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Freemasons give £3,000 to fight impact of poverty and homelessness in Scunthorpe

Freemasory cares - 18 May 2018 - 12:00am

Lincolnshire Freemasons have stepped in with a £3,000 donation to help Scunthorpe’s Forge project meet the growing demands for its services amongst those in poverty and suffering homelessness
 
The service, based on the town’s Cottage Beck Road, is facing more demands for help than at any time since it was launched almost 20 years ago, and this latest donation will be used as part funding for a part-time support worker to help meet the need.
 
The money is a donation from the Masonic Charitable Foundation and was made by representatives of Scunthorpe’s four masonic lodges, who were able join some of The Forge’s service users in a creative writing workshop.
 
The Forge is managed by Andrea Houghton, who said that staff had established partnerships with other agencies such as social local housing authorities, drug agencies, mental health agencies and social and private landlords, and as such was a hub at which those in need could access services in a safe and supportive environment. She said that by working closely with these agencies they were able to get help to where it was needed quickly.
 
The centre is now open for five mornings a week to provide support with a range of issues, and three afternoons a week for creative work. Lunches are provided, cooked by the service users themselves, and there were shower and laundry facilities, which had been introduced as the result of other financial help.
 
Andrea said: 'A number of factors, including changes in the benefits system, have meant numbers attending our Day Centre have almost doubled, and we can only see these numbers increasing.  We say The Forge is about opportunities for change; it’s about helping people to help themselves, and build in them the resilience to be able to do that.'
 
Lincolnshire Freemason Stuart Pearcey said: 'The funds from the Masonic Charitable Foundation are an example of how we can support the work of non-Masonic organisations. Having funds available means that people working in support of the community can make a more effective contribution than they would otherwise be able to do.'

Categories: UGLE News

Local people with MS to benefit from £30,000 donation by Buckinghamshire Freemasons

Freemasory cares - 17 May 2018 - 5:14pm

People living with multiple sclerosis (MS) in Buckinghamshire will benefit from a grant of £30,000, which will provide over 850 hours of physiotherapy to members of the Chilterns MS Centre

Regular physiotherapy and support can help those with MS to maintain mobility, cope with their disability and achieve an improved quality of life. On average, the Centre offers 256 hours of physiotherapy a week through one-to-one care and group exercise sessions. There are just over 110,000 people diagnosed with MS in the UK and approximately 850 in Buckinghamshire, of which 550 of them are members of the Chilterns MS Centre.

Many people using the Centre feel that it really makes a difference to their everyday lives. One of their members, Sue, said: 'Thanks to the fantastic physiotherapy I have had, I managed to appear in my daughter’s wedding photos without my walking aids. A year ago that just wouldn’t have been possible, so you can never know how much this means to me. Thank you for being a lifeline to me and so many others.'

The grant from the Buckinghamshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

Robert Breakwell, Chief Executive of Chilterns MS Centre, said: 'We are delighted that Buckinghamshire Freemasons have made this very generous grant to support our physiotherapy service. As a small charity, we rely on grants like this to continue to treat and support people living with MS in the local area, and to keep them independent for as long as possible.'

Barry Sparks, Provincial Grand Secretary for Buckinghamshire Freemasons, said: 'We’re very pleased to be able to help the Chiltern MS Centre, who do outstanding work for people living with MS. The regular physiotherapy they provide can make a huge difference to their quality of life and extend their capacity for independent living.'

Categories: UGLE News

Freemasons' Hall wins two awards at the National Venue Awards 2018

News from UGLE - 17 May 2018 - 12:00am

Freemasons' Hall, the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England, has been recognised with two silver awards at the National Venue Awards on 11th May 2018 in Manchester

The building was honoured in the Best Historic Venue and Best Christmas Venue categories.

The National Venue Awards are a sister event to the already established and successful London Venue Awards, and seek to give the same recognised benchmark and badge of excellence for venues from anywhere in the UK.

