ISSUE 11, October 2004
Elias Ashmole: Masonic Icon
Travel: The magical beauty of Scotland
Honoured: By the Glovers' livery company
The Theatre: Strong links between Craft and stage
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Mauritius: Fascinating Masonic history
Rochester Cathedral: Kent Masons' magnificent fresco
Clerkenwell: 25 years of Masonry
  Bravery award: One Mason's heroism is honoured
Christmas shopping: What to buy in London's West End
High flight: Helping terminally ill children
Jewels of the Craft: An essential part of Masonry
Library & Museum: John Pine exhibition and Library & Museum Trust report
Masonic education: Events for Masons; Quatuor Coronati Lodge; Mentors for new Masons
Charities: Masons provide emergency aid for flood victims; Charity news; Demelza gives voice
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Quarterly Communication

Report of the Board of General Purposes
8 September 2004
The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of 9 June 2004 were confirmed.

In accordance with Rule 225 Book of Constitutions, notice was given of the dates upon which the Board of General Purposes will meet in 2005: 8 February, 15 March, 10 May, 19 July, 20 September, 15 November.

Attendance at Lodges under the English Constitution by Brethren from other Grand Lodges
The Board considers it appropriate to draw attention to Rule 125 (b), Book of Constitutions, and the list of Grand Lodges recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England, which is published in the Masonic Year Book, copies of which are sent to secretaries of Lodges.
    Only Brethren who are members of Lodges under recognised jurisdictions may visit English Lodges. They must produce a certificate (i.e., a Grand Lodge certificate or other documentary proof of Masonic identity provided by their Grand Lodge), should be prepared to acknowledge that a personal belief in TGAOTU is an essential landmark in Freemasonry, and should be able to produce evidence of their good standing in their Lodges. It is the Master’s responsibility to ensure that the requirements of Rule 125 (b) are met.
    It is particularly noted that the hazard of admitting a member of an unrecognised constitution arises not only in connection with overseas visitors (or individuals resident in this country who belong to an unrecognised constitution overseas). There are Lodges of unrecognised constitutions meeting in England, and care must be taken that their members are not admitted to our meetings.

Attendance at Lodges Overseas
The continuing growth in overseas travel brings with it an increase in visits by our Brethren to Lodges of other jurisdictions, and the Board welcomes this trend.
    From time to time, however, Brethren become involved with Masonic bodies which Grand Lodge does not recognise, e.g., in visiting a jurisdiction which, quite legitimately so far as it is concerned, accepts as visitors Brethren from Grand Lodges which are not recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England.
    In this connection, Brethren are reminded that it is part of their duty as members of the English Constitution not to associate Masonically with members of unrecognised constitutions, and should such a situation occur, they should tactfully withdraw, even though their visit may have been formally arranged.
    To avoid this danger, and potential embarrassment to hosts, Brethren should not attempt to make any Masonic contact overseas without having first checked (preferably in writing) with the Grand Secretary’s Office at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ, that there is recognised Freemasonry in the country concerned and, if so, whether there is any particular point which should be watched.
    The Board recommends that the terms of this warning should be repeated: (a) verbally in open Lodge whenever
    a Grand Lodge Certificate is presented,
    (b) in print once a year in a Lodge’s summons.
    Brethren should also be aware of the Masonic convention that communications between Grand Lodges be conducted by Grand Secretaries. They should therefore not attempt without permission to make direct contact with the Grand Secretary of another Constitution.
    The Deputy President of the Board said it had come to the Board’s attention that in certain Grand Lodges which the UGLE recognised, it was becoming increasingly the practice to perform ritual when non- Masons, usually the wives or partners of members, were present.
    This normally occurred during the Installation of a Master (not the Inner Working) and the Appointment and Investiture of Officers, without signs, but replete with prayers, hymns and anthems.
    The Grand Lodge affirmed as recently as December 2002 that the basic Craft ceremonies (the Three Degrees, Installation and Consecration) are private and attendance at them must be restricted to Brethren only.
    If Brethren who travel or reside overseas visit a Lodge under another jurisdiction which permits non-Masons to be present at its ceremonies, then they should not attend.
    If in doubt they should seek guidance from their District Grand Secretary or from the Grand Secretary’s office.

Charity: conflict of interest
The Charity Commission, which regulates and oversees charities generally, has drawn attention to guidelines which it has recently issued generally on conflict of interest which might face charity trustees.
    The President of the Board, in conjunction with the President of the Grand Charity, has set up a committee under the chairmanship of Sir John Welch PSGW, who is a member of the Board and also a member of the Council of the Grand Charity ex officio as a Past President, to enquire into, and report on, possible conflict of interest between the Metropolitan and Provincial Grand Lodges and their respective charities, and also possible conflicts between UGLE and the Masonic charities.
    The committee will be reporting via the two Presidents to the Deputy Grand Master. Guidelines will be issued to the Craft in due course.

From 1 October 2004, new Regulations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 will be brought into effect. Freemasons’ Hall will be compliant with those Regulations, although there will obviously be some areas, such as the balcony in the Grand Temple, which will not be accessible to wheelchairs. There is, however, wheelchair access to the Grand Temple, and also to the Library and Museum and to all Lodge rooms.
    The Deputy President drew the attention of those responsible for running Masonic halls to obtain advice locally with regard to compliance with the Act and the Regulations, as the circumstances of each Masonic hall are likely to be different.