In a previous post, I gave a very quick and brief rundown of some of the reports in the Annual Report from the United Grand Lodge of England. I mentioned a new Mission Statement and, although there is no explicit reference to this in the report it seemed to me that two sections encapsulated just who we are and the raison d’etre of Freemasonry rather well, in the manner of a corporate Mission statement.
On page 3 there is a beautifully worded paragraph defining who we are:
“We are a unique members’ organisation which has thrived for over 300 years. Having no political or religious affiliations, we comprise members of all ages, races, religions, cultures and backgrounds. We gather in our individual Lodges throughout the country where we have ceremonial traditions which encourage us both to be more tolerant and respectful and actively to fulfill our civic and charitable responsibilities; we also make time to eat, drink and meet together, and form lifelong friendships”.
Page 6 restates the Principles of our order using revised wording to make them more understandable to the 21st-Century world.
Thus Brotherly Love becomes:
“FRIENDSHIP: BUILDING TOGETHER”
Freemasonry provides the common foundation for friendships between members, many of which will last a lifetime.”
“RESPECT: BUILDING UNITY“
Freemasonry brings people together irrespective of their race, religion, background or any other perceived differences that can divide us as a society”.
Relief is expressed by:
“CHARITY: BUILDING COMPASSION
Kindness and charitable giving are deeply ingrained within the principles of Freemasonry. The organisation provides the structure for members to make positive contributions to their communities and many other charitable causes”.
And Truth as:
“INTEGRITY: BUILDING GOOD PEOPLE
Freemasons are focused on building themselves as people of integrity, and membership provides the structure to help achieve that goal”.
While this is my personal view, I hope you will agree that expressing our aims in an up-to-date style, adds clarity without detracting from the original meaning.