The awards provide venues with the opportunity to showcase the excellence of their facilities, the creativity of their customer-facing teams and the exceptional quality of their overall service.

Categories: UGLE News

Library and Museum of Freemasonry calls on the help of London Freemasons

News from UGLE - 15 May 2018 - 3:00pm

The Library and Museum of Freemasonry is calling on the assistance of London Freemasons to help shape its future

In particular, they need help from London Freemasons who have never visited the Library and Museum to participate in an audience forum from 6pm-9pm on Thursday 7th June.

The forum will involve an accompanied visit around the museum, short presentations on potential future exhibits and workshop activities to gather thoughts and feedback.

The aim of the forum is to help broaden the museum’s appeal and better satisfy the wants and needs of visitors. 

All participants will receive a £50 incentive for their time. 

If you are interested in helping, please email libmus@freemasonry.london.museum or phone Melrose Eccleston on 020 7395 9251.

Categories: UGLE News

RW Bro Anthony Wilson 1950-2018

News from UGLE - 15 May 2018 - 2:05pm

RW Bro Anthony Wilson died peacefully on Monday 14 May, after a long battle with cancer fought with great dignity

He was President of the Board of General Purposes for 13 years, retiring from the role at the end of December 2017, and had been President of the Committee of General Purposes for three years before that.

Anthony was born in 1950, educated at Eton, and subsequently qualified as a chartered accountant. One of the first audits he conducted was for The Grand Lodge 250th Anniversary Fund, which sponsors research fellowships at the Royal College of Surgeons. Some 20 years later he became a Trustee of the charity, which is now known as The Freemasons' Fund for Surgical Research.

Initiated into Tuscan Lodge No. 14 in March 1976, Anthony was appointed Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1997, and served as President of the Committee of General Purposes from 2001 to 2004. 

He was appointed President of the Board of General Purposes in March 2004, and promoted to Past Senior Grand Warden in April 2012.

Anthony was instrumental in reducing the Board to a more manageable size and making it more effective, efficient and fit for purpose.

He also played a prominent role in many events throughout our Tercentenary celebrations including the unveiling of the memorial stones to Freemasons awarded the Victoria Cross during World War I, through to the Especial meeting of Grand Lodge at the Royal Albert Hall where he was seated in the Royal Box with the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent.

UGLE has sent condolences on behalf of all members of Grand Lodge to his widow Vicky and family.

Read Anthony Wilson’s interview in Freemasonry Today in 2014, where he revealed that modernising the business of Freemasonry was one of his proudest achievements.

Categories: UGLE News

Report of the Committee of General Purposes - 26 April 2018

News from Supreme Grand Chapter - 26 April 2018 - 8:55am

Meeting of Supreme Grand Chapter

Thursday 26 April 2018
Report of the Committee of General Purposes

Minutes

The minutes of the Regular Convocation of 8 November 2017 were confirmed.

Petitions for new chapters

The Committee has received the following petitions for new Chapters: For a new Chapter to be attached to Hervey and Kentish Companions Lodge, No. 1692, to be called Hervey Chapter, and to meet at the Shirley Woolmer Masonic Hall, Church Road, Sidcup (West Kent) and for a new Chapter to be attached to Semper Paratus Lodge, No. 3015, to be called Semper Paratus Chapter, and to meet at the Masonic Hall, New Road, Woodstock (Oxfordshire).

The petitions being regular, the Committee recommends that the prayers thereof be granted.

Centenary chapters

The Committee has received Memorials from the following Chapters, praying for Charters authorising the members to wear the Centenary Jewel: Unity Chapter, No. 132 (Hampshire and Isle of Wight) from 18 December 2018; Perpetual Friendship Chapter, No. 135 (Somerset) from 22 September 2018; Boscombe Chapter, No. 2158 (Hampshire and Isle of Wight) from 19 November 2018; Hatherton Chapter, No. 2474 (Staffordshire) from 2 October 2018; Chapter of Hope, No. 2679 (West Lancashire) from 28 September 2018; Whitson Chapter, No. 2943 (Bristol) from 23 November 2018; Wanstead Chapter, No. 3524 (London) from 9 September 2018 and Campbell Chapter, No. 3643 (Worcestershire) from 3 October 2018.

