What is the official title of the Fraternity?
The Grand Lodge of All England, at York. The reference to York is in respect of the Charter of King Athelstan given in 926AD to the Masons of that city, which is the official seat of the Grand Master. The Fraternity, more familiarly known as ‘The Grand Lodge of All England’ is currently more active in London and in the territory of Athelstan’s ancient Kingdom of Wessex, and in North America.
Why is the Fraternity described as a Grand Lodge?
The word ‘Grand’ is used in the Traditional sense of ‘all-encompassing’ rather than something set apart and superior. All members are therefore members of the Grand Lodge by virtue of membership of their own individual Lodge.
How is GLAE governed?
GLAE is organised on Traditional Heirarchical lines in accordance with the published Constitution and under the stewardship of the Grand Master, elected by a College of the most senior members of the Fraternity and assisted by appointed Grand Officers. Individual Lodges are overseen by their elected Master or Dame. General Convocations are held twice-yearly. Unlike certain other Masonic organisations, GLAE does not function as a business and officials receive no emoluments whatsoever.
Is GLAE affiliated to any other organisation?
No, nor is any specific or formal recognition given to any other Masonic or Fraternal Order. In accordance with Traditional practice, recognition is given only to properly-made individual Masons. Conversely, It folllows that there is no prohibition on Members attending meetings of any other Order as guests.
How do I progress through the degree system?
By analogy to Operative Masonry you will be required to demonstrate the excellence of your work. In our Speculative Lodges you will research, prepare, present and discuss papers relevant to your understanding of the many aspects of Traditional Freemasonry witihn the context of Christian and Western Esotericism.
Do I require any previous knowledge?
No, this is not mandatory as the Grand Lodge aspires in some sense to serve in the office of a Wisdom School. However, previous knowledge and understanding of aspects of the Western Mystery Tradition would enable you to make earlier progress.
Is GLAE a substitute Church?
Emphatically not. Grand Lodge is a Trinitarian Christian Order which functions as a complement to and in no way a substitute or surrogate for religious affiliations. It does not seek to usurp or replace the proper role of the Church in any matters of religious observance, moral duty, or otherwise.
Is GLAE a 'Regular' Order?
GLAE does not recognise the ‘Moderns’ political and hegemonic concept of ‘Regularity’, being as it is inimical to genuine Fellowship and restrictive on the liberty of the individual. In GLAE the term ‘regular’ refers to a properly-made Mason of whatever Obedience.
As a Traditional Masonic Fraternity how can you admit women?
There is in fact an historical but often obscured involvement of women in operative Masonry and also, more than occasionally, in formal Speculative Masonry. Women had also of course played a crucial role in the Mystery religions and in early Christianity. Apart from obsolescent social norms it is difficult to provide any scriptural or philosophical excuse for their exclusion. However, this is not a matter of fashionable political correctness, female members being given due respect and opportunity for advancement based upon the excellence of their work, but as Sisters, not artificial ‘Brothers’.
Is GLAE involved in 'good works' or charity?
Being concerned with the spiritual and esoteric, GLAE does not directly engage with the concerns of the profane world. In particular, GLAE never seeks any public approbation in order to purchase a ‘licence to operate’, such hypocritical efforts being inimical to true charity and contrary to Scripture. Individual members properly make any charitable or other donations through their Church or other appropriate body.
Are initiates obliged to take Oaths?
Traditional Masonic Oaths are taken upon the King James’s Bible but do not in any way impinge upon the social or religious tenets of the Initiate. The Traditional but ‘politically incorrect’ Penalties are retained.
Is the Royal York Rite the same as the York Rite as practised in North America?
The Royal York Rite is a self-contained degree system unique to GLAE. It has no direct connection to any other Rite although several of the degree ceremonies are similar, but usually in a more ancient form, than those practised in some other Masonic Obediences.
Is there any social Fellowship in GLAE?
After every Lodge meeting members gather for a convivial repast at which a toast is raised to King Athelstan, his Legitimate Heirs and Successors. Contrary to ‘Moderns’ practice and within the bounds of decorum and common courtesy there is no prohibition upon the discussion of political and religious topics at the Festive Board.
What are the criteria for membership?
Applications for membership are considered exclusively from men and women who profess the Trinitarian Christian faith, of whatever denomination, are at least of 21 years of age, honourable and of good report.
What fees are required?
Fees and subscriptions are fixed at Convocation in June of each year. Currently there is a one-off joining fee of £100 plus an annual subscription to cover administration, meeting expenses and the Festive Board, which will vary according to the Lodge. The only other outgoings are in respect of our modest regalia. No additional charges are made for degree ceremonies, certificates or reading lists.
I was previously a properly-made Mason under another Obedience. May I join a GLAE Lodge?
Yes, subject to the regular petitioning procedure. Any appropriate Craft degree qualifications you have will be recognised. This, however, does not apply to the Holy Royal Arch as our Chapter revives an altogether more ancient form. The Fraternity does not operate any honorific system of ‘Past’ Grand Officers.