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On 19/05/2020 at 16:17, Trouillogan said:

However, then we get tied up in that installation requirement becoming the 'choke point' again.  Would having an optional extra create an undesireable two-tier system?  I wonder.

In many ways, the UGLE hierarchy means we're 2nd class masons - we can't visit HRA Chapters in most other jurisdictions (at least, for the whole shebang), as most other Constitutions follow the Scottish system (Craft-->MMM-->EM-->HRA).  The logical solution is for UGLE and MMH to coordinate, and put right 300+ years of FUBAR.

The problem of course, is that to get from Here to There brings major practical issues, way beyond re-framing the Prime Directive...

Edited by Not quite so Uninitiated

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I think if there's a will there's a way.

I think it could be done if there was enough support, but likely would only ever been done for financial reasons. I would just like to see a more complete system.

Another option could be to bring the Holy Royal Arch closer to Craft Lodges as they were originally designed to be receiving the Lodge's name and number. It was designed that after being Raised you would then be encouraged to join the Lodge's Chapter and take your next step. However, this doesn't seem to happen and Chapters almost feel like a totally different Order to Craft and many members don't completed their Ancient journey in Freemasonry.

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It's not just the Mark degrees that are missing but the Excellent Master 'veils' as well.  And the latter make more sense when the full, complete Craft installation with proper BIM is carried out.  Not in my lifetime, I fear!

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2 hours ago, Rueben Moriarty said:

It was designed that after being Raised you would then be encouraged to join the Lodge's Chapter and take your next step.

But didn't it used to be after the Chair?

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Yes, that's my point. I think it was designed so that there was a clear progression through the three Craft degrees and then into the HRA. The prerequisite to go through the Chair was dropped a very long time ago, but I feel after a few years a Brother should be encouraged to join Chapter. However, this doesn't seem to happen and this is a shame as most brethren miss the rich symbolism of the degree. The purpose of the three allegorical craft degrees is to understand these symbols, but by the time most join Chapter they miss the rich symbolism.

It's actually quite bizarre as we have all taken that great leap to join Freemasonry, we are happy to enter into something unknown, to give up our time, to meet new people and to part with our hard earned cash.... but after joining most then stop and don't go onto join anything else. Now, I'm not advocating joining multiple Orders as this isn't for everyone and most of us don't have the time (early mid-week meetings is another big issue!) or the finances to join appendant bodies. But when we join we are informed the standard journey is EA, FC, MM and again for most of us WM. I believe we should also include the HRA in this journey. Perhaps it's because in general the meetings are usually on a different date to the Craft meetings that they feel separate?

I don't think it is pushing people, we wouldn't say that about the other degrees..... Perhaps if our Craft dues included the HRA then Brothers would be more inclined to join? Food for thought.

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9 hours ago, Rueben Moriarty said:

Yes, that's my point. I think it was designed so that there was a clear progression through the three Craft degrees and then into the HRA. The prerequisite to go through the Chair was dropped a very long time ago, but I feel after a few years a Brother should be encouraged to join Chapter. However, this doesn't seem to happen and this is a shame as most brethren miss the rich symbolism of the degree. The purpose of the three allegorical craft degrees is to understand these symbols, but by the time most join Chapter they miss the rich symbolism.

It's actually quite bizarre as we have all taken that great leap to join Freemasonry, we are happy to enter into something unknown, to give up our time, to meet new people and to part with our hard earned cash.... but after joining most then stop and don't go onto join anything else. Now, I'm not advocating joining multiple Orders as this isn't for everyone and most of us don't have the time (early mid-week meetings is another big issue!) or the finances to join appendant bodies. But when we join we are informed the standard journey is EA, FC, MM and again for most of us WM. I believe we should also include the HRA in this journey. Perhaps it's because in general the meetings are usually on a different date to the Craft meetings that they feel separate?

I don't think it is pushing people, we wouldn't say that about the other degrees..... Perhaps if our Craft dues included the HRA then Brothers would be more inclined to join? Food for thought.

In the eighteenth century and well into the mid-nineteeth, brethren would go through a 'virtual Master' degree without actually being the Master of a lodge, in order to qualify for the HRA.  Although at the 1813 Union, the Craft Mastership requirement was not necessary. many carried on with it largely out of tradition.

If you look at UGLE's 'Pathway', it comprises four stages, the HRA being the fourth.

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On 25/06/2020 at 13:14, Rueben Moriarty said:

I feel after a few years a Brother should be encouraged to join Chapter. However, this doesn't seem to happen and this is a shame as most brethren miss the rich symbolism of the degree.

