It’s that time of year again – back to school for kids and back to lodge for Masons!
But how will it be after such a long hiatus? With no singing or festive boards allowed for the time being, a limit of 30 members in lodges, and the uncertainty for those older or vulnerable members as to whether they feel comfortable attending lodge*, it creates a very strange situation for many of the time-honoured traditions of Freemasonry.
The pandemic has, however, given members the time and creativity to evolve their out-of-lodge Freemasonry.
Online discussions and events have flourished; brotherly love and relief has been in abundance with thousands of brethren helping their communities thrive in uncertain times, and a general advancement in Masonic knowledge and activity has perhaps set the scene for more diverse ways in which Freemasonry can flourish both inside and outside the lodge room.
We’re definitely not out of the woods with regards to COVID-19 but it is fantastic to see how Masonry – and the world in general – has made vastly positive adaptions to the crisis in such a short space of time.
For those not able to return to lodge, it is imperative that brethren keep in regular touch with them – especially those who are elderly, in ill-health or infirm.
Lockdown allowed us to connect in ways we had fully not explored previously, we must keep that contact outside lodge even once physical meetings resume.
Loneliness is a major factor in mental health and for those who may feel ‘excluded’ from what was once a regular part of their social life, regular communication will be vital for them, particularly during the winter.
So, perhaps a good motto could be #CheckInToCheckOut – check in on your brethren, to check out that they are OK!
‘Meet the Author’ Stephen Dafoe – best known for his superb books on the Knights Templar, two of which are currently being re-published by Lewis Masonic.
We talk Freemasonry in the time of pandemic, delve into his books past and present and find out how he turned a room in his basement into a bar!
Our regular contributors are here with more Masonic knowledge: esteemed Masonic author Julian Rees asks the pertinent question ‘Routine or Ritual?’, and Hugh O’Neill shares more of his ‘Ashlar Chippings’, this time remembering the much-loved Freemason and author, the Revd. Neville Barker Cryer.
Keep up to date with all the news and views – check out and bookmark our ‘Masonic News’ and ‘Podcasts’ live feed pages – a great way to advance your Masonic knowledge and keep up to speed with what’s happening in the world of Freemasonry, all at the click of a button!
Last, but not least, don’t forget to hop over to our social media pages and join in the conversations – we’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
Enjoy getting back to lodge, and please do send your thoughts and experiences of how things have changed (or not) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, take care –
Article by: Philippa Lee
Philippa Lee (writes as Philippa Faulks) is the author of eight books, an editor and researcher.
Her specialism is ancient Egypt, Freemasonry, comparative religions and social history. She has several books in progress on the subject of ancient and modern Egypt. Selection of Books Online at Amazon