Mark Masons’ Hall News

Notice of a General Suspension of All Masonic Activity

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Throughout this period of national and international emergency, the well-being and safety of our members has been paramount. This is why the guidance we have issued so far has gone beyond that published by the UK Government and Public Health England.

For our members overseas, our guidance has supplemented that provided by the local Public Health Authorities wherever they live.

As a result of the latest advice given by the UK Prime Minister yesterday, backed by the Chief Medical and Scientific Officers, our existing guidance has been reviewed and updated.

The Grand Masters of the Orders administered from Mark Masons’ Hall have jointly agreed an immediate General Suspension of all Masonic Activity for a period of four months. This means that no masonic meetings or related social activities should take place until further notice. A similar Notice of a General Suspension is being issued today by the United Grand Lodge of England, the Supreme Council of the Ancient & Accepted Rite and the Grand Lodge of Scotland.

Whilst regular masonic activity will now cease for the time being, the administration of our Orders will continue as usual with regular updates issued to let you know what is happening.

These are unprecedented times requiring unprecedented action and I feel sure you will agree that the suspension of all masonic activity now is the right thing to do. Our Orders are facing a considerable challenge as a result of the spread of the coronavirus and will do so for some months to come. So, it’s important that we do as much as we can to safeguard one another, maintain contact with one another by phone and email, and ensure that when the current emergency is over, we can fully resume the practice and enjoyment of our freemasonry.

With fraternal regards and best wishes.
R.W.Bro. Ryan A Williams, P.G.J.W. Grand Secretary

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

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Following yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister that the UK government is attempting to delay the spread of coronavirus and the decision by the UK Chief Medical Officers to raise the risk level from moderate to high, we have updated the advice given in the joint statement issued by Mark Masons’ Hall, the United Grand Lodge of England and the Ancient & Accepted Rite, last week.

The above-average age profile of our membership means that there is a higher risk posed to our more elderly members which is why we have decided to strengthen our existing advice beyond that issued by Public Health England.

  • Members over the age of 65 and those with hypertension, heart disease, lung disease or diabetes should not attend masonic meetings for the foreseeable future.
  • Masonic meetings may still go ahead at the discretion of the members but those over 65 or those with health problems should not attend.
  • If a Unit decides to postpone a meeting to a later date, a Dispensation will be required from the Provincial Grand Master (or equivalent) for which no charge will be made. If, after issuing a summons, a meeting has to be abandoned due to insufficient attendance, a note must be entered in the Minute Book stating that ‘the Regular Meeting of the Lodge on [insert date] was duly called but abandoned due to the incidence of coronavirus’.
  • With effect from next Monday, 16 March 2020, meetings of over 100 members should not take place, until further notice.
  • Check on the more elderly and vulnerable members of your Units, especially those that live alone, remembering that a phone call is probably safest for them rather than visiting in person.

You should also be aware that Mark Masons’ Hall will remain open for masonic meetings (and associated dining) for the time being but administrative staff will, where possible, work from home except on Tuesdays and Thursdays, until further notice. Members wishing to contact the Secretariat or other departments are asked to do so by email in the first instance.

Brethren resident in our Districts and Provinces outside England and Wales are strongly advised to observe whatever measures have been prescribed by the local public health authorities.

We will review this advice as the situation develops. With fraternal regards and best wishes.

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