The Memorials being in form and the Chapters having proved uninterrupted existence of one hundred years, the Committee recommends that the prayers thereof be granted, with effect from the dates shown above.

Bi-Centenary chapters

The Committee has received Memorials from the following Chapters, praying for Charters authorising the members to wear the Bi-Centenary Bar on the ribbon of the Centenary Jewel: Chapter of Hope, No. 54 (East Lancashire) from 3 September 2015 (retrospective) and Mount Zion and Jerusalem Chapter, No. 185 (London) from 29 October 2018.

Amalgamations

The Committee has received reports that the following Chapters have resolved to surrender their Charters: Fistral Chapter, No. 6258 in order to amalgamate with St Michael Chapter, No. 2747 (Cornwall) and Blaauwberg Chapter, No. 9337 in order to amalgamate with Wynberg Chapter, No. 2577 (South Africa, Western Division).

The Committee accordingly recommends that the Chapters be removed from the register in order to effect the amalgamations.

Transfer

The Committee has received a Memorial from Dee Chapter, No. 1576 (Cheshire) to be detached from Dee Lodge, No. 1576 (Cheshire) and attached to St Anselm Lodge, No. 5166 (Cheshire) and be known as St Anselm Chapter, No. 5166.

The Lodges concerned being in agreement, the Committee recommends that the prayer of the Memorial be granted.

Removal

The Committee has received a Memorial from Cambridge Heath Chapter, No. 4506 seeking that the Chapter be permitted to be removed from the Metropolitan Area of London to the Province of Essex.

The Grand Superintendents concerned having accorded their assent, the Committee recommends that the prayer of the Memorial be granted.

Erasures

The Committee has received reports on 17 Chapters: Excelsior Chapter, No. 1155 (London), Molesey Chapter, No. 2473 (Surrey), Harringay Chapter, No. 2763 (London), Hillingdon Chapter, No. 3174 (Middlesex), Benfleet Chapter, No. 3798 (Essex), Rhetoric Chapter, No. 4265 (London), Carshalton Chapter, No. 4429 (Surrey), Bristol Chapter, No. 4522 (London), Luxborough Chapter, No. 4700 (Essex), Dewi Sant Chapter, No. 4728 (London), Vicar’s Oak Chapter, No. 4822 (London), Newark Priory Chapter, No. 5396 (Surrey), Temple Porchway Chapter, No. 7209 (London), Chapter of Ideal Endeavour, No. 7379 (West Kent), Byron Chapter, No. 7426 (Middlesex), Marlborough Chapter, No. 8218 (Zimbabwe and Malawi) and Bedfordshire Meridian Chapter, No. 9643 (Bedfordshire).

Over recent years, the Chapters have found themselves no longer viable and have resolved to surrender their Charters.

The Committee has reluctantly recommended that the Chapters be erased from the register of Grand Chapter and the Charters cancelled.

Grand Chapter Register

The tables below show the number of Chapters on the Register and of Certificates issued during the past ten years.

Chapter

Accounts

The Committee presents the audited Accounts of the Supreme Grand Chapter for the year ending 31 December 2017.

Fees

The Committee recommends, in accordance with Regulation 98, that the fees for Registration, Replacement Certificates, Certificates for Serving Companions, and Dispensations for 2019 should be increased by approximately 2.6% to keep pace with the costs of providing the services concerned.

Charges for patents and charters

In accordance with Royal Arch Regulation 99, the Charges for Patents and Charters are reviewed annually and are based on the cost of producing the documents. The Committee has considered the matter and recommends that the charges (exclusive of VAT) for the year commencing 1 May 2018 be as follows:

Charges

Contributions to Grand Chapter

The Committee recommends, in accordance with Regulation 100, that the contributions (inclusive of VAT) payable annually to Grand Chapter in respect of each member of a Chapter in a Metropolitan Area or a Province for the year 2019 shall be £5.00.

