News from Freemasonry@86

29 November 2019

Welcome to your news and information update from the ten progressive Orders and higher degrees of Freemasonry administered from Mark Masons' Hall, 86 St James's.
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Dates for your diary - it must be Christmas
Tuesday 3 December 11am - Scarlet Cord Conferral of 5th Grade - Mark Masons' Hall
Tuesday 3 December 2pm - The Scarlet Cord TI Consistory - multiple 2nd Grade Conferrals and Installation of Deputy President (R.Dist.Comp. Peter Wise) - Mark Masons' Hall

Tuesday 10 December 4:45pm - RAM Annual Assembly & Investiture - Freemasons' Hall, London - booking details
Wednesday 8 January 11am - Scarlet Cord Consecration of Vale of Glamorgan Consistory No.135 - Penarth
If you're at a loose end tomorrow 30 November and happen to be in Santos, Brazil, get yourself along to the Anglican Church at 10am to support recently invested R.E.Kt. Detlev Fenselau at his first meeting as Provincial Prior for South America Knights Templar. We hope to bring you the full story and pictures in next week's News.
Booking for the RAM Annual Assembly & Investiture dining has now closed - you can still attend the last 'big' meeting of 2019, click on this link for booking details >>>
Deputy Grand Master at Peace on the Island

On this occasion, Thursday 28 November, Deputy Grand Master, R.W.Bro. John H. Prizeman was at Peace TI Royal Ark Mariner Lodge in Newport, Isle of Wight, to present them with their Centenary Warrant. He is pictured with Lodge Commander, W.Bro. David Baggaley and Prov.G.M. (Hampshire & Isle of Wight),
R.W.Bro. George Deacon.
The meeting took place in the same historic Lodge room in which  Peace TI RAM was Consecrated one hundred years ago - on 26 September 1919 - when the Deputy Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Richard Loveland-Loveland carried out the Consecration  Ceremony.
Facebook 'Page' or 'Group': which one is right for you?
Social media is a great tool for developing your audiences and engaging members, potential members and their communities. But should it be Facebook 'page' or 'group'?
It does depend on your goals, but we would strongly propose a 'page' as the most appropriate and effective route. Some of the advantages of a 'page' include:
Facebook does not publicly link admin profiles to the page unless admins manually link themselves.
- Less admin burden as even with fully Open Groups members have to be 'approved'.
- You can schedule upcoming posts to publish automatically.
- You get analytics for your page that become more detailed as your follower count grows.

There are even more if you ultimately consider taking a 'paid for/promoted' route.
In the meantime check out this useful guide >>>
And the following detail from Facebook>>>
Whichever route you choose, get involved in that conversation and tell your audiences all about the wonderful world of the Progressive Orders.
'Taking in the Air' with Bedfordshire Freemasons & Balliol School

Pupils of the Primary School in Kempston are some of the first in the country to benefit from a new approach to teaching children outside the classroom. The idea of creating an outdoor classroom was floated by the school’s headteacher, Kirsty Bicknell, who commented, “We wanted to create a facility, in which our children could be taught and at the same time learn about the environment around them.  Our initial research indicated that to create an outdoor classroom and a 'chill-out zone' for children to learn in and have space to build social and emotional skills.”
£15,000 was donated by Freemasons, including a £5,000 contribution each from Bedfordshire Mark Master Masons, Bedfordshire Craft Masons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation.
R.W.Bro. Russ Howard, Prov.G.M. of the Bedfordshire Mark Master Masons added, “We are delighted that we could combine with Craft Freemasons to help build this wonderful and unique teaching and thinking facility for the pupils of Balliol Primary School.  Having visited the school to see the outside area for myself, I was impressed with the outdoor classroom and 'chill-out' space, and the politeness and good manners of the pupils and their enthusiasm for their new outdoor classroom. All we need now is some mild weather so the pupils can enjoy their lessons 'Al Fresco'."

Left-to-right: R.W.Bro. Tony Henderson, Craft Prov.G.M. (Bedfordshire), R.W.Bro. Russ Howard, Mark Prov.G.M. (Bedfordshire), with teachers and pupils of Balliol School.
Allied Masonic Degrees - London Council of Improvement

The AMD London Council of Improvement will next meet on Tuesday 3 December at Mark Masons' Hall starting at 7.00pm, when they'll be rehearsing St Lawrence the Martyr and The Holy Order of Grand High Priest. 
Does your District Grand Council or Inspectorate have a similar Council of Improvement? How do you get to grips with the wonderful AMD ritual?
"A thing of beauty is a joy forever" John Keats 'Endymion'

And on Saturday 23 November at Cirencester beauty wasn't the first point to which Companions were directed, but rather the stunning new Provincial Banner for Gloucestershire, Herefordshire & Wiltshire.

