record ink or some other permanent ink should be used.

4. No valid objection can be raised to the use of a typewriter or a word-processor, provided that each typed or printed sheet is irremovably affixed to the Minute Book and initialled by the Secretary before being submitted for confirmation by the lodge. Care should, however, be exercised in ensuring that the ink or other printing medium used in producing such sheets is itself permanent in nature and is not liable to deterioration in the conditions in which Minute Books are stored.

5. Similarly, loose attendance sheets may legitimately be used to record the signatures of members or visitors present at lodge meetings in numbers beyond the capacity of the normal signature or attendance book. The Board is of opinion that the requirements of the second part of Rule 144, Book of Constitutions, are met if these sheets are irremovably affixed to the minutes of the meeting to which they refer, provided that each sheet is initialled by the Master or secretary. In stating this opinion the Board does not wish to encourage the use of loose sheets to the exclusion of signature books, which serve a useful purpose as a record of the attendance of officers and distinguished visitors. The use of a signature book, however, does not obviate, and never has obviated, the need for the names and details of all those present at a meeting to be entered into the Minute Book: it cannot be too heavily stressed that all names appearing in the signature book must continue to be recorded in the body of the minutes.

6. Lodges are advised to take steps for the permanent housing of lodge records which have ceased to be of day-to-day use. The Board suggests that in order to ensure that future office holders or historians are aware of where the records have been deposited, a comprehensive list be placed in the current Minute book and transferred to its successor when its turn comes to be laid up in safe-keeping.

Amalgamations

The Board has received reports that the following lodges have resolved to surrender their Warrants:

(a) Bergnet Lodge, No. 6841, in order to amalgamate with Mimmine Lodge, No. 4932 (Hertfordshire); and
(b) Shrewsbury Lodge, No. 7211, in order to amalgamate with Wentworth Lodge, no. 1239 (Yorkshire, West Riding).

The Board's recommendation that the lodges be removed from the register in order to effect the respective amalgamations was approved.

Erasure of lodges

The Board has received a report that seventeen lodges have closed and have surrendered their Warrants. The lodges are:

Lodge of Perseverance, No. 371 (Cumberland and Westmorland), Unity Lodge, No. 1637 (Middlesex), Bushey Hall Lodge, No. 2323 (Hertfordshire), Amatole Lodge, No. 2406 (South Africa, Eastern Division), Robert Mitchell Lodge, No. 2956 (Middlesex), Unity Lodge, No. 3044 (South Africa, Eastern Division) Vulcan Lodge, No. 3181 (London), Rebunie Lodge, No. 4279 (South Africa, Western Division), St Richard’s Lodge, No. 4469 (Sussex), Dulwich Lodge, No. 4616 (Surrey).

Beverley Lodge, No. 5006 (Surrey), Septem Lodge, No. 5887 (Surrey), Lodge of the Open Road, No. 5983 (London), Lodge of Meditation, No. 6747 (London), Perfect Ashlar Lodge, No. 6951 (Surrey), Legion Lodge, No. 8634 (Northumberland) and Harbour Lights Lodge, No. 8770 (Sussex).

The Board's recommendation that they be erased was approved.

Quarterly Communication meetings

9 March 2016, 27 April 2016 (Annual Investiture), 8 June 2016, 14 September 2016, 14 December 2016 and 8 March 2017.

Supreme Grand Chapter meetings

28 April 2016, 9 November 2016, 27 April 2017.

Published in UGLE

Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge

10 June 2015
Report of the Board of General Purposes

The minutes of the meetings of the Quarterly Communication of 11 March 2015 and of the Annual Investiture of 29 April 2015 were confirmed.

Annual Dues 2016 

A resolution was approved that a Board recommendation that the annual dues (including VAT) payable to Grand Lodge in respect of each member of every Lodge for the year 2016 shall be:

Dues 2015

Fees 2016

A resolution was approved that the Board recommendation that the fees (exclusive of VAT) payable for registration, certificates and dispensations should be increased in line with inflation to:

Fees 2015

Contribution to Grand Charity

A resolution was approved that the Council of the Grand Charity’s request that for 2016 the annual contribution remain at £17 in respect of each member of a Lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province, or in England and Wales that is unattached, was approved. 

