That Freemasonry is an international
fraternity cannot be denied, and it is
encouraging that nations emerging from
decades of totalitarian rule in Eastern Europe
are embracing the Craft and particularly the
Royal Arch with boundless enthusiasm.
As we show in this issue, developments
for the Craft in Macedonia and the Royal
Arch in various Eastern European countries,
backed by both the United Grand Lodge
and Supreme Grand Chapter of England, are
Moreover, it is heartening that these
regions are turning to the English
Constitution for their inspiration and
help. It further underlines our pre-eminence
in the Masonic world.
At a time when concern is being
expressed about the falling numbers joining
Freemasonry at home, it is encouraging that
such good news is coming from other parts
of the world. And there is more such good
news to come.
The revival of Masonry in these former
communist states is an inspiration to us all to
“lift our game” and be more positive about
Royal Arch recruitment
In his address to Supreme Grand Chapter,
Lord Northampton, Pro First Grand
Principal, revealed that barely 37% of Craft
members are in the Order. Put another way,
some 63% are not Royal Arch Masons.
This is an unacceptable state of affairs.
New Masons are too often left in blissful
ignorance about the Royal Arch and are
encouraged to join other Lodges far too
early in their Masonic careers, leaving a large
void in their knowledge through not being a
Royal Arch member.
Anybody who aspires to being a “full”
Mason should be in the Royal Arch.
Unfortunately, there is often no “joined-up”
Masonry in some areas, where the Craft and
Royal Arch are not working in unison. This
is despite Chapters being associated with
Lodges, with the same name and number.
As Lord Northampton points out, the
revised ritual is being taken up with
enthusiasm and this should encourage Royal
Arch members to renew their vigour in
recruiting new members to the Order.
The article in the last issue of MQ about
Dorset’s 250th anniversary, stating that the
Province’s youngest member was only 19,
has led to a number of readers writing in to
query this fact.
Not possible, they say – you must be 21.
“Who changed the rules?” another reader
asked. It is true that the ritual books mention
21 as the age of entry, but when in doubt,
turn to the fount of all knowledge – the Book
Rule 157 explains all under
“Qualifications for Initiation” as follows:
“No person shall be made a Mason while
under the age of twenty-one years, unless
by dispensation of the Grand Master or
Provincial or District Grand Master. Every
candidate must be a free man, and in
In 2007, an International Conference on
the History of Freemasonry (ICHF) will
be held at Freemasons’ Hall, Edinburgh,
25-27 May, under the patronage of Lord
Northampton, Pro Grand Master of the
United Grand Lodge of England; Eric N
Waller, Grand Master Mason of the Grand
Lodge of Ireland and Sir Archibald Orr
Ewing, Grand Master Mason of the Grand
Lodge of Scotland.
The conference will present research
on all aspects of Freemasonry. For more
information regarding conference
arrangements, the call for papers and
to register your interest, please visit
www.northernnetworking.co.uk or email
to ICHF@glasconf.demon.co.uk. Further
details will be published in the next issue
Lord Swansea OSM
In our last issue we carried an obituary of
Lord Swansea OSM, but inadvertently left
out his 18 years as a member of the Supreme
Council of the Ancient and Accepted Rite.
We apologise for the omission.
Web site created by Mark Griffin