ISSUE 18, July 2006
Editorial
Archbishop Fisher: A Godly man and a Brother
Travel: The train takes the strain
Quarterly Communication: Annual Investiture speech by the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the First Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge of New York: Speech by the Pro Grand Master
   Specialist Lodges: Keeping their eyes on the ball
Education: Planning ahead for the Chair and Events and New premises for Masonic research
Royal Opera House: A right Royal occasion
Royal opening: Beamish Museum
Digital records: Saving our past for the future
Library & Museum: The hall in the garden
Queen's Birthday: Masons played a prominent part
International: A Mason and the Foreign Legion
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity and NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Lord Northampton – responsibility of Grand Officers to promote the Royal Arch
  

Companions, I welcome you all here this morning for what is surely the highlight of the year for Royal Arch Masons and I congratulate all those I have invested with their new ranks. Those of you who have just been invested for the first time will realise that the honour of being appointed a Grand Officer brings with it certain responsibilities.
    The most important of these is to promote the Order to potential candidates. The Craft initiated 8,862 men last year and all of them will soon be eligible to join the Royal Arch. The number of Grand Lodge certificates issued since the millennium has fallen on average by less than 1% per year. Unfortunately, the figures for the Royal Arch are not so good.
    The number of Grand Chapter certificates issued each year since the millennium has fallen by 20%, or more than 3% per year. The Royal Arch is not for everyone – having a more intimate and spiritual ethos than the Craft – but there are many Master Masons out there who would benefit from joining us if we can only explain it to them in a meaningful and inspiring way. That is another responsibility we all share as Grand Officers.
    I am pleased to hear that many Chapters are now working the new ritual and are enjoying sharing the work among more Companions. Not only must we attract candidates, we must also put more effort into retaining them. Now that all our members are entitled to attend Grand Chapter, let us try and encourage them to attend our November meetings. I hope we can do something special to make it worth their while.
    The Second Grand Principal and the President of the Committee have been hosting a series of lunches with Grand Superintendents to discuss many different aspects of the Royal Arch. I am told that they have had some lively and constructive conversations. I said in Grand Lodge last month that I was beginning to sense a new optimism among our members in the Craft, and I hope that can soon be said for the Royal Arch as well.
    One piece of good news is the recent appointment of the Third Grand Principal as Dean of St Edmondsbury. It is not only a great accolade for him personally, it also brings much credit to pure Antient Masonry and we wish him every success in his new post.
    Finally Companions, I would like to thank the Grand Director of Ceremonies and his Deputies for their usual efficiency in ensuring the smooth running of our ceremony today; the Grand Scribe Ezra’s staff for their considerable efforts in organising this important event; and all of you for either coming to be invested with your new ranks or to support your friends who have been.

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