HRA Chapter Liaison Officers
The role of a Royal Arch Liaison Officer in a Craft Lodge is important. He provides a vital and essential link between the Craft Lodge to which he is appointed and the Royal Arch Province he represents. He will therefore be able to identify the brethren in the Craft Lodge who have yet to become Royal Arch Companions, and whom he considers to be suitable candidates. This is an important initiative launched by Grand Lodge and it is the wish of the Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent that every Lodge appoints a Royal Arch Liaison Officer and that his contact details are placed on every Lodge summons (NB These officers are referred to as Royal Arch Representatives by Grand Lodge)
Grand Lodge has stated that “……it is a matter of common ground that the teachings of the Royal Arch enrich those of the Craft and vice versa. Properly considered, therefore, each is inextricably linked with the other, with the result that no Brother’s Masonic experience can be considered truly complete unless he has been exalted into the Order of the Holy Royal Arch.”
Ideally it is hoped a brother should join the Royal Arch within three years of becoming a Craft Mason, and before becoming a Craft Warden.
The Royal Arch Liaison Officer should get to know potential candidates with a view to ascertaining their likes and dislikes, and interests. It is important to try and ensure that the candidate is recommended to join a Royal Arch Chapter where there are Companions with whom he is likely to be compatible. This may not be the Chapter to which the Liaison Officer belongs. Indeed, by joining a Chapter not linked to the Brother’s Lodge will give him an opportunity to get to know and befriend Masons other than those with whom he is in regular contact in his Craft Lodge.
Requirements for the role of Royal Arch Liaison Officer:
This is an outline of the personal qualities and characteristics required for the role
It must be borne in mind that this is not a “regular” or “additional” office in accordance with the Book of Constitutions, and the individual should either be elected by the Lodge members or appointed by the Worshipful Master. It is essential, for communication purposes that the Liaison Officer is contactable by email.
This appointment should not necessarily be based solely upon: – rank in Craft – rank in the Royal Arch, or – age but rather the brother/companion’s suitability for the role and his desire to carry out that role for the right reasons.
The Royal Arch Liaison Officer should:
• Represent the Royal Arch within Craft Lodges.
• Have the ability to explain in simple terms the role and relevance of the Holy Royal Arch in Freemasonry and in particular its relationship to the Craft.
• Be able, in a short report or presentation at a Lodge meeting, to update his Lodge members on local, Provincial and national Royal Arch matters, for example: – What is going on in Chapter? – Who is doing what in Chapter? – Who is joining and going into the main offices? – Relevant Provincial and Supreme Grand Chapter news
• Be able to provide gentle, but timely, encouragement and persuasion for all prospective candidates.
• Be able to provide sources for further information: – “The 4 steps in Freemasonry” booklet and the Provincial Royal Arch Website
• Be available to deal with questions and concerns of any potential Exaltee.
• Understand the rationale for proposing the best Chapter for a potential Exaltee by assessing and recognising all appropriate factors and, if necessary, arranging for a suitable proposer and seconder.
• Be approachable and conversant with the Royal Arch and/or know where to go for advice and help.
• If it is the Lodge practice to “take wine” at the Festive Board ask the Craft Lodge Committee to consider including taking wine with the Royal Arch Companions at the festive board.
• Explain the role of the Royal Arch Liaison Officer to the Craft Lodge Committee and seek approval to include the Liaison officer’s contact details on the Lodge Summons
Key elements of the role
A key focus of the Royal Arch Rep’s role is the recruitment and retention of new members. He should:
• Talk to every Master Mason privately directly after a Grand Lodge Certificate is presented, making sure that each is in possession of the ”4 steps in Freemasonry” booklet, but only on a “for interest” basis so as not to be seen to be pressing too hard at this stage.
• Follow up at the most appropriate time for that individual, without undue pressure.
• Get a feel for that individual and think about the Chapter most appropriate for him – not necessarily the Lodge Liaison Officers own Chapter.
• Consider that individual’s current Masonic commitments, Lodge and LOI meeting days, then suggest a Chapter or centre that is most convenient or accommodating to his place of work and/or domestic location.
• Appraise him of the additional meetings and potential costs he will be involved with.
• After Exaltation, take the time to explain what the ceremony was all about, and arrange for him to visit (preferably accompanied) another Chapter to witness an Exaltation ceremony.
• And, most importantly, continue the contact.
Any Brother or Companion requiring further information on this scheme should contact the Provincial Coordinator E.Comp. Jeff Bailey