To celebrate 200 years since the formation of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Monmouthshire, a gala dinner was held at the Newport Masonic Hall on 31st May 2018

The occasion was the regular meeting of Charles Lyne (Installed Masters) Lodge No. 2964, which was attended by the Provincial Grand Master Richard Davies and the Deputy Grand Master Christopher Evans, together with Richard Lewis, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of the Bristol Province

This was particularly relevant as it was the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Bristol who presided over the consecration of the New Province of Monmouthshire at The King’s Head in Monmouth on 1st June 1818.

During the meeting, David Powell gave a talk on ‘Events leading up to and the formation of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Monmouthshire in 1818, and the first 50 years of the Province’. He talked about the early arrangements with what are now the neighbouring Provinces under one Provincial Grand Master.

He emphasised the special relationship with Bristol in particular, highlighting the role the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Bristol played as the Consecrating Officer at the Kings Head on 1st June 1818. Commemorative plates were also presented by Richard Davies to each of the Masonic Halls within the Province.

To further commemorate this occasion, Richard Davies, with members of the Provincial History Group, toasted the Provincial Grand Lodge of Monmouthshire at an informal lunch at The King’s Head on 1st June 2018.

A 15-year-old son and grandson of two Bristol Freemasons has completed four endurance challenges in six weeks to raise over £5,000 for a national prostate cancer charity

When Dr Richard Hayes was suddenly and unexpectedly diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer in April this year, his grandson Edward felt pretty powerless and didn’t know what to do to help, so he decided to undertake a series of challenges to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK. A retired GP, Richard was having an annual PSA blood test due to a family history of the disease.

Even though he had no symptoms, his PSA level was a little bit raised, which prompted referral to a specialist. The specialist turned out to be a member of his own lodge in Bristol, but unfortunately after he was investigated it was shown that the cancer had already spread to his bones.

Edward spoke to his teachers at Beechen Cliff School in Bath about what he could do to try and raise money. As Edward recalls: 'My school organises lots of outdoor activities and the teachers organise training and supervision to allow us to take part in a number of events. Normally, we would do one or two of these, but this year I thought I would do the Ten Tors, The March for Men, National Three Peaks Challenge and Centurion Challenge all together, to try to raise money to support Prostate Cancer UK and make sure that more people are aware of this disease and try to help men get diagnosed earlier so that they can be treated.'

For the Ten Tors, Edwards was the leader of his team which involved hiking 35 miles over the rough terrain of Dartmoor at the end of May 2018, visiting 10 different nominated tors in under two days. In the middle of June, he took part in The March for Men in Bristol. Organised by Prostate Cancer UK, it gives families the opportunity to walk in support or in memory of someone they know with prostate cancer. Edward did this walk with the rest of his family, but to make sure it was a proper endurance challenge he ran the whole 10K course twice.

In the last weekend in June, Edward completed the National Three Peaks Challenge with lots of other pupils from his school. This involved climbing the three highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales over one weekend – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon. They walked 23 miles and climbed the overall total of 10,052ft.

The last challenge was the school’s annual Centurion Challenge. This event has been running at the school for 50 years now and is a 100 mile walk from Bath to Hungerford and back. It must be completed within 48 hours in order to be a “Centurion”. Yet because it was so hot this year, for safety reasons, the walk was shortened to 50 miles in 24 hours. 

Edward added: 'I was really disappointed because I wanted to do the full 100, but the teachers had to make sure we were all safe. Even though he’s on chemotherapy at the moment, my grandpa got to watch me come in at the finish and gave me a massive hug. We were both a bit tearful. I had a big blister on my heel, but I managed to complete the course in 8hrs 57 minutes.

'My dad is a Freemason in Bristol and last year he was Provincial Senior Grand Warden, so when they heard about grandpa’s illness, lots of the people in Bristol lodges sent me sponsorship money to support my fundraising. It’s brilliant what fundraising support the Bristol masons have given me and I hope that I can join my grandpa’s lodge when I’m old enough.

'When I got home after the Centurion Challenge, my great uncle Roy, who is a Freemason in Gloucestershire, presented me with an old ice axe. He was one of the first young people to do the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award in 1959 and went on an expedition to Greenland with Sir John Hunt and Sir Edmund Hillary, who were both famous mountaineers. This was the axe that he took on that expedition and he gave it to me to celebrate successfully finishing these challenges. I’m really grateful to everyone who has sponsored me for doing these four events, to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.'

