ISSUE 21, April 2007
Historic: Philanthropist and scientist: Sir Henry Wellcome
Travel: In Darwin's footsteps
Grand Secretary: Interview with Nigel Brown
Quarterly Communication: Speech by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Faith and Freemasonry: A Salvationist and the Craft
Young Mason: Keep up the tradition
Freemasons' Hall: Refurbishment
Ladies Groups: Cheshire Ladies Circle
   Library and Museum: Masonry and music - the role of the organ
Specialist Lodge: A new Lodge for showmen is consecrated
Serving the community: Two Masons win major rescue awards
Spain: How a Cleveland Mason found his Spanish roots
Wales: Welsh Mason lands national sporting award
Hospices: The Craft's historic links with hospices
Ancient Craft: Herefordshire's ancient boat builder
Education: Forthcoming events and Andrew Prescott and Own free will and accord and First Universities Scheme Initiate
Masonic Charities: Latest from the four main Masonic charities
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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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 Anglican Church’.
    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’).
    William Richmond

Archbishop Howley
    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.
    David Rowley
    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.
    Malcolm Keen
    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
    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.
    Ian Cunliffe
    Sarastro Lodge

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 near future.
    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:
    Scott Simpson
    Borehamwood, Hertfordshire

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 the town.
    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.
    Alan Simpson
    Gosport, Hampshire

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