The Committee believes that it will be able to recommend next year that contributions remain unchanged in 2020.

Meetings of Supreme Grand Chapter

Future Convocations will be held on 14 November 2018, 25 April 2019 and 13 November 2019.

Categories: UGLE News

Pro First Grand Principal's address - April 2018

News from Supreme Grand Chapter - 26 April 2018 - 12:00am

Annual Investiture of Supreme Grand Chapter

26 April 2018
An address by the ME Pro First Grand Principal Peter Lowndes

Companions, this meeting is always a very happy occasion and I do congratulate all those of you whom I have invested today. It both recognises your past endeavours but is also a clear indicator that we expect more from you in the future. Grand Rank in the Royal Arch is both a senior, and in many cases, a public position within the organisation, and I would hope that you all feel willing to communicate the pride you now feel to those you meet, and to act as ambassadors for the Royal Arch not only to those within your lodges and chapters, but also to the general public at large. However, I do appreciate that the general public would not understand the relevance of the Royal Arch, but it clearly demonstrates your seniority within Freemasonry as a whole.

I have heard it said that the Royal Arch might have been somewhat eclipsed by the Tercentenary celebrations this year in the Craft, but far from it. The Royal Arch completes the craft degrees and increased interest and membership for the Craft can only be to the good for our Order. A new injection of pride and confidence in Freemasonry – in what we do, and in our relevance to the wider community from which we herald can only result in a strong, confident and successful future.

We must be careful to maximise the momentum, energy and enthusiasm that surrounds Freemasonry at the moment and ensure that it is neither wasted nor neglected. We must make the effort, and spare the time to explain who we are and what we do, and also ask ourselves why some of those brethren in our lodges have not taken that extra step to become our companions. We must listen to, and think hard on the answers they give. I believe we are winning. If we turn the clock back 10 years we were experiencing a 30% conversion rate from Craft to Royal Arch, now there are very few Provinces or Districts where the ratio is under 40% and some are considerably higher.

May I take this opportunity to bid a fond farewell to Excellent Companion Willie Shackell, Grand Scribe Ezra, who has served in a number of senior appointments over the last 11 years. We all wish him well in his fourth, and what I am sure he hopes will be his final retirement.

Companions, events like this do not just happen and I would like, on your behalf, to congratulate the Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for once again arranging such an impressive ceremony and the Grand Scribe Ezra and his team for ensuring all the other arrangements have gone so smoothly.

Companions, I look forward to hearing of, and reading about your exploits over the summer, and also to welcoming you back in the autumn.

Categories: UGLE News

United Grand Lodge of England seeks an Accounts Administrator

News from UGLE - 26 April 2018 - 12:00am

United Grand Lodge of England seeks an Accounts Administrator for the Finance Department

To maintain accurate and up to date accounting records in the cashbook and nominal ledger for the receipt of income for membership-subscriptions. To monitor and report on compliance with the organisations financial controls policies and procedures.

Duties include:

  • Crosscheck the daily “rough sheets” from the Registration Department with the cheques/electronic receipts from Lodgers and Chapters.
  • Scan cheques, print the listing from the cheque scanner and put the cheques, cash and listing into business cheque advantage bags ready for banking.
  • Receipts/cheques to be banked daily.
  • Post receipts to the cashbook in the nominal ledger of the accounting system, checking the accuracy of the VAT PZ rating calculation as necessary.
  • Liaise with the Registration department and other departments as required to resolve queries.
  • Quarterly VAT return – check the accuracy of posting to the VAT module through detailed nominal ledger report. Correct any errors by posting a journal.
  • To prepare accounts up to trial balance and any account reconciliations as requested by the Finance Manager from time to time.
  • Seek continuous improvement in performance and quality standards (of the job/role or the department or the staff as applicable).
  • Attend and positively contribute to meetings, seminars and project groups as required.
  • Carry out any other activities, duties and tasks as directed.

