Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire

2009 chronology

New King of All England

There were over 100 members and guests present at the Installation meeting of Athelstan Lodge 1333, where a double treat was enjoyed by all.

Alan Wellan, Tom Collins and Phillip BensonThe Installation of W Bro Phillip Benson (our Provincial webmaster) was performed immaculately by W Bro Jonathan Bowley, complete with some unusual features, including losing the FCs and EAs! They did eventually re-appear, following which the Presiding Officer, VW Bro Alan Wellan, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, presented Bro Thomas Collins with a Long Service Certificate celebrating 50 years Service to Freemasonry.

Pictured above are (l-r) Alan Wellan, Tom Collins and Phillip Benson

During the presentation, Alan outlined Tom's long and distinguished service around the world in the Army, and observed that it was actually 52 years since he had become a freemason, having been initiated into the United Services Lodge 3813 in 1957. After leaving the Army in 1971, Tom held a variety of jobs prior to his retirement, and a question and answer style resumé outlining his background and career, including details of his family and other interests, provided everyone with a delightful insight into Tom's life.   posted 16 Dec 2009

Too Good to be True

A previous scam to get hold of your e.mail address (which is worth money to direct mail organisations) is doing the rounds again, this being the supposed Sony Ericsson offer for free laptop computers in exchange for bundles of e.mail addresses.

Just Google "Ericsson laptop Promotion" and you will find around 351,000 articles mrntioning this scam. Remember, if something looks too good to be true, it always is!   posted 16 Dec 2009

More on Masonic Charities

The Provincial Grand Almoner's next presentation entitled "An Update on Masonic Charities" will be made by W Bro Christopher J Grove MBE at Mozart Lodge 3735 during their regular meeting at Stirling Road on 19th January 2010, starting 6.00pm.

Visitors are always welcome at the Lodge's meetings and those Brethren who may be interested in this talk should contact the Lodge Secretary W Bro David Caudle. Tel: 0121 354 1831.   posted 16 Dec 2009

Reading Court Christmas Lunch

This year's Lunch was held at the Arrow Mill Hotel and attended by the majority of the residents of Reading Court.

The House Committee, Mrs Margaret Owen, Mrs Wendy Lancaster, W Bro Charles Dyer, W Bro Terry Sumner, W Bro John More, W Bro Alan Johnson and W Bro David Bateman, together with their husbands and wives acted as table stewards.

The Warden Mrs Pam Jowers and Mrs Wendy LancasterThe President RW Bro Michael J Price and Mrs Price were also present, together with the retiring chairman VW Bro. Alan J Wellan and Mrs Wellan.

The Warden Mrs Pam Jowers presented a bouquet of flowers to Mrs Wendy Lancaster (pictured left) and thanked her for all the hard work she had put into the event, which sentiments were echoed by the Chairman W Bro Charles Dyer.   posted 16 Dec 2009

Masonic Charities Explained

The Provincial Grand Almoner, W Bro Christopher J Grove MBE, is visiting the Forest of Arden Lodge 3826 for its meeting on Wednesday 16th December 2009 at the Solihull Masonic Temple, 1621 Warwick Road, Knowle, Solihull. The Lodge opens at 6.15pm, during which Chris will give a presentation on the workings and aspirations of Masonic Charity.

All are welcome to attend, and those wishing to stay for the Festive Board (£15) should contact the Lodge Secretary, W Bro Tim Watson, at 102 Blackford Road, Solihull B90 4BX, telephone 0121 745 7354, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   posted 3 Dec 2009

Have a Ball Helping the Kids

W Bro Julian Taitt of Elkington Lodge 1016 invites everyone to a Christmas Ball he is organising at the Regency Hyatt Hotel, Birmingham, on Saturday 19th December. All proceeds will be donated to the Birmingham Children's Hospital "kidneys for kids" appeal.

Tickets are £49 each, which includes a three course meal, DJ, Comedian and Steel Band, and can be obtained by contacting Julian on 07790 493774 or 07523 100620. There are ten seats per table. Click here to see the flyer for the event.   posted 3 Dec 2009

Double Act

Exciting times for the Lodge of Emulation 1163 this year when the Provincial Grand Master Michael Price CBE attended the Lodge to present W Bro Horace Walker with a 50 year Certificate. The address was conducted in the centre of the temple sitting a few feet apart when an in depth and amusing question and answer dialogue took place.W Bro H Walker, W Bro D Macey and W Bro N WhitehouseA wonderful moment for Horace to remember.

This was subsequently repeated when W Bro David Macey, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, followed on with W Bro N Whitehouse, yet another member with 50 years in the Lodge.

Pictured, left to right, W Bro H Walker, W Bro D Macey and W Bro N Whitehouse.   posted 3 Dec 2009

£10,000 For Cumbrian Flood Relief Efforts

In response to the extreme flooding which has taken place in Cumbria, the President of The Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £10,000 to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Cumberland and Westmorland who are directing the funds to the Cumbria Community Foundation. It has been estimated that 1,300 homes across Cumbria have been affected by flooding, with several hundred people displaced and more than 1,000 households left without power. Cumbria floodingEnvironment Secretary, Hilary Benn, told the Commons "I saw for myself on Friday and Saturday in Cockermouth just what an effect the torrent of water had on homes, businesses and communities. It is utterly devastating."

