I am reporting on this a little late but it is nonetheless appropriate. Our website has recently been given a big facelift which now includes this very useful blog section.
I have previously written about the public relations issues faced by Freemasonry. Masons are now feeling more confident about asserting themselves in defence of the institution. With the recent appointment of a new Chief Executive, Dr David Staples, a bold step was taken to come out on the attack against prejudicial criticism.
David took the unprecedented step of publishing a personal letter from him in 3 full-page spreads in The Times, Daily Telegraph and Guardian. The words of his letter follow:
At the United Grand Lodge of England, we value honesty, integrity and service to the community above all else. Last year we raised over £33 million for good causes.
As an organisation, we welcome individuals from all walks of life, of any faith, age, class or political persuasion. Throughout our 300 year history, when people have suffered discrimination Freemasonry has embraced them into our lodges as equals.
The United Grand Lodge of England believes that the ongoing gross misrepresentation of its 200,000 plus members is discrimination. Pure and simple.
We owe it to our membership to take this stance, they shouldn’t have to feel undeservedly stigmatised. No other organisation would stand for this and nor shall we.
I have written to the Equality and Human Rights Commission to make this case.
I appreciate that you may have questions about who we are and what we do, so over the next six months our members will be running a series of open evenings and Q&A events up and down the country. These will be promoted in the local media and on our website.
I am also happy to answer any queries directly. Please feel free to write to me here at Freemasons’ Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ and I will come back to you.
Dr David Staples
United Grand Lodge of England
Well said David.