Grand Lodges, what is their purpose and who gives them their Authority. Well the simple answer is – you do.
It is your decision which Lodge you join and why, But to do so you should be well informed about who they are.
Often spoken about as the Mother of Modern Freemasonry, the ‘United Grand Lodge of England’ has become the template for the majority of the mainstream Grand Lodges around the world. There is a complicated inter connection between Grand Lodges from one Country to another but generally they like to have one Grand Lodge in overall administrative control of a Country or in the case of the US a State.
In recent years though we have seen a number of NEW Grand Lodges being formed.
Jeff Peace I believe has been a prime mover in the establishment of some, this seems to have arrived at the creation this year of the ‘Grand Orient of the United States of America’, which seems to be affiliated to The Grand Orient de France. I have spoken with Jeff and he seems sincere and I have no reason to suspect he does what he does for any personal gain.
It is not clear from the Web information from GOoUSA if there is a specific link, to the GOdF other than the similarity of name and priciples. The GOoUSA claim a number of Lodges in the US Lodge des Neuf S?urs, Washington D.C., Halcyon Lodge, Cleveland, OH, Euclid Lodge, Grand Rapids MI, Lodge Intrepid, Los Angeles, CA, Regulus Lodge (Triangle), Mobile, AL, Sirius Lodge, Atlanta, GA, Emeth Lodge (Triangle), Phoenix, AZ
Then we see a number of Grand Lodges created in the US which seem to be related to the two newly created Grand Lodges in England.
So the first question is why, why with the plethora of Grand Lodges in the United States and Canada do these two English Grand Lodges make such progress. We have to accept that progress is being made, or that they are not telling the truth. I am not there so I can not testify to the truthfulness of such claims.
Now I have spoken to both principle movers by email and forum and they seem to be honest and reasonable people, they have every right to do what they do. My question is why ?
From the ‘Regular Grand Lodge England’ website we see that the following Grand Lodges are in :- North America :
MHC of United States of America plus
The Regular Grand Lodges of, Virginia, Nevada, Illinois, New Jersey, Nth Carolina, New York and Texas,
And the Most High Councils of California, Sth Carolina, Canada, Wisconsin, Ohio, Maryland, Connecticut and Florida.
Grand Lodge at York [ The Grand Lodge of All England ]
Has accepted St. Johns Lodge – Ohio, Here in your first Lodge, in Dayton, it is clear that you are men of vision and character: individuals with self-respect and respect for others. As such, you will undoubtedly stand proudly together as a beacon of genuine Anglo-Saxon Freemasonry in the New World.
Brethren, upon the foundation laid this evening, may you raise a superstructure ‘perfect in its parts and honourable to the builder’. By : Brother John Gordon Graves, Grand-Master Mason.
[ADDRESS TO THE INAUGURAL MEETING OF ST JOHN’S LODGE AT OHIO – WEDNESDAY 21st NOVEMBER 2007]
What creates the atmosphere that requires NEW groups to be created, What is wrong with the existing long established organisations, in this case The United Grand Lodge of England.
Then why go to the rest of the world to create what seems can not be created in England.
Undoubtedly the two Grand Lodges are relatively knew a matter of 3 or 4 years since conception. I believe RGLE was established in 2005.
UGLE has not said very much on the subject:
From a statement by the United Grand Lodge of England – 16 February 2006
There has been a split in the “Regular Grand Lodge of England” Two of their members were unhappy at the direction the RGLE is taking and have “revived” the old Grand Lodge of All England, known to Masonic historians as the York Grand Lodge.The Grand Master of this new Grand Lodge is one John Gordon Graves and the Grand Secretary is Peter J. Clatworthy.
Like all irregular bodies they are claiming an ancient pedigree. They claim to be acting by “the original Constitutions granted by Prince Edwin at the General Assembly of Masons held in York AD 975”. This is one of the oldest legends connected with Freemasonry and was shown to be a legend more than one hundred years ago!
They also claim that the York Grand Lodge was the first Grand Lodge in England and predates the premier Grand Lodge formed in London in 1717. An independent Lodge existed in York, for which records survive from 1705. It was simply a private Lodge, which in 1725, because of the success of the premier Grand Lodge, began to call itself the Grand Lodge of All England and, in the same year, adopted “Nineteen Articles” to govern the Craft.The Grand Lodge of All England worked until 1740 when it became dormant. It was revived in 1761 and over the next thirty years constituted about thirteen daughter Lodges in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cheshire. It ceased working circa 1791, since when nothing more was heard of it until its “revival” in January 2006.
The records of the York Grand Lodge exist and are in the custody of the present York Lodge No. 236 meeting in York.The Grand Lodge of All England (which appears to have only two members at present) claims to be the “regular authority governing the Craft in England, Wales, the Channel Island and Districts Overseas”. A General Assembly, which all Master Masons are invited to attend, was to be held in York on 20 February 2006 to plan the way forward. Needless to say the new body is entirely irregular, and any member of the United Grand Lodge of England who gets involved in it will become subject to our disciplinary process.
From a report to the Quarterly Communication of the United Grand Lodge of England – 9 March 2005.
It has come to the Board’s attention that there is an irregular body styling itself the “Regular Grand Lodge of England” which is governed by something called “the Masonic High Council for England and Wales”. It claims a number of members and at least one Lodge. Whilst this body appears to draw its members from Brethren of other Constitutions rather than our own, I must remind members of the Craft that any Freemason under this Grand Lodge who does in any way become associated with it, as with any other irregular self-styled Masonic body, must resign from the Craft or render himself liable to Masonic disciplinary proceedings.