Prestonian Lectures

2014: 1814: Consolidation and Change

The Lecturer, Dr M.A. Kearsley, had informed the Board that in addition to the three official deliveries to The London Grand Rank Association; Egerton Worsley Lodge No. 1213, Eccles (West Lancashire); and Temple of Athene Lodge No. 9541, Harrow (Middlesex), the Lecture was also delivered on 46 other occasions throughout the Constitution. The Board expressed its thanks to Bro Kearsley for the considerable time and effort he has spent in this connection. 

2015: Wherever dispersed – the Travelling Mason

The Prestonian Lecturer for 2015 is Prof R. Burt. Five official Prestonian Lectures for 2015 have been or will be given under the auspices of: Royal Standard Lodge No. 398 (Montreal and Halifax); Shepherd's 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).

2016: The Board has submitted a nomination to the Trustees of the Prestonian Fund and they have appointed Dr R.A. Berman as Prestonian Lecturer for 2016. Dr Berman states that the title of his Lecture will be: Foundations: new light on the formation and early years of the Grand Lodge of England.

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.

Amalgamation

The Board had received a report that King Oswald Lodge No. 3306 had resolved to surrender its Warrant in order to amalgamate with Bank Terrace Lodge No. 462 (East Lancashire). A resolution that the Board recommendation 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 thirty-five Lodges have closed and have surrendered their Warrants. The Lodges are: Lodge of Sincerity No. 292 (West Lancashire); Architect Lodge No. 1375 (West Lancashire); Marlborough Lodge No. 1620 (West Lancashire); Beckenham Lodge No. 2047 (London); Mitcham Lodge No. 2384 (Surrey); Randle Holme Lodge No. 3261 (Cheshire); Murdoch Lodge No. 3480 (Warwickshire); Lodge of Amity No. 3845 (Warwickshire); Milton Lodge No. 3849 (Yorkshire, West Riding); Gordovic Lodge No. 4061 (Cheshire); Garrick Lodge No. 4246 (Cheshire); Hanwell Lodge No. 4676 (London); Tadorne Lodge No. 4735 (Surrey); Linacre Lodge No. 4823 (West Lancashire); Lombardian Lodge No. 4887 (West Lancashire); Caxton Lodge No. 5093 (Warwickshire); Wansbeck Lodge No. 5171 (Northumberland); St Cuthbert Lodge No. 5294 (Cumberland and Westmorland); West Twyford Coronation Lodge No. 5674 (London); Grey Friars Lodge No. 6080 (Warwickshire); Optima Lodge No. 6101 (West Lancashire); Abbey Lodge No. 6425 (Cumberland and Westmorland); Chedelintone Lodge No. 6508 (Oxfordshire); Maghull Lodge No. 7190 (West Lancashire); Bromley Lodge of Good Fellowship No. 7242 (West Kent); The Forester Lodge No. 7503 (Worcestershire); Cherrywood Lodge No. 7530 (Surrey); Lodge of Orleans No. 7955 (Middlesex); Arthur Hollins Lodge No. 8785 (Middlesex); Ernehale Lodge No. 8806 (Nottinghamshire); Tenwarden Lodge No. 8858 (East Kent); Sure and Steadfast Lodge No. 9326 (West Lancashire); Chypping Walden Lodge No. 9617 (Essex); St George and St Andrew Lodge No. 9677 (Cumberland and Westmorland) and Lodge of Renaissance No. 9724 (Warwickshire)

A resolution that the Board recommendation that they be erased was approved.

Grand Lodge Accounts for 2014

The Audited Accounts of Grand Lodge  for  the year ended 31 December 2014 were approved.

Election of Grand Lodge Auditors

The re-election of Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP, as Auditors of Grand Lodge was approved.

The Freemasonsʼ Fund for Surgical Research

A talk was given by J.A.H. West, Chairman of the Trustees of the Fund.

Expulsions from the Craft

Fifteen brethren were expelled from the Craft.

