RW Bro Sir Michael Snyder Metropolitan Grand Master and Metropolitan Grand Superintendent


It is a very real pleasure to write the Foreword for Arena, a top quality magazine that really does inform members of what is going on in London and which communicates the key messages that the Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter Executive wish all Metropolitan Masons to appreciate.



I am really pleased that this edition has a focus on multiple ceremonies which certainly should not hold the fear that some Lodges and Chapters have of them, nor the erroneous idea that they are somehow not sufficiently personal. Many of us have seen and taken part in multiple ceremonies, and in Met we are enthusiastically working to support the Pro Grand Master as he seeks to promote them. If we are to fulfil the Membership Challenge, then successful units will be performing multiple ceremonies of very high quality. The focus in Arena explains how to ensure that candidates get a really positive experience both during and after each ceremony. I particularly recommend Welcome Project events for new Initiates and Exaltees as soon as possible after admittance into the Craft and the Royal Arch.

Clearly, to ensure that Met continues to thrive, we need to keep renewing our membership. Whilst we receive many successful enquiries from members of the public – unsponsored candidates – we cannot rely on them alone. I know that we are all extremely proud of our membership of Freemasonry. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to expect that every Met Mason introduces at least one friend into our Fraternity, not just to ensure that each Lodge can sustain itself and grow, but so that those new Masons also feel very much part of Metropolitan Grand Lodge and of the United Grand Lodge of England. Brethren, please take up this challenge.

It was wonderful to welcome so many to the Guildhall to celebrate the Twentieth Anniversary of Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter. They were both most memorably consecrated on 1st October 2003 at the Royal Albert Hall by the Grand Master, His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent. It is hard to believe that it was only twenty years ago with Met now so firmly established. We were hugely honoured by the presence of so many distinguished guests led by the Pro Grand Master, Jonathan Spence and his wife, Almudena.

Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter have been on a long journey since their inception. There were originally a good many perception issues to overcome, as with any innovation, and, over time, we have had to build and adapt the model to make the structures of Met work effectively for all our members. Yet its key aspects have not changed over the last twenty years; not least the fantastic number of dedicated and talented Masons who give up so much of their time to support London’s Masons. It is the members for whom the Met structure exists. I am always staggered by the huge numbers of Met Masons who commit enormous amounts of time and expertise to help the organisation with both its day-to-day operation and its future development. 

I must here thank all the successive Deputy and Assistant Metropolitan Grand Masters; the Metropolitan Second and Third Grand Principals; as well as all the Metropolitan Grand Inspectors for the hours they put in; in addition to the successive Metropolitan Grand Directors of Ceremonies and their Deputies; the Escorting Officers and all those who work in the many Met Teams: publicity, mentoring, training, events, membership, learning & development, as well as our first class team of Almoners. The staff in the Met Office, led by the Metropolitan Grand Secretary, do an exceptional job to support us all as well. The list goes on and on. Thank you all!

We are all very much focussed on the Membership Challenge and how we must change and adapt the way we work to dovetail with modern working practices. This will ensure that younger men – the future – can join and participate in our fraternity. We have been working on the crucial issues of attraction, engagement and retention for several years in Met and we are beginning to see real dividends in both the Craft and the Royal Arch.

One thing we all recognise is how much more we can do collectively; and the ‘Up Against Time Appeal’ for London’s Air Ambulance is a case in point. Working together, London Masons will raise £3 Million, a fifth of the total sum which the charity needs to replace both its helicopters. This charity holds a very special place in my heart.

It is has been such an enormous privilege and pleasure for me to be the Metropolitan Grand Master and Grand Superintendent for the last eight and a half years. I have had the extraordinary opportunity to lead our successful organisation and the thousands of London Masons as together we have worked collectively to ensure that Met is a powerhouse of innovation and leadership within United Grand Lodge of England, actively supporting all that UGLE does. I have, however, as you may know, written to the Most Worshipful The Grand Master and Most Excellent The First Grand Principal and am relinquishing both roles with effect from midnight on 17th April. Thank you for making my tenure so utterly enjoyable.

We must continue to look forward to the future and ensure that Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter grow stronger and more effective as key constituents of the United Grand Lodge of England and of Supreme Chapter as we implement the Pro Grand Master’s new strategy. That way we can secure the positive future which we all wish to see. I am delighted that Warren Duke has been selected as my successor, knowing that he will lead from the front with real style and vision.

I do wish you all every success and happiness in Met’s next phase!