Further Guidance on Dealing with Masonic Administration

To: Members of All Orders Administered from Mark Masons’ Hall

Dear Sir and Brother

Last Tuesday, I wrote to the members of the Orders administered from Mark Masons’ Hall to confirm a General Suspension of all Masonic Activity for a period of four months in response to the spread of COVID-19.

This suspension has, of course, created a variety of issues relating to the administration of our Orders and I am grateful to those of you who have already been in touch seeking guidance on what to do. This note supersedes all previous guidance on the abandonment and postponement of meetings.

Unless otherwise stated, the terms used in this note apply to all Orders administered from Mark Masons’ Hall.

Individual Masonic Units (Lodges, Preceptories, Conclaves etc.)
Any Unit due to meet during the period of the suspension does not need to issue a summons for the meeting(s) but should place a copy of the General Suspension letter in the Minute Book where the minutes of the missed meeting(s) would be.

When the suspension ends, a further letter will be circulated informing Brethren that meetings can resume. A copy of this letter should be entered in the Minute Book and the Unit will resume meetings in accordance with its By Laws. There will be no need to reschedule any meeting(s) which would have occurred during the period of the suspension.

If the Unit feels there is enough of a backlog of work to require additional meeting(s) this can be dealt with in an Emergency Meeting(s) for which no Dispensation is required.

Unit Election and Installation meetings
Any Unit that should have met during the suspension period to elect or install its Master will now do this at the next regular meeting after the suspension ends or at an Emergency Meeting called specifically for that purpose.

Units will be permitted to elect and install a new Master at the same meeting subject to Dispensation from Grand Lodge, which will be free of charge. This will not be automatic - Lodges will be required to submit the necessary Dispensation Request Form via their Provincial Grand Secretary in the usual way.

It should be noted that the move of a scheduled installation meeting shall not have a detrimental impact on those who need to serve time in an office before being installed themselves. The qualifying period of one year is from one installation meeting to the next, not a twelve-month period.

Provincial and District Grand Lodges or equivalent The general approach to be adopted during the suspension, wherever possible, is ‘business as usual’ which means that your existing administrative procedures should follow their normal pattern.

Provincial meetings scheduled to take place during the Suspension period
  1. Summons already issued - if the Annual Meeting of your Province is scheduled to take place during the suspension period and a Summons has already been issued, a note must be made in the Minute Book stating that ‘the Annual Meeting of the Province on [insert date] was duly called but abandoned due to the incidence of coronavirus’.
  2. Summons not yet issued - if a Summons has not yet been issued, a copy of the General Suspension Letter should be inserted in the Minute Book with a note stating that ‘the Annual Meeting of the Province on [insert date] was not held owing to the General Suspension of All Masonic Activity issued by [insert Grand Lodge or name of other Governing Body] on 17 March 2020.’
  3. Appointments and Promotions - Brethren selected for appointment to and promotion in Provincial Grand Rank should be sent Letters of Appointment in the usual way. Such letters should state that they will assume their ranks on the date the Provincial meeting would have taken place.
  4. Requirement to hold a Provincial business meeting - it will be necessary for Provinces to hold a truncated Annual meeting later in the year in order to address various administrative matters including the election of the Provincial Grand Treasurer and auditors. No investiture will be necessary at this meeting.

Appointment of Provincial & District Executive Officers
A Brother to be appointed to Executive Office e.g. Deputy/Assistant Provincial Grand Master at the Annual Meeting of the Province will assume their new office by virtue of the Provincial Grand Master’s Patent of Appointment, effective from the date that the Provincial meeting would have taken place.

Grand Investiture Meetings
Even though the Grand Investiture meetings scheduled for the next four months will not now take place, we will continue to seek recommendations for Grand Rank and issue Letters of Appointment in the usual way.

Brethren receiving Grand Honours will be notified pf their appointment by email and will assume their new ranks with effect from the date the Investiture meeting should have taken place.

All bookings for dining at Annual Investiture meetings already received are in the process of being refunded.

I hope this further guidance clarifies what needs to be done following the start of the General Suspension. If you have any additional questions or encounter situations not covered by the above guidance, please get in touch.

With fraternal regards and best wishes.

R.W.Bro. Ryan A Williams, P.G.J.W.
Grand Secretary

of England and Wales and its Districts and Lodges Overseas

Click here to download the letter from R.W.Bro. Ryan A Williams


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