Founded in 1999 by Cumbria Council, the Cumbria Community Foundation remains dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged people in Cumbria. The Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund has been set up to provide financial help for people who have been affected. The first phase of grant making will concentrate on the elderly, disabled and families with children under five years old. The Fund will also assist community groups that are helping out with advice, information, counselling, and activities for children and young people. In 2005 The Freemasons' Grand Charity sent £5,000 in emergency funds to the Cumbria Community Foundation in response to the previous Cumbrian floods. In parallel with support for wider relief efforts, The Freemasons' Grand Charity will be assisting individual Masons and their dependants, who have been affected by these events, through Masonic Relief Grants which are given to relieve hardship.   posted 28 Nov 2009

More Life after the Three Degrees!

Hot on the heels of his visit to Barnard Lodge at Stirling Road, W Bro Spencer Fenn will again give his colorful presentation outlining the many additional Orders associated with English Freemasonry at the Sutton Coldfield Masonic Hall, Mill Street. This will take place during the meeting of Hertford Lodge 3208 on Friday 11th December, opening at 6.00pm.

All Craft Masons are invited to attend, and if wishing to stay for dinner (cost £17 inc. wine) should contact the Lodge Secretary Bro Patrick Wood, tel. 01543 679022, e.mailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   posted 28 Nov 2009

Royal Air Force Lodge Remembers

On 11th November 2009, Members of the Warwickshire Royal Air Force Lodge 9456 visited the National Memorial Aboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire, to attend the Armistice Day Service, and were joined by a deputation from the Province of Staffordshire.

Full details on the Lodge News page.   posted 22 Nov 2009

A Visit from Lanarkshire

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, presided at St Peter's Lodge 7334 at the Yenton Assembly Rooms when Bro Martin Parrack was installed into the Chair of King Solomon.

Full details can be found on the Lodge News page.   posted 22 Nov 2009

New Master for Old Masters

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan, was installed as Master of the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538 at their last meeting, following which he gave a fascinating and thought provoking address outlining the similarities between the City of London Livery companies and Freemasonry.

Alan Wellan
Alan Wellan
Guilds have long been established throughout the UK and Europe, but London's "Square Mile" is home to many magnificent buildings, all containing their own history from times when tradesmen typically lived and worked from communal locations, often revealed by street names. Over the years they became more organised, regulating quality standards, wages, training and working conditions, as well as providing charitable support for those in difficulty, and operating in the best interests of their communities.

Each company has a similar team of Officers, and is run by a committee called a court. Its Master and Wardens wear gowns and chains of office, and great occasions are all conducted with strict ceremony and dress code. Many liverymen are also freemasons, and before being admitted into a Worshipful Company they have to make a declaration of allegiance to the Queen and the Lord Mayor. They also have to be freemen of the City of London, but these days are denied two of the ancient privileges; no longer can a freeman drive his sheep across London Bridge, nor any more have the right to ask for a silk rope if he is to be hung!

In conclusion, Alan read extracts from the "Rules for the Conduct of Life" given to every new Freeman of the City, which reflect great philosophical wisdom and thought, veiled in allegory. He invited the audience to consider the points he had made, and what a perfect model the livery companies had provided for our masonic founding fathers. Today, the companies provide a story of ongoing success and expansion, with a continuing determination to maintain the highest possible standards. Membership waiting lists are long, despite high admission criteria and costs. Perhaps freemasonry should once again follow the same precepts and examples?

During the administrative notices, it was announced that the Freemasons' Grand Charity had awarded the sum of £100,000 to the Acorns Children's Hospice in memory of W Bro Rodney Pitham, in recognition of his work as chairman of the non-masonic grants committee. Rodney had been a trustee of the Acorns Hospice and this news was received with acclamation.

At the festive board following the meeting, the programme for the year was announced. There will be a demonstration of an 1810 Russian Initiation Ceremony taken from Tolstoy's War and Peace on 30th November 2009, a talk by VW Bro John Hamill (Grand Lodge Director of Special Projects) on 31st March 2010, and an invitation for our Ladies to dine with us on 10th June 2010. All Master Masons are very welcome to attend any of the Lodge's meetings, and members are encouraged to invite them to join us.   posted 14 Nov 2009

Life after the Three Degrees

W Bro Spencer Fenn will be giving a colorful presentation outlining the many additional Orders associated with English Freemasonry following the meeting of Barnard Lodge 5100 at Stirling Road, on Tuesday 8th December at 6.00pm.

All Craft Masons are invited to attend, and if wishing to stay for dinner (cost £22 inc. wine) should contact the Lodge Secretary W Bro Fred Ditchfield, tel. 0121 353 1007.   posted 14 Nov 2009

UK 'about-turn' on Freemason judges

In a policy about turn by the government, would-be UK judges will no longer have to declare if they are Freemasons.

The Times reports the policy reversal, announced by Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, after a threat of legal action forced a review. The United Grand Lodge of England threatened legal action, prompted by a European Court of Human Rights decision. The judges ruled in an Italian case in 2007 that the requirement to disclose membership was a breach of the rights to privacy and freedom of association.