Must have skills:

  • Accounting qualifications (part qualified) or at least 1 year Transactional Finance experience
  • General Ledger experience
  • Good standard of general education
  • Up-to-date P.C. Skills, detailed knowledge of Microsoft Excel
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Good communicator
  • Highly motivated
  • Team oriented

Salary:

Competitive salary and benefits package.

Hours:

The successful applicant will work Monday to Friday (25 hours) 9am – 3pm in the Finance office.

Application details:

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to:

Elizabeth Gay
Head of HR
United Grand Lodge of England
Freemasons’ Hall
60 Great Queen Street
London
WC2B 5AZ

Or via email to egay@ugle.org.uk

CVs received without a covering letter will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is close of business on Wednesday 9th May 2018.

Categories: UGLE News

Grand Master's address - April 2018

News from UGLE - 25 April 2018 - 12:00am

Craft Annual Investiture

25 April 2018
An address by the MW The Grand Master HRH The Duke of Kent, KG

Brethren, this meeting is always a very happy occasion and I do congratulate all those whom I have invested today. It is both a reward for past endeavours but also a clear indicator that we expect more from you in the future. An award of Grand Rank signifies UGLE’s pride in you, and recognises your efforts on our behalf. It denotes a senior, and in most cases, a public position within our brotherhood, and I would hope that you all feel willing to communicate the pride you now feel to those you meet, to those who might not understand us, and to those who know little of us.

Your Rulers, I know, have been very busy already this year promoting Freemasonry across the world and installing new Provincial and District Grand Masters. I welcome those recently appointed and am greatly heartened by this youthful enthusiasm, for this brethren is where our future lies. I welcome our new Grand Secretary – David Staples whilst at the same time bidding farewell to Willie Shackell who has served in a number of senior appointments for the last 11 years. We wish him well in retirement.

Many of those I have invested today will go on to be leaders in the Craft and I believe it is a very exciting time for Freemasonry in general. For 300 years men from all different backgrounds, faiths, ages and races have met as equals to make themselves ‘better men’. Such sentiments have never been more relevant, or more needed, than they are today. Be sure that we do not hide that light as we look forward to our next 300 years.

Brethren, events like this do not just happen and I would like, on your behalf, to congratulate the Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for once again arranging such an impressive ceremony and the Grand Secretary and his team for ensuring all the other arrangements have gone so smoothly.

Enjoy the rest of our celebrations.

Categories: UGLE News

United Grand Lodge of England seeks an Upholsterer

News from UGLE - 20 April 2018 - 4:20pm

United Grand Lodge of England seeks an Upholsterer for the Maintenance Department

To undertake work as a skilled upholsterer and assist with other tasks as required by the Head of Maintenance and Building Projects

Duties include:

  • Knowledge of traditional and modern upholstery methods
  • Knowledge of cutting
  • Experience of deep buttoning and leather
  • To carry out condition surveys of all upholstery items
  • To provide technical upholstery advice
  • To undertake upholstery projects as required
  • To select, source and order as necessary materials relating to upholstery
  • To carry out specialist repairs to furniture and equipment as required
  • Strong initiative
  • Must be a team player
  • Ability to work to deadlines

Must have skills:

  • At least minimum 5 years’ experience
  • Strong initiative
  • Must be a team player
  • Ability to work to deadlines

Salary:

Competitive salary and terms package applies.

Hours:

35 hours per week
(7am – 3pm or 8am – 4pm)

Application details:

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to:

Elizabeth Gay
Head of HR
United Grand Lodge of England
Freemasons’ Hall
60 Great Queen Street
London
WC2B 5AZ

Or via email to egay@ugle.org.uk

CV’s received without a covering letter will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is close of business on Monday 30th April 2018.

Categories: UGLE News

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