Celebrating 300 years

Durham masons preview cathedral sponsored stones

Durham masons who had been generous sponsors of Durham Cathedral’s Great Kitchen project, which is part of its Open Treasure development venture, were among a group of special guests invited to the cathedral.

Two years ago the Province set out to raise £100,000 for a new stone floor in the 14th-century kitchen by asking lodges and chapters to make a small donation, and by providing the opportunity for individuals to sponsor a stone. Through the initiative, Durham masons raised £136,000 in just 12 months, with individuals able to mark out the position of their stone. 

The special preview visit culminated in the 14th-century Great Kitchen, where sponsors were able to view and photograph their stone. 

Ongoing support for Guernsey hospice

Guernsey masons have continued their long-standing support of the island’s Les Bourgs Hospice by presenting a cheque for £1,525, which forms their 16th successive annual donation.  

Les Bourgs director Jo Boyd MBE thanked Guernsey and Alderney PGM David Hodgetts for the ongoing help of local masons, pointing out that the hospice faces £1.3 million a year in running costs. Among its facilities, Les Bourgs has seven suites, a therapy room, a landscaped garden, a chapel and a day-patient room.

Question time in Macclesfield

Macclesfield town mayor Cllr Liz Durham was one of 40 guests and members who attended the Old Castle Lodge, No. 4646, social board and an explanation of Freemasonry. Questions were handled by Tony Costello and Roger Hordley, including discussions about women in Freemasonry, what the church thinks of the Craft and the variety of regalia worn.

Gear change for Elijah

A local lodge has helped put a smile on the face of Dorset schoolboy Elijah Sappleton by donating funds to buy him a new mountain bike. Elijah, 13, lives in Dorchester and attends Westfield Arts College, a school for youngsters with special learning needs.

Supplied by Autobitz of Dorchester, the state-of-the-art bike was provided by Mid Dorset Mencap using money donated by Brit Valley Lodge, No. 8315, and will give Elijah new freedom. Lodge member Tim Malins, chairman of Mid Dorset Mencap, said: ‘You just have to see the smile on his face to know that it will make a big difference to him and to his mum.’ 

London flies the flag at motorcycle show

London Freemasonry was in full view with the Metropolitan exhibitions stand at the three-day MCN London Motorcycle Show flying the flag for the organisation. This was only made possible by volunteers coming forward to man the stand and to talk to visitors. 

Anyone interested in being a volunteer at these events should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., sending brief details of availability

Keeping on side with new soccer kit for Sidmouth

Devonshire Freemasons have purchased new match day kit for the Sidmouth Raiders Under 14s football team. Manager Wade Monaghan commented, ‘We are absolutely delighted with our new kit. The boys are growing and the old kit was getting a little tight on them.’

Simon James, parent and member of Old Helean Lodge, No. 6797, which meets at Exmouth, said, ‘They are a hard-working successful team under the guidance of coach Tony West and assistant Trevor Lorkin and it is lovely that the Devonshire Freemasons were happy to help our team.’

Spirit of rugby in East Kent

More than 500 rugby fans and masons filled the Margate Winter Gardens to witness the founding of Spirit of Rugby Lodge, No. 9922, formed by a group of more than 50 rugby enthusiasts in East Kent. The lodge was consecrated at a special meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge presided over by PGM Geoffrey Dearing.

APGM Roger Waltham said, ‘Rugby Union has significant parallels with the core values of Freemasonry – in particular, respect, integrity, cooperation, and benevolence and charity.’

Wedding present for Grand Charity

When Shropshire mason Andy Gough married Maria at St Peter’s Church, Rushbury, near Church Stretton, wedding presents were notably absent – instead they had asked guests to make a charitable donation, raising £1,000.

The couple donated the money to Shropshire’s 2019 Festival Appeal in aid of the Grand Charity. Maria, whose husband is a member of Caer Caradoc Lodge, No. 6346, said, ‘Without any hesitation, we both agreed that our wedding gift donations should go to Freemasonry, which has come to mean a lot to us both.’

Diving for support

Divers came together at the famous Pinewood Studios Underwater Stage at Iver Heath in Buckinghamshire for a 24-hour fundraising event in aid of Deptherapy. The charity runs tailored scuba-diving programmes for physically or mentally injured UK armed service personnel.

The Middlesex Provincial Grand Family Fete supported the dive, which raised more than £7,500 towards its £10,000 target. Led by Dickie Henderson from Alperton Lodge, No. 5548, the event involved over 60 divers and a dozen support staff. The 1.2 million-litre underwater studio is unique in Europe, and has featured in films, adverts, television programmes and music videos.

Milestone for Warrington Museum

The Warrington Museum of Freemasonry has come a long way since it was formally established under a Trust Deed in January 2014, with the trustees receiving confirmation that the museum had been accepted as a registered incorporated charity in January 2016.

Kevin Poynton, West Lancashire APGM, presented the certificate to the trustees. Museum curator Vic Charlesworth said that achieving charitable status underpinned the museum’s mission to provide a varied and high-quality heritage experience for all members of the community.

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