Welcome to the first issue of MQ - short for Masonic Quarterly - the official magazine of the United Grand Lodge of England. It is a lifestyle magazine, that reports and comments on the changing face of Freemasonry in the 21st century. As such, it is dynamic, modern and exciting, and carries a large number of non-Masonic articles, reflecting the wide interests of the 320,000 readers of the magazine.
MQ is not just for masons, however - it is also for their families, friends, neighbours, acquaintances and anyone with broad-based interests. I hope that copies of the magazine will soon be in libraries, doctors' surgeries and in many other places where communities gather.
MQ - indeed its very concept - is sending a clear message that Freemasonry is vibrant. Its launch is a radical initiative by the governing body of English Freemasons - Grand Lodge - to show a more open face to the world.
MQ embodies the principles behind 'Freemasonry in the Community', the week of public activity being organised nationally from 26 June to 2 July.
The magazine has been sent direct to the homes of all Masons under the United Grand Lodge of England, and replaces the old Grand Lodge Newsletter, whose contents are now included in MQ.
Above all, this is your magazine. I will welcome letters from readers about MQ's non-Masonic and its Masonic content. Your feedback is vital as to how we structure the future content of MQ.
Freemasonry has long needed a medium to demonstrate its openness to the world. Now it has one. MQ aims to show the world that Freemasons are proud of their fraternity and that they have a positive story to tell.
In each issue, the four Masonic charities will each have a voice - these are the Grand Charity, the New Masonic Samaritan fund, the Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, and the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.
Through the charitable activities of these groups the world will be able to see the real face of Freemasonry at work - not the nonsense that is the stereotypical media view of the Craft.
As Freemasons we are proud of our history, of our traditional ceremonies and our charities. We are part of our local communities, many Lodges and Masonic Halls dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
Grand Lodge has given the Craft as a whole a positive lead. It is for all Masons to run with the torch they have lit. MQ will be in the forefront of publicity displaying the new face of English Freemasonry.
Readers letters are welcome and in each issue a star letter will win a bottle of champagne.
Editor of MQ