Rejected by the Church
Correspondence about Archbishop
Geoffrey Fisher’s churchmanship – High
Church or Evangelical – (MQ, Issue No. 20)
is less important than the example of Church
of England bigotry related by Bro. Hendry.
Moreover, John Philpin reports ‘in one
of his first policy decisions (Archbishop
Rowan Williams) stated that no Freemason
could hold a senior post in the clergy of the
Three years ago I offered myself as a
candidate for Ordination. I did not hide my
Freemasonry from my priest (or, indeed, my
many priest friends), the Diocesan Director
of Ordinands or my Bishop. None suggested
it might be any sort of impediment. After
nearly two years of preparation I attended
a selection conference. Amongst my many
failings listed by the selectors were “Morris
Dancing and Freemasons are male-only
activities. This fact... caused us some
concern. However, there was no evidence
of his having any difficulty relating to
women at the Panel.”
Would they have made the same
comment were I an active member of a
cricket or rugby club? If not, it is a clear case
of discrimination (although what they have
against Morris dancing I cannot imagine).
I was not recommended for training
(Church of England-speak for ‘rejected’).
I was interested in Barry Leat’s letter
on William Howley. As the Bishop of
London (1813-28) and later as Archbishop
of Canterbury (1828-48) he was a central
figure in both the late Georgian and
Victorian establishment. An excellent
doctoral thesis exists on him which can
be borrowed through the library system.
It is entitled William Howley and was
completed by James Garrard of Keble
College Oxford in 1992.
Worthing, West Sussex
Craft and Royal Arch
I wish to respond to the letters (MQ, Issue
No. 20) in which it is still contended that to
be a ‘complete’ Mason membership of the
Royal Arch is necessary.
This view is now redundant. A Royal
Arch Strategic Working Party examined
the relationship between Craft Masonry and
the Royal Arch and concluded the Craft is
an Order in its own right and that the Third
Degree is a Masonic Degree in its own right,
and that all references to the Royal Arch
being the completion of the Master Mason’s
Degree be removed from the ritual.
At its meeting in October 2004, Supreme
Grand Chapter approved major changes to
the Royal Arch ritual and these came into
effect immediately. The 27-word reference
to the Third Degree in the Royal Arch
ceremony has been removed. The change
is compulsory, even if the old ritual is still
performed by Chapters.
We are told that 63% of Masons are not
in the Royal Arch, and it is important that
their status as full and complete Masons is
recognised, and that this thorny issue needs
again to be clarified and put to rest.
Ormsksirk, West Lancashire
Vienna Lodge web site
Regarding the letter ‘Vienna Welcome’ (MQ,
Issue No. 20), unfortunately the web address
of the Sarastro Lodge is incorrectly
spelt, and should be www.sarastro-lodge.com.
As the Lodge is international in flavour,
offering an English-speaking home to any
brethren visiting central Europe and a web site
is an important tool of modern Masonry, I
would be grateful if you would print a
correction in your next edition.
Braille Emulation book
I would like to make a request to all
members of the Craft. Our Junior Warden’s
eyesight has been deteriorating for a number
of years. He is now partially sighted and has
recently received some very sad news from
his eye specialist that within the next six to
12 months he will lose his sight completely.
As the opportunity of becoming Master
for the first time is not far away for him, we
have tried in vain to acquire a copy of the
Emulation Ritual in Braille.
We have searched the internet and
tried almost all stockists of ritual books
throughout the UK, only to be told they
have no stock and the publishers (Lewis
Masonic) are not printing any more in the
If anyone knows of a copy in Braille that
is available for our Junior Warden to use,
please make contact with us.
We would be happy to purchase
one or borrow one until a new batch
is printed. Please contact:
South African initiation
I refer to the article “From Darkness to
Light” (MQ, Issue No. 20). In part it states:
“So, upon reflection, we have all had a
relatively comfortable ride during our
admission into the Craft.”
In the English working we did have an
easy ride, but I was initiated in Nigel,
Transvaal, South Africa in 1982 in Golden
Reef Lodge No. 5834 EC.
I was not kept in the dark for very long,
because the following evening I was taken to
see an initiation in Victory Lodge No. 4157,
Brakpan, Transvaal. The tradition in Nigel
was that, during his Mastership, the Master
of any English, Scottish, Irish or South
African Constitution automatically became
an honorary member of the other Lodges in
Another tradition was that the Master-
Elect invited the Masters of Lodges of the
other three Constitutions to present the
working tools to him during his Installation.
If visiting South Africa, brethren are
advised to visit a meeting of that
Constitution, where they will discover that
the English initiation is a ‘walk in the park’
compared with that in South Africa.
Web site created by Mark Griffin