I guess this is down to Provincial differences... certainly in Hampshire and IoW, you get presented (by the Provincial Representative, usually the VO) with a booklet relating to HRA on your Raising, and are encouraged (in due time, but not too quickly) to join.

Likewise, there is a gentle tap of the stick in that Provincial Rank beyond (P)ProvAGDC is only for those who are members of HRA, and I've heard it suggested that Acting Provincial Rank at the juniorlevels requires a commitment to join, if not already a member.

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I've taken to referring to both the Mark and Royal Arch at the end of the TH. I've translated the markings on the most prominant item on the Tracing Board (I'm being deliberately obsure in case there are non-MMs reading) and told them that the markings are quite important in the Mark. I also say that they might recall that they are told about things going wrong (as it were) and that if they want to find out how things were put right, then to look into the Royal Arch. Every occasion I've done this so far has resulted in a look of surprise and intrigue come of the candidate's face, so it remains to be seen if they follow it up (they have all joined Chapter to date).

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On 26/06/2020 at 13:52, Not quite so Uninitiated said:

I guess this is down to Provincial differences... certainly in Hampshire and IoW, you get presented (by the Provincial Representative, usually the VO) with a booklet relating to HRA on your Raising, and are encouraged (in due time, but not too quickly) to join.

Likewise, there is a gentle tap of the stick in that Provincial Rank beyond (P)ProvAGDC is only for those who are members of HRA, and I've heard it suggested that Acting Provincial Rank at the juniorlevels requires a commitment to join, if not already a member.

Hopefully (but I'm yet to be convinced) with the recent change in that Craft province, 'honours' in one Order will not continue to be dependent on membership subscriptions in another.  Membership of the Craft is a privilege not open to all but to those of strict morals (not an empty phrase as it is tending to be regarded).  Membership of the Supreme degree of the HRA always has been and still should be for a select few of those privileged Craft members capable of the further understanding which is necessary.  It is not a numbers game and never has been; some members of provincial hierarchies and even some at HQ have been thinking otherwise.  The very special nature of that membership is what makes it attractive to the 'right sort'.  Once it becomes open to every Tom, Dick and Harry, it stops being special and loses its attractiveness.  Further, I believe that UGLE's alteration to the age of acceptance is mistaken and simply a tactical move in that futile game of numbers.

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On 26/06/2020 at 13:52, Not quite so Uninitiated said:

I guess this is down to Provincial differences... certainly in Hampshire and IoW, you get presented (by the Provincial Representative, usually the VO) with a booklet relating to HRA on your Raising, and are encouraged (in due time, but not too quickly) to join.

Likewise, there is a gentle tap of the stick in that Provincial Rank beyond (P)ProvAGDC is only for those who are members of HRA, and I've heard it suggested that Acting Provincial Rank at the juniorlevels requires a commitment to join, if not already a member.

In some DIstricts/Provinces, HRA membership is a requirement for Active honours.  

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2 hours ago, Sentience said:

In some DIstricts/Provinces, HRA membership is a requirement for Active honours.  

Where, I ask, are merit and ability?

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In Cambridgeshire, the only Provincial offices where RA membership is 'required' (if I can use that description) are those of Deputy (we don't have assistants) and Wardens. For anything below that, RA membership is encouraged, but not 'mandated' - that pretty much ties in with Trouillogan's observations above; if you're committed enough to even be considered for those senior Craft offices, it's highly probable that you're also likely to be a PZ in RA - and probably involved in other orders too!

Edited by Sontaran

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In London, as I understand it, promotion to LGR and SLGR is based on a points system. I imagine you'd lose a fair number of points if you're not in HRA, and several more for not being a PZ.

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16 hours ago, Sontaran said:

In Cambridgeshire, the only Provincial offices where RA membership is 'required' (if I can use that description) are those of Deputy (we don't have assistants) and Wardens. For anything below that, RA membership is encouraged, but not 'mandated' - that pretty much ties in with Trouillogan's observations above; if you're committed enough to even be considered for those senior Craft offices, it's highly probable that you're also likely to be a PZ in RA - and probably involved in other orders too!

That's what I like about small provinces.  It seems to me the large ones become administratively top heavy and rather impersonal, with a fair bit of brown-nosing!

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On 29/06/2020 at 11:59, Trouillogan said:

Where, I ask, are merit and ability?

They are of course requirements, but if you aren't in the HRA, you don't get an Active Office.

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On 26/06/2020 at 13:52, Not quite so Uninitiated said:

Likewise, there is a gentle tap of the stick in that Provincial Rank beyond (P)ProvAGDC is only for those who are members of HRA, and I've heard it suggested that Acting Provincial Rank at the juniorlevels requires a commitment to join, if not already a member.

