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

Foundations: new light and early years

Zetland and Hong Kong Lodge No. 7665 have kindly extended an invitation to Friends of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry to attend one of the official deliveries of the 2016 Prestonian lecture, the only official Craft lecture sanctioned by the United Grand Lodge of England. 

The lecture will be held at Freemasons’ Hall on Monday 25th April 2016, 5.00pm.

Please register your attendance by 1st April 2016 via the Library and Museum: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

The Prestonian Lecturer is Dr Ric Berman and the chosen subject is: Foundations: new light on the formation and early years of the Grand Lodge of England.

The 2016 Prestonian Lecture explores the evolution of Freemasonry, queries long-standing myths, and explains the step change that occurred with the creation of the first Grand Lodge of England in 1717.

Dr Ric Berman outlines the connections between Freemasonry and the British establishment in the eighteenth century, and how and why its leaders positioned Grand Lodge as a bastion of support for the government. He also touches on how Freemasonry was used to advance Britain’s diplomatic objectives and for espionage.

The lecture marks the upcoming 300th anniversary of the formation of the first Grand Lodge and sets a context for 2017’s celebration.

The Prestonian Lecturer is appointed by the United Grand Lodge of England. This year’s lecturer, Ric Berman, is the author of Foundations of Modern Freemasonry first published in 2011 and now in its second edition; Schism (2013), which explains the real conflict between Moderns and Antients; and Loyalists & Malcontents (2015), a history of colonial and post-colonial Freemasonry in America's Deep South.

Published in More News

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

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