The Most Excellent Pro First Grand Principal – Jonathan Spence

“In real terms we are therefore one organisation – and so when someone is made a Mason, he needs to be made fully aware from the outset that his journey as a Freemason consists of these four elements – with the Royal Arch as the fourth and ultimate stage and one which enriches and completes that journey. It is an aspect that I hope all will aspire to experience when the time is right for them.”
“The Committee will also be clarifying existing guidance on the delivery of lectures. We all know that many Chapters often still spoil the magnificent experience of an exaltation by the delivery of too many lectures immediately afterwards, or by persisting with outdated approaches to the way they run their meetings. They then wonder why new members fail to return.”

To read his full address “CLICK HERE

As far as the first quote is concerned, we need to ensure that all new candidates (as well as existing members) into Craft masonry are fully aware that the RA is an essential part of this great Institution. There are many pieces of literature which can be given to the new candidate making this point, right from immediately after he has been interviewed by the Lodge Committee, through each of his three-degree ceremonies as well as when he is presented with his Grand Lodge Certificate.

Regarding the second quote I have used from his address, the Committee has now confirmed that as long as the signs are explained it is not mandatory, only optional, to deliver the lectures as at present. Whilst the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent and I cannot mandate that Chapters follow this approach, we strongly recommend it and note that many Chapters already do.

An Exaltee has much to take in at his Exaltation ceremony the addition of any of the lectures is in most cases a distraction from the main very memorable ceremony and difficult for him to comprehend at that point in his membership – the Exaltation ceremony should be for the benefit and enjoyment of the candidate and not an exercise in lengthy ritual delivery, in some cases by unwilling and ill prepared members, resulting in a heavily prompted and disjointed presentation, – which does not add to anyone’s enjoyment on the evening.

That does not mean the Lectures are to be ignored entirely.  They can be saved for a meeting where you have no Exaltee and then one, two or all three Lectures can be delivered and explained. It is also an ideal opportunity to split the work amongst a number of your members so as to involve as many of your members as possible. The Committee of General Purposes has also reminded that any member can deliver all or part of a Lecture – it is not restricted to current or Past Principals. I would also remind you that the explanation of the signs must always be given at an exaltation.

We will also be looking at organising one or more central deliveries of the Lectures at Marlborough and/or First Principals Chapter, which your new Exaltees and any other member would be welcome to attend.  This should benefit all Chapters, but especially those with a healthy pipeline of Candidates.

Under the guidance of the Pro First Grand Principal the Committee of General Purpose will over the coming year be reviewing aspects of the RA, the results of which will form part of the 2023 strategy.

The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent has tasked E. C. Nick Carter to form a strategy group consisting of Craft and RA masons who will from time to time be keeping you informed of various aspects of the strategy.

May I take this opportunity to wish you and your families all best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

Sincerely and fraternally

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