Press Release of the GRAND LODGE OF FREEMASONRY FOR MEN AND WOMEN
A Grand Conclave
Introducing The Grand Conclave of The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
A Division in The Fraternity of the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women.
The Grand Conclave is the name taken from the medieval name of Commanderies of Knights Templar in England and the Grand Encampment the Grand Conclave. The word is also applied to the meetings in some other of the additional or higher degrees, which were called Conclaves. The Grand Conclave has been used to distinguish the difference between the Craft Grand Lodge and The Grand Conclave of the Additional Degrees of the Fraternity of the Grand Lodge of Free-masonry for Men and Women Great Britain.
The Additional Degrees housed within The Grand Conclave are also called the "Higher Degrees". These Degrees are from the 4th degree of Perfection to the 33rd and last degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Grand Inspector General.
When the Grand Lodge was inaugurated to work the three Craft Degrees, the decision was made that an important objective of our Order was to provide young brethren with a greater ability to take a major role in the growth and administration of the work of the Grand Lodge.
However, with the additional degrees, it was obvious that many of the Brethren who came to join the Order, having previously held some of these degrees, made known their desire to be given the opportunity to continue the path of learning which had been presented to them in the three Craft degrees.
The members of The Grand Conclave have their own Grand Officers working separately from the Grand Officers of the Craft Grand Lodge.
The Grand Conclave will present the opportunity for young masons to attain the Additional degrees and enhance their knowledge of the Masonic symbolism and spirituality as found in the pathway of the fourth to the thirty-third and last degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
The fraternal link with the Eastern Order of International Co-Masonry.
In March 2001 The Very Illustrious Brother Radha Burnier 33rd Degree, wrote to our Founding Grand Master, to offer congratulations and greetings together with good wishes in our endeavours to sustain the high ideals and landmarks of Masonry.
In December,2002, Bro. Radha Burnier, announced a conference to consider the separation of the Order from International Co-Freemasonry Le Droit Humain, to the Eastern Order of International Co-Masonry, now a worldwide organisation. This new Order now covers the countries of North America, Argentina, Costa Rica, Brazil, Spain, France, New Zealand and India.
The Grand Master of this Order is also the International President of the Theosophical Society.
Two delegates, Brothers Jeanne Heaslewood, Assistant Grand Master and Valerie Coles, Grand Secretary travelled to India to attend the 1st Conference.
It was at that time, the Grand Master, Most Illustrious Brother Radha Burnier 33rd degree, made arrangements to travel to England and subsequently on 13th July, 2003 performed the Ceremony of the 33rd Degree for the nine 'Founding' members who had held the 32nd degree at the time they committed themselves to the founding of the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women Great Britain.This provided the opportunity for the Grand Lodge to create The Grand Conclave and on 6th December, 2003 these same nine brethren, in accordance with Masonic jurisprudence, Consecrated the Supreme Council of the 33rd and last degree at the Temple in the Zenith of Letchworth, Hertfordshire.
Thus, The Grand Conclave was now ready to Consecrate the important degrees between the fourth to the thirty-third. The Supreme Council of the Fraternity of the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women assumed the power in accordance with the legislation of the Masonic jurisprudence as the only Supreme Council in England for Freemasonry for Men and Women.
Historical Note: The Obedience of International Co-Freemasonry, Le Droit Humain, returned the temporary seat of the Supreme Council to Paris; France following the transfer to London during World War II). By December, 2007, the degrees of the 18th Degree of the Sovereign Chapter of the Rose Croix, the 30th Degree of the Knights Kadosh, the 31st Degree of the Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander and the 32nd Degree of the Consistory of the Prince of the Royal Secret, together with the Knights Templar Degrees were Consecrated and passed into the active service of the Order.
Announcement Date --updated December 31st 2007
Announcement Date --1st November 2003 updated December 5th 2004
Copyright 2002 Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women
Last modified: May 25, 2008.