The Prestonian Lecture for 2012

Scouting and Freemasonry:
two parallel organisations?




 Other Masonic talks by WBro Tony Harvey PAGDC, The 2012 Prestonian Lecturer

In addition to his Prestonian Lecture, WBro Tony Harvey has written a number of other Masonic talks, including:

1) Four talks on the theme of “The future of Freemasonry”

2) Two talks based on his experience as a Prestonian Lecturer

3) A talk on the connections between the Craft, Mark and Royal Arch

4) Two talks of particular relevance to the Mark degree

5) Talks suitable for white table meetings in Craft, Mark, Royal Arch and Royal Ark Mariners

Each talk in the first three groups is suitable for delivery in Craft Lodges and Royal Arch Chapters, and in other Masonic forums. Of his talks in group two relating to the Prestonian Lectureship, the first is suited to any Lodge and is designed to inform people about the Lectureship itself. The second is particularly appropriate for research Lodges. The talks in the fourth group may be delivered in any Masonic forum but are of particular interest in the Mark degree. The talks in group five are suited to occasions when Craft, Mark or RAM Lodges & Royal Arch Chapters are hosting events for potential candidates.

In the first set of talks Bro Harvey shares observations and ideas developed from his widespread visits to Lodges at home and overseas, and from his experience of membership development as a Lodge Secretary, Provincial Grand Mentor, Provincial Grand Secretary (for the Mark degree), Provincial Communication Officer and as Project Manager for UGLE’s Members’ Pathway. He also introduces insights from his involvement in the Scout Association’s transformation to be a relevant and growing organisation, with the same values as Freemasonry. These talks are stimulating, thought provoking and even challenging, but delivered in an empathetic and supportive style that recognises it is for individual members and Lodges to decide whether they wish to pursue the ideas.

For Bro Harvey, the most enjoyable part of these talks is the question & answer session and debate that invariably follows his delivery.

Bro Harvey asks that Lodges and Chapters hosting a talk cover his travel expenses (unless he is a member of the Province in which the Lodge / Chapter meets) and make a donation to his “2012 Prestonian Charity Fund”. All sums received by this fund are divided equally between the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB) and The Scout Association Education & Heritage Project.

You can email Bro Harvey to arrange a delivery on

Four talks on the theme of “The future of Freemasonry"

Seven habits of highly successful Lodges

One of the most widely read “self-help” and management books of the late twentieth century was Stephen Covey’s, “Seven habits of highly effective people”. Covey observed and studied the patterns of behaviour most common in people who were most happy, successful and “effective” in life. Having visited Lodges widely in this country and overseas, in this talk Bro Harvey (who once shared a conference platform with Stephen Covey) details his observations of Lodges that are strong, healthy and harmonious. He identifies seven features that these Lodges have in common and invites his audience to consider how they can build these features into their Masonic experiences. An article based on this talk was published in The Square magazine in March, 2013.

Freemasonry: does it live up to expectations?

The social changes of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have created work, home and general life conditions for the younger man that are very different to those experienced by older brethren. These often become evident when a younger man joins a Lodge, sometimes leading to disappointment and dissatisfaction. In this talk Bro Harvey draws on recent research to demonstrate that a failure to understand expectations – and a mismatch of two party’s expectations – is the source of many concerns in Lodges. He identifies a number of opportunities for new and existing members of Lodges to share, understand and work to meet their various expectations and invites his audience to consider how they might address these issues in their Lodges.

The future of Freemasonry: evolution and change

In this talk, Bro. Harvey examines the nature of change and evolution in general and within Freemasonry in particular. He draws upon his own experiences as a change manager and his work with other changing and successful organisations, including The Scout Association, and establishes the historical context for change within Freemasonry. Believing strongly that Freemasonry has survived for three hundred years because it has continued to evolve, Bro Harvey is concerned that unless Lodges are managed in a way that is relevant to twenty-first century man, and unless they connect with their local communities, they will not attract and retain members to ensure their future. The talk concludes with an approach that Lodges can take to manage their own evolution and change in a harmonious manne

Have we anything to communicate? The language of Freemasonry in and out of the Lodge

As Freemasonry comes out of its self-imposed exile in the shadows of public life and engages once again with the public, many Freemasons are looking for the right language to use to describe Freemasonry to their friends and relatives. The language of the ritual doesn’t feel appropriate and is poorly understood by those who are not Freemasons. So some brethren have suggested that the language of the ritual should be modernised, to make it more easily understood and relevant to today. Based on his experiences in communicating Freemasonry to the public and to other brethren, in this talk Bro Harvey suggests that we should not seek to find one common language that suits all audiences and purposes. Instead we should use different languages, each appropriate to what he calls the three existences of Freemasonry. To find out more, please invite Bro Harvey to deliver the talk to your Lodge.

