SUPREME GRAND CHAPTER
Proposal for a Metropolitan Grand Chapter for London
In moving the report of
the Committee of General Purposes, the President, E Comp Anthony Wilson, said: 'The proposal for the creation of a Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London should now have been circulated in general terms to all London Chapters.
'These are now subject to
a constructive consultation process. However, in order
to bring these proposals into effect, changes need to be made to the Royal Arch Regulations.'
He hoped that the changes, though complex, were not also confusing. Whilst required specifically to create the new Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London - thus recognising its new status as a Metropolitan Area - they also allow for the possibility of other such Areas being created in the future.
E Comp Wilson stressed that although there was to
be a new generic title of Metropolitan Grand Chapter Rank, London Grand Chapter Rank would remain the title by which those Metropolitan Ranks applicable in London would be known in the future.
However, there would be active officers who, though holding London Grand Chapter Rank, would be designated by the style of, for example, Metropolitan Grand Standard Bearer, London, during their year of office, but would then revert to London Grand Chapter Rank.
The consultation process would continue into the early part of the New Year, when the corresponding amendments
to the Book of Constitutions would be in the paper of business for Grand Lodge
in March 2003, along with any amendments.
This would enable a decision to be taken in respect of the Craft. Grand Chapter would then consider its own amendments at its next Convocation on 1 May.
He added: 'I know that those who have given so much time to the formulation of the various proposals, regard the process of consultation as of very great importance.'
He believed that, with such complex proposals to be considered, the paper of business for the next Convocation would contain a number of amendments to the resolution 'of which I shall give notice later this morning'.
E Comp Wilson said: 'I
do hope, therefore, that those Companions in London Chapters who may initially have had misgivings, will take the trouble to read carefully the detail of what is proposed.
'If they then consider there is some way in which the scheme can be improved, they will come forward to London Management with constructive suggestions.'
The Pro First Grand Principal, the Marquess of
Northampton, said in his address that he backed the proposal for a Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London. He was addressing Grand Lodge in December on the formation of a Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London.
He added: 'This is a very big step for London to take, and the recommendations have not been made lightly.'
All the various bodies that manage English Freemasonry on behalf of its members had accepted them.
Lord Northampton said: 'Because the changes that are proposed are so fundamental,
it is important that they are properly understood by London Masons and, if necessary, amended.
'I know that great efforts have been taken to explain these changes to Lodges and Chapters in London, and I look forward to a stimulating debate in both Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter next year.'
The Third Grand Principal, the Reverend Canon Neil Collings, was installed by the Pro First Grand Principal, the Marquess of Northampton.
Lord Northampton said: 'As Canon Treasurer of Exeter Cathedral you follow a line of Companions in Holy Orders holding that office going back to 1935.
'You are also a Grand Officer of many years standing in the Craft, and more recently in
the Royal Arch.
'I have no doubt that your service in Freemasonry and your experience of parochial and cathedral matters will enable you to make an important contribution to the government of the Royal Arch.'
Brazil Royal Arch Move
Grand Lodge enjoys excellent relations with the Grand
Orient of Brazil, but that body has no Royal Arch counterpart. This results in many Brethren seeking exaltation in Chapters under the English Constitution.
The Grand Orient is keen
to establish the Royal Arch on the English model throughout Brazil and has asked England to help it in establishing a Supreme Grand Chapter.
To that end, Grand Chapter agreed the formation of a new English Chapter to meet in Rio de Janeiro and to the transfer of a Middlesex Chapter to South America.
It also gave the Grand Principals temporary authority to approve, on behalf of Grand Chapter, the transfer of other Chapters to enable a Grand Chapter to be constituted.
The Pro First Grand Principal hopes to consecrate the new Grand Chapter in Rio de
Janeiro in February.
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