The Guardian quoted comments from UGLE Information Officer Chris Connop.

Read the article in The Times.   posted 14 Nov 2009

Dan Brown: The Lost Symbol

Following publication of the novel, John M Hamill, Director of Special Projects at the United Grand Lodge of England, was very quick to issue the following appraisal:

"Despite all the hype and scare stories circulating on the internet over the last few weeks Dan Brown's new novel far from attacking Freemasonry is actually supportive of it. As a result it is unlikely to start the sort of media frenzy which accompanied the launch of the Da Vinci Code, which was seen by many as a fundamental attack on the foundation of Christianity.

lost symbolIt is the usual Dan Brown formula: the hero, Robert Langdon, is searching for lost Masonic treasure and spends twelve hours being chased round Washington DC, usually in subterranean passages which may or may not exist, by the villain, the police and the "Office of Security" of the CIA. There are the usual bloody murders, explosions and narrow escapes. He is aided in his search by senior members of the Supreme Council 33rd Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the USA, which has its headquarters in a monumental building in Washington DC. The villain is a six foot three, self-castrated body builder whose body is covered with tattoos, most of which are Masonic symbols. He has infiltrated Freemasonry and reached the 33rd degree. He is seeking the "lost symbol" which when it is tattooed on the soft part of his skull will transform him into a powerful angel! Langdon is determined to stop him. Great hokum which Tom Hanks will no doubt enjoy turning into a Hollywood blockbuster!

Early in the novel there is a flashback to Langdon lecturing students on symbolism. One of the students makes disparaging remarks about Freemasonry which causes Langdon to point out to the group that contrary to the mythology Freemasonry is not an organisation to be feared; that Freemasons were much involved in the foundation of the United States; that it fails "the ABC test" and is not a religion; and that it is not exclusive but admits men of all faiths and ethnic and social backgrounds.

As in his previous books, there are facts, half-truths and misleading untruths presented as hard fact. The media picked up one Masonic "fact" which may upset some and certainly got the media going. In the prologue Brown claims that in the 33rd degree the candidate seals his obligation by drinking red wine out of a human skull. Absolute rubbish! His source for this "fact" is a very curious and highly inaccurate American exposure of the Ancient and Accepted Rite rituals published in 1887 by the Revd John Blanchard and given currency in Europe in the 1890s by the writings of the notorious French anti-Masonic writer who used the pen name Leo Taxil.

One major error which will be easily picked up by our American brethren is Brown's claim that the symbol of the 33rd degree - which Brown states is the most potent of Masonic symbols - is a double headed phoenix. Sadly, as all who are in the Rose Croix will know, it is a double headed eagle.

Yesterday (Wednesday, 16th September) the phone lines at Grand Lodge were pretty hot with the media wanting to know our reaction. You could feel the interest drop at the end of the phone line when I said that we had no problems with the book, that it was supportive of Freemasonry and that we would be fascinated to see what effect it had on the number of people contacting Freemasons' Hall and Provincial offices for more information about Freemasonry.

The book is quite a heavy read at times with the plot being held up from time to time by lengthy forays into deciphering symbols, cracking codes (which are relatively easy to break) and philosophising about the tensions between religion and science. There are the usual plot twists but as the reviewer in the Los Angeles Times wrote: ".. it's hard to imagine anyone after reading The Lost Symbol, debating about Freemasonry in Washington DC in the way that people did about Brown's radical vision of Jesus and Mary Magdalene in Da Vinci Code. That book hit a deep cultural nerve for obvious reasons. The Lost Symbol is more like the experience on any roller coaster - thrilling, entertaining and then it's over".

Freemasonry certainly has nothing to fear from the book, it may well stimulate a lot of public curiosity about Freemasonry which we will all be happy to deal with.

The letter from Dan Brown proves that he had no intention at all of showing hostility to Freemasonry in his latest book. The authenticity of the letter has been verified.   posted 14 Nov 2009

Masonic Drama at Installed Masters

Master Masons are invited to attend a Period Costume Demonstration of an 1810 Russian Initiation Ceremony taken from Tolstoy's War and Peace. This will be presented at the meeting of Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge on 30th November.See details on the leaflet.   posted 7 Nov 2009

Festival Concert

2012 logoW Bro Graham Steen, Master of Eastfields Lodge 8959, Rugby, has arranged for the well established and successful Scunthorpe Male Voice Choir to give a concert in Rugby on Saturday, 23rd January 2010. This will be a splendid event, to which all Masons, their families and friends are invited to attend. Proceeds will be donated to the 2012 Festival, and full details can be seen on the Whats Onpage.   posted 7 Nov 2009

Historical Documents Survey Complete

Congratulations! Almost every Craft Lodge in Warwickshire has completed the forms relating to the Survey. This excellent result is due mainly to those brethren who have taken the time and effort to complete the necessary forms, and the group of co-ordinators who have spent considerable time and tact in supervising the Survey. The Provincial Grand Master is again proud of this Province and the results.

