You will read elsewhere on this site, references to “Grand Lodge” or the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), but what is it, and how does it function?
The United Grand Lodge of England is currently celebrating it’s 300th Birthday as it was founded in London in 1717. In that year four Lodges met at the Goose and Gridiron Tavern in St Paul’s Churchyard and decided for form themselves into the world’s first Grand Lodge. Anthony Sayer became the first Grand Master.
Today UGLE is the governing body for Freemasonry throughout England and Wales, as well as overseas Districts and Territories. It has over 200,000 members meeting in over 7000 Lodges.
It’s current Grand Master is
HRH The Duke of Kent.
As well as being an administrative body, UGLE, through it’s Charitable arm the Masonic Charitable Foundation , is one of the largest grant making bodies in the UK with payments totalling more than £33,000,000 per year. Grants are made to a wide variety of Charities, social groups, community organisations and individuals in need.
UGLE is housed at the world famous Freemasons’ Hall in London’s Covent Garden.
It has been the home of English Freemasonry since 1775. The present Freemasons’ Hall was built between 1927 and 1932 as a memorial to the 3,000 members, killed during the First World War.
One of the UK’s finest Art Deco buildings. It has recently been upgraded to give access to people with disabilities.
Freemasons’ Hall is one of London’s top 10 film locations featuring in several Hollywood blockbusters. It was also the headquarters of the team from Spooks, the BBC spy series.
Starting with the Library and Museum, you can take a guided tour of the Grand Temple and ceremonial areas. There are up to five tours a day if the Hall is not in use for events. It is strongly recommended to check times and pre-book.
Freemason’s Hall provides a magnificent setting for product launches, creative performances, receptions for up to 1,200 people, dinner dances catering for 25-250 and conferences for up to 1,000 delegates. Each year it hosts the London Fashion Show.