Two talks based on his experience as a Prestonian Lecturer

The mythology of the Prestonian Lectureship

From the very beginning of his “Prestonian journey” it was very clear to Bro Harvey that, among members of the Craft in general, little is really known about the lectureship and a number of myths have built up. So in this talk he states ten of those myths and then shares his own experience. This talk provides an interesting insight into what it means to be a Prestonian Lecturer, charged with preparing and delivering what is the only lecture held under the authority of the United Grand Lodge of England.

Researching and preparing a Prestonian Lecture

This talk may be of particular interest to research Lodges. The annual Prestonian Lecture is unique in Freemasonry, being the only lecture held under the authority of the United Grand Lodge of England. Each year a Lecturer is nominated by the Board of General Purposes and appointed by the Trustees of the Prestonian Fund. Between the announcement at the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge held in June until the start of the Lectureship the following January, the Lecturer has to research, write and prepare to deliver a new lecture to educate and entertain a general Lodge audience. This talk describes how Bro Harvey responded to that challenge and prepared his 2012 Lecture, “Scouting and Freemasonry: two parallel organisations?”

A talk on the connections between the Craft, Mark and Royal Arch

The relevance of the Mark & Royal Arch degrees to the Craft

This talk develops an earlier paper written by WBro TT Kuruvilla, a Past Grand Inner Guard in the Grand Lodge of India. Building on his insights into the symbolic meaning of the third degree of Craft Masonry, and its links with the Mark and Royal Arch, Bro Harvey has updated and developed his work and added some thoughts of my own. This talk makes an historic, symbolic and thematic case for a knowledge of each of the Craft, Mark and Royal Arch being necessary in order to understand the principles, philosophy and teachings of any one of them.

Two talks of particular relevance to the Mark degree

The pioneers of the Mark Province of Derbyshire

In this talk Bro Harvey examines the Masonic careers and connections between those who founded the Mark Province of Derbyshire in 1894. His research highlights the social as well as Masonic qualifications for high office at this period of time and indicates the need for complementary talents and skills in the running of a Province.

150 years of the Mark Benevolent Fund

This talk traces the history of the Mark Benevolent Fund, from its origins in the early days of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons through to the present day, and relates it to developments in both the Craft and the Mark as well as in the context of wider social needs. This talk will form part of the 2017 Peter Churchyard Memorial Lecture

Talks suitable for white table meetings in Craft, Mark, Royal Arch and Royal Ark Mariners

Welcome to our Lodge room

An interactive talk suited to White Table meetings when potential candidates and other interested parties, such as friends and family members, are present. The talk is delivered in a Lodge room and Lodge officers are asked to contribute using materials provided by Bro Harvey. It has been used very successfully to demonstrate a more open approach to communicating Freemasonry. Bro Harvey’s approach to “myth busting” and his manner of explaining Freemasonry in every day language has been especially welcomed by those with little understanding of Freemasonry. Furthermore, this talk has also helped a considerable number of people to make the decision to apply to become Freemasons.

What is the Mark degree?

An interactive talk intended for audiences of Craft Master Masons but also of interest to new and experienced Mark Master Masons. The talk describes some of the links between the Craft and Mark and explains four reasons for becoming a Mark Mason.

Why join the Royal Arch?

A similar talk to that above, this talk explains why it is important for Craft Masons to complete all the steps of “pure Antient Masonry” and be Exalted in to the Royal Arch. It may be given in Craft Lodges or in a Royal Arch Chapter after the Chapter has closed.

What is the Royal Ark Mariner degree?

Another talk in the same series as the above, this comes in two versions. The first version may be delivered in Mark Lodges and the second may be delivered in RAM Lodges, after they have been closed and Mark Master Masons admitted.

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