The Historical Documents Survey was a proposition given by the Pro Grand Master at a meeting of Grand Lodge early in 2008. In the long history of Grand Lodge there had never been any collection of historical material from the thousands of Lodges in England and Wales. The information provided by the lodges will be collated and entered into a data bank and thus provide a unique historical record of Freemasonry in England and Wales and its contributions to Society.

This vast amount of information will be most helpful in the compiling of a History of the United Grand Lodge which may be published to mark the 300th Anniversary of Grand Lodge in 2017 AD.

The information that has been collected will also be available to bona fide historians who are researching topics for future publications or perhaps interesting lectures.

In Warwickshire, the Survey has focussed attention on the records possessed by a lodge. The whereabouts of old minute books and their condition needed to be recorded. St Paul's Lodge Number 43, for example, had already taken steps to preserve its old records. Other lodges have found that some records were missing. So the Survey has done much to locate and make safe the records a lodge owns.

Bob RussellIn May 2008 the Provincial Grand Master asked W Bro Robert Russell (pictured) to be the Co-ordinator for the Province. After a briefing about the scheme held in the Temple at Great Queen Street, London, Robert and W Bro Nigel Burton, the Provincial Grand Secretary, set about recruiting assistant co-ordinators to get the survey underway. This involved an assistant co-ordinator for each of the nineteen Masonic Halls and a further six for the Edgbaston Temple. There was a useful briefing session for these brethren.

Copies of the relevant forms were sent by the Provincial Grand Secretary to every Worshipful Master in the Province. All the completed Survey forms were returned to the Provincial Office, scrutinised by Nigel, recorded and then passed to the Survey Manager in London for inclusion in the database.   posted 7 Nov 2009

Mentors' Initiatives

There is now a Mentors' workshop, the first of which is running from 10.30 - 12.30 on Sunday, 22nd November at Rugby. There are 20 places available and bookings should be made directly to the Provincial Mentor, W Bro Stuart Esworthy, on 07881 505558.

Brethren with a background in tertiary education or exposure to management development as a facilitator are also asked to get in touch with Stuart on the same number. He is looking for a number of Regional Mentors to support him in taking the message directly into Lodges and to run more of these workshops across the Province.

At next year's Mentoring conference, Stuart will be giving a keynote presentation entitled - Values and Expectations of the 21st Century Mason - and he would value anecdotal evidence of where we are meeting the needs of new members but also where we might also be falling short of their aspirations. These can be sent to him anonymously and would be used in that way without revealing the name of the individuals or the Lodge concerned.   posted 7 Nov 2009

£25,000 For Torrential Rain and Flash Flood Victims in Southern India

The President of The Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £25,000 to Save the Children, following the Kirshna River bursting its banks flooding 5 districts in India. The grant will help 20 of the worst affected villages in Southern India by providing them with essential and life-saving relief, as many families were unable to salvage even basic hygiene materials, cooking utensils or dry clothes.

To date, nearly two million people have been affected by the severe flooding which has caused destruction to homes, agricultural land and livelihoods. Tragically, the disaster has claimed over 300 lives and more than 70,000 homes have been severely damaged, resulting in half a million people being displaced to relief camps in Andhra Pradesh and a further 650,000 people are in temporary shelter in Karnataka.

The money given to Save the Children will supply 30,000 people with use of water pumps, household kits, educational kits and child friendly spaces where children can go to receive a meal each day and access clean water. There is particular concern that the 800,000 and more children affected are vulnerable to malnutrition and waterborne illnesses which could easily increase the death toll.   posted 4 Nov 2009

An Ideal Christmas Present of an Aston Martin

2012 logoThis is an invitation for two people for a driving event to be held at Millbrook proving ground, hosted by Stratstone Aston Martin Hagley, any date during 2010. (Date and time to be confirmed by Stratstone Aston Martin Hagley).

It includes driving an Aston Martin with a Performance Driving Instructor around the Millbrook Proving Ground, and there will be a complimentary lunch also included.

This is to be auctioned online with all proceeds going to the 2012 target for Aston Manor Lodge No. 6323, who have kindly donated the event.

Email your bid to the Festival Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. He will keep you informed as to the progress of the auction.

Closing date will be midnight of 5th December 2009. Happy bidding.   posted 4 Nov 2009

Royal Arch Presentations

All Master Masons who have not yet completed their journey through Pure and Antient Masonry are reminded of the forthcoming presentations to learn more. Full details have been circulated via Lodge Secretaries/RA Reps.

  • Thursday 5th November, Alderson House, Warwick.
  • Monday 9th November, Stirling Road.

posted 4 Nov 2009

New Website from Grand Lodge

The Grand Lodge website has been completely updated and can be seen atwww.ugle.org.uk. It is a wonderful representation of freemasonry in the 21st century, providing details of our principles, history, lodges and facilities of the English Constitution.

The classy website is primarily designed to aid recruitment of new masons, UGLE Websiteespecially in their 20s and 30s, and to be informative to non-masons. In addition, it will be constantly evolving, with new content and functionality being added on a regular, on-going basis.

All areas of the site are available to public view, and it includes various informative videos to watch, including a tour of Grand Lodge.

