With Grand Lodge agreeing the resolution empowering
the Grand Master to appoint a Grand Chancellor to oversee
Grand Lodge’s Masonic external relations, the role of the
Grand Secretary has been freed up to enable him to
concentrate primarily on the huge task of administering the
Craft and the Royal Arch both at home and in our Districts,
Lodges and Chapters overseas.
With the central administration for over 283,000 brethren
in 8,357 Lodges (of which 792 are overseas) organised in
47 Provinces, 33 Districts and five Groups under Grand
Inspectors to oversee, to say nothing of the organising of
Grand Lodge meetings and those of the Board of General
Purposes, Strategic Working Party, ad hoc and permanent
committees (and their equivalents in the Royal Arch) as well
as organising and co-ordinating the paperwork for each,
ensuring that the Rulers and Board members are properly
briefed on all topics of the day, and dealing with questions
from Metropolitan, Provincial and District Grand Masters and
their secretaries, the Grand Secretary’s role is no sinecure!
Nigel Brown, appointed Grand Secretary from 1st
February, brings a wealth of professional and Masonic
experience to his new office. Born in Lusaka, in what was
then Northern Rhodesia, he was educated in Southern
Rhodesia before entering the Royal Military Academy at
Sandhurst, from which he was commissioned into the
Grenadier Guards in which he served for ten years,
retiring as a Captain.
Then followed 15 years in senior management in which
he earned a high reputation for his administrative and
planning skills and attention to detail, leading to his setting
up a consultancy advising clients on winning competitive
Although not the first in his family to be involved in
Freemasonry, it was through his Service connections that he
entered the Craft, being initiated in the Household Brigade
Lodge No. 2614 in 1985. After being Master, he continued to
serve the Lodge as Director of Ceremonies, Charity Steward
and, currently, Secretary.
He has also been active in Prince of Wales’s Lodge No.
259 and other Lodges and Chapters. His liking for ritual and
ceremonial brought him to the attention of the Grand
Director of Ceremonies and his appointment in April 2005
as a Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies.
The GDC and his Deputies are key players in serving the
Grand Master and the Rulers, and in maintaining the high
reputation that the United Grand Lodge of England has in the
Masonic world for the excellence of its ceremonial at Grand
Lodge and other major Masonic gatherings.
The new Grand Secretary sees close co-operation between
the centre and the Metropolitan, Provincial and District
authorities as being vitally important to the good
administration of the Craft and Royal Arch.
Over the last few years pressures from other areas –
particularly foreign relations and dealing with the outside
world – have led to there being less of a focus on Freemasonry
at home and in our overseas Districts and Groups, but the
Grand Secretary sees the strengthening of ties between the
centre and the Metropolitan, Provincial and District Grand
Lodges as his first and ongoing task.
“I am very much looking forward to the end of April
when I shall have the good opportunity of informally meeting
the Metropolitan, Provincial and District Grand Masters
when they attend the Pro Grand Master’s business meeting.
“As a Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies I have had
the privilege of visiting a number of Provinces as part of the
Grand Lodge team for the installation of a new Provincial
Grand Master or Grand Superintendent and have begun to
get a feel for how a Province works.
“Equally, I look forward, with my senior management
team, to my first meeting with the Provincial and District
Grand Secretaries and Scribes E when we get together on the
morning of the Annual Investiture. Later in the year I shall be
accompanying the Pro Grand Master when he meets the
Provinces in groups for more detailed discussions.
“I sincerely hope – if invited – that over a period I shall be
able to attend the annual meetings of the Metropolitan and
Provincial Grand Lodges. Communication is of vital
importance and should be a two-way process from which we
can all learn and benefit the Craft as a whole.
“The same thoughts apply to our Districts, Groups and
Lodges overseas, though there is the additional dimension of
distance involved. However, just as with groups at home,
communication is the key. With the ease of today’s electronic
communications I believe that ‘distance’ should not be a
problem in providing a high quality of service from the centre.
“Thought is being given as to how we can increase personal
contact, possibly by once again meeting Districts in groups as
was done a number of years ago, and of striking a balance
between visits to our own people overseas and those to foreign
Grand Lodges and major international Masonic gatherings.
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