List of new lodges for which Warrants have been granted

11 March 2015

9906 Musket Pike and Drum Lodge, Staffordshire
9907 Universities Lodge of Staffordshire, Staffordshire
9908 Albert Edward Court Lodge of Research, South Wales
9909 Newent Daffodil Lodge, Gloucestershire
9910 Spirit of Rugby Lodge, Durham

30 April 2015

9911 Lodge of Uniformed Services, Cumberland and Westmorland
9912 Bundle of Sticks Lodge , Sussex
9913 Nigeria Centenary Lodge, Nigeria

Quarterly Communication

A Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge is held on the second Wednesday in March, June, September and December. The next will be at noon on Wednesday, 9 September 2015. Subsequent Communications will be held on 9 December 2015, 9 March 2016, 8 June 2016 and 14 September 2016. 

The Annual Investiture of Grand Officers takes place on the last Wednesday in April (the next is on 27 April 2016), and admission is by ticket only. A few tickets are allocated by ballot after provision has been made for those automatically entitled to attend. Full details will be given in the Paper of Business for December Grand Lodge.

Supreme Grand Chapter

Convocations of Supreme Grand Chapter are held on the second Wednesday in November and the day following the Annual Investiture of Grand Lodge. Future Convocations will be held on 11 November 2015, 28 April 2016 and 9 November 2016.

Published in UGLE

Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge

11 June 2014 
Report of the Board of General Purposes

Minutes

The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of 12 March 2014 and of the Annual Investiture of 30 April 2014 were confirmed.

Annual Dues 

The Board’s recommendation for the annual dues payable to Grand Lodge in respect of each member of every lodge for the year 2015 was approved.

Fees

The Board’s recommendation that fees (exclusive of VAT) payable for registration, certificates and dispensations should be increased in line with inflation was approved.

Contribution to The Grand Charity

The Resolution was not put.

Prestonian Lectures

2013: As we were seen - the Press and Freemasonry

The Lecturer, P.R. Calderwood, informed the Board that in addition to the three official deliveries to Jubilee Masters Lodge, No. 2712 (London), Bowen Lodge, No. 2816 (Buckinghamshire) and Torbay Masters Lodge, No. 8227 (Devonshire), the Lecture was also delivered on twenty-six other occasions throughout the Constitution. The Board thanked Bro. Calderwood for the considerable time and effort he has spent in this connection.

2014: 1814: Consolidation and Change

The Prestonian Lecturer for 2014 is Dr M.A. Kearsley. Three official Prestonian Lectures for 2014 have been or will be given under the auspices of The London Grand Rank Association, Egerton Worsley Lodge, No. 1213, Eccles (West Lancashire) and Temple of Athene Lodge, No. 9541, Harrow (Middlesex). 

2015: The Board has submitted a nomination to the Trustees of the Prestonian Fund and they have appointed Prof R. Burt as Prestonian Lecturer for 2015. The title of his Lecture will be Wherever dispersed – the Travelling Mason.

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.

Traditional History of the Third Degree

In May 2011 it was brought to the Board’s attention that some lodges were working only the main part of the Third Degree ceremony, leaving the Traditional History to be delivered on a future occasion. The Board concluded that the delivery of the Traditional History of the Third Degree, containing as it does certain of the secrets of the degree, was an integral part of the ceremony of Raising. It therefore instructed the Grand Secretary not to register any Brother as having received the Third Degree until it was established that he had received the Traditional History.

Although it was the hope of the Board that as a consequence of this direction the practice of delivering the Traditional History on a separate occasion would gradually cease, this has not proved to be the case.

The practice appears to be largely unknown in London and most Provinces, and Provincial Grand Masters generally have expressed surprise that it should exist. It has been suggested (though this is not easily capable of verification) that, with fewer candidates coming forward, Lodges are ‘spinning out’ their work. If this is so, it would suggest that the practice is of recent origin; and it is, at any rate, certain that all the more commonly used rituals treat the Third Degree as a single indivisible whole. Moreover, the omission of the Traditional History saves only some ten to fifteen minutes, so that the overall length of the ceremony is unlikely to have been a significant consideration.

