The Independent Magazine for Freemasons
I can’t believe this is my fourth issue since taking on the role of Editor – time certainly flies and I’ve taken a few moments to reflect on events in 2018. The Tercentenary Year came to a triumphant close in June, but it seems that the invitation to the public to embrace a more open and accessible view of Freemasonry has had a mixed reception. On one hand we have seen a positive response; more people aware of what it is that the Organisation does and perhaps more acceptance of something once viewed with suspicion and caution. But on the other hand, it opened the flood gates for certain sectors of the media to launch a renewed attack. This was swiftly, and deftly, dealt with by Dr David Staples, CEO and Grand Secretary of UGLE and he has been the steely backbone of the ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign to end discrimination against Freemasons.
However, times and social mores are changing rapidly, and we may feel that perhaps we are not evolving fast enough to embrace, or want to embrace, the changes that are being thrust upon us. The recent announcement by UGLE regarding the ‘gender reassignment policy’ has ruffled a few feathers but as you will see from the letter the Square received from Dr Staples in response to one of our reader’s letters (September issue), the policy is under mandatory UK law and therefore not up for debate.
One issue that is perhaps more pertinent, and affects a far larger demograph in Freemasonry, is accessibility for disabled members. Further to the articles in the September issue (‘Access All Areas’ and ’Square Comment’), I received some incredible – and deeply personal – feedback from members; some of which is featured alongside another article regarding ‘Disability Audits’ by WBro Brian Baker (page 33) and on the ‘Letters’ page. This subject is one that needs addressing urgently – both inside and outside the lodge and is something we will return to.
Another subject that has recently been brought up, is that of ‘esoteric’ Freemasonry. I received a message on Facebook asking about the lack of esoteric content in the magazine. This issue addresses that point and features several articles containing more esoteric themes including: ‘Hawksmoor – The Devil’s Architect’ on page 12, and a fascinating look at ‘The Essenes’ by Mike Karn on page 45.
Finally, ‘tis the festive season! But which one? December, the month that encompasses the most obvious Christian and Jewish celebrations but also includes spiritually significant days for Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans and Zoroastrians. So, without further ado, whether you are celebrating Hanukkah (2-10 Dec), the Feast of St Nicholas (6 Dec), Bodhi Day (8 Dec), the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (12 Dec), Saturnalia (17-23 Dec), Ashura (20-21 Dec), Yalda (the Zoroastrian winter solstice, 21 Dec), Yule (22 Dec), Christmas (25 Dec), Death of Zoroaster (26 Dec) and/or the Feast of St John the Evangelist (27 Dec), may I take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued readership, support and encouragement and send warmest wishes to you and yours for the festive season and 2019…and in the immortal words of the late, great comedian Dave Allen…‘may your God go with you!’
Until next time…