A booklet containing a fascinating insight into Freemasonry can be viewed or downloaded from the Becoming a Mason section, which includes a facility for anyone to register an interest should they wish to join.

Taking advantage of latest technology, the actual speeches in Grand Lodge of both the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent and the Pro Grand Master, Peter Lowndes can be heard and downloaded onto an iPod or iPhone.   posted 31 Oct 2009

Warwickshire Website Arrives

After much technical work and expertise by our webmaster, Phillip Benson, the result of "Googling" freemasons Warwickshire, or something similar, is now a large "block" of results. This is a great achievement, and ensures wider exposure around the whole world of our activities here at home.

In addition, Grand Lodge has produced a summary of every Provincial website currently operating in the UK. Descriptions of the various sites range from "quite rambling", "very basic", "sort of ok" through "useful", "informative", "good looking".

The highest plaudit is undoubtedly "very good site" and is only accorded to one Province – Warwickshire.

Well done Phil, and many thanks for all your behind the scenes work.   posted 31 Oct 2009

Masonic Academia reaches South Africa

W Bro Professor Robert Ashford met with a total surprise when visiting South Africa on a recent business trip.

His mother Lodge (University of Birmingham 5628) was one of the original six University Lodges to sign up to the Universities Scheme launched by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) in 2005, whose main aim was to encourage young undergraduates to consider joining Freemasonry. The Scheme has now gained considerable momentum and at its 3rd annual conference in Manchester this year, over 80 Brethren attended, with some 20 Lodges being represented.

Prior to his trip, Robert checked if there were any Lodges meeting in the area he was visiting and was totally surprised to find a University Lodge which met in Johannesburg. He continues the story:

"On contacting the Secretary of the Lodge I discovered that my visit coincided with the universities winter vacation and traditionally a Lodge meeting was not planned. However it transpired that whilst I was in Johannesburg, the way in which the Lodge had operated over this vacation period was to hold an afternoon luncheon. This was the traditional way in which Brethren, who were originally linked to the local universities, would meet during the vacation to keep abreast of Masonic and other business. The University Lodge in Johannesburg meets under the English Constitution and in fact was formed by interested brethren from the UK. The original idea was that it should be a lodge where members would be graduates from the universities and technical colleges and interestingly where the brethren would wear their academic gowns at Lodge meetings. This last idea wasn't acceptable to the District but the Lodge idea went ahead and it was consecrated by RW Bro Major General Sir Allan Adair, the Assistant Grand Master, on the 13th Feb 1954. In the early days the Lodge met at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg but ultimately moved to the Freemasons' Hall, Park Lane, Johannesburg in the 1970s.

Photo during visitDuring my visit, at the invitation of the Secretary W Bro Colin Lewis of the University Lodge 7327 (see picture), I attended a luncheon at the Provincial Building of the Northern District in the Freemasons' Hall, Park Lane, Johannesburg. This is an exceptionally old building with beautiful Masonic architecture and a proud history of English Masonry being practiced therein.

Following lunch I was asked to give a brief overview of the UGLE Universities Scheme including its aims and objectives, the contextual framework in which the scheme operates including its philosophy, how it is managed and the University Lodges associated with the scheme. I was somewhat taken aback at the level of interest this scheme generated in terms of questions from the brethren following my presentation. The University Lodge is now planning to investigate this concept further with a view to becoming the first overseas university Lodge to sign up to the scheme and become actively involved in the process. I have had numerous invites to return to Johannesburg and visit this Lodge and other Lodges in the district."

Robert is planning to keep the UGLE universities scheme co-ordinator fully informed of his progress, and we wish him well with his splendid endeavours.   posted 25 Oct 2009

Musical Splendour in Leamington

2012 logoA fantastic evening of entertainment was provided by Barry Walker's SMACKEE at this year's concert, organised by W Bros Gordon Scott and Robin McConkey of St Barbara Lodge 4930, with all proceeds going to the 2012 Festival appeal.

another magnificent showThe packed audience, which included many members of the general public, enjoyed another magnificent show from the famous performers at the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington. It featured brilliantly choreographed medleys from West End, Broadway and Big Screen productions, as well as remarkably accurate renditions of hits from the 50s and 60s, and ABBA tributes.

Details of various events around the Province, including those supporting the 2012 Festival Appeal, can be found on the What's On? page.   posted 22 Oct 2009

Darkness Visible?

Remember, the clocks go back one hour at 1.00am this Sunday, 25th October.  posted 22 Oct 2009

Redditch Open Day Supports Sea Cadets

Redditch Freemasons (of both Warwickshire and Worcestershire) again threw open their doors to the public as part of the Heritage Open Days event in September, having advertised details in the local press, broadcast them on local radio and included them in other media listings.

W Bro Albert Walker explaining the Craft aprons to the MayorW Bro Albert Walker explaining the Craft aprons to the Mayor

On display in the dining room were presentations illustrating a variety of national and local charities supported by the members who meet at Redditch, whilst in the Lodge Temple many items of regalia from several different orders of freemasonry were available for inspection. Early minute books of the various Lodges meeting at Redditch lay open, with the Seymour Lodge revealing details of its first recorded meeting more than a century ago, that having been the start of freemasonry in Redditch.

