In March, the Most Worshipful Grand Master suspended Masonic activity in England and Wales until 17th July 2020. Having consulted the Grand Registrar, Sir John Chadwick, who has studied the UK Governmentâs advice (in particular the guidance for safe use of multi-purpose facilities), we are content that there is presently no requirement to extend the suspension in England, and accordingly Masonic meetings may begin again from this date. We recognise that, excluding emergency meetings which some Lodges and Chapters may wish to hold under appropriate dispensation, the vast majority of meetings will not begin again until September.
The Welsh government guidance is such that, at the present time, Masonic meetings would not be legal in Wales.
Ending of the Suspension of Masonic Activity in Districts will be dependent on local government regulations permitting.
Meetings may only be held in obedience to prevailing National Guidance, local rules from Hall and Venue Companies, and in conformity with the General Guidance given, jointly with Mark Masons’ Hall, below:
A joint statement from: The Grand Secretary, United Grand Lodge of England; The Grand Scribe E, Supreme Grand Chapter of England; The Grand Secretary at Mark Masonsâ Hall
General Guidance for the Resumption of Masonic Meetings:
At all times, the judicious use of common sense is to be encouraged.
Prevailing Government guidance (UK, Wales or Scotland as appropriate) must be followed, in addition to local rules from Masonic Hall companies etc.
Disposable/medical gloves should not be worn. They are far more likely to spread the virus (if any is present) unless used correctly as they are in medical circumstances by trained professionals. Regular hand washing and avoiding touching your face are far more effective.
In the absence of definitive Government guidance, members who wish to wear face masks during meetings are to be allowed to do so.
Nobody, particularly elderly or vulnerable members, should feel coerced into attending meetings â irrespective of their office.
The current, absolute, maximum number of members allowed to physically attend a meeting in England will be 30 but different limits may apply elsewhere. This limit will be determined by Government guidance and by the regulations set by the masonic hall or other meeting venue as judged by, for example, the dimensions of meeting spaces, relative ventilation etc.
In the event of a meeting being oversubscribed, the Lodge/Chapter/or equivalent Unit should decide who attends and should do so equitably.
Members who are unwell or have recently been unwell and those who are under advice to self-isolate must not attend meetings.
For the time being, there is to be no singing in meetings.
There are to be no Festive Boards after meetings. Presently, guidance does not allow for mass dining but as soon as the guidance changes to allow this, dining may then be offered.
Dr David Staples FRCP
Chief Executive & Grand Secretary
United Grand Lodge of England
Grand Scribe E
Supreme Grand Chapter of England
Ryan A Williams
Mark Masonsâ Hall