We are all encouraged when we first become Freemasons, to make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge.
This has never been easier to do than it is today, with the use of the internet as a research tool, but this should be treated with caution, as there is as much “disinformation” as there are reliable sources.
There is a new learning resource devoted to the Craft and Royal Arch, launched by United Grand Lodge of England in 2018, Solomon. This is for use by individuals or lodges and chapters.
In order to use this wonderful facility, it is necessary to register, and this can be easily done at the following link: https://solomon.ugle.org.uk/
As a primary source of information on almost every aspect of Freemasonry, this website is in a class of its own. It continues to grow as more articles and information are added.
The hope is that all lodges and chapters will use Solomon as a source to deliver a regular short five or ten-minute talk which should appear on the Summons as part of the agenda for the meeting. Perhaps an Education Officer can be appointed to action this.
The Province of Middlesex is very fortunate to have its own sources of education, which can be used in conjunction with Solomon.
The Oration Scheme
The Oration scheme was set up by U.G.L.E. in 2008.
Each province was then expected to appoint a Provincial Orator who, depending on the size of the province, would, in turn, appoint a number of carefully chosen assistants to work with him in delivering the orations in lodges in his area.
The Middlesex Oration scheme has been very successful; this is almost certainly due to the first Provincial Grand Orator, W. Bro. Mike Karn, who felt that the orations supplied by Grand Lodge were not what the average Freemason in the Province wanted to hear.
He produced a number of alternative orations for presentation by his team, and the fact that Middlesex is probably the most successful province in the oration programme rather proves the point.
In fact, many provinces appear to have dropped the scheme, and there now seems little initiative from Grand Lodge on the subject.
W. Bro. Mike Kearsley took over the Office in 2013, and continued the scheme in a similar manner, adding further talks to the list of orations available. In 2018, W. Bro. Andrew Farleigh became Provincial Grand Orator and is working to maintain and extend the scheme outside of the Province where possible.
Presentations are normally requested when a lodge or chapter has no ritual work, or because of a special occasion such as a white table meeting or an official visit. Any lodge or chapter that would like a presentation should contact Andrew at email@example.com or for a booking form at https://goo.gl/forms/MEsMjrPIvMnYB6Oa2
Temple of Athene
If these two sources are not enough to meet your requirements, there is always Temple of Athene, the research lodge for the Province of Middlesex.
This was consecrated in 1994 with the sole purpose of encouraging and disseminating Masonic research in the Province.
There are four meetings a year held at Harrow District Masonic Centre purely for the purpose of presenting a talk on some aspect of Freemasonry.
Attached to the Lodge, from the very beginning, is a Correspondence Circle, open to all Freemasons, but membership of the Lodge is restricted to those brethren who present a suitable paper.
Members are available to deliver talks to lodges and chapters, though they do tend to be longer in length than those presented through the Oration Scheme.
For further information and a list of lecturers and subjects, contact the Secretary, W. Bro. Ron Selby, at firstname.lastname@example.org
So if it is for your own personal use, or for the use of your lodge or chapter, you are encouraged to use one of these wonderful sources.
Unfortunately, it is not unusual these days for lodges and chapters to find themselves without a candidate for a meeting – there is now no excuse for not having an interesting meeting; the three sources above are there for YOUR use, so why not make use of them ?
Please keep this information; if it is not of immediate interest, it may well be needed at some time in the future! If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely & fraternally
W. Bro. Ron Selby PPrSGW
Provincial Education Officer
Download a copy of this letter HERE
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