W Bro David Bateman handing the Mayor a cheque for the Sea CadetsRefreshments were served by the widows of the local masons, and the Mayor of Redditch, Councillor Malcolm Hall, was presented with a £225 cheque from the masons towards his charity, the Sea Cadets.

W Bro David Bateman handing the Mayor a cheque for the Sea Cadets  posted 22 Oct 2009

Bikers Surprise Master

Members of the Mike Hailwood Lodge 9839 visited the Isle of Man between 25th and 27th September, during which the Master of the Lodge, W Bro Michael Adams, conducted a ceremony which included David Hailwood, the son of "Mike the Bike" (see photo).

W Bro Michael Adams, present Master of the Mike Hailwood Lodge, during the 1955 Isle of Man TTW Bro Michael Adams, present Master of the Mike Hailwood Lodge, during the 1955 Isle of Man TT

Accompanying them on the night were TWO Provincial Grand Masters in the persons of RW Bro Michael J Price CBE and RW Bro George Peake, together with a further 58 Brethren from the Mike Hailwood Lodge, Arthur Stanley Lodge 3732 (IoM) and every one of the other Lodges from the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Isle of Man.

RW Bro David Peake,  W Bro Michael Adams, Bro David Hailwood, RW Bro Michael J Price CBEFrom left to right, RW Bro David Peake, W Bro Michael Adams, Bro David Hailwood, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE

"Welcome to Warwickshire" were the words of our own Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Michael Price CBE as he stood in the Temple of the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Isle of Man and greeted all those in attendance, including the Provincial Grand Master of the Isle of Man.

There were two surprises for the Master of the Lodge during the evening - one in the Lodge and the other at the festive board, where the brethren were joined by wives, partners and friends. The surprise in the Lodge was that PGM Michael presented the WM with a Festival Gavel for reaching the Lodge's 2012 Festival target. The second surprise came about after the members of the Lodge had visited a photographic exhibition of TT racing on the island. During the visit the WM asked the person who was presenting the exhibition if he had a photograph of him as he had raced there in 1955. Three photographs were found and to WM Michael's surprise and delight these were presented to him during the festive board, following which he took a short time before being able to respond.

Apart from the very enjoyable time that was had by all, it is hoped that the visit will be undertaken on a biannual basis with the Arthur Stanley Lodge visiting Warwickshire during the interim years.   posted 22 Oct 2009

Ritual with a Difference!

Brethren who would like to attend a Lodge in Gloucester which has its OWN ritual, and an extended inner working, are invited to their Installation meeting on Friday 20th October.

Full details can be seen on the Lodge News page.  posted 8 Oct 2009

Car Parking at Severn Street

A horse & carriage was the order of the day in the City Centre of Birmingham when Severn Street first became a Masonic Meeting place.

150 years on, and a Car Parking facility has now been provided at the Singers Hill Synagogue in Blucher Street, just 2 minutes around the corner from the Masonic Hall in Severn Street, for the use by Severn Street Masonic Association members and their visitors from 5:00 pm onwards during the week. Details of entry procedures can be seen on the Meeting Places page.

As a former Synagogue that was acquired from the Birmingham Hebrew Congregation back in 1858 for Masonic purposes, to now have the adjacency of a car parking facility, gives added value to this unique venue.

"Traffic, parking restrictions, clamping and car park costs in the City Centre have been an issue for some and an inconvenience for others who meet or visit these rooms but this has all now been abrogated, with the future looking assured with personal benefits to existing members and a legacy for all new members into the 21st century." say the Directors of Athol Masonic Buildings Limited.   posted 3 Oct 2009

Autumn Newsletter

The second edition of the new style Craft Newsletter has now been published - and a copy posted to every Warwickshire Mason at his home address. It contains a variety of news, views and articles, and invites readers' comments to be sent to the editor by e.mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please also let him know if you have not received your copy.  posted 3 Oct 2009

Festival Charity Walk Launched

Festival logoEaster weekend 2010 will see our Festival Director, W Bro David Macey, walk the entire length and breadth of the Province, starting on April 2nd. The route will be along the canals of Warwickshire, providing easy and interesting walking, as well as an appreciation of the Province's rich industrial heritage. The walk will be over four days and be split into relatively short sections, so that Brethren, family and friends can join in for just one section, or accompany David for a whole day or indeed the entire walk. The details of the route can be seen on the Provincial website.

Canal walkBut David isn't doing it for health reasons, nor for a major dose of fresh air - oh no.

This walk is intended as a major fund-raiser for the Festival. We will be asking each and every Lodge to sponsor David, the details of which are in letters sent to every Master, Secretary, Festival Steward and Almoner, as well as being on a dedicated website page from which copies of all forms and details can be seen and printed.

Not only that, but everybody who joins in on the walk can seek his or her own sponsorship to boost the Festival funds.

