March 2010 - Pro Grand Master's Address to the Quarterly Communication

10 March 2010

An address by the MW The Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes


I believe it appropriate today to inform you of a matter that relates more particularly to the Royal Arch. As you will know the Third Grand Principal, the Very Reverend Neil Collings, has been unwell for over a year and sadly will not be returning to his Masonic duties. At the Convocation in April this year I will be installing his successor as Third Grand Principal.

The Grand Master, in his capacity of First Grand Principal, has decided to appoint the Assistant Grand Master as Third Grand Principal. Right Worshipful Brother David Williamson is, of course, extremely well known and respected in the Royal Arch as well as in the Craft and has frequently carried out Royal Arch duties in his Royal Arch capacity of Past Third Grand Principal.

The Grand Secretary has outlined how important we consider our Districts. The same is true of our Inspectorates, which by definition are smaller and, as a consequence, often more difficult to communicate with.

In mid January the Assistant Grand Master accompanied by the Grand Secretary installed the new Grand Inspector for Montreal and Halifax. We have three Lodges and one Chapter in the Inspectorate and they greatly appreciated the visit.

I want to update you on the progress of four of our key initiatives. ADelphi now has a one hundred per cent sign up to join from Metropolitan Grand Lodge and the Provinces. The aim is to have them all live by the end of June this year – some five months earlier than initially forecast.

This will have many advantages. Not the least of these is that the process of registering members becomes quicker and more efficient with better membership statistics. This increased accuracy and detail will be a great help to UGLE, Metropolitan Grand Lodge and to the Provinces.

The Mentoring Scheme has been in operation for some time and has, I believe, had a most beneficial effect across the Country. We intend to push this initiative hard. In February we ran the second of our successful Mentoring conferences here at Great Queen Street. I am pleased to report that eighty per cent of Provinces now have a mentoring scheme in place and I am particularly happy to hear about the cooperation between the Metropolitan and all the Provincial Mentors in sharing ideas and best practice.

The Historical Survey has – to date – produced a record sixty per cent return. I am told that this is a remarkable return, but I see no reason to stop at that; what is wrong with an expectation of one hundred per cent! We will be receiving a report of the findings in six months time.

The new website has received wide acclaim and is now part of our continually evolving online presence. This has meant that our profile has been significantly raised by search engine rankings. For example, when searching for ‘Freemasonry’ or ‘Freemasons’ on Google UK, UGLE is consistently in the top five rankings. We will continue to take steps to improve these positions.

Our visibility on the web and maintaining a prominent position within the major search engines has seen the number of people visiting the site dramatically increase as have enquiries from potential candidates. It will also make sure that people looking for information about Freemasonry are presented with the real facts. These facts are essential if we are to communicate the important role Freemasonry plays in society today whilst ensuring its long term future.

Freemasonry: a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.