Guidance For Holy Royal Arch Liason Officer in Craft Lodges
Membership in Freemasonry, including the Holy Royal Arch, has dropped significantly over recent years. To counteract this loss, the Province of East Kent has introduced and maintains a series of initiatives, as a result of which the number of exaltees has exceeded the number of resignations.
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? and the following two sub-menu pages. 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.
It is hoped that the initiatives will meet the aim of securing the member’s enjoyment through involvement and strengthen his ties with the Craft.
THE REQUIREMENTS OF A HOLY ROYAL ARCH LIAISON OFFICER
Amongst the characteristics required for the role (for which training, aid and mentoring will be readily available) he should:
- Have the ability to explain, in simple terms, the role of the Holy Royal Arch in Freemasonry and its relationship to the Craft.
- 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.
- Represent the Holy Royal Arch within Craft Lodges.
- 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.
- Encourage the Master to take wine with the Companions of the Holy Royal Arch at each meeting.
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.
The office should become an established one within the Craft and be recognised as such.
KEY ELEMENTS OF THE ROLE
- 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.
- Encourage Royal Arch membership in an appropriate Chapter (not necessarily yours) 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.
- Explain the Holy Royal Arch (and encourage him to look at the Supreme Grand Chapter website), its indissoluble relationship to the Craft, what it could mean to the candidate and what it means to you.
- After his exaltation, explain the ceremony.
- Maintain contact.
- Liaise on a continuing basis with the member’s Chapter Almoner.
- 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.
Report to the Lodge at least once a year and more often if appropriate.