Spring message from the District Grand Prefect

Greetings to you all and I hope that this finds you and your families and friends in good health.  Spring is now upon us and the weather has, eventually, recognized that it is the time of year for sun, bird song and lighter evenings – at last!
Allied Masonry in London is going from strength to strength with all units securing candidates, some are doing very well indeed and this is excellent news.

We have had three full team visits so far, to Guild of Freeman, to Metropolitan A and to Londinium Matutinus, all were hugely enjoyable and it I was grateful for such good support from the District Officers.  I have also made other visits to Metropolitan A and Rumbelow, again excellent meetings and great fun.

My Deputy, Steve Warwick, has also been busy visiting, as have our two Wardens of the year, Derek Blumsom and Derek Burt.  My thanks to everyone for displaying such companionship, warm welcome and hospitality to us.
Elsewhere on the website can be found details of our visiting schedule and I remind everyone that they are welcome to join us on any occasion.  
I am considering an idea of hosting a lunch at the Guildhall at some time in the Autumn, this will be for London AMD masons and partners, it will be reasonably priced and will allow us to meet in a splendid setting for a relaxed occasion – let me know what you think and whether you would support such an event.
All best wishes to you all and I look forward to seeing you at your Councils before the summer is upon us.

Colin Woodcock
District Grand Prefect.

Ask the Exec - Steven Warwick, Deputy District Grand Prefect

Over the last few weeks questions have been put to our Deputy District Grand Prefect Steven Warwick in the District of London, here’s the question and answer session

Q1: What attracts you to the Allied Masonic Degree over other ‘side degrees’?
A: Primarily, the bringing together of 5 degrees that have no obvious link, making for a diversity of subject matter not found elsewhere in Masonry.

Q2: Describe your typical Masonic week?
A: Typical Masonic week – there isn’t one! I tend to go through periods of intense Masonic activity followed by relative calm. Most weeks contain at least one Masonic meeting and some are almost filled with Masonry.

Q3: What is your favourite part of being a member of the Dist Exec?
A: The opportunity not only to visit Councils in our own District but to also to be invited to other District meetings throughout the country. It is always enjoyable and instructive to see how other Districts approach their Allied Masonry.

Q4: Moving forward, could you describe the vision the Exec has for the Dist and how are you planning to implement it?
A: As has already been demonstrated, the vision is for a strong and vibrant District attracting increasing numbers of members. We have already conducted successful awareness events and we will continue to build on this foundation to attract non members into our wonderful Order. Our innovative communications team play a vital part in communicating the delights of our Order to those who haven’t yet taken the plunge!

Q5: Which is your favourite of the five Degrees and why?
A: My favourite has to be the Knights of Constantinople. It has an important moral and Masonic message that should be something we all strive to achieve – to treat all people with respect as human beings sharing this world, whatever their status or background. At the same time, it is a very enjoyable ceremony which lends itself to a fun interpretation, especially in the hands of some of our more theatrical Brethren!

Q6: When, why and how did you become a FM?
A: I became a Freemason in 1977 when I was Initiated into my Old School Lodge. I was attracted to Freemasonry by seeing others from my school who were clearly enjoying their involvement enormously.

Q7: Describe your life outside FM?
A: Apart from work, quite a lot of time is taken up with my role as Greater London Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses. This involves me in a wide range of activities in London and I sit on several committees representing the views of small businesses. I very much enjoy my garden and play golf to an increasingly bad standard! I also enjoy socialising with my non Masonic friends.

Q8: Recruitment, being the biggest challenge of any ‘side degree’, what is the ‘second’ biggest challange?
A: I think the question cannot be divided into different parts of Masonry – all of Masonry has recruitment as a primary challenge and I think all of Masonry has retention as the second. The challenge is to introduce changes that make Masonry more compatible with modern life. The start time of meetings is just one example as today people can’t just “slide away” from their workplace as easily as they perhaps once could. I don’t think we have yet fully grasped the issue of changes in society and the way they impact on the ability to be an active Freemason. Retention is, I think, is the second biggest challenge for Masonry and, of course, it is bound up with the first challenge of recruitment as our sometimes old fashioned practices can both prevent people from joining and cause them to leave.

Q9: The Dist Council Mtg is the highlight of the season. For you, what makes it so special?
A: It is the time to reward the hard work of those who make our Councils both fun and successful and an opportunity to enjoy the company of so many Allied friends from within the District and from other Districts. It gives a clear focus to our efforts throughout the remainder of the Masonic year.

Q10: If you were to choose one word to describe the AMD, what would it be?
A: Variety

Schedule of Official Visits

Council No. Date Visit by Escorting  DC
Metropolitan Ti Wednesday 18th March 2015 Full Team Visit   Colin Woodcock DGP  Matt Hampson
Rumbelow 67 Wednesday 25th March 2015 Derek BurtDGJW  Philip Freedman
Britannic Council of Madeira 47 Monday 30th March 2015 Steven Warwick DepDGP  David Morris
The Brigadier Galloway 126 Friday 10th April 2015 Derek Blumsom DGSW  David Morris
Londinium Matutinus 202 Wednesday 13th May 2015 Colin Woodcock DGP  Philip Freedman
Council of the Four Kings 7 Wednesday 17th June 2015 Derek Blumsom DGSW  David Morris
Rose & Lily 15 Wednesday 24th June 2015 Derek Blumsom DGSW  Philip Freedman
Londinium 47 Tuesday 24th Nov 2015 Steven Warwick DepDGP  Matt Hampson

Alan Burn – Requiescat in Pace

The District Grand Prefect for London, R.W. Bro. Colin Woodcock, his Officers and members are saddened by the news of Alan Burn passing away in his 93rd year on 27th December 2014. Alan Burn was a member of Brigadier Galloway Council No 126 and a loyal and active member of our District. The District Grand Prefect commented “I was very fond of Alan. He was a great raconteur, good company at the Festive Board and a strong supporter of the District. I was pleased to appoint him to Senior District Office at the earliest opportunity and was delighted when he appointed to Grand Rank. We shall miss him a lot.” The thoughts of the District are with his family at this sad time. Update: Funeral Details: It will take place at 1.30 p.m. on Monday 19th January at West London Crematorium, Harrow Road. It is part of Kensal Green Cemetery, at the top end by the Catholic part which is known as St Mary’s Cemetery. It is quite a walk from the main entrance. The service will be followed by a reception at the William IV pub.

Next Meetings

The Autumn Social Event 2020 will be held on Thursday 5th November 2020. Please put the date in your diary. Further details to follow.

Mark Masons’ Hall
The 2020 District of London Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 21st November 2020. Please add