The Board has now reaffirmed its view that the delivery of the Traditional History of the Third Degree is an integral part of the ceremony of Raising. It therefore trusts that the Grand Lodge will endorse its recommendation that the Third Degree be given in its entirety on every occasion that it is worked.

Grande Loge Nationale Française

At its Quarterly Communication in September 2011 the Grand Lodge voted to suspend relations with the Grande Loge Nationale Française (the ‘GLNF’) in view of the widespread disharmony then existing within that Grand Lodge.

At the Quarterly Communication in September 2012 the Board reported that the situation within the GLNF had deteriorated and that the continuing turbulence within the GLNF made it impossible at that time to determine the true state of affairs. The Board, after taking advice from the Grand Registrar, had reluctantly decided that it had no alternative but to recommend that it was in the best interests of the Grand Lodge that recognition be withdrawn from the GLNF. The Grand Lodge voted to withdraw recognition.

The Board has continued to monitor the situation and notes that changes have been made in the Constitution and Rules of the GLNF, with the full support and participation of the members, which should in future prevent any individual or group of individuals usurping power, and that significant numbers of former members are returning to the GLNF. The GLNF has now submitted a request to this Grand Lodge that the Grand Lodge restore recognition of the GNLF.

The Board believes that the problems which led to the withdrawal of recognition in September 2012 have been actively addressed by the new Grand Master and his executive and that stability and harmony have returned to the GLNF. Accordingly, the Board recommends that the Grand Lodge restore recognition to the GLNF.

A Resolution to this effect was approved.

Paper of Business and Printed Proceedings of the Grand Lodge

The Board has appointed a committee which is considering how electronic systems and methods might be used to streamline systems and produce economies in the way in which Freemasonry is administered at all levels. It is expected that some of the measures which may be recommended will require amendments to the Book of Constitutions and the Board expects to give notice of motion in September to introduce the first of such amendments.

In the meantime, the Board has considered the wording of Rule 47 which requires the Grand Secretary to forward the papers of business and the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge to Grand Officers and certain others, and to send copies to all lodge secretaries. It has concluded that the Rule already permits this to be done by electronic means and accordingly proposes that, starting with the Quarterly Communication in December 2014, such papers should in future be so transmitted to those within the specified categories for whom the Grand Secretary’s office has an e-mail address, unless the Brethren concerned request otherwise. The Board wishes to stress the importance of Brethren ensuring that they inform those who will need the information of any change in e-mail address or any other relevant contact details.

The Committee will also in due course consider all other aspects of electronic systems and related technology insofar as they may be relevant to streamlining current procedures and methods.

Audit of Lodge and Other Accounts

It has been brought to the Board’s attention that both national and international professional accountancy bodies are seeking to place restrictions on their members carrying out any process described as an ‘audit’ that does not conform to the exacting regulations that they lay down. Those regulations are in general intended to govern the audit of accounts far more complex than those of masonic units, and impose a level of compliance and responsibility in excess of what is required for most masonic accounts.

The Board is concerned that Brethren possessed of useful (even though not essential) skill and expertise will be discouraged or prevented from undertaking the audit of lodge and other masonic accounts as a consequence of what it considers to be no more than a matter of nomenclature. It therefore trusts that the Grand Lodge will endorse its recommendation that whenever a Rule in the Book of Constitutions or a lodge’s, Province’s or District’s by-laws requires that accounts be audited such Rule will, in the case of an individual who is a professionally qualified accountant or auditor, be deemed to be complied with if he carries out an ‘examination’ of those accounts and certifies that he has done so.

Amalgamations

The Board had received reports that the following lodges had resolved to surrender their Warrants: 

Blackheath Lodge, No. 1320 (London) in order to amalgamate with Lodge Fidelis, No. 5405 (London); Leyland Lodge, No. 4249 in order to amalgamate with Hesketh Lodge, No. 986 (West Lancashire); Kentish Companions Lodge, No. 8483 in order to amalgamate with Hervey Lodge, No. 1692 (West Kent); and Mount Sinai Lodge, No. 8855 in order to amalgamate with Old Mancunians Lodge No. 3140  (East Lancashire). The Board recommendation that the lodges be removed from the register of Grand Lodge in order to effect the amalgamations was approved.

