GLMMM Grand Lodge Officer Roles
Freemasonry is a rank-based structure all reporting into the Grand Lodge, whatever Degree or Rank is concerned.
Our Order currently consists of Craft Lodges and Additional Degrees in UK, Europe, Philippines, USA, and Brazil.
The GRAND LODGE is the ultimate decision-making body. Every member of the Order can attend and vote at Grand Lodge.
The HIGH RULERS (Grand Master, Deputy Grand Masters, Assistant Grand Masters, and Grand Wardens) are responsible for ensuring the Tenets and Constitutions are followed and the well running of the Order. They can in EXTREME situations amend the Constitutions if, after consultation between them, they believe it is for the betterment of the Order. This would then be put to the next Grand Lodge Meeting for a permanent agreement.
The EXECUTIVE - this is made up of the High Rulers, senior Grand Officers (GDC, GChap, GSec, GTreas etc) plus every Grand Inspector and Deputy Grand Inspector, around 60 Members. This group will advise and assist the High Rulers with the many day-to-day decisions that need to be taken in running any organisation. From this pool of Brethren any Special Committee can be formed by the High Rulers on a permanent or ad-hoc basis. Some examples are shown below:
AMITY COMMITTEE - this advises the Executive on whether we should have Amity with other Orders after they have carried out a thorough examination.
DISCIPLINARY CTTEE: this will usually consist of 3 senior Brethren (must be totally independent of the people and location involved) who will hear a case and make a recommendation to Grand Lodge.
APPEALS CTTEE: this will usually consist of 3 even more senior Brethren who will hear any Appeal against a decision recommended by a Disciplinary Cttee. This will usually be formed by past or present High Rulers.
GI COUNCIL: Formed in the Philippines to ensure that with the rapid expansion, everyone is follows the same standards and procedures.
GRAND INSPECTORS (and their Deputies) are Appointed on behalf of GRAND LODGE to serve an INSPECTORATE where their local knowledge and expertise is closer to the respective Brethren than a Grand Lodge could be. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE, that the Rank of Grand Inspector is NOT a Grand Rank but a LOCAL RANK. That means their jurisdiction and authority is for a SPECIFIC AREA ALONE and not Worldwide. Therefore a person could hold a GRAND RANK and a LOCAL RANK. The first is that which they carry out on behalf of the Order worldwide, the latter for a specific area. For instance, RWBro. Steven Parker is the Grand Director of Ceremonies and also the Grand Inspector for Sussex. ONLY the Grand Master can not hold a Local Rank.
ADDITIONAL DEGREES: All the Additional Degrees report to a HEAD OF ORDER, these are Appointed Annually to oversee that Degree (or Degrees) on behalf of Grand Lodge. These are the Ancient & Accepted Rite (18th - 33rd Degree), Royal Arch, Mark, Royal Ark Mariner, Chivalric (Knight Templar, Knight Malta, Knight Templar Priest, Knight Thomas of Acon, Order of Eri and Knight Beneficent of the Holy City), Red Cross of Constantine, Athelstan, Royal & Select Masters and the Celtic Degrees (Druids, St. Patrick and Celtic Cross). The Appointment is for 12 months only and is in practise a Ceremonial role held by a past of present senior Grand Officer who has great knowledge of the particular Additional Degree. All report into the Grand Lodge.
The Additional Degree units all belong to the geographical Craft Grand Inspectorate in every part of the world EXCEPT the Philippines. There, we Appoint Grand Inspectors (Additional Degrees) and their Deputies. This is because in such a vast area and most Members being relatively new to Freemasonry at Craft Level it needs extra care and attention to get these Units up and running across the Philippines.
GRAND OFFICERS: These are Appointed Annually and the list is revised usually about 6 months into the year to cover any Resignations, Deaths etc. The Appointment in any Rank is for a Maximum of 3 years except the Grand Master which is a one-year term. There are 3 types of Rank:
SUBSTANTIVE: The holder is not a Deputy or Assistant but holds the FULL RANK and therefore is ultimately responsible to Grand Lodge for that role. They will confidentially advise the Grand Master Elect who they think are suitable Candidates for the roles of their Deputies and Assistants and will recommend their successor when their term is coming to a close. The Substantive Rank holder will be responsible for anything worldwide within their remit and delegating their Deputies and Assistants when necessary.