Prostate Cancer affects one in eight men in the UK. A man who has a father or brother who has been diagnosed, is two and a half times more likely to also be affected. You can contribute to the fundraising initiative here.

Hungary is a long way from Middlesex, but in the quest for disseminating masonic enlightenment and learning, several Royal Arch Freemasons from Middlesex made the journey

Their destination was the City of Kecskemét, which is the eighth largest city in Hungary with a population of circa 110,000. On the weekend of 29th/30th June 2018, a team of Middlesex Royal Arch Provincial Grand Stewards, with permission from Supreme Grand Chapter and accompanied by Andrew Ford from Surrey and Sean Austin from Middlesex, made a visit to the Symbolic Grand Chapter of Hungary, to deliver a demonstration of the Passing of the Veils ceremony. 

The demonstration gives an insight into what precedes the Exaltation ceremony in a Bristol Chapter. Since 1834, within the jurisdiction of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset, it is the only Province in England where the ritual is performed, but only in Chapters in the City of Bristol itself. However, it is used elsewhere as part of the Royal Arch workings in the United States of America, Scotland and Ireland. English Royal Arch Masons in the other Provinces will know of this working and of the fraternal invitation that extends to them by Freemasons in Bristol to witness the working.

The Passing of the Veils ceremony refers to and uses the Ark of the Covenant: ‘a table on which rested the Ark of the Covenant containing the tablets of stone and the pot of manna.’ One was not available in Hungary, and given the significant size and weight of transporting this piece of furniture, Middlesex Freemason Steve Heynes requested that one be produced locally. This was duly done using supplied photographs.

However, there was no scale supplied and the Hungarian craftsman looked up the dimensions – some wires were crossed though and an impressively larger version was produced instead.

An informal BBQ was held on the Friday night after arrival where, as well as being treated to a wonderful feast, the demonstration team were entertained by Márk Beke, Hungary's young musician of the year who gave a lovely evening of Trombone playing interspersed with traditional Hungarian dancing from children from the Kodály Zoltán School of Music. The following morning, the Symbolic Grand Chapter of Hungary held a meeting with the team from Middlesex delivering the demonstration of the Passing of the Veils ceremony, which was enjoyed by all that attended.

On the Saturday afternoon, the St Stephen Lodge No. 7 of the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary held its Installation meeting. St Stephen’s Lodge under the guidance of Mark Walton and Seamus Conlan hosted the weekend. This was also an unusual meeting as St Stephen Lodge use the old workings and did the full Installation in the Board of Installed Masters, including proving the Master Elect in all three degrees before he was entrusted.

The Festive Board took place afterwards where each member of the visiting team was presented with a decanter of Pálinka (Hungary fruit brandy) engraved with the crest of the Symbolic Grand Chapter.

Lifelites Chief Executive Simone Enefer-Doy has left Freemasons' Hall to kick-start her 2,500 mile journey to 47 famous landmarks to raise awareness of Lifelites and £50,000 for the charity

Dubbed 'A Lift for Lifelites', Simone will see Freemasons in nearly every Province in England and Wales and will be stopping at landmarks such as Hadrian’s Wall, Angel of the North and Bletchley Park in vehicles including a classic Rolls Royce, a camper van, a four seater plane, an E Type Jaguar and even a zip wire.

Simone said: 'With the help of Freemasons and their vehicles around the country, I’m on a mission to raise the profile of our work and raise more funds to reach more children whose lives could be transformed by the technology we can provide.'

We'll be updating this page regularly, including images, as Simone continues on her epic quest.

Day 14 – Thursday 7 June

That's a wrap! Simone completed her 14 day challenge and finished in style on ThamesJet speedboat with guests including United Grand Lodge of England Chief Executive Dr David Staples. Her fundraising currently stands at over £103,000.

Day 13 – Wednesday 6 June

It's the penultimate day, starting with a trip to Bedfordshire at the Shuttleworth Collection. The next stop was Silverstone racetrack in Northamptonshire, which included completing a lap in a Jaguar, before driving this to Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. The last trip was to the home, studios and gardens of former artist Henry Moore in Hertfordshire.

