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Mirror removes inaccurate article following IPSO complaint
Fri, 09 Feb 2018 12:11:24 +0000 -

The United Grand Lodge of England would like to thank the Mirror for removing an article published on their website which contained inaccurate and misleading information about Freemasonry

Following a complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), an investigation confirmed that the article was provided by the Press Association and published on the Mirror website in good faith.

The Press Association’s copy was derived from the recent article in The Guardian headlined “Two Freemasons’ Lodge Operating Secretly at Westminster”, which contained significant inaccuracies. The main points being that the lodges are not secret, they don’t operate at Westminster and contrary to what was written, they don’t have MPs or journalists as members.

This follows a personal letter by Dr David Staples, Chief Executive of UGLE, on 8th February 2018, titled ‘Enough is Enough’, to address misleading articles published in The Guardian – this was also placed as a full page advert in The Times and Daily Telegraph.

A separate complaint has also been submitted to the IPSO regarding The Guardian article.

Enough is Enough
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 09:50:15 +0000 -

Enough is Enough

A personal letter by Dr David Staples, Chief Executive of the United Grand Lodge of England. This has also been placed as a full page advert in The Times, Daily Telegraph and Guardian

At the United Grand Lodge of England, we value honesty,integrity and service to the community above all else. Lastyear we raised over 33 million for good causes.

As an organisation we welcome individuals from all walksof life, of any faith, age, class or political persuasion. Throughout our 300 year history, when people have suffereddiscrimination Freemasonry has embraced them into ourlodges as equals.

The United Grand Lodge of England believes that theongoing gross misrepresentation of its 200,000 plus membersis discrimination. Pure and simple.

We owe it to our membership to take this stance, theyshouldn’t have to feel undeservedly stigmatised. No otherorganisation would stand for this and nor shall we.

I have written to the Equality and Human Rights Commissionto make this case.

I appreciate that you may have questions about who we areand what we do, so over the next six months our memberswill be running a series of open evenings and Q&A eventsup and down the country. These will be promoted in the localmedia and on our website.

I am also happy to answer any queries directly. Please feelfree to write to me here at Freemasons’ Hall, 60 Great QueenStreet, London WC2B 5AZ and I will come back to you.

We’re open.

Dr David Staples
Chief Executive
United Grand Lodge of England

Letter of complaint to the Guardian newspaper
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 12:47:52 +0000 -

Dear Sir/Madam,

Complaint – Article published on Sunday 4 February

This is a complaint pursuant to your Editorial Code about an article published on Sunday 4 Februaryon your website and in print on Monday 5 February. The article was headlined "Two Freemasons'Lodges Operating Secretly at Westminster" and Ian Cobain was credited with the byline. ltcontained significant inaccuracies which created a substantially misleading article. The existence ofthe two lodges in question is not secret, they don't operate at Westminster and they don't have MPsor journalists in their respective memberships.

ln particular:

  1. The article claimed that "Two Freemasons' lodges set up for members of parliament andpolitical journalists are continuing to operate secretly at Westminster". This isinaccurate. The Lodges do not operate at Westminster and only meet in Camden atFreemasons' Hall.
  2. The article stated "Exclusive: Lodges for MPs and journalists are so covert even lobbyreporters do not know members". The Lodges in the article do not have any MPs orjournalists as members.
  3. The Lodges are not secret. Their meeting place is open to the public all year and theirmeeting dates are published in the United Grand Lodge of England directory of Lodges andChapters available for the public to buy from most Masonic retailers. Details of the foundingof the New Welcome Lodge were published in the press including in the DailyTelegraph. The New Welcome Lodge and Gallery Lodge are referred to in Hansard and havehad Wikipedia pages for 12 years. Both Lodges feature in publicly available academicarticles (on Researchgate, among other resources) and press. A detailed history of GalleryLodge, together with its past and present members, was published in 1968. lt is wilfullymisleading for the Guardian to state that the Lodges operate secretly or to imply that theirexistence is "secret" or "covert".
  4. The article claimed that "The New Welcome Lodge has about 30 to 40 members ... only aboutfour of the current members are MPs". This is fictitious, as anybody connected with theLodge would know. New Welcome Lodge only has 22 members. There are no current MPswho are members of New Welcome Lodge.

