Supreme Council Virtual District Meeting

Dear Brethren Of the District

The national consultation in the A&AR recently showed over three quarters of the membership within England and Wales are comfortable using ” Zoom ” videoing conferencing.

Supreme Council will therefore be pleased to make a ” virtual ” visit to our District on Thursday 3rd December 2020 at 6pm.

This will take the form of a ” Zoom” meeting lasting approximately one hour, and all members of the District are invited to attend. Our IG will open the meeting, then hand over to the Supreme Council member who will address the members and update them on the state of the Order and other matters.

There will then be a Q&A session open to all members and if anyone wishes to put a question forward, please submit it to me through your Chapter Recorder at your earliest convenience.

We are awaiting confirmation of which SC member will be visiting us, the various log-in details etc, and I will of course keep you informed on these and any other relevant matters.

Please note there is no specific dress code and Regalia will not be worn. SC also have no objection to any member arriving late, or leaving the meeting early.

I will advise further detail on receipt from SC.

Brother Recorders, when you have details of numbers that would like to attend please let me know so I can inform SC of the numbers.

Best regards

Colin Brown

District Recorder of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wessex

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Sovereign Grand Commander’s Lecture

The lecture given by Most Puissant Brother, Alan John Englefield 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Ancient and Accepted Rite on 18th August 2020 is now available on YouTube.

For those of us who missed the actual broadcast, we can view it at our leisure:

I think you will find some interesting information.

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Covid-19 update from The Supreme Council 33° – 21 August 2020


Dear Sir and brother –

In its last letter, the Supreme Council invited all members of the Order who live within England and Wales to participate in a national consultation, to help it determine the best way forward for the Order during the current pandemic. The Council was overwhelmed by the response to this initiative: over 40% of the entire membership within England & Wales completed the survey, and the nearly 10,000 responses have given the Council most useful data about how you, the members, feel in this matter.

Principal among these findings was the discovery that, while 50% of the membership wish to be permitted (or even, for a very small proportion, required) to recommence physical meetings at this point, 50% of you wish to be actively forbidden from doing so. The principal reason given was that vulnerable members, of whom there are many, do not wish to feel the burden of moral obligation to attend when they are uncomfortable doing so. Furthermore, merely telling them not to feel obliged to attend would be insufficient as the moral imperative would, they feel, remain.

The Supreme Council has therefore discussed the matter at length, aware that whatever is decided will of necessity go against the views of half of the membership. In the end, and after careful consideration, the Council has decided to maintain the current suspension of activity in England & Wales until further notice and at least until the end of 2020; this includes not only private meetings of Chapters but also public events such as Higher Degrees Meetings. This will, of course, be a disappointment to the half of the membership who are keen to resume their masonic activity in the Order straight away; however, disappointment is a lighter burden for the Council to bear than the alternative, which would be to jeopardise the health of our members and their families, and potentially the reputation of the Order.

It is stressed that this decision will be subject to frequent review and, while the Supreme Council hopes very much that activity of some sort may be resumed in early 2021, this will of course depend on the progress of the virus and the advice of HM Government at the time.

The Supreme Council has made three further decisions in respect of this matter, which it is hoped will go some way toward ‘filling the gap’ left by the current suspension of activity.

First, the Supreme Council is prepared to issue a dispensation for any Chapter to meet, notwithstanding the suspension, should there be a compelling reason for it to be permitted to do so. By way of example, the Isle of Man currently has no active cases of Coronavirus; should our Chapters in that territory wish to meet, the Supreme Council would be minded to grant dispensations permitting them to do so. The reason must be compelling and the request for a dispensation must be able to demonstrate that it has the overwhelming support of the Chapter and the endorsement of the relevant Inspector General. Should your Chapter wish to apply for a dispensation, please contact your District Recorder, who will provide you with the requisite form.

Secondly, the Supreme Council noted with interest that over 90% of the membership would like to have a mechanism for making decisions remotely during the suspension and is happy to agree to the idea. With immediate effect, therefore, and until the Supreme Council declares otherwise, Chapters are granted emergency powers to make administrative decisions outside physical meetings. A separate paper explains the required steps to make proper and binding decisions in this way.

Thirdly, the Supreme Council noted that the great majority of members are comfortable using videoconferencing software, and of those who are, nearly 90% would be interested in attending a ‘virtual visit’ from a Member of the Supreme Council. It is therefore the intention of the Supreme Council to visit all 52 home Districts and Groups during the period of suspension. Further information will be promulgated by your District Recorder in due course.

It is very much hoped that these decisions will collectively assist the Order and its members to minimise the damage caused by the current disruption and enable Chapters to recover from the suspension in due course with the minimum of difficulty.

The Supreme Council thanks all those who participated in the national consultation most sincerely and wishes you all well.

Yours faithfully and fraternally,
Dr G R E Shilson 33°
Grand Secretary General H∴E∴

Declaration 2020/7

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Covid-19 update from The Supreme Council 33° – 6 July 2020

Our ref.: Coronavirus/GRES 6 July 2020


 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∴

Declaration 2020/5

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New District Recorder

Announcement of New District Recorder

Announcement of
New District Recorder

The Inspector General is pleased to announce the appointment of Ill.Bro. Colin Brown 31° as the new District Recorder, following the well deserved retirement of Ill.Bro. John Drake 32°.

Colin has been the District Events Coordinator for several years so has been close to the workings of the District, and has organised the recent Higher Degrees meetings.

Furthermore, the Inspector General is pleased to advise that Ill.Bro. Francis Rhoades-Brown 30° has stepped in to Colin’s shoes and taken on the Events coordinator role.

We wish both well, in their new roles.

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Hello world!

Welcome to this, the new website for the District of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wessex, of the Ancient and Accepted Rite (the Rose Croix).

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