Please support the walk in every respect – have fun, be healthy, enjoy the historic canals - but above all, raise lots of money!   posted 3 Oct 2009

Warwickshire Rose

The latest Newsletter of the Warwickshire District of the Ancient and Accepted Rite can now be seen on the Rose Croix page under Other Orders, and contains details of a special meeting for members of the Order on 30th September 2010. This is part of the celebrations of the centenary of the occupation of 10 Duke Street as the Grand East, when the King Edward VII Chapter of Improvement will demonstrate the 13th degree Royal Arch of Enoch in the Grand Temple at Freemasons' Hall in London.  posted 29 Sep 2009

Festival of Art

2012 logoThere will be an exhibition by Anthony Christian on Saturday, 17th October in the Concourse at Stirling Road from 10am to 6pm, to which everyone is invited to attend.

Anthony Christian is an International Artist who shot to fame when he painted The Battle Scene in 1955 at the National Gallery when he was then only 10 years old. This painting will be on show for the first time in public, together with other examples of his outstanding talent.

A donation from the sale of art will go to the 2012 Festival for the Masonic Samaritan Fund.

See the What's On? page for further details of the exhibition, the artist and his work.

His website is www.ichorgallery.com [Now www.anthonychristian.co.uk]   posted 27 Sep 2009

Masons Help Rescue Team

Senior Freemasons from Warwickshire and Northamptonshire paid a call to the operations base of the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) at Coventry Airport, Baginton. Their main purpose was to hand over grant aid cheques totalling £8,000, and learn more about the magnificent work carried out by the dedicated team who run the WNAA.

Dr Ian Ferguson, Dr Stuart Maitland-Knibb, Michael Price CBE, Provincial Grand Master and Captain Richard CraskePictured (left to right) are Dr Ian Ferguson, Dr Stuart Maitland-Knibb, Michael Price CBE, Provincial Grand Master and Captain Richard Craske.

During the visit the guests did manage to get close to the Agusta A109E Helicopter (purchased new in 2008), call-sign Helimed 53, as it briefly called into base to refuel between missions. Regional Fundraising Manager Jo Payne explained: "During a busy day we could respond to anything up to 12 emergency calls which could range from road traffic collisions, cardiac arrests to multiple casualty incidents. So far today we have helped a farmer who was kicked in the chest by one of his horses, two road traffic accidents and a patient complaining of chest pains, and we're nowhere near lunchtime yet."

The WNAA was formed just six years ago and exists to provide a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service directly to the counties of Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and the Milton Keynes area, as well as cover for Birmingham, Solihull and other areas in the West Midlands. The service does not simply transport patients to the nearest hospital, but routinely carries senior Doctors and Consultants to the scene of incidents in just minutes, providing lifesaving treatment and medication at the scene and en-route to hospital. The Air Ambulance takes the hospital to the patient, providing the best possible chance of a full recovery, and the WNAA is acknowledged as being one of the most progressive of all the Air Ambulance services in the UK.

It is a registered charity and relies totally on public donations, fundraising activities and sponsorship. Chief Executive Andy Williamson said at the presentation "Being completely independent allows us to operate at peak efficiency as well as being able to respond to changing needs quickly and economically. Donations such as these are the lifeblood of our activities and we are very grateful for this and ongoing support from the masons and other groups who really are anchors of our communities".

The grant was part of our Grand Charity scheme which in 2008 gave £3.5 million to non-masonic causes, including a total of £180,000 to the various Air Ambulances around the UK. Further information about WNAA can be found on their websites:www.wnaa.co.uk   posted 15 Sep 2009

Musical Splendour

2012 logoAn unforgettable experience from the award winning three-in-one show featuring Barry Walker's SMACKEE will enthral all attending this event on Sunday 27th September at 7.30pm, at the Royal Spa Centre, Leamington. All proceeds will be donated to the 2012 Festival.

For full details and to book tickets go to our What's On page.  posted 13 Sep 2009

Lifelong Connection

Bedford Lodge 925 has sadly lost its senior Past Master and longest subscribing member who had for several years lived nearly 5,000 miles away in Texas, USA, and who passed away at the beginning of the month.

W Bro Jack Taylor, who held multiple executive management positions with GKN for over 40 years in the UK and Overseas, was initiated into Bedford Lodge where he became Master in 1963, which was the Lodge's Centenary Year. He moved to the USA with his wife in 2004 after his son Tim emigrated there in the 1980s, but was determined to maintain his roots by remaining a fully subscribing member of Bedford Lodge.

W Bro Jack Taylor being presented with his sixty year certificate by Bro Jonathan Yam
W Bro Jack Taylor being presented with his sixty year certificate by Bro Jonathan Yam - W Bro Jack Taylor being presented with his sixty year certificate by Bro Jonathan Yam
Jack was recently presented with a Warwickshire sixty year certificate on behalf of our PGM by Bro Jonathan Yam, of Lodge Malaya 5213 in London, of which Bedford Lodge Secretary W Bro Jim Holtom is also a member. Jonathan's business travels fortuitously took him to Texas thus enabling him to make the presentation.

Pictured is W Bro Jack Taylor being presented with his sixty year certificate by Bro Jonathan Yam.   posted 13 Sep 2009

Heritage Open Days 2009

The RW Provincial Grand Master is very pleased that once again many of our Masonic Halls will be participating in this year's Heritage Open Days event, which takes place from Thursday 10th - Sunday 13th September. This gives us a wonderful opportunity of demonstrating to the general public that we are a part of the community not apart from it. We need to demonstrate that we are a group like many others that give generously of our time and our money to help those less fortunate in our respective communities.

