ISSUE 3, October 2002
Brother Winston: Churchill as a Freemason
Travel: Getting the taste
Manchester City: Masons achieve their goal
Freemasonry in the Community: Sermon of the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral and Chief Executive spells out the five objectives of the Grand Charity
Quarterly Communication: Report of the Board of General Purposes and Address by the Pro Grand Master
A Dickens of a Night: Charles Dickens celebrated
   Masonic Research: Seek and ye shall find
Charity News: New Masonic Samaritan Fund and Grand Charity and Cornwall Freemasons raise 2.8m and MTGB: Special concert in the Grand Temple and RMBI: Care in action
Library and Museum: Burmese banners and Royal British Legion link
Freemasonry in the Community: Supplement
Book reviews

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A panel of 12 internationally acknowledged experts from Britain, Europe and America will give talks and lead discussions on the origins and development of the myriad systems of degrees and Orders, which developed beyond the Craft in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Autumn Lecture Programme is:

16 October: Jeremy Naydler on 'The Pattern of Initiation in Ancient Egypt'.

20 November: Professor John Algeo on 'Freemasonry and the Western Mystery Tradition'.

11 December: Dr Leo Schlamm on 'Jung as a Visionary and Shaman'.

For those with an interest in Masonic history there is the Premier Lodge of Masonic Research, Ouatuor Coronati No. 2076. Formed in 1886 by a group of Masonic scholars, the Lodge exists to receive and discuss papers, principally on the history and traditions of Freemasonry, in its widest sense. Membership of the Lodge has always been limited to 40, a figure never reached, but the Lodge has a Correspondence Circle to which any Master Mason who is a subscribing member of a Lodge under a recognised Grand Lodge can belong.
    Membership of the Correspondence Circle entitles you to receive the annual volume of Transactions (Ars Ouatuor Coronatorum), summonses for the five meetings of the Lodge, and to attend and take part in the discussions of papers at the Lodge meetings.
    The Lodge also runs a series of seminars at Freemasons' Hall, London, to help those who wish to begin Masonic research find their way around the many resources which can be tapped.
    Freemasonry re-entered the world of academe in 1999 with the foundation of the Centre for Research into Freemasonry within the Humanities Research Institute of Sheffield University. Funded by Grand Lodge and the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, the Centre sees Freemasonry as a perfect area for inter-disciplinary research involving biblical studies, social history and the visual arts.
    Dr Andrew Prescott was seconded from the British Library to be the first Director of the Centre, to set it up and plan research programmes. Additional funding is being sought to make the Centre permanent, with a full Professor.
    In Sheffield, the Centre provides lectures, seminars and conferences and will eventually offer MA and PhD courses.
    With the wonders of computers the public, via the internet, can access the papers given at Sheffield. The Humanities Research Institute has an international reputation for the quality of its electronic publications.
    The Centre for Research into Freemasonry has produced its first CD ROM, which gives Masonic students access to one of the seminal texts in Masonic literature - William Preston's Illustrations of Masonry.
    The CD ROM includes all of the editions printed in Preston's lifetime, with a search engine, which is one of the simplest I have used. The Centre is working with the Library and Museum of Freemasonry on a programme to make other major texts and archive material available in electronic form.
    The above are the 'big guns' but there are many more local organisations which aim to help us all make a daily advancement.
    Installed Masters Lodges usually have speakers at their meetings, and open them to Master Masons. Many Provinces have Masonic Societies, e.g. the Bristol Masonic Society and the Sheffield Masonic Discussion Society.
    The Province of Durham has Lecture Lodges (and Chapters). Manchester and Leicester have Research Lodges and, in London, The Dormer Masonic Study Circle and The Masonic Study Society cater for the more esoteric approach to Freemasonry.
    For those who want to make their daily advancement, the possibilities are there. I was always told: 'seek and ye shall find' - but why in Freemasonry do we make the finding so difficult?

John Hamill was formerly the Librarian of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London, and is currently Director of Communications at Grand Lodge and a member of Ouatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076


Cornerstone Society
Website: E-mail: The Cornerstone Society 68 Foxley Lane Purley, Surrey CR3 3EE

Canonbury Masonic Research Centre
Website: E-mail: CMRC Canonbury Tower Canonbury Place London N1 2NQ Telephone: 020 7226 6256 Fax: 020 7359 6194

Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076
QCCC Ltd 60 Great Queen Street London WC2B 5BA Telephone: 020 7405 7340 Fax: 02074048131

Sheffield Centre for Masonic Research
Website: E-mail: Telephone: 0114 222 9893

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