ISSUE 22, July 2007
Quarterly Communication: Speech of the Grand Master : Address of the Pro Grand Master : Report of the Board of General Purposes
Historic: Architect to a King
Young Masons: Value of a warm welcome
Faith and Freemasonry: The twin supports
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech of the Pro 1st Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes
The Grand Secretary: Notes
   Travel: In the footsteps of the pharaohs
Inventor: Voice of the people
Human Rights Court Judgement: Landmark victory for Masons
International Conference: Masonic history unveiled
The Grand Chancellor: Special overseas role
Specialist Lodge: Prior Rahere and his legacy
Public Service: Serving the famous
Education: Events : Importance of the cable tow
Lbrary & Museum: Fraternal art
Masonic Charities: RMTGB : Grand Charity : RMBI : NMSF
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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    Speech of the Pro 1st Grand Principal, the Marquess of Northampton
Companions, I welcome you all here today for this special meeting and congratulate all those Companions I have invested with their new ranks. Whether you have been promoted or appointed this morning your new rank brings with it certain responsibilities.
    Chief among these is to promote the Order to Master Masons and encourage new Companions to understand and enjoy this new dimension to their Masonry. You can see from the paper of business that the number of Grand Chapter certificates issued last year has fallen by twelve and a half per cent in the past ten years.
    At our last Convocation I announced that I was setting up a working party under the chairmanship of the Second Grand
Principal to look into the question of recruitment and retention and report back in time for this meeting. I have now received an interim report and have agreed that their final report will be ready in time for the next Convocation in November.
    Their initial thoughts are based on the indissoluble link between the Craft and the Royal Arch and a suggestion that there should be a formal Royal Arch representative in each Lodge, possibly as a Lodge officer, who would be responsible for promoting the Order to Master Masons.
    Proper mentoring of new members is also high on their list of priorities together with a range of other practical measures which they hope will encourage an influx of candidates.
    The full report will be sent to Grand Superintendents for their views before being made widely available thereafter. I need hardly stress the importance of this report, as doing nothing is not an option if we are to reverse the fortunes of the Royal Arch.
    In the meantime, Companions, we should continue to enjoy ourselves in this very special Order as nothing will attract candidates more than a happy and enthusiastic membership.

Report of the Committee of General Purposes
    Petitions for new Chapters and Charters Petitions were granted for three new Chapters. Charters were granted to 10 Chapters authorising members to wear the centenary jewel, and for members of two Chapters to wear the Bi-Centenary Bar on the ribbon of the Centenary jewel.

    Four Chapters had surrendered their Charter in order to amalgamate with other Chapters, and had been removed from the register of Grand Chapter. In addition, 14 Chapters had surrendered their Charters and had also been removed from the register and the Charters cancelled.

    The Committee presented the audited Accounts of Supreme Grand Chapter for the year ending 31 December 2006, which were adopted:
    The operating results of Supreme Grand Chapter for the year ended 31 December 2006 show a surplus after tax of 110,200 (2005: 104,800).
    In 2006 a donation was made to The Trust for Research into Freemasonry at Sheffield University of 50,000 (2005: 50,000).
    A contribution was made to the Library and Museum Charitable Trust of 25,000 (2005: nil) to finance a photograph and print project.
    The income and expenditure account for this year includes the realised and unrealised gains/losses on the investment portfolio, which amounted to a net gain of 369,000 (2005: 473,100).
    This performance reflected the buoyant year for financial markets. Investment income saw a significant increase to 141,700 from 98,300 due to an increase in dividend income. The overall increase in funds at the year end was 479,200 (2005: 577,900) to 4,678,900.
    The receipts from Chapters increased to 481,200 (2005: 449,500), though the increase of 3.1% was due to exceptional items. It is hoped to continue the dues at their present level for the foreseeable future.

    A resolution approved an increase in fees for registration, replacement certificates, as well as certificates for serving Companions and dispensations for 2008 by approximately 3% to keep pace with the costs of providing the services concerned.

Charges for Patents and Charters
    Charges for Patents and Charters are reviewed annually and are based on the cost of producing the documents.

Contributions to Grand Chapter
    A resolution was approved that the contributions (exclusive of VAT) payable annually to Grand Chapter in respect of each member of a Chapter in a Metropolitan Area or a Province for the year 2008 should remain unchanged at 3.15. The Committee believed that it would be able to recommend next year that contributions remain unchanged in 2009.

Metropolitan Grand Officers
    A recommendation to a request by the Metropolitan Grand Superintendent in and over London that no change should be made, at least for the time being, in the jewel to be worn by those who have served as Metropolitan Grand Officers, was approved.

Convocations of Grand Chapter
    Convocations of Grand Chapter will take place on Wednesday, 14 November 2007, Thursday, 1 May 2008 and Wednesday, 12 November 2008.

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