 It  was proudly displayed at the latest outing for Grand Summus, M.Dist.Comp. Ian Currans, and his trusty bodyguard or Tzaddikim. They were welcomed to Cirencester by Provincial Grand Summus R.Dist.Comp. Stephen White to conduct the dedication of the new Provincial Grand Senatus banner.
This was the first such banner dedication conducted by the Grand Summus – not that you could tell – and the event was topped off with a splendid oration from Grand Episcopus, V.Dist.Comp. Eric Bourne (pictured in the unique regalia of the Order).

 How many Royal and Select District Grand Masters...
  past & present does it take to invest a new Deputy District Grand Master?
On 20 November at St Albans that would be four plus the support of Grand Master, M.Ill.Comp. Kessick Jones, to invest Ill.Comp. John Wickes at Ninth Arch Council No.318.
Carrying out the duties was recently installed District G.M., R.Ill.Comp. Peter Brindle, with Past D.G.M.s R.Ill.Comp. Colin Hellyer, R.Ill.Comp. Colin Thurston and R.Ill.Comp. Peter Baikie providing moral support. 

Possibly not unique, but a certainly a rare & memorable occasion.

Pictured left to right Back Row: R.Ill.Comp. Colin Hellyer, P.Dist.G.M.,  R.Ill.Comp. Peter Brindle, Dist.G.M.

Front Row: R.Ill.Comp Colin Thurston, P.Dist.G.M.,  M.Ill.Comp. Kessick John Jones, Grand Master,  R.Ill.Comp. Peter Baikie, P.Dist.G.M.

Definitely worthy of 'Tweet of the Week' is how the East Lancashire Deputy Grand Superintendent succinctly put it this week on Twitter. His actual Tweet in full can be seen below - what an incredibly powerful and inclusive statement, and to paraphrase the lyrics of Toyah
"Be loud, be proud, be heard".
We have so much to 'shout' about.

And further words of wisdom in a follow-up Tweet from Martin Roche "
whatever we join, whatever we pursue in pure and antient Freemasonry or our amazing extended family of Progressive Orders, progression in any office, any Order should be an aspiration, not an obligation. Let’s make members and Masonic memories worth keeping."
Oops - it's apology time again

For several weeks now we've been asking you to submit your news and stories, where appropriate, via the Mark Masons' Hall website on this link >>> fully expecting that the content would come through to the email address. How wrong we were.
Unfortunately, the gremlins have been at work and this connection has not been working - it is now up and running.
I am sorry for the fall from grace on this occasion.
Note to self - even in the 21st century you can't rely on technology always working.
Wizzybug - improving the quality of life of young disabled children and their families

We thought it was time for an update on the children who have benefitted from the Wizzybugs funded by your kind MBF donation of £8,500 in 2016. This funded the production of two Wizzybugs and their loans to families in conjunction with
The following is some of the feedback received:
Jack adores his Wizzy! He turns heads wherever he goes as people cannot quite believe how well he drives at such a young age! It has completely changed our lives."
"This was a game changer for us... a life changer."
"She uses Wizzy to play football with her brothers. When she's scored a goal, her smile is worth a million pounds! Thank you Wizzy team."
Check out the full update on this link>>>

#Friday Feeling
It's good to feel liked and followed - Mark Masons' Hall and our Grand Secretary are no exception. One of the very powerful ways of building awareness and consideration towards our ten Orders it to establish a presence on social media - Facebook and Twitter are a good start - and to have that conversation with your members and potential candidates. 
We would also like to share our appreciation of the great work you are all doing - can you please email us on with your Facebook and Twitter details. This will ensure that we like, share, follow and retweet in return - all emails will be acknowledged.
Thank you.

Progressive Masonry on the Move
Check out the  Mark Masons' Hall Team App, which is ready and waiting to be filled with useful information - it's what smart phones were made for.
Content posted so far includes:
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  • key events and booking details (where available)
  • Social Media Guidelines and Best Practice 
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