Hamilton House Publishing Ltd
Richard Crane possesses a rich store of knowledge and understanding, not only of Freemasonry but also of philosophy, theology and spiritual reflection. He presents us with papers, on Freemasonry in readable, comprehensible and entertaining form, in all of these areas, but his heart clearly lies at the very centre of Masonic spirituality, within the Order – for it is not simply a degree – of the Holy Royal Arch. In the Orations, Addresses and lectures on the Royal Arch that are printed here Richard expounds its purpose and the meaning of its ritual and symbolism rather than the Order’s history (although despite his claim not to be an historian he is well versed in the history of the Royal Arch), for his principal concern is to present the nature and implications of its spiritual content to the Royal Arch Companions to whom, and for whom, he was speaking. The same intent also pervades his Craft papers, notably his Prestonian Lecture, which is built around the crucial significance for freemasons of the Volume of the Sacred Law. This is religion writ large, but it is not confessional, sectarian religion, for Richard rightly does not seek to intrude upon the private faith of the individual freemason.
His more strictly philosophical lectures, delivered both within and without the Masonic context, are models of considered reasoning designed to stimulate personal reflection on the part of his audiences. All the lectures in this compilation have received several airings. After Richard had served as Grand treasurer on the Board of General Purposes of the United Grand Lodge of England, he was awarded the honour of delivering the Millennium Prestonian lecture by Grand Lodge and it is believed that he delivered it over eighty times in England and Wales and also on tour in the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands. was followed by a further period of ten years serving on the Museum and Library committee. Richard is now eighty-three years old and is currently gently pursuing his philosophical and religious studies. Music and Masonry, including organ playing, are his retirement hobbies together with acting as Secretary of the Saxmundham branch of the Royal British Legion and serving as a Church Warden for Carlton Parish Church.
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