Our ref.: Coronavirus/GRES 6 July 2020
TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE
UNDER THE SUPREME COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND AND WALES
Dear Sir and brother –
You will have received today a copy of the First Rising, the email newsletter of the United Grand Lodge of England, containing among other matters an announcement that masonic meetings may begin again from 17th July 2020, following the expiry of the four-month suspension decreed by the MW Grand Master on 17th March 2020.
The Supreme Council wishes to clarify the position so far as this Order is concerned.
First, you are reminded that when the Supreme Council suspended activity within this Order, it placed no time limit on that suspension. For the avoidance of doubt, therefore, you are advised that masonic activity within the Ancient and Accepted Rite remains suspended in England and Wales, notwithstanding the forthcoming resumption of Craft meetings. Districts overseas (and unattached Chapters) may follow the lead of the UGLE Craft District within the relevant jurisdiction, as before.
Secondly, the Supreme Council confirms that it will shortly be undertaking a national consultation of the membership to ensure that its decisions in managing this complex situation are fully aligned to members’ wishes. You will be hearing more about this consultation from your District or Group Recorder in due course.
Finally, we are aware of the widespread desire among Chapters to be permitted to make certain decisions (particularly regarding financial matters) notwithstanding the current suspension of Chapter meetings. Given the extended nature of this period of suspension, the Supreme Council is currently considering the question carefully and will be seeking your views as part of the consultation process.
All nine Members of the Supreme Council wish to reiterate their gratitude to you, the members, for continuing to support the Order during this difficult period. We all look forward very much to resuming our Chapter meetings in due course, but remain cautiously sensitive to the challenges that this will inevitably entail; in the meantime, we are grateful for your patience and ask for your forbearance until the situation improves.
Yours faithfully and fraternally,
Dr G R E Shilson 33°
Grand Secretary General H∴E∴