In May 2011 I learned that the United Grand Lodge of England had appointed me to be its 2012 Prestonian Lecturer. I chose as my title, “Scouting & Freemasonry: two parallel organisations?”
The annual Prestonian Lecture is the only lecture held under the authority of United Grand Lodge. It is a memorial to William Preston (1742-1818) the foremost Masonic educator of his age, who left a legacy to Grand Lodge to provide for an Annual Lectureship.
Lecturers were appointed from 1820 until the mid 1860’s to deliver one of Preston’s own lectures. The system was relaunched in 1924 with those appointed to this prestigious role now being asked to deliver an original lecture on a Masonic subject of their own choosing, “to educate and entertain a general Lodge audience”.
The Board of General Purposes nominates lecturers to the Trustees of the Prestonian Fund who then make the appointment.
The Grand Master has granted Prestonian Lecturers the privilege of wearing a distinctive collar jewel. During his year the Lecturer wears a pierced jewel, which is then exchanged for his personal permanent jewel.
The Lectureship runs for one calendar year. The lecturer is required to deliver his lecture on at least three official occasions selected by the Board of General Purposes and may also deliver it on as many unofficial occasions as he wishes.
The Board awarded the following Lodges the privilege of hosting an official delivery of the 2012 Prestonian Lecture:
The Authors’ Lodge No. 3456, London
North Notts Masters Lodge No. 9525, Nottinghamshire
Humber Installed Masters’ Lodge 2494, Yorkshire North and East Ridings
I have delivered my Lecture to Lodges and Masonic Associations on over 120 occasions in the UK and overseas. I will continue to deliver the lecture for as long as the content is current and for as long as I am invited to do so. Lodges that wish to host a delivery of the Prestonian Lecture for 2012 may contact me here.
Please look around this website to learn more about dates for delivery of the 2012 Prestonian Lecture, how you can buy the book accompanying the lecture and for details of my other talks.