Lodge Newsletters are a valuable means of communication for all members of a Lodge but particularly for those who are not able to attend meetings on a regular basis such as country and honorary members. The Provincial Grand Master is keen to encourage and support the publication of such Newsletters and wishes to see more and more Lodges in the Province adopting the idea.
There are a variety of styles of newsletter circulating in the Province and all are to be highly commended for content, imaginative use of typefaces, photographs, colour and their regularity of publication. The Provincial Grand Master has no wish to stifle creativity or style but, like the rules for Lodge web sites, he does believe that Lodges would welcome guidance of a broad nature to ensure compliance with the principles of Freemasonry and the policies of both Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge.
This is the guidance:
The principle of the publication of a newsletter should be agreed by the Lodge following discussion in, and recommendation by, the Lodge Committee.
It might be beneficial to have a small editorial committee, of no more than, say, three members of the Lodge, to oversee publication and to approve the content with perhaps one member of the Lodge having responsibility for drafting the items for inclusion in the publication. That member, the editor, would need to have the necessary facilities for preparing and printing the newsletter, but its distribution might usefully be left to the Lodge Secretary to coincide, where practicable, with the sending of a Lodge summons to all members of the Lodge.
Lodge Newsletters should not be regarded as private or secret but editors will need to ensure that any of those Brethren named in the newsletter for whatever reason or whose photographs might be included are aware of the public nature of the document and are given the opportunity to have their name and/or photograph withdrawn prior to publication.
Lodges should feel free to send copies of Lodge Newsletters, for example, to the press and to members of local authorities, deposited in local libraries, doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries, provided that the Lodge has agreed and that all members are aware that this will be done.
Lodge Newsletters should not comment on political or religious issues arising in the locality.
At all times Lodge Newsletters should comply with the policies and edicts of the United Grand Lodge of England and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire.
No material may be published which is subject to copyright and no material in a Newsletter should be made the subject of copyright since the press, among others, should be able to have the freedom to publish the Newsletter or extracts from it.
At least one copy of each edition of every Lodge newsletter should be sent to the Provincial Grand Secretary immediately following publication.
Peter Wellings PGStB
Provincial Communications Officer