We provided extensive information and quotes to Ian Cobain in answer to his questions aboutFreemasonry and he used this information in other contemporaneous articles aboutFreemasonry. He chose not to ask us about New Welcome Lodge and appears to have ignored all ofthe widely published and available information about it and Gallery Lodge. He did not provide uswith any opportunity to correct the errors in his article. Instead, inaccurate information has beenpublished to create a misleading impression of Freemasonry. The reader is deliberately left to inferthat journalists and MPs meet in secret at Westminster as Freemasons, which is untrue and whichthe author must have known or suspected to be untrue. There is no evidence for, or truth in, theseinferences in the article about Freemasonry.

By publishing inaccuracies which foster and promote popular prejudices against Freemasonryconcerning corruption, power and control, the article damaged the reputation of the United GrandLodge of England as a membership organisation and encouraged further discrimination againstindividual Freemasons.

We request that you publish a retraction of the article in an agreed form which confirms thatjournalists and MPs don't meet in secret at Westminster as Freemasons. We also request that youpublish an apology to Freemasons for misleading the public about the nature of Freemasonry.

Yours faithfully,

Dr David Staples
CEO
For and on behalf of
The United Grand Lodge of England

Striking new sculpture of Grand Master unveiled
Fri, 02 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0000 -

It’s been two years in the making, with the United Grand Lodge of England’s Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, brought to life in a striking new bronze bust

Sculpted by Frances Segelman, it is life and a quarter size, with his eyes subtly picked out in blue. It was cast by Bronze Age in Limehouse.

Frances was first approached to sculpt HRH The Duke of Kent back in 2016 by then Grand Secretary Nigel Brown, to mark UGLE’s Tercentenary and his 50th anniversary as Grand Master. As a result, His Royal Highness sat for Frances on a number of occasions at both Kensington Palace and her studio in Wapping, London.

Frances Segelman has sculpted a wide variety of public figures including HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales. Recent projects have included Boris Johnson, Joanna Lumley, Lord Julian Fellowes, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Steven Redgrave and Sergei Polunin

The Grand Master’s sculpture can be seen on display in the Kent Room in Freemasons’ Hall.

United Grand Lodge of England seeks an Administrator
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 10:42:27 +0000 -

United Grand Lodge of England seeks an Administrator on an initial 6 month fixed-term contract (potential extension dependent on workload) to work in the Secretariat Department

The position is available for an immediate start.

The principal focus of the role is to assist existing staff and the Assistant Grand Secretary in preparing the Installations of new Provincial and District Grand Masters and Grand Superintendents. The successful applicant will also assist with planning visits by Rulers to private Lodges and Chapters, and to Provincial meetings. In line with the Department’s aim to multiskill all the staff so that they may each cover the absence of colleagues, there will be a requirement to develop an understanding of many aspects of the administration of Freemasonry in the Provinces and Districts.

The successful applicant will work 9am – 5pm in an open-plan office at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street. He or she will:

  • Possess a meticulous eye for detail.
  • Be able to work alone under pressure and to immovable deadlines.
  • Be willing and able to contribute to the team at times of heavy demand, reprioritising their own work as necessary.
  • Possess tact, diplomacy, and advanced interpersonal skills.
  • Possess excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Have knowledge of the administration of a Masonic Lodge and Chapter, and the ceremonial aspects of ritual. The role will particularly suit someone who has been a capable Lodge Secretary or Scribe E with DC experience.
  • Have knowledge of Microsoft applications such as Word, Excel, and Outlook, and be otherwise IT literate to adapt to bespoke systems and databases (training will be given).

Please note that the Department is not receptive to applications from smokers.

Competitive salary and terms package applies.

Please attach your curriculum vitae to a letter comprising no more than two sides of A4 (minimum font size 11), which sets out what skills and qualities you can add to the team, and evidence of how these skills have been demonstrated in a previous role. A detailed Masonic cv is not required. Send to:

Mrs E. Gay
Head of HR
United Grand Lodge of England
60 Great Queen Street
Freemasons’ Hall
London
WC2B 5AZ

Or via email toegay@ugle.org.uk

The closing date for applications is Friday 26 January 2018