Here are just a few of the London Lodges that have started to meet again over the autumnal months, not just throught central London - but within dedicated Masonic Halls in and around the Capital.
London's Craft Brethren have been revelling in being back in each other's cmpany.
The general sense of excitement that was palpable from September onwards - as masonic friends were reunited in their Lodges - remained strong throughout the autumn with a flurry of Installations, Proclamations and, most encouragingly, an exciting number of Initiations taking place. Equally important, London's Craft Brethren were able to relax and socialise in each other's company once more, breaking bread and raising a glass or two together.
- VW Bro Matthew Hampson Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master and W Bro Sanjiv Gohil Metropolitan Grand Inspector visited Fidentia Et Lutine Lodge No 6272 on its 75th Anniversary.
- VW Bro Robert Grant PGSwdb, Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master presented W Bro Stuart Curson with his Sixty Years in Freemasonry Certificate and received a cheque for £3000 for the London Freemasons’ charity. Rye Lodge No 2272 presented a second cheque of £500 to the Chelsea Pensioners’ hospital. At the festive board, there was a charity auction for the Chelsea pensioners raising a further £250 - the prize was a tour of the Chelsea Hospital and a free meal.
- Child’s Hill Lodge No 4275 is 100 years old and David Greenland PGStB is Worshipful Master for the centenary year. https://www.childshilllodge.org.uk/
- East & West Lodge No 5410 held its installation meeting on 1st October at Great Queen Street. The master elect is also a grand officer in France, but this will be his first time as master of a UGLE Lodge. Several French brethren were present. This truly multinational Lodge includes brethren from France as well as Bulgaria and India.
- In October, Bro Seb Giroux, the Editor of Arena. was installed as Worshipful Master of Henry of Auxerre Lodge No 7235 in the presence of several friends from the communication team.
- After a long wait, Bowes Park Lodge No 3119 initiated four candidates on Thursday 2nd December 2021 - Mr La Sala, Mr Rahman, Mr Fraser and Mr Bennett. Although work kept the Worshipful Master and IPM away, the secretary, W Bro Mark Schito LGR, and the Charity Steward, W Bro Steven Payne LGR, picked up the baton and delivered the ceremony. Bro Andrew Harrison, who completed his mentor training as an EA, and is now a FC, was appointed Lodge Mentor.
- On 1st November, Corinthian Lodge No 1382 pledged £1,000 to project Recce, a charity for ex-armed forces personnel. Project RECCE – Pronounced’ RE’KEE’ (Resettlement-Education-Community-Construction-Employment) - has a simple mission: to become the number one organisation in the UK for veterans wishing to enter employment in the construction industry. In partnership with The Royal Foundation and The Armed Forces Covenant Fund, they are developing a pathway for veterans, regardless of previous experience, to acquire suitable skills in preparation for a career in the civilian construction industry. https://projectrecce.org/
- On Friday 26th November, W Bro David Sudbury SLGR was presented with his 50 Year Certificate by W Bro Keiran Mallon PJGD, MetGInsp at the 311th Meeting of Pathfinder Lodge No 7255 at 10 Duke Street. W Bro Dave was Initiated into Pathfinder Lodge on 11th November 1971 and became Worshipful Master in 1979.
- The sudden loss of the Worshipful Master brought extreme sorrow to Kennington Lodge No 1381, which had already lost a lot of its members due to the Pandemic. Ten days short of his 33rd year in Masonry, W Bro Terence Alan Parnell was summoned to the Grand Lodge Above, leaving his family and a grieving lodge. He was set to preside over the Lodge’s 150-year’s celebrations next year. The Lodge honoured W Bro Parnell during the last meeting in November by conducting a modified Lodge of Sorrow to include a martial Empty Chair ceremony after having initiated two new candidates.
- The 73rd Annual Festival of the Federation of School Lodges was held at Kingswood School, Bath, on Saturday 23rd October under the banner of Kingswood School Lodge No 4197, who are currently celebrating their 100th year of existence. W Bro Michael Jakins SLGR was in the Chair. We were pleased to welcome the Assistant Grand Master, RW Bro Sir David Wootton, the Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master, RW Bro Christopher Hayward, the Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Somerset, RW Bro David Medlock and the Past Provincial Grand Master for Somerset RW Bro David Jenkins. At the Annual Business Meeting of the Federation, RW Sir David Wootton, the Assistant Grand Master, was installed as President and W Bro Michael Button SLGR as Chairman.
- The day included the planting of a Centenary Tree (the Lodge is in its 100th year), a Chapel Service, an extremely interesting Presentation entitled ‘Bath - Grand Lodge’s First Provincial Centre’, which was followed by a first-class reception and Festive Board.
- Next year the Festival will be on Saturday 3rd September 2022 at Bradford Grammar School under the banner of Bradfordians Lodge No 9886, the Assistant Grand Master being a member of the Lodge, its Primus Master, the present DC and a Governor of the School.
- The Brethren of Woodford Lodge No 3903 had the pleasure of passing Bro Paul Fricker at their December meeting. The ceremony presented itself with some challenges as Bro Paul is in a wheelchair. A few adaptations had to be made - but what a wonderful night, thanks to the warm and heartfelt desire by all members to not only carry out an exemplary ceremony for Paul, but to do so with camaraderie, brotherly love, and the masonic spirit that we strive to provide in abundance at all our meetings.
- The preparations for the ceremony of raising Bro Paul are already underway, and the members of Woodford are extremely excited about this new challenge.
- At the installation meeting of W Bro John Khan at St Catherine’s Lodge No 3743 in October, W Bro Sanjiv Gohil Metropolitan Grand Inspector presented a 50 Year Certificate to W Bro Colin Field, who was supported by his son, Bro Jeremy Field, continuing the long and valued association of the Field family with St Catherine’s.
- At their meeting in October, Osiris Lodge No 5780 completed the unusual achievement of Initiating the fourth of four brothers into Freemasonry. Like his siblings Tom, Richard and Stephen, Ray’s ceremony of initiation was conducted by their father, W Bro Derek Nickolds LGR. To add to the family connection, Ray’s uncles acted as deacons. At the same meeting, the Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master VW Bro Matthew Hampson PGSwdB presented a Sixty Year Service Certificate to W Bro Robert Blake LGR.
- The Worshipful Master, W Bro Michael Cardy, said, ‘It was a very special occasion for all of Osiris Lodge. It was wonderful to welcome a new initiate into Freemasonry on the same day as we celebrated our longest-serving member passing the remarkable milestone of sixty years. With fathers, sons, grandsons, and uncles all present along with the members of the Lodge and our other guests, it was not just a family affair but a truly fraternal one.’
- On 15 October Happiness Lodge No 5353 welcomed 3 new initiates. W Bro Steve Collins and his brother, Bro Mark Collins were delighted that those 3 initiates were their brother Paul Collins and Bro Mark’s two sons, Christopher and Michael. To add to the mix, they were joined by W Bro Tim Law who is cousin to Bros Steve, Mark and Paul, as well as his son Bro Joshua. It is a family Lodge!
Do you wish to see your Lodge in the next Craft Digest? It is very easy: send a couple of lines and 2-3 high-res photos (min 1MB) to firstname.lastname@example.org about what is happening in your Lodge for a chance to appear in next edition.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 47 January 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons - Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 47 here.