Erasure of Lodges

The Board had received a report that thirty-five lodges had closed and had surrendered their Warrants. They are: Lodge of Affability with Villiers, No. 317 (East Lancashire); Yarborough Lodge, No. 633 (East Lancashire); Callender Lodge, No. 1052 (East Lancashire); Starkie Lodge, No. 1634 (East Lancashire); All Saints Lodge, No. 1716 (London); St George’s Lodge, No. 1723 (East Lancashire); Radcliffe Lodge, No. 2701 (East Lancashire); Westcliff Lodge, No. 2903 (Essex); Proscenium Lodge, No. 4152 (Cheshire); Victory Lodge, No. 4157 (South Africa, North); Isthmian Lodge, No. 4566 (Essex); Halliwick Lodge, No. 4800 (London).

Aintree Lodge, No. 4906 (West Lancashire); Anglo-Dutch and Barnes Lodge, No. 4968 (London); Sphere Lodge, No. 5051 (Warwickshire); Pro Minimis and Marble Arch Lodge, No. 5180 (London); Halcyon Lodge, No. 5300 (East Lancashire); Farnworth Lodge, No. 5301 (East Lancashire); Hounslow Lodge, No. 5415 (Middlesex); Summit Lodge, No. 5944 (Staffordshire); Heber Lodge, No. 6241 (Northumberland); St Michael’s Lodge, No. 6332 (Durham); Stamford and Assheton Lodge, No. 6427 (East Lancashire).

Lodge of True Friendship, No. 6631 (London); Richard Taunton Lodge, No. 7050 (Hampshire & Isle of Wight); Dextras Dare Lodge, No. 7054 (London); Cricketers Lodge, No. 7508 (Northumberland); Monitorial Lodge, No. 7676 (London); Lodge of Fraternal Friendship, No. 7777 (London); St Edmund Lodge, No. 7945 (West Kent); Hilsea Bastion Lodge, No. 8245 (Hampshire & Isle of Wight); Lodge of Dignity, No. 8304 (East Lancashire); Tewkesbury Lodge, No. 8344 (London); Ajex Lodge, No. 8407 (London); and Hawkshaw Lodge, No. 8624 (East Lancashire). 

Over recent years, the lodges had found themselves no longer viable. The Board was satisfied that further efforts to save them would be to no avail and therefore had no alternative but to recommend that they be erased. A Resolution to this effect was approved.

Expulsions

Fifteen brethren have been expelled from the Craft.

Grand Lodge Accounts for 2013

The Audited Accounts of Grand Lodge for the year ended 31 December 2013 were approved.

Election of Grand Lodge Auditors

The re-election of Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP, as Auditors of Grand Lodge, was approved. 

Quarterly Communications

A Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge is held on the second Wednesday in March, June, September and December. The next will be at noon on Wednesday, 10 September 2014. Subsequent Communications will be held: 10 December 2014, 11 March 2015, 10 June 2015 and 9 September 2015. 

The Annual Investiture of Grand Officers takes place on the last Wednesday in April (the next is on 29 April 2015), and admission is by ticket only. A few tickets are allocated by ballot after provision has been made for those automatically entitled to attend. Full details will be given in the Paper of Business for December Grand Lodge. 

Supreme Grand Chapter

Convocations of Supreme Grand Chapter are held on the second Wednesday in November and the day following the Annual Investiture of Grand Lodge. Future Convocations will be held on 12 November 2014, 30 April 2015 and 11 November 2015.

Published in UGLE

Prestonian Lecture

The Board of General Purposes has considered applications for the official delivery of the 2014 Prestonian Lecture and has decided that it should be given under the auspices of The London Grand Rank Association, Egerton Worsley Lodge, No. 1213, Eccles (West Lancashire) and Temple of Athene Lodge, No. 9541, Harrow (Middlesex). The lecturer,  Dr Mike Kearsley, revealed the lecture title to be ‘1814 Consolidation and Change: the first year of the United Grand Lodge of England’.

Published in UGLE

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