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Celebrating 20 Years of Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London

Our hosts sit down with Sir Michael Snyder, Warren Duke and Guy Foster to celebrate the 20th anniversary of MetGL and dicuss it's rich history.

The hosts of Craftcast
The hosts of Craftcast

In Episode 7, Season 2 of Craftcast, the Freemasons Podcast, the hosts welcomed a special set of guests to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London.

The hosts sat down with an esteemed panel consisting of Sir Michael Snyder, the Metropolitan Grand Master, Warren Duke, the Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master, and Guy Foster, the Metropolitan Grand Director of Ceremonies, as they delved into the history behind the establishment of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge and how it differs from Provincial Grand Lodges.

Sir Michael Snyder explained that prior to 2003, London Freemasons were under the purview of the Assistant Grand Master, which posed challenges due to the sheer number of Lodges and Masons in the area. Lord Northampton, the then Assistant Grand Master, recognised the need for a dedicated administrative structure to better serve the needs of London Freemasons. Thus, the decision was made to form the Metropolitan Grand Lodge, with the intention of creating a unified entity to oversee and support Freemasonry in the metropolitan area.

The conversation then shifted to the unique aspects of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge. Due to its immense size, with over 28,500 Masons and nearly 1,200 Lodges, the organisational structure differs significantly from that of a Provincial Grand Lodge. The Metropolitan Grand Lodge employs 12 full-time staff members and relies on the support of 250 volunteers, including Metropolitan Grand Inspectors and Metropolitan Assistant Grand Inspectors (MAGIs), to manage the vast number of units effectively.

Sir Michael Snyder highlighted the crucial role played by the Metropolitan Grand Inspectors, describing it as the most challenging position in Freemasonry. Each Inspector oversees approximately 55 to 60 Lodges or Chapters, necessitating the recent introduction of MAGIs to provide additional support and focus on specific areas within each Inspectorate.

As the conversation progressed, Sir Michael Snyder and Warren Duke shared insights into the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge. They highlighted the importance of recognising the founders and supporters who contributed to the establishment and growth of the organisation. The anniversary banquet at the Guildhall, attended by over 600 people, provided an opportunity to express gratitude and celebrate the journey thus far.

Sir Michael Snyder also emphasised the significant charitable contributions made by London Masons, exemplified by the recent achievement of raising £1.9 million for the London Air Ambulance in addition to their regular charitable giving.

Looking to the future, both Sir Michael Snyder and Warren Duke expressed their commitment to engaging and supporting younger Masons, recognising them as the driving force behind the continued vitality of Freemasonry. Warren Duke, the incoming Metropolitan Grand Master, highlighted the importance of facilitating an environment where University Scheme Lodges can thrive, fostering a sense of enjoyment and camaraderie among younger members.

As the episode concluded, Sir Michael Snyder, in his new role as Deputy Grand Master, reiterated his vision of supporting the Pro Grand Master's strategy and the Membership Challenge. He emphasised the need to adapt to the needs of younger members, streamlining ceremonies, and ensuring that Freemasonry remains an enjoyable and fulfilling experience for all.


Listen to the full ‘Celebrating 20 Years of Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London’ podcast.

Listen to the rest of the Craftcast podcast.

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