Today’s guest is Philip Kunovski, Master Elect of Grey Friars Lodge (1101), who is a young Mason and got introduced to Freemasonry through an initiative put in place to attract university students to the Craft.

The Universities Scheme ( helps promote Freemasonry by promoting to students by having stands at Fresher’s Fairs at Universities that are part of the scheme. This is done through Lodges that are also part of the scheme.

Philip explains how he was introduced to Freemasonry and met Masons at a Fresher’s Fair at Reading University.

We also discuss the practicalities of joining a Lodge when at University, as the time spend at University doesn’t cover the length of time it takes to practically progress through the Offices. This also means that it spreads good quality Masons around the country (and even internationally) as they relocate to start their professional careers.

Not only this, but the standard rule is a minimum age of 21 to become a Mason, however, Lodges that are part of the Universities Scheme have dispensation from UGLE to reduce this to 18. Does this make a difference, and are 18 year olds ready for Freemasonry?

This naturally leads to discussions about the internet and social media; and how this can be used to help promote Freemasonry to interested parties, as well as communication between Masons who otherwise would not normally connect. Does this mean Freemasonry needs to modernise? Regardless, any modernisation would only happen to how Freemasonry is perceived, NOT to the traditions and what goes on the Lodge room!

If you are interested in attending Grey Friars Lodge’s 150th anniversary celebrations on 11th May 2016. It will feature a re-enactment of an old style Lodge meeting by the Black Country Demonstration Team please email the Secretary ([email protected]). No doubt Phil will be back on In The Chair closer to the time to talk about this event more.

I also ask Phil the ‘quick questions’:

Why did he become a Mason?
Why did he stay a Mason?
Does he have a single memory of Freemasonry?
Any advice for people interested in joining Freemasonry?

This podcast also includes the first in what will hopefully be the first in a series of interviews with Chris Butlin. In this first interview with Chris he isn’t even a Mason, but will be very soon. Therefore we find out what he knows about Masonry, and what he is expecting from. We’ll catch up with him in the next few weeks to see what he thought about his Initiation into Freemasonry, and how it compares to his preconceptions.

I’m sure it will be a great experience to follow Chris’s journey into Freemasonry and through the Degrees, and will hopefully rekindle some memories in existing Masons, plus be interesting listening for someone looking to join Freemasonry themselves.

Links from the show

Universities Scheme Website
Universities Scheme on Twitter
In The Chair Podcast’s Twitter:
Grey Friars Lodge, 1101 Website
Kennet Lodge, 4414 (My Lodge) Website
Berkshire Provincial Website
Masonic books available on Amazon

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ITC 11 In The Chair Masonic Podcast talks to Philip Kunovski about the Universities Scheme
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