Day 12 – Tuesday 5 June

Day 12 took in journeys across Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. The first stop was Gordon Boswell Romany Museum in Lincolnshire before using two vehicles, a Hudson Straight Six Touring Sedan and a Range Rover, to Bressington Steam and Gardens in Norfolk. There was still time to grab lunch at Bury St Edmunds Abbey in Suffolk before a BMW took Simone to her final stop in Cambridgeshire, which included a punt on the River Cam.

Day 11 – Monday 4 June

Simone crammed in four locations to start the week, with a wide variety of vehicles used. The day started in Yorkshire Sculpture Park before driving a 1977 Bentley to the National Tramway Museum in Derbyshire. It was from here that Simone then picked up a DeLorean to take her to Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire before completing the day by driving a gold Rolls-Royce to Victoria Park in Leicestershire.

Day 10 – Sunday 3 June

The week concludes with trips to Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire and East Riding, as well as the news that Simone had already hit her £50,000 target. Trips included the Millennium Bridge in Northumberland, the Angel of the North and a scenic drive across the Yorkshire Moors to Bolton Castle.

Day 9 – Saturday 2 June

Day nine saw visits to the Provinces of West Lancashire and Cumberland and Westmorland, with landmarks including Hadrian’s Wall in Cumbria and transport provided by a horse and cart.

Day 8 – Friday 1 June

Two Rolls-Royces helped provide the transport on day nine, with Simone starting at the Avoncroft Museum in Worcestershire, driving down to New Place in Warwickshire and then to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. There was still time to conclude the day by visiting Manchester Cathedral in East Lancashire.

Day 7 – Thursday 31 May

At the halfway point, Simone made trips to Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire – starting out at the Georgian Hall Dunham Massey, then heading to the RAF Museum Cosford in a custom built Rewaco Bike and finally, to Arthur’s Stone.

Day 6 – Wednesday 30 May

Day six was solely focused in North Wales where Simone took on the challenge of the fastest zip wire in the world. This was then followed by making the journey to Chester in a six month old blue McLaren Spider and flanked by the Widows’ Sons motorcyclists and Blood Bike volunteers.

Day 5 – Tuesday 29 May

Day five was a journey across the borders for Simone as she ventured to Oxfordshire before heading west to Monmouthshire and continued to South Wales and West Wales. Landmarks included Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, Caerleon Amphitheatre in Newport, the Donald Gordon theatre in Cardiff and ending the day in the county town of Carmarthen to meet the Provincial Grand Lodge of West Wales.

Day 4 – Monday 28 May

Simone began day four by driving an Aston Martin DB9 to the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare with help from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset. A 1928 MG Riley saloon then took Simone to her next port of call, Clifton Suspension Bridge where the Provincial Grand Lodge of Bristol had a 1966 Austin Mini Cooper waiting to take her to Caen Hill Locks. It was here that Simone met representatives from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Wiltshire, before the final stop of the day saw her clock up the miles to Shaw House in Berkshire to be greeted by members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Berkshire.

Day 3 – Sunday 27 May

Day three involved journeys to Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. It started with a visit to Lulworth Cove in Dorset to be met by members from the Provincial Grand Lodge in a yellow camper van and to receive a donation of £2,000. Simone then ventured to Buckfast Abbey to receive a donation of £5,000 from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire before departing in a classic Rover to head to Lanhydrock House and Garden in Cornwall, where she received another donation of £1,750.

Day 2 – Saturday 26 May

Simone took to the sky for day two, meeting a representative from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Hampshire and Isle of Wight who drove her to Southampton to board a flight to Jersey, to meet members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Guernsey and Alderney.

Day 1 – Friday 25 May

Simone has begun her challenge, leaving in a taxi escorted by a fleet of Widows Sons motorcyclists. This is the start of her 14 day road trip with a difference, using a variety of unusual and extraordinary forms of transport.

The next destination for Friday was Richmond Park where Simone was met by representatives from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex after arriving in a Porsche 550 Spyder. Further destinations included Guildford Cathedral, where Simone was met by a Noddy car, and Brighton Royal Pavilion, where the Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex made a donation of £5,000.

