FOREWORD RW Bro Christopher M Hayward PJGW, Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master
As I write this foreword for Arena, change is all around us.
We are mourning the death of our late Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth, whilst pledging our allegiance to our new King, Charles. We have a new Prime Minister and, for us Freemasons, a new Pro Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master and Assistant Grand Master.
Change is a constant, yet our beloved Freemasonry remains a stable and unerring rock throughout the ages.
Here in London, your Metropolitan Rulers met for our Annual ‘Inspectors Day’ under the banner of ‘Enthuse, Engage and Attract – Maintaining the Momentum’. This is a theme that we first launched a year ago as the Nation started to emerge slowly from the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Our London Lodges and Chapters have been re-building their momentum, catching up on a backlog of candidates and, in some cases, also celebrating belated Centenaries postponed as a result of the lockdowns. There has been much to do.
As I travel around our Lodges and Chapters in London, I sense a spirit of renewed commitment and pleasure at being able to once again hold our ceremonies and enjoy each other’s fellowship.
Enthusiasm lies at the very heart of Freemasonry. We all know that we respond positively to it, and I encourage each and every one of you to demonstrate your enthusiasm for our organisation and to share it widely with others. In so doing, our newer members will start to find your enthusiasm infectious, and thus our wonderful organisation is filled with the spirit of commitment and belief.
For all of us, engaging with one another by supporting each other is yet another way we can stimulate and maintain interest in the health of our Lodges and Chapters. I try to engage with our newer members as I visit Lodges and Chapters to understand whether we are meeting their hopes and expectations. Our new members are our future, and we must nurture them and understand how we can flex our offering, be it through the timing of our meetings or through the cost of dining. Our Nation faces challenging economic circumstances over the next few years, and we must ensure that London Masonry remains affordable as well as enjoyable.
This leads me to the whole issue of attracting members, which, in essence, can be translated as recruitment. All of us have a responsibility to be continually looking out for potential new members and to introduce them and welcome them into our Lodges and Chapters. Freemasonry may be a hobby, but without a constant stream of new members, we would face becoming a declining organisation. And so, keeping a constant focus on growth is essential for us, London Freemasons.
We have made a good start over the past year, and London Freemasonry has broadly weathered the storm of the uncertain years of the pandemic. But “maintaining the momentum” is the way forward, and your London Rulers are constantly exploring new ideas and initiatives that sustain growth and success.
Our charitable giving must also be maintained and expanded. London Freemasons are well known for their generosity. Charity lies at the heart of our commitment to the communities which we serve.
And so, as I greet each and every one of you via this foreword, I hope that you will enjoy the articles and pictures in this edition of Arena. Please share it widely with your friends within and outside Freemasonry so that the world may know how active we are and that we are focused on “enthusing, engaging and attracting” for the greater good and long-term continuing success of London Freemasonry.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 50 December 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 50 here.