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Meet the Grand Secretary

Our hosts sit down with Adrian Marsh, the current Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England and Grand Scribe E of Supreme Grand Chapter to discuss how UGLE is paving the way for its members' thriving future.

Adrian Marsh Grand Secretary
The Grand Secretary Adrian Marsh

In Episode 10, Season 2 of Craftcast, the Freemasons Podcast, the hosts welcomed a special guest, Very Worshipful Brother Adrian Marsh, the Grand Secretary and Grand Scribe E of the United Grand Lodge of England and Supreme Grand Chapter.

The episode began with Adrian Marsh sharing his Masonic journey, recounting how he joined Freemasonry in 1989, inspired by his future father-in-law's enthusiasm and passion for the fraternity. Despite initially overextending himself by joining multiple Lodges, he eventually reduced his commitments to only his mother Lodge and Chapter due to work and family obligations. However, about ten ago, he was given the opportunity to serve on the Board of General Purposes, reignited his enthusiasm for Freemasonry.

He then delved into his responsibilities as Grand Secretary and Grand Scribe E, explaining that his role involves administering the Grand Lodge and Supreme Grand Chapter, ensuring adherence to the Book of Constitutions, and overseeing the operations of Freemasons' Hall, a unique asset of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE). He highlighted the diverse aspects of his role, including managing the building's maintenance, generating commercial income, and supervising various departments such as Communications, Secretariat, IT, Legal, Trading and Finance.

The conversation then shifted to UGLE's new strategy, which revolves around three pillars: Thriving Membership, Coherent Organisation, and Community Engagement. Adrian Marsh emphasised the importance of attracting and retaining members and encouraging innovation at all levels. He commended the efforts of Lodges that have embraced change, such as hosting meetings at more convenient times, streamlining Ceremonies, and offering alternative dining options like beer and pizza evenings.

Regarding the organisational structure, the Grand Secretary explained the recent restructuring of UGLE, which aimed to create a leaner and more focused senior leadership team. He outlined the three main areas: members' experience, staff functions, and building management, each with dedicated teams responsible for specific aspects like communications, membership systems, building services, and commercial operations.

Reflecting on his 34 years as a Freemason, he expressed that the most rewarding aspect has been the opportunity to meet and interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds, fostering a sense of unity and personal growth. He also highlighted the satisfaction derived from the organisation's community engagement, such as the London Air Ambulance appeal, and the ability to visit and participate in Lodges worldwide, creating a sense of escape and enrichment.

As the episode concluded, the Grand Secretary thanked the Craftcast team for their efforts in promoting Freemasonry and acknowledged the positive feedback they have received from the wider membership. The hosts, in turn, expressed their gratitude to him for his insights and for shedding light on the behind-the-scenes operations of UGLE.

Additionally, the episode featured a touching email from Worshipful Brother J. Stewart Jones, who shared how listening to a previous Craftcast episode on men's health prompted him to undergo a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, leading to an early diagnosis and positive prognosis for prostate cancer. Inspired by his experience, Brother Jones organised a PSA testing day in his Province to raise awareness and encourage proactive health measures among members and the public.

Listen to the full ‘Meet the Grand Secretary’ podcast.

Listen to the rest of the Craftcast podcast.

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