Lifelites has a package of their magical technology at every children’s hospice across the British Isles and their work is entirely funded by donations. Through the journey they are seeking to raise £50,000 – that’s the cost of one of their projects for four years.

You can sponsor Simone by clicking here

Published in Lifelites
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 00:00

Bristol consecrates Scouting lodge

As the Scout Movement celebrates its 110th year, the Province of Bristol has formed a new lodge dedicated to promoting Freemasonry though the Scouts and other youth organisations

With its members having personal links with both Freemasonry and Scouting, Scoutcraft Lodge, No. 9936, was duly consecrated according to Bristol custom.

There are currently 38 Scout lodges in the UK. They, along with other lodges connected with youth organisations, collectively form the Kindred Lodges Association.

The Classic 300 has been continuing in full force, with two runs held on the same day in Leicestershire and Bristol on July 2nd

In Leicestershire, several Freemasons participated with classic and future classic cars along with their motorcycles. The route was arranged by W Bro David Crocker and W Bro Mark Pierpoint, which started at the Devonshire Court RMBI Home in Oadby. This gave the residents a chance to look at the vehicles including the special edition Mike Tunnicliffe E-type Jaguar.

The classic car and bike enthusiasts then drove in convoy for the 15 mile journey to Bradgate Park on the outskirts of north Leicester. Upon arrival, they were warmly greeted by the Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire and Rutland, RW Bro David Hagger.

Many then walked through the park to the site of the Memorial Wood which is being funded by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Leicestershire and Rutland and the United Grand Lodge of England as part of the Tercentenary celebrations.

The Park Ranger Peter Tyldesley gave an interesting talk on the history of the park and also the construction of the Memorial Wood which is due to be opened by the Pro Grand Master RW Bro Peter Lowndes on Thursday October 5th 2017. The visitors were shown the newly installed 14 tonne granite stone, which is to be the centrepiece for the wood along with a walk around the paths, which have been created to meander throughout the one acre wood.

South West – Route 2

On the same day, the crowds also gathered on a lovely summer's morning at Ashton Gate Stadium, home of Bristol City FC and Bristol Rugby, to await the arrival of a wonderful selection of classic cars. This was the departure point of the South West Route 2 run to the world famous Haynes Motor Museum in Somerset.

A giant electronic screen on the side of the stadium welcomed all the crews as they entered the car park and after light refreshments the first cars were ready to leave. The Provincial Grand Master of Bristol Alan Vaughan, accompanied by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Jonathan Davis, presented the "travelling gavel" to John Slade, who was driving a beautiful 1967 E-Type Jaguar.

The Union Jack was raised and then at 30 intervals the other 23 cars began their scenic journey, where they passed through Cheddar Gorge, Wookey Hole and the Somerset Lowlands.

Morgans, a Sunbeam Tiger, an Aston Martin, a Triumph Stag, a Royal Sceptre, a Bentley and a Mini Cooper, to name but a few, were then cheered by the spectators as they left.

Moving the yardstick

A city farm in one of the UK’s most disadvantaged areas is giving young people new confidence. Matt Timms looks at how masonic funding is supporting its vision to transform lives

St Werburghs in Bristol was almost totally overrun with crime in the 1980s after floods forced residents to vacate their homes. Locals recall how the fields became a dumping ground and once-prize allotments grew wild and untamed. Determined to regain some semblance of togetherness, they put a request in to the council for the land. But it wasn’t until sheep were introduced that the community started to properly re-energise.

St Werburghs City Farm has now been improving prospects for people living in the area for 30 years. The two-acre smallholding, one-acre community garden, two-and-a-half-acre conservation site and 13 acres of allotments have become the beating heart of the community. A place that once looked beyond help is thriving and a £38,125 grant awarded by the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) will allow the surrounding communities to grow still further.

Urban retreat

Situated in the Bristol ward of Ashley, alongside four others that are among the 10 per cent most disadvantaged in the UK, St Werburghs City Farm provides practical, outdoor and therapeutic opportunities for permanently excluded and disengaged young people.

‘Each year, we support hundreds of causes, including those that provide employment opportunities for young people who are not in education, employment or training,’ says Katrina Baker, Head of Charity Grants at the MCF. ‘We decided to support St Werburghs City Farm because it engages, equips and empowers young people with the confidence and capacity to transform their lives.’

