The Crafty Companions

W Bro Frank O’Keeffe PPAGStdB (Herts) a member of the Media Team reports on what at first may seem a paradox.

Greystoke Lodge and Chapter

“At first glance, this photo seems to show the determination of the Brethren of Greystoke Lodge, No. 6146, to hold their meeting under the current “Rule of Six” restrictions.

Nothing so unusual in that, I hear you muttering – plenty of other Lodges are doing so too.

But what is not so apparent is that this was also the afternoon of their Chapter meeting, which was held prior to their Craft meeting.

I asked the Lodge Secretary, W. Bro Dennis Hammond, if this was due to the constraints under which Chapters and Lodges are currently having to operate, and therefore merely a convenience factor during the current pandemic.

The answer was a surprise.

The Chapter changed their bylaws back in 2019, well before the world was aware of the disease which was to sweep the planet.

This was to accommodate the fact that most of the Greystoke Chapter Companions were also brethren of the Craft Lodge. So, it was decided that the Chapter would meet on the same day as the Lodge, apart from the Installation meeting.

Costs and Benefits –

There are a number of benefits to be had from this arrangement not least the sharing of dining facilities and a reduction in costs.

Perhaps having Chapter and Craft meetings on the same day will mean more time at home with family.

Importantly, it could act as a catalyst for younger Craft brethren to join the Chapter.

This goes to show that Freemasonry is constantly evolving and adapting and looking to remain relevant in a fast-changing and often difficult world.

Well done to Greystoke Chapter and Lodge for thinking outside the box. An inspiration for others ?”

Work in Progress –

However, albeit apparently seamless, it does beg the question of how arrangements for Festive Board might be handled in terms of toasts and the Royal Arch particularity.

It would be a shame to lose that, but this is probably “work in progress” and no doubt there will be a question of who hosts.

Of course, all attending Festive Board would be Craft Masons in any event.

Not only that there would be the question of any raffle proceeds at Festive Board and how these might be allocated.

Certainly, the arrangements at Greystoke Lodge and Chapter will hopefully mean a greater attendance at both meetings.

This idea may hold the key to a greater participation in the Royal Arch and Lodges without a corresponding Chapter might be able consider such a “joint venture” to mutual benefit.

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