United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the governing body of Freemasonry in England, Wales, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Districts overseas.
The Premier Grand Lodge, which became the United Grand Lodge of England, was founded at the Goose and Gridiron Pub in London in 1717.
UGLE is the governing body for a membership organisation of 175,000 people meeting in more than 7,000 Lodges across the globe. Membership is open to any man over the age of 18 irrespective of their background, race or religion, with students also able to join a University Scheme Lodge.
UGLE’s headquarters are at Freemasons’ Hall, a stunning Grade II* listed Art Deco building that proudly stands on Great Queen Street in Covent Garden, London.
UGLE is led by the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, who was elected more than 50 years ago and is now the longest-serving Grand Master. The Pro Grand Master, who acts for him when his Royal duties supervene, is Jonathan Spence.
UGLE has 48 Provinces within England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
The geography of Provinces is roughly based on the old county boundaries and each Province is presided over by a Provincial Grand Master, who is assisted by various Provincial officers.
Some of the many roles within a Province include a Provincial Charity Steward who looks after their charity activities. There’s also a Provincial Membership Officer who leads on recruitment and engagement of members, and a Provincial Communications Officer who leads the Provincial Communications team.
In addition to the Provinces in England and Wales, United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) has 32 active Districts and four Groups that are located overseas. Burma and Pakistan are dormant Districts as Freemasonry is banned in these countries.
A District Grand Lodge is the overseas equivalent of a Provincial Grand Lodge, but is headed by a District Grand Master. A Grand Inspector heads each of the four Groups of Lodges.
UGLE also has eight NUD (not under a District) Lodges spread across the world and these units report direct to London.
With a global membership across five continents, UGLE has approximately 20,000 members belonging to its overseas Lodges.
Great strides have been taken to modernise the organisation to become more transparent and better understood by the outside world, as Freemasonry continue its journey with confidence into the 21st century.