A Dispensation provides formal permission to deviate from certain Rules defined in the Book of Constitutions of the United Grand Lodge of England, the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England or the By–Laws of the particular Lodge or Chapter to which the circumstances apply. Dispensations for Craft Lodges can only be granted by the Provincial Grand Master (or, in certain circumstances, by the Grand Master) via the Provincial Grand Secretary. Similarly, Dispensations for Chapters can only be granted by the Grand Superintendent or the First Grand Principal via the Provincial Grand Scribe E. When a Dispensation has been granted it must be read out in full at the relevant Lodge meeting or Chapter convocation (usually by the Lodge Secretary or Chapter Scribe E as appropriate) immediately after the Lodge or Chapter has been opened and the corresponding item ‘To read a Dispensation’ must be included on the Summons. There are various circumstances which require a Dispensation. In general most of these are applicable to both Craft and Chapter, the most common ones being:
Dispensations: for a “Change of Meeting Date”
There appears to be a misunderstanding of Rule 139, Book of Constitutions, by some Lodges and Chapters, in the requirement for a Dispensation to authorise a change of a meeting date. The only exception to this requirement for a Dispensation is when the meeting date specified in the relevant By-Law falls on a prohibited day (e.g. Good Friday, Christmas Day), or on a public holiday. In these circumstances alone, the alternative day shall be not more than 7 days before or after the regular meeting day without Provincial authority.
All other changes of meeting date shall have a Dispensation from the Province and then only for a change of not more than 28 days before, or after, the regular meeting day.
Please contact the Provincial Secretariat if further clarification is required.
It is the responsibility of the Lodge Secretary / Chapter Scribe E to ensure that all necessary enquiries have been made, where applicable, with the relevant Hall Company.