ISSUE 12, January 2005

Editorial
Kitchener of Khartoum: Mason extraordinary
Travel: Where east meets west
Veteran Honoured: Old soldier remembered
Royal Masonic Family: The Six Masonic Sons of George III, Part 1
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech of the Pro First Grand Principal and, Report of the Committee of General Purposes
  Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London: London's first consecration
Soccer: Man in the Middle
Wales: Joseph Parry - flawed genius?
Library & Museum: Donations gather pace
Education: Dates for your diary and, Planning a 'white table' and, Looking to the future and, Time marches on
Grand Charity: General meeting and non-Masonic grant list
Masonic Charities: Reports from the four main charities
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening


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Royal Arch changes
At an historic meeting of Supreme Grand Chapter in October (see pages 22-26), major changes to the Royal Arch ritual were approved and come into effect immediately.
     Having listened to the many suggestions made by Royal Arch members, the final version of the Strategic Working Party made considerable changes from the original draft.
     The changes also fall in line with the decision of the Craft in December 2003 to redefine the relationship between the Craft and the Royal Arch, making clear that the latter is an Order in its own right, and not the completion of the Third Degree.
     Unfortunately some Lodges still insist on putting this misleading fact on their Summons, a practice which ought to stop forthwith. The Third Degree is a Masonic Degree in its own right. It is complete.
     This is why the 27-word reference to the Third Degree in the Royal Arch Exaltation ceremony has been removed and this change is compulsory, even if the old ritual is still performed by Chapters.
     Individual Chapters now have a choice of three ways forward: stay with the old ritual, change to the new ritual or mix and match, i.e., have one Lecture delivered in the old form and another in the new.
     It is, however, very strongly recommended and the First Grand Principal, Lord Northampton emphasised this at Supreme Grand Chapter that Chapters change to the new ritual.
     Those of us who attended Grand Chapter in October saw the ceremony conducted in outstanding fashion by a team from Hertfordshire. It makes much more sense, is shorter and, for example, the Mystical Lecture can now be given in three parts.
     The new books of ritual will be out later in the year, but it might be a good idea if Provinces began demonstrations of the new ritual right away. To see it is to be converted to it!

Lodge amalgamations
Amalgamations of Lodges are now a regular occurrence, but in the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge for last month (see pages 28-30) there was an important Notice of Motion for the 9 March meeting.
     A new Rule 165A will allow for the transfer of members of a Lodge being amalgamated rather than having to become joining members. While it may seem a minor point, it is in fact a considerably important change, for to transfer to another Lodge is a more acceptable method than joining.
     It is always sad to lose Lodges, but when they do go ahead at least the decision can now be eased by the transfer principle.

Masonic declaration
Our colleagues in the Grand Lodge of Ireland whose members cover the whole of Ireland including Ulster have been vigilant in pursuing the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) over a planned declaration of Masonic membership.
     This declaration, which was to have been a condition of membership of the PSNI, was withdrawn by the Chief Constable, but has been reinstated.
     A prolonged and largely successful battle has been fought for several years, by UGLE in particular, against attempts to single out Freemasons as being required to disclose membership.
     Masons are not prepared to accept such blatant discrimination. Hopefully, the Chief Constable will see sense on this issue.



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