ISSUE 15, October 2005
Historic: Nelson and Freemasonry
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's Speech
Grand Lodge: Quarterly Communication
Hurricane Katrina: Grand Charity Relief Chest
Royal Arch: John Knight
Masonic Embroidery: A stitch in time...
Travel: Walzing along the Danube
Specialist Lodges: Martial arts
Library & Museum: The two Freemasons' Halls
    Anniversary: Jersey's Liberation
Anniversary: Dorset's 225 years
Obituaries: Lord Swansea OSM
Pro Grand Master: Whither directing our course?
Charmian Hussey: A Mason's wife on Masonry
International: The Grand Lodge of Israel
Education: Sheffield's big plans
Education: Forthcoming events
Education: The Second Degree
Masonic Charities
Letters, Book Reviews, Gardening

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The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge of 8 June 2005 were confirmed.

The dates on which the Board of General Purposes will meet in 2006: 7 February, 21 March, 9 May, 18 July, 19 September, 14 November.

Attendance at Lodges under the English Constitution by Brethren from other Grand Lodges

The Board considers it appropriate to draw attention to Rule 125(b), Book of Constitutions, and the list of Grand Lodges recognised by the UGLE, which is published in the Masonic Year Book, copies of which are sent to secretaries of Lodges.
     Only Brethren who are members of Lodges under recognised jurisdictions may visit English Lodges. They must produce a certificate (i.e., a Grand Lodge certificate or other documentary proof of Masonic identity provided by their Grand Lodge), should be prepared to acknowledge that a personal belief in ...... is an essential Landmark in Freemasonry, and should be able to produce evidence of their good standing in their Lodges. It is the Master’s responsibility to ensure that the requirements of Rule 125(b) are met.
     It is particularly noted that the hazard of admitting a member of an unrecognised constitution arises not only in connection with overseas visitors (or individuals resident in this country who belong to an unrecognised constitution overseas).
     There are Lodges of unrecognised constitutions meeting in England, and care must be taken that their members are not admitted to our meetings.

Attendance at Lodges Overseas

The continuing growth in overseas travel brings with it an increase in visits by our Brethren to Lodges of other jurisdictions, and the Board welcomes this trend. From time to time, however, Brethren become involved with Masonic bodies which Grand Lodge does not recognise, e.g., in visiting a jurisdiction which, quite legitimately so far as it is concerned, accepts as visitors Brethren from Grand Lodges which are not recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England.
     In this connection, Brethren are reminded that it is part of their duty as members of the English Constitution not to associate Masonically with members of unrecognised constitutions, and should such a situation occur, they should tactfully withdraw, even though their visit may have been formally arranged.
     To avoid this danger, and potential embarrassment to hosts, Brethren should not attempt to make any Masonic contact overseas without having first checked (preferably in writing) with the Grand Secretary’s Office at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London wc2b 5az, that there is recognised Freemasonry in the country concerned and, if so, whether there is any particular point which should be watched.
     The Board recommends that the terms of this warning should be repeated verbally in open Lodge whenever a Grand Lodge Certificate is presented, and be in print once a year in a Lodge’s summons.
     Brethren should also be aware of the Masonic convention that communications between Grand Lodges be conducted by Grand Secretaries. They should therefore not attempt without permission to make direct contact with the Grand Secretary of another Constitution. This does not preclude direct contact on a purely personal level between individual Brethren under different Grand Lodges.

Grand Lodge’s Accounts

Annual Dues, Fees and Grand Charity Contributions

Although the Grand Lodge’s accounts are required by Rule 228(c) of the Book of Constitutions to be circulated to every Lodge not later than 31st March of the following year, they are not presented to the Grand Lodge for consideration until the Quarterly Communication in June.
     The Board considers that if the date by which the accounts must be circulated were to be extended to 30th April the process of preparation and audit could be conducted in a more efficient and controlled manner (with a consequent saving in audit fees), while adequate time would still be available for Brethren to peruse the accounts before the Quarterly Communication in June.
     The Board also considers that it is in principle undesirable that the Grand Lodge be asked to fix the amounts of the Grand Lodge dues, fees and Grand Charity contributions without knowledge of the current state of the Grand Lodge’s finances.
     It accordingly recommends that in future those amounts should be set at the Quarterly Communication in June when the audited Accounts will be available. Notice of Motion was given to amend the Book of Constitutions accordingly.

Installed Master’ Lodges

As indicated in the Board’s Report to Grand Lodge in June 2005, it is proposed to exempt Installed Masters’ Lodges from paying dues to Grand Lodge and the contribution to the Grand Charity, except in respect of those members who belong to no other Lodge.
     Notice of Motion was given to amend the Book of Constitutions accordingly.

Freemasonry and the Media

There has recently been a revival in interest in Freemasonry on the part of the broadcast media. The Board believes it timely to remind Brethren of the general advice given on this subject on previous occasions.
     Whilst it has no desire to prevent Brethren from voicing their views, the Board believes that participation, at both the national and local levels, in broadcast debates on Freemasonry is best left to spokesmen who have the background knowledge and experience to participate in such events, and, preferably, have been duly authorised in advance.
     Any Brother who is approached to take part in a broadcast should seek guidance either from the Communications Department at Freemasons’ Hall or the Information Officer appointed by his Metropolitan, Provincial or District Grand Master. It follows also that Brethren, other than those authorised, should not voluntarily approach the media to solicit coverage.

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