Not strictly true, certainly for the last 5+ years.  Plenty of active officers around over the last few years with no HRA jewel.

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2 hours ago, gsudron said:

Not strictly true, certainly for the last 5+ years.  Plenty of active officers around over the last few years with no HRA jewel.

Depends which District/Province you're in.  An extract from a PDF on the web;

The Honours will be grouped into four categories,

  •   Acting Ranks,

  •   Past Ranks, (First Appointments),

  •   Promotions and

  •   Mid year Promotions.

    Each Assistant should nominate Brethren for Acting Rank according to his allocation as identified in the Provincial schedule. Additional requests may be made but will not necessarily be accepted. This will be at the discretion of the Honours Panel and subject to the approval of the Provincial Grand Master.

    No Brother will be appointed to Acting Rank, [with the exception of Provincial Grand Steward], unless he is a member of the Royal Arch.

    The rank of Provincial Grand Steward is considered special and is for those Brethren who are 60 years of age or under and who show particular promise. A Brother appointed to this office will be encouraged to join the Royal Arch prior to any subsequent promotion.

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18 hours ago, gsudron said:

To clarify - I was talking about Hants & IoW, to which myself and Not quite so Uninitiated belong.

Ah yes, H&IoW Ltd. !

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On 01/07/2020 at 19:16, gsudron said:

To clarify - I was talking about Hants & IoW, to which myself and Not quite so Uninitiated belong.

 

On 01/07/2020 at 18:51, Sentience said:

Depends which District/Province you're in.  An extract from a PDF on the web;

The Honours will be grouped into four categories,

  •   Acting Ranks,

  •   Past Ranks, (First Appointments),

  •   Promotions and

  •   Mid year Promotions.

    Each Assistant should nominate Brethren for Acting Rank according to his allocation as identified in the Provincial schedule. Additional requests may be made but will not necessarily be accepted. This will be at the discretion of the Honours Panel and subject to the approval of the Provincial Grand Master.

    No Brother will be appointed to Acting Rank, [with the exception of Provincial Grand Steward], unless he is a member of the Royal Arch.

    The rank of Provincial Grand Steward is considered special and is for those Brethren who are 60 years of age or under and who show particular promise. A Brother appointed to this office will be encouraged to join the Royal Arch prior to any subsequent promotion.

Which is why I said it depends on which District/Province you're in.

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On 01/07/2020 at 16:45, gsudron said:

Not strictly true, certainly for the last 5+ years.  Plenty of active officers around over the last few years with no HRA jewel.

Thanks for the clarification... it is certainly the impression of many, still, though.

Of course, I'm still well away from such consideration, although I do tick that particular "box" :-)

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For promotions within my District we use a points system. Max points is 1000. Requirements of points for consideration is 700. Being a member of HRA gives you 100 points. So nearly all Master Masons in my area are members of HRA.

 

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Could I ask why London has just LGR/SLGR, yet the Provinces have a myriad of Provincial Honours? Why do the Provinces not have the London system? (Or vice versa)

And... how long have the Honours system been in place? I'm intrigued (especially as I have recently received my first appointment as PPrJGD, dead chuffed).

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8 hours ago, lewis said:

For promotions within my District we use a points system. Max points is 1000. Requirements of points for consideration is 700. Being a member of HRA gives you 100 points. So nearly all Master Masons in my area are members of HRA.

 

Points?  This is not a game.

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4 hours ago, Midlander said:

Could I ask why London has just LGR/SLGR, yet the Provinces have a myriad of Provincial Honours? Why do the Provinces not have the London system? (Or vice versa)

And... how long have the Honours system been in place? I'm intrigued (especially as I have recently received my first appointment as PPrJGD, dead chuffed).

 

It's a long, complicated historical tale!  Until a few years ago, lodges in London were administered first directly by the Grand Secretary and then after 1997 by the Assistant Grand Master.  Nowadays, since 2003, they have been administered by a Metropolitan Grand Lodge.  As to honours, Metropolitan Grand Rank is normally the first appointment for a Past Master of a London lodge.  The promotion from that, is to Senior London Grand Rank.  This is a very simple and straightforward system with which London masons generally approve.  The active Metropolitan Grand Officer ranks are shown in the Schedule to rule 61 in the Book of Constitutions.  There are no 'past' ranks in the metropolitan system.  With some 1,500 lodges of around 50,000 individuals, to administer a complicated honours system, such as exists in the provinces, would be a complete nightmare.

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