According to Alex, a 17-year-old participant in the farm’s Work2Learn placement scheme, ‘If anyone is in Bristol and they’re having a tough time, they should come to St Werburghs.’ Alex is just one of an estimated 704 people aged 14-19 – most of whom are struggling in mainstream education – who will benefit from the support the farm provides over the next three years thanks to the MCF grant. ‘The people here are my second family,’ he says. ‘We feel equal.’

Now into his third year on the farm, Alex had considered becoming a chef, a train driver and even joining the army, but a love of the outdoors, together with his experiences at St Werburghs, opened his eyes to the joys of farming. ‘Sometimes you just get the feeling you’ll be good at a job,’ he says. His time at St Werburghs has not only given him vital experience, it’s also boosted his confidence.

The farm’s youth development manager, Anna Morrow, has seen Alex and countless others change for the better as a result of the youth programme. ‘When things fall apart, that one day out a week can make all the difference – enough for them to be able to cope,’ she says.

‘St Werburghs City Farm engages, equips and empowers young people with the confidence and capacity to transform their lives’ Katrina Baker

People power

Max, also 17, believes his time at St Werburghs has helped him in life: ‘Being here has shown me about teamwork. There will be some people you get on with, some you don’t, but that’s life and you have to accept that.’ For Max, interacting with people on the farm has exposed him to a world outside mainstream education and given him opportunities he otherwise might not have had. His mother has noticed a marked improvement in Max’s moods, and firmly believes he has benefited socially from having other adults to talk to.

Morrow recalls a 14-year-old young carer who used his placement to overcome problems at school, mostly to do with aggression. ‘He was doing everything at home: cooking, cleaning, taking the parent role,’ she says. ‘All that was taking its toll.’ Starting at just one morning a week, his experience at St Werburghs made such a difference that he ended up helping out three days a week and eventually went on to gain an apprenticeship in farming.

For young people living on the perimeters of society, schools are limited in how they can address complex personal issues, so having a place like the city farm can be a lifeline. ‘It’s all about relationships,’ says Beth Silvey, a youth worker at the farm. ‘Participants get to do things they’d never get to do anywhere else. And I think that builds trust. It’s a nurturing environment and they are very much part of the team. It’s a group activity that isn’t intense, so they talk to us. It’s like a family here.’

Growing a community

Personal development, self-esteem and support networks aside, an equally important aspect of the farm’s work is improved community cohesion, particularly in an area where so many young people live below the poverty line. More than half of children are living in income-deprived households in three areas within walking distance of the farm.

The thinking behind the project is clear: if you catch anxieties at an early stage then you’re able to address issues before they balloon out of control. ‘It’s really important,’ says Silvey, ‘it can tip the balance at a crucial time. And we wouldn’t be able to do that without the money from the Masonic Charitable Foundation.’

Thanks to the MCF grant and a new building, the farm has been able to extend all its work placements and start a new enterprise project. With the continued support of the MCF and the proud members of the community, St Werburghs City Farm has become an invaluable asset in bettering the situation facing young people in the area.

‘People come here because they’re accepted,’ says Max, who has himself been witness to some extraordinary stories. ‘The people are just nice; no one is bothered by difference.’ And in an area that continues to suffer from poverty, having a place that is very much loved and embraced by the community is crucial.

Published in Masonic Samaritan Fund

Seven marathons in seven days

Bristol Freemason Bill Doody ran seven marathons in seven days in support of the Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF) and the NSPCC. Fundraising on behalf of the Province of Bristol’s 2019 Festival Appeal for the MSF, he covered more than 183 miles in one week. Bill began his incredible challenge by running from Bristol to London, finishing off with the London Marathon on 13 April. 

He visited several lodges and attended meetings at Wiltshire, Berkshire, West Kent and Freemasons’ Hall in London. 

Go to www.justgiving.com/samaritan for more information

The Provincial Grand Chapter of Durham held a special convocation on Friday 18th November at the Masonic Hall, Alexandra Road, Gateshead. For this meeting 12 companions from The Provincial Grand Chapter of Bristol including their Grand Superintendent EComp Alan Vaughan travelled to Durham where they were accommodated overnight at a local hotel.

