Guidance for the Chapter Liaison Officer in Craft Lodges
Membership in Freemasonry, including the Holy Royal Arch, has declined somewhat over recent years. To counteract these losses the Provincial Grand Chapter of East Kent has introduced, and continues to maintain, a number of initiatives which are helping to deal with the problem.
One of the most important initiatives has been the introduction of Holy Royal Arch Liaison Officers in Craft Lodges. Their role is to promote membership of the Holy Royal Arch and its indissoluble connection with the Craft. See What is Royal Arch Freemasonry? Once a member of the Craft has joined a Holy Royal Arch Chapter, its Almoner will have a very important mentoring role. See the Chapter Almoner.
THE REQUIREMENTS OF A CHAPTER LIAISON OFFICER
Amongst the characteristics required for the role (for which training, aid and mentoring will be readily available) he should:
- Represent the Holy Royal Arch within Craft Lodges.
- Have the ability to explain, in simple terms, the role of the Holy Royal Arch in Freemasonry and its relationship to the Craft.
- Be approachable and conversant with The Holy Royal Arch and know where to go for advice and help at any time and to act swiftly.
- Be able, in a short presentation (usually under the third rising), to update his Lodge upon both local and provincial matters, for example:
- What is going on in Chapter
- Who is doing what in Chapter
- Who is joining and who is taking the principal offices
- Encourage support for Craft members who identify a prospective exaltee.
- Be able to balance a serious approach with gentle, but timely, persuasion for all prospective exaltees.
- Be available to answer the questions of each potential exaltee.
- Understand the rationale for proposing the best Chapter for a potential exaltee by recognising and assessing all appropriate factors and, if necessary, arranging for a suitable proposer and seconder.
The office is not a “regular” or “additional” one in accordance with the Book of Constitutions. The Liaison Officer should either be elected by the Lodge members or appointed by the Worshipful Master.
This appointment should not be based solely upon Rank in Craft, the Holy Royal Arch or age, but rather upon the brother’s suitability for the role and his desire to discharge its duties for the right reasons.
KEY ELEMENTS OF THE ROLE
- Explain your role to the Craft Lodge Committee
- As encouraged by the Grand Superintendent, seek to give an occasional short talk to the Lodge about the Holy Royal Arch.
- Talk to the Master Mason directly after his Grand Lodge Certificate is presented, making sure that he is in possession of the Royal Arch guidance booklet, but only on a “calling card” basis so as not to be perceived as too pressing, and thereafter:-
- Explain the Holy Royal Arch (and encourage him to look at the Supreme Grand Chapter website), its indissoluble relationship with the Craft, what it could mean to the candidate and what it means to you.
- Encourage Royal Arch membership in an appropriate Chapter (not necessarily your’s) according to his circumstances and certainly before he joins any Order beyond the Craft.
- Consider his current masonic commitments, e.g., Lodge and LOI meeting days, and then identify a Chapter which he might join, located conveniently to his place of work and/or home circumstances.
- Explain the pattern of meetings and the time commitment.
- After his exaltation, explain the ceremony.
- Maintain contact.
- Liaise on a continuing basis with the member’s Chapter Almoner.