Part V - Freemasonry and the Anglican Church

Continuation of Freemasonry - Part I - Part II - Part III - Part IV - Jump to Part VI

Stained Glass, Canterbury Cathedral - The Mother Church of the Anglican Communion

This is a very important article for members of the Anglican Church in
Barbados. Freemasonry has had a rocky relationship with the Anglicans, although they
have adpoted a softer line than the Catholics. I had to separate this post into two sections because I wished to get differing positions from differing countries. Let’s start with statements made by the substantive head of the Anglican Church in England, Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams. (Queen Elizabeth is the titular Head of the Anglican Church.)

Archbishop Dr. Rowan Williams created a firestorm with his anti-Freemasonry
statements in 2002. In 2003, he apologised.

  • Independent Newspaper, UK, 15 November 2002
    The ‘Satanic’ Brotherhood with clergymen in its ranks
    Freemasonry: Dr Rowan Williams reveals his concerns over a secret society he believes is incompatible with the Christian faith
    By Jason Bennetto”
  • The Telegraph carried this story in 2003:
    Rowan Williams apologises to Freemasons
    By Chris Hastings and Elizabeth Day”
    Last Updated: 11:33pm BST 19/04/2003
    “He added:
    “The quoted statements about the ’satanic’ character of the Masonic ceremonies and other matters did not come from me and do not represent my judgment. Since my late father was a member of the Craft for many years, I have had every opportunity of observing the probity of individual members.”
    Dr Williams does not, in his letter, deny that he has misgivings about the role of Freemasons within the Church. He wrote:
    “Where anxieties exist, however, they are in relation not to Freemasonry but to Christian ministers subscribing to what could be and often is understood [or misunderstood] as a private system of profession and initiation, involving the taking of oaths of loyalty.”
    He ends his letter by stating that Freemasons’ commitment to charity and the community is beyond question.”

I wonder if Dr. Rowan Williams knew that the father of the titular Head of the English Church was a Freemason? Queen Elizabeth II’s father, King George VI, 1895-1952 was both Past Grand Master, United Grand Lodge of England and Past Grand Master Mason, Grand Lodge of Scotland.

Is Archbishop Dr. Williams’s credibility on Freemasonry undermined because he is a Druid? Two views.

  • The authoritative BBC news service suggests that this “Druid”
    business is overrated:

    ” By joining the druid bards - which include the Queen, opera singer
    Bryn Terfel and Welsh rugby star Gareth Edwards - Dr Williams has been
    attacked for “dabbling” in a non-Christian faith.
    But Dr Cathryn Charnell-White, an expert on the group’s founder, Edward
    Williams, says: “There’s no pagan link there at all.” “
  • The sensational Gospel Grace has a different view:

    “He courted controversy in August 2002 when he was inducted into the Gorsedd of Bards, a pseudo-ancient Welsh honorary order which involves “druidic” ceremonies.”

    Archbishop with Gorsedd of Bards

Random related blogs: Freemasonry resources - KingSolomonsLodge - Ministry Staffing Search - Middlesex Fire - Religion News Blog - Masonic Traveler - US Views - Spiritual Pathways Ministries
Next: Read what Anglicans in Jamaica, Africa and Australia have to say on this matter.