The formation of Metropolitan Grand Lodge on 1st August 2003 was
fundamental to fund-raising tor the RMBI in London. Lord Millett,
founding Metropolitan Grand Master, sought support for the RMBI from
London Freemasons, tasking his Deputy, Russell Race, to rally Brethren
to raise funds for the RMBI for a limited period. The Metropolitan Grand
Charity Steward, Bob Corp-Reader immediately set about structuring
support from Group Chairmen and their Brethren.
Many innovative ideas succeeded in raising funds, with sponsored hot air balloon rides and exchanging foreign currency for cash, being two of so many. The latter raising more than £6,000. With responsibility for the London Appeal being delegated to Stratton Richey as London Appeal Director, donations continued to escalate until the close of the Appeal, celebrated with a Gala dinner on 12 November 2009 at the Grange St Pauls Hotel with the magnificent sum of £6,333,838.72 having been donated by London Freemasons over the extended period of the Appeal. As Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the whole period of the London Appeal, I cannot thank my fellow London Freemasons enough and so many others who so generously supported the call for funds in support of the RMBI.
Congratulations to Metropolitan Grand Lodge for a very successful first ten years!
Chris Caine, RMBI Grand Vice President
In 1215 King John, keen to win the City's support in his baronial feuds,
made the Mayor of London one of England's first elected offices. Despite
fires, plagues and wars the Lord Mayor's Show has lasted almost 800
years of London history and survived as one of the world's best-loved
Every year the newly-elected Lord Mayor of London leaves the City and travels to Westminster to swear loyalty to the Crown. With him goes the magnificent procession that is the Lord Mayor's Show. The procession of over 170 floats is more than 3.5 miles long and fills the streets between Bank and Aldwych, cheered by a crowd of around half a million people and watched on TV by millions more.
For the last 5 years Metropolitan Grand Lodge & Grand Chapter have been part of this great pageant. Our floats and banners displaying the maxim "London Freemasons Supporting the Community" have been part of the procession allowing us to publically display our good works, ourselves and the Institution of which we are all rightly proud.
We have always received a warm and very positive reception from the large crowds. Last year, 80 London Freemasons walked, en masse, in full regalia for the first time in 75 years. Our sixth year, will again see London Freemasons proudly stepping out and finishing up in the amazing Great Hall at Barts for a sumptuous lunch with family and friends.
Barts Charity has been extremely privileged and delighted to partner
with the London Freemasons over the last three years, and overwhelmed by
the enormous sums raised for life-saving equipment at Barts Hospital in
the City and the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.
Cancer sufferers and patients with previously inoperable tumours from across the capital and all over the UK are benefiting from the pinpoint precision of the revolutionary 'CyberKnife' radiotherapy machine at Barts. Thanks to the £2.5m raised by the London Freemasons, CyberKnife has successfully combated tumours in patients as young as 16 and up to 86 years of age since April 2012.
More recently and as part of Sir David Wootton's 2012 Lord Mayor's Appeal, Fit for the Future, £500k was raised for a portable CT scanner for the capital's leading trauma unit. This equipment will transform the diagnosis and treatment of the hundreds of people affected by serious trauma every year, including the victims of road traffic collisions and large scale incidents such as the 7/7 bombings. Critically ill patients currently have to be transferred several floors to be scanned. The new mobile scanner will be brought to the patient's bedside greatly increasing their chance of survival following a major injury.
Belinda Dee, Head of Development at Barts Charity said 'We are very lucky to have worked with such a generous organisation, and it has been a great pleasure getting to know its members. We are incredibly grateful to each and every Freemason who has contributed, whose support will impact the lives of thousands of cancer patients and trauma victims for years to come.'
A decade is but 'as the twinkling of an eye' in the long span of our
masonic history in this great capital City. Indeed, several of our most
venerable London lodges are over 300 years old, and we will soon be
celebrating the Tercentenary of the formation of the Premier Grand
Lodge, the sturdy offspring of four London lodges.
Why, then, should we be commemorating a mere ten years since the Inauguration of Metropolitan Grand Lodge & Metropolitan Grand Chapter at the Royal Albert Hall on 1 October 2003? Although we need no better excuse tor a party, I hope you will agree that we are right to celebrate what has been a period of significant progress for London freemasonry.
The way in which we independently run our own affairs now is dramatically different, and I hope that London masons feel that their welfare and fortunes are now of the greatest concern to those running MetGL and MetGC.
The last decade has seen outstanding support by our members for the RMBI and for Bart's Hospital Appeals whilst, in addition to the £10m going to these causes, London masons have continued to give generously to so many masonic and local public charities.
Our organising committee has provided a memorable evening in a very special setting, so it only remains for you all to enjoy yourselves to the utmost.
RW Bro. Russell John Race, DL JP
Metropolitan Grand Master Metropolitan Grand Superintendant
In 2003, I was living in the USA and sadly missed the inauguration, so
it is especially pleasing to me personally to be part of these 10th
anniversary celebrations. Although at that time many in London were
agreed on the need for change, considerable and animated debate ensued
over the proposed shape and form of Metropolitan Grand Lodge and
We should all be grateful for the inspired leadership and vision of those early pioneers who breathed life into the raw design under consideration. Ten years on and I believe we can all be rightly proud of what has been accomplished. Some will say that it is an imperfect solution to a complex geography but we are fortunate to have had energetic, dedicated executive leaders who work tirelessly on our behalf.
Nevertheless, as we bask in the successes of the last decade it is essential that we also look forward and build on those solid foundations. The various strategic initiatives developed over the past couple of years are beginning to bear fruit and will now be woven together, the Metropolitan training programme that is the envy of many Provinces will be further developed, while the new centralised UGLE database is expected to bring to an end much of the duplicative administrative effort that we currently endure.
The inauguration of MetGU/MetGC afforded a defined focus for London. This is no better illustrated than in regards to charity and the wonderful generosity that enabled the purchase of a £2.5m CyberKnife for Bart's hospital. However, London masons also give enduring financial and hands-on support to countless non-masonic charities across London and even more nationally; heart-warming stories that may not suit the conspiracy theorists but over time will percolate through to the public at large and reinforce our image as a force for good.
Tradition and continuity are values that characterise the relationship
between Freemasonry and universities. Nearly 200 years ago the first
university lodge was founded at Oxford. Since then it has introduced
many thousands of young men to Freemasonry. The Scheme is to establish
and enhance arrangements and opportunities for undergraduates and other
university members to enjoy Freemasonry.
If you are thinking of becoming a Freemason in London and would like more information please visit www.londonmasons.org.uk