Having set off at 6.30am they arrived in Gateshead at 1pm where they immediately proceeded to 'ransack' the Chapter Room which had been carefully set up in the Durham format, before practicing their ceremonial making a few adjustments to fit into the Gateshead building. All Lodges and Chapters in the Province of Bristol meet in one city centre Masonic Hall.

It was only earlier this year when Supreme Grand Chapter authorised the demonstration of the unique Bristol ceremony and this was the first time in over 200 years it was performed outside of the Province of Bristol. Much of the equipment including a series of coloured "veils" had been specially constructed by the Bristol Companions for the occasion. Durham's Past Deputy GSupt Derek Warneford was the lead Durham organiser of the occasion and he evidenced skills akin to ‘Blue Peter’ in constructing a pair of white pillars made from MDF, carpet inner rolls, 2 footballs and copious amounts of mastic and emulsion paint!

By 6pm when the Provincial Grand Chapter of Durham Officers of the year and Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter had processed to their places the main Lodge room at Gateshead was full for this ‘sell out’ occasion. After a short historic introduction by their Grand Superintendent the Bristol Demonstration Team entered and gave an excellent demonstration of ‘The Passing of the Veils and a Bristol Exaltation Ceremony’ with a Chapter of Industry No. 48 Companion, Ian Knighting acting as the candidate. This was a challenging role as the exaltee had questions to answer on the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason degrees as he passed through a series of veils towards the Chapter room and exaltation ceremony. It was a further challenge as Knighting is clearly an uncommon name in the South West and Ian answered questions without hesitation no matter what name he was given!

The 120+ Durham Companions present were then entertained by an extremely well delivered exaltation ceremony. They noticed significant differences between the Durham and Bristol ceremonies, perhaps the most significant was the absence of any lectures. In Bristol most of the information in our lectures is delivered within the main body of their exaltation ceremonial.

The Provincial Convocation was followed by a 4 course meal and in fitting with the convivial nature of the evening the toasts were announced by EComp Stephen White, ProvGDC of Bristol leaving our own ProvGDC EComp John Watts only to introduce the Grand Superintendent of Bristol when he responded to the visitors toast. During his response EComp Vaughan presented a set of Bristol Cufflinks to the Grand Superintendent, Provincial Principals, Director of Ceremonies and the representative candidate EComp Ian Knighting for their assistance in making the evening such a success.



In the heart of Bristol, Freemasons' Hall library and museum houses a treasure trove of artefacts that point to the city's unique masonic history, as Yasha Beresiner discovers

Bristol holds a unique status in English Freemasonry. In 1373, Edward III granted the citizens of Bristol a charter whereby the town was constituted a county free of the rules and regulations of adjoining counties. In 1542, Henry VIII established a bishopric and Bristol became a city. In 1786, against this historic background, the celebrated Thomas Dunckerley (the alleged illegitimate son of George II) suggested Bristol should be made a masonic Province – duly approved by Grand Lodge in London – making it the only city to have a Provincial Grand Lodge in its own right.

With the exception of Jersey in the Channel Islands, Bristol is the only Province where all masonic meetings are held under one roof – Freemasons’ Hall, 31 Park Street. Prior to 1871, this elegant building was the home of Bristol’s Philosophical Society.

A UNIQUE PROPOSITION

Bristol differs in several other ways. It claims to continue the ritual as it was before the Union of 1813. The semi-apocryphal story is that the representative of the Lodge of Reconciliation visited to instruct the Province on the new standardised ritual, was effectively hijacked, wined and dined by the brethren and sent back to London, task unfulfilled. Thus, Bristol’s Craft and Royal Arch rituals differ from elsewhere in England.

Bristol’s uniqueness is evident in the contents of its library and museum – a vast collection of books and artefacts under the charge of archivist Philip Bolwell. Bristol does not use printed rituals, with candidates keeping handwritten versions. The archives include the first-recorded minutes of an English Royal Arch meeting of lodge No. 220 held at the Crown Tavern, Bristol, on 13 August 1758, when brother William Gordon was ‘raised to the degree of a Royal Arch and accepted’.

Visit by open appointment via Philip Bolwell at the Provincial Grand Office: email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telephone: 0117 954 9840.

Published in Features
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