Irregulars fall out!
There has been a split in the so-called
Regular Grand Lodge of England. Two
of its members have broken away and now
claim to be the Grand Lodge of All England,
adding that they, and not the United
Grand Lodge of England, are the oldest
and legitimate authority over the Craft
in England, Wales and Districts overseas.
Setting aside the question of how
a Grand Lodge can consist of only two
people, how can a body which uses myth
and twisted history as its authority to meet,
claim any sort of legitimacy?
They say they are meeting by authority
of the original Constitutions granted by
Prince Edwin at the General Assembly of
Masons in York in AD 926. Sorry, neither
the Constitutions nor Prince Edwin existed
and the Assembly never took place.
They further claim to be a revival of the
Grand Lodge of All England formed in York
in 1705, and therefore older than the premier
Grand Lodge, formed in London in 1717.
That an independent Lodge met in York,
and there are records for it dating from 1705,
is true. It was not, however, a Grand Lodge
at that stage. Its records are still preserved in
the Masonic Hall at Duncombe Place in York
These clearly show that it had no
pretensions to being a Grand Lodge until
1725 when, because of the success of the
premier Grand Lodge in London, it decided
to call itself a Grand Lodge and adopted 19
Articles to govern the Craft. It went dormant
in 1740, was revived in 1761 and petered
out in 1791, never to meet again.
In the fashion
At first glance, the cover for this issue may
have led some readers to wonder what was
going on. However, a read through the article
on Public Relations on pages 22-23 explains.
Freemasonsí Hall is now a much
sought-after venue for major events by
top organisations, bringing into the art
deco building a wide variety of people who
see it as the ideal spot for entertainment.
The most recent to hire the hall are the
people behind the successful film King Kong
and Julien McDonald with his spectacular
fashion show, in which the Grand Temple
became a catwalk.
Television dramas such as the MI5 series
Spooks and the Agatha Christie episodes
of Poirot have used the building, and
Freemasonsí Hall is not only an integral
part of the local Covent Garden scene, but
a national venue, bringing in useful revenue.
It is all part of the policy of openness
which has transformed Freemasonry from
having nothing to say to the media to a
Communications Department at Grand
Lodge and Information Officers in every
Province and London, pushing the positive
side of what the Craft is doing.
The Pro Grand Master, Lord Northampton,
in his address to Grand Lodge last month,
referred to the proposal to set up a Rulersí
Forum (Pages 16 and 18) in another move
to modernise the Craft.
Significantly, two-thirds of the
membership of the Forum will be elected
to represent the Provinces and London,
while one-third will be appointed by the
Its role will be to debate some of the
issues facing us at this time, and to encourage
brethren with good ideas to air them in
a spirit of fraternal co-operation.
There is much to talk about in
Freemasonry today, but what is needed
are positive ideas. As the Pro Grand Master
told Grand Lodge, in his visits to London,
the Provinces and Districts over the past
year, he has found a new mood of optimism.
As such, the Rulersí Forum comes at just
the right time.
Web site created by Mark Griffin