Ancient fountain restored

Freemasons, family and friends of Hereford Cathedral accompanied the Dean of Hereford, the Very Rev Michael Tavinor, in celebration of the completion of the refurbishment of the fountain in the cloister. Relatives and friends of the late Rev Philip Barrett, vicar choral at Hereford, and of the late Tony Hunter-Choat, Past Master of Palladian Lodge, No. 120, sponsored the work to mark the 250th anniversary of the foundation of Herefordshire’s oldest lodge. Palladian Lodge donated £1,000, maintaining its long-standing link with the cathedral.

Herefordshire Freemasons, family and friends of Hereford Cathedral, accompanied The Dean of Hereford, The Very Reverend Michael Tavinor, in celebration of the completion of the refurbishment of the old fountain in the Cathedral Cloister

Simon Hudson, stone mason at the cathedral, undertook the work using Forest of Dean stone. The new fountain surround reflects the stylised ball flower design as seen on the cathedral tower.

Relatives and friends of the late Reverend Philip Barrett vicar choral at Hereford, and of the late Tony Hunter-Choat past Worshipful Master of Palladian Lodge in Hereford, sponsored the work.

During the service of celebration held in the Cathedral Cloister, The Dean praised the community spirit and dedication of those named: he read extracts from Reverend Barrett’s 1993 Barchester: English Cathedral Life in the 19th Century, which became and remains a standard reference work, and was supported by readings by RW Bro The Reverend David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, and by Reverend Canon Dr Maureen Palmer.

The present Worshipful Master of Palladian Lodge, W Bro Denis Cox, stated that the project had been initiated by W Bro Tony Hunter-Choat to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the foundation of Herefordshire’s oldest masonic lodge: the brethren of Palladian Lodge donated £1,000 accordingly, thus maintaining the strong link with the cathedral evident through the ages. Mrs Linda Hunter-Choat, and daughters Sarah and Felicity, were in attendance at the celebration.

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Palladian Lodge No. 120, its members organised a series of events to raise money for a variety of local good causes arranged by Denis Cox, Secretary of the Anniversary Committee

For one such local cause, this oldest of Herefordshire lodges donated £1,000 towards the general maintenance of Hereford Cathedral, so maintaining the strong support for the Cathedral by the Freemasons of the county down through the ages.

The presentation was made to the Dean of Hereford, The Very Rev Michael Tavinor, in the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral, following the Service of Choral Evensong which had been attended by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Herefordshire.

The Dean welcomed this continued support, and congratulated the brethren representing Palladian Lodge on their achievements over the past 250 years, and wished them well for the future.

RW Bro the Rev David John Bowen was installed as the nineteenth Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Herefordshire on Monday 3rd June 2013

Except for a break of twelve years between 1836 and 1848, when no Provincial Grand Master was appointed, this otherwise continuous period of 260 years has witnessed Dukes, Lords, and Members of Parliament as Provincial Grand Masters for Herefordshire. The first and longest serving being Sir Thomas de Cornwall 1753-1789.

Rev David Bowen was installed by MW Bro Peter Lowndes, Pro Grand Master representing the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent.

Rev Bowen’s first act as Provincial Grand Master was to appoint VW Bro Mike Roff as Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire.

Herefordshire Freemasons held their annual church service at Hereford Cathedral Sunday 9th June.

Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:00


When Hereford Cathedral gave thanks for the restoration of the Cathedral Close, it marked the fact in the printed Service of Celebration that Herefordshire masons were among the 15 acknowledged contributors to the work of restoration

The entries underline the support by Freemasons throughout the ages, making specific reference to the remodelling of the west front in 1908 following its collapse over a century earlier ‘which was made possible through the generosity of local Freemasons under the leadership of Dean James Leigh’.

The Very Reverend Hon. James Wentworth Leigh was Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire 1906-1923, and the Dean Leigh Masters’ Lodge was consecrated in December 1923. The west front of the cathedral has a representation of Dean James Leigh and a display of many masonic emblems. A donation of £15,000 from the Province and The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has been agreed for the Cathedral Refurbishment project.

The untimely death, on 26 June, of Neil Collings has deprived the Church and Freemasonry of a man of great faith, infinite caring and intellect. A proud Devonian, Neil Collings felt an early call to the ministry and after reading theology at Kings College, London, trained for the priesthood at St Augustine’s Canterbury. After serving as a Curate and Team Vicar at Exmouth he was called to Hereford as Rector of St Nicholas with additional responsibility as Director of Ordinands, Chaplain to the Bishop and a Prebendary of Hereford Cathedral.
     In 1986 he began thirteen very happy years as Rector of St Nicholas Church, Harpenden where his ministry was marked by high-quality worship, good preaching and much sensitive pastoral work. He was appointed an honorary Canon of St Alban’s Abbey in 1996.
     In 1999 he returned to Devon as Canon Residentiary and Treasurer at Exeter Cathedral where his financial and management skills were greatly appreciated and lead to his acting as Dean for thirteen months from 2004.
     In 2006 he was appointed Dean of St Edmondsbury and his work on the fabric there will be a lasting memorial to him. His work was sadly cut short by the discovery of a disabling brain tumour in 2008, from which he never recovered.
     Throughout his busy Church life he was also a devoted and very open Freemason, in a period when Freemasonry was not looked kindly on by the Synod and other Church groups. He served as Grand Chaplain 1999-2002 and was a very active and thoughtful Third Grand Principal 2002-2010. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
Published in SGC

ugle logoSGC logo