Because of the geographical size of our Order now, some of the Substantive ranks have more than one holder. We must not overburden Brethren, most have their families and careers to put first and foremost.
DEPUTY: They stand in when needed for the Substantive Holder.
ASSISTANT: They stand in when needed.
RESPONSIBILITIES: below is given a short and high-level explanation of the duties each holds on a worldwide basis. It should be noted a Grand Rank does not give any authority in their local Lodge other than the courtesy and respect that should be shown to everyone regardless. Virtually every Grand Rank has Deputies and Assistants who form a team to carry out their duties)
CHAPLAIN: Coordinates all faith-based needs including Special Prayers, Memorials etc etc.
TREASURER: All aspects of the Grand Accounts on behalf of the Order. These are Audited on a monthly basis by the two Grand Auditors and a set of Audited Grand Accounts are circulated to all the Executive and beyond at the end of every Accounting Period (31st Dec).
SECRETARY: All the administration, websites, communications etc etc
DIRECTOR OF CEREMONIES: the organisation of all Ceremonial duties and anything linked thereto. Rituals, Proclamations etc.
CHANCELLOR: the public face of our Order for interviews, discussions between Orders, presentations etc etc
REGISTRAR: they will advise Grand Lodge, High Rulers, the Executive and/or Grand Inspectors on Legal matters.
SUPERINTENDENT OF WORKS: they advise on building or property matters if and when needed.
SWORD BEARER: Carry the Grand Sword at Ceremonial Meetings and when escorting the Grand Master on their many Visits.
STANDARD BEARER: Carry the Grand Standards at Ceremonial Meetings and when escorting the High Rulers on their many Visits.
ORATOR: responsible for delivering Papers, Lectures, Discussions at Grand Meetings and other such types.
MENTOR: responsible for sharing learning throughout the Order.
CHARITY STEWARD: responsible for coordinating Charitable Giving etc when need with a group of Lodges or Order wide.
ALMONER: responsible for giving confidential advice to Lodge Almoners and others regarding the welfare of the Brethren.
Then come all the Deputy Ranks.
SENIOR DEACON: Will support the Grand DC Team on all Ceremonial occasions in Grand Lodge and in their Inspectorates.
JUNIOR DEACON: Will support the Grand DC Team on all Ceremonial occasions in Grand Lodge and in their Inspectorates.
Then come all the Assistant Ranks.
PURSUIVANT: acts as the Inner Guard in Grand Lodge.
STEWARD: Have a special responsibility at all Ceremonial occasions to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of Visiting Dignatories and the like. They must also be prepared to stand in for any absent Grand Officer at such occasions as directed by the GDC.
ARCHIVIST: responsible for the storage of all our pictorial history.
TYLER: guards Grand Lodge externally from the profane world and eavesdroppers etc.
LODGE OFFICER RESPONSIBILITIES are stated every time the Lodge is Opened via questions from the Worshipful Master as to their station and duties. Those not specifically mentioned can be seen from their equivalent Grand Rank above.
DISPUTES: A Lodge Member with an issue they need help resolving should raise the matter with one of their Lodge THREE LIGHTS. If it concerns one of those, it should be raised with the Deputy Grand Inspector and so on. ALL matters should be addressed timely and confidentially and any serious matter should be flagged to the Grand Inspector quickly. At each level a Member can Appeal to the next Level if they are not happy with the outcome or speed of resolution.
The flow should therefore be:
DEPUTY GRAND INSPECTOR
EXECUTIVE (JUDICIAL CTTEE in the Philippines)
I attach some brief documents which might also help when reading this document but they are meant to guide not be prescriptive.
TENETS - the absolute fundamentals that all must agree to and follow throughout their time in the ORDER.
CONSTITUTIONS - basic running of the ORDER. Updated every 2 years by the Grand Secretarial Team and presented to Grand Lodge for approval and adoption.
GRAND LODGE APPOINTMENTS - a guide to how Appointments and Promotions are made.
ANCIENT & ACCEPTED RITE APPOINTMENTS - a guide to how progression is made from the 18th to the 33rd Degree.
HEADS OF ORDER APPOINTMENTS - Historical note of each year's appointments.
GRAND LODGE APPOINTMENTS - up to date list for 1st July 2023.