Simon Noden of Lumley Lodge has created a guide to setting up lodge meetings on line using the proprietary software like Zoom and Skype.
It has worked well for his Lodge colleagues, and he thought it might be of value to others, just as the Chris Watkin Zoom tutorial, still on our web site here, has already been.
The UGLE advice about holding meetings on line features in the Zoom tutorial post, but is worth repeating. PGM Dave Wheeler said: “Whilst I commend the work done to help with setting up these meetings, I would urge everyone to be careful how they use these tools, bearing in mind that Grand Secretary David Staples has taught us to be cautious, especially about working ritual on line. He said it was the opinion of the Grand Registrar that it was an ‘Antient Landmark of the Order’ that Lodge meetings and the related ceremonies could take place only with all Brethren physically present in a properly tyled Lodge Room.”
Dr Staples went on to say: “It is acceptable for members to practise such ceremonies, most particularly those aspects which make up the spoken parts of the ritual, over the internet. The security implications and pitfalls (for example the ability to record on a number of software platforms) unfortunately do not square with our Obligation to assure privacy and confidentiality of proceedings – and we therefore ask members to refrain from any demonstrations of those elements of the ceremonies covered in the Obligation, or any attempt to reproduce the ‘choreography’ online.
“We have no doubt that our Directors of Ceremonies will have no difficulty in putting our Brethren right on such things when we are happily able to meet again. For these reasons please do not try to hold a genuine Lodge or Lodge of Instruction in a virtual form, but feel free to practise those elements outlined above.
“We have been promised that Lodges of Instruction will be provided with material from Solomon, and our extensive archives to enable learning, discussion and that ever important Daily Advancement in Masonic Knowledge.
“As previously stated, I have no doubt that Brethren will continue to adapt to this challenging situation – but simply ask that thought is given to the implications that these have on our ancient Craft.”
Simon’s directions are shown here:
Lumley Lodge Virtual Meeting