The Heritage Open Days event celebrates England's fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors, ranging from castles to factories, town halls to tithe barns, parish churches to Buddhist temples. It is a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring to life local history and culture. Free of charge and literally on people's doorsteps, Heritage Open Days is an event for everyone, whatever their background, age and ability.

Co-ordinated nationally by English Heritage the event thrives on the enthusiasm and expertise of local people. Thousands of volunteers from all walks of life share their knowledge and memories with some 850,000 visitors every year, making Heritage Open Days England's largest voluntary cultural event.


Warwickshire Masonic Temple

Guy's Cliffe, Warwick

Coventry Masonic Hall

Rugby Masonic Hall

Solihull Masonic Hall

Redditch Masonic Hall

Stratford Masonic Hall

 

Alderson House, Warwick

Sutton Coldfield Masonic Hall

12 Sep 2009

11/12/13 Sep 2009

12/13 Sep 2009

10/11/12/13 Sep 2009

13 Sep 2009

12 Sep 2009

12 Sep 2009

13 Sep 2009

12 Sep 2009

12 Sep 2009

10.00am to 4.00pm

10.00am to 4.00pm

10.00am to 4.00pm

11.00am to 2.00pm

10.00am to 4.00pm

10.30am to 4.00pm

10.30am to 4.00pm

11.00am to 3.30pm

10.00am to 2.00pm

10.00am to 4.00pm


The Provincial Grand Master would be delighted if Brethren, their families and friends could support the event by visiting one or more of these Masonic Halls during the period of the event or if Brethren could offer their help to the organisers.   posted 3 Sep 2009

Preserving and Caring for Lodge and Chapter Records

The Library and Museum at the United Grand Lodge of England has recently updated its guidance on this important subject. A copy has been placed in the Scribes Corner on the Royal Arch website here. There is also much interesting information available atwww.freemasonry.london.museum.  posted 29 Aug 2009

A Ceremony with a Glittering Difference!

On Tuesday 10th November Fortior Lodge 6172 will be receiving a visit from the Lodge of the Glittering Star (Irish Constitution). They will be demonstrating their First Degree ceremony and Fortior Lodge will be pleased to welcome other Warwickshire brethren to witness a Ceremony With A Difference.

See the What's On? page for contact details.   posted 29 Aug 2009

"The Victoria Cross - Freemasons' Band of Brothers"

This is the title of the Annual Clarendon Lecture to be given by W Bro Granville Angell, who was the Prestonian Lecturer for 2006, to which all brethren are invited to attend. The meeting is on Wednesday 2nd September 2009 at Stirling Road, and full detailscan be seen on the What's On? page.  posted 15 Aug 2009

Province to support Masonic Roarers

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Price, and Provincial Grand Secretary, W Bro Nigel Burton will be joining members of the Mike Hailwood Lodge 9839 at their meeting and banquet on the Isle of Man on Saturday 26th September. Over 20 brethren of the Lodge, accompanied by visitors, ladies and non-masonic guests, will be travelling to the event on their bikes, and would welcome any others who would like to join them.

Full details have now been finalised and can be seen on the Lodge News page.   posted 7 Aug 2009

Spiced Up BBQ

On Sunday 16th August Victoria House (our Leamington rooms) will be holding an Indian Flavour Barbecue, to which all are welcome.

Full details can be seen here.   posted 5 Aug 2009

Per Ardua Ad Dignitatem Meritam

"Through difficulties to a deserved status - the confluence of the Craft and the Mark" was the title of the Grand Stewards' Lecture for 2009, delivered by RW Bro Dr Roeinton BF Khambatta, PProvGM (London) at their meeting in July.

A summary of the lecture can be seen on the Mark website.  posted 4 Aug 2009

Welcome to Little Britain USA

July 2009 marked the 400th anniversary of the discovery of Bermuda by the British.

The celebrations were steeped in history and included a ceremony where, amid much pomp, a venerable Freemason offered a state official a velvet cushion bearing a peppercorn on a silver platter, before the assembled dignitaries retired for afternoon tea.

How very British. But then this was in St George, once the capital of Bermuda and the oldest continuously inhabited English town in the Americas. Historical events such as the annual Peppercorn Ceremony – which commemorates the day in 1816 when the Freemasons began renting the old State House, paying with peppercorns – have taken on extra significance this year.   posted 31 Jul 2009

Candlelit Banquet with Ladies

On Friday 11th September 2009 the Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge 4538 are holding a Candlelit Banquet with Ladies. This will be in the Great Hall of the magnificent medieval St. Mary's Guildhall, Bayley Lane, Coventry, and will be attended by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Coventry.

For full details and booking form see the What's On? page.   posted 30 Jul 2009

Learning Together

There was a very special and happy evening at Guy's Cliffe in July when a candidate was Initiated into Freemasonry in Meridian Lodge 9003 by Worshipful Master John Durling.

WM, the Deputy PGM Alan Wellan, the Wardens and the five EAsWhat made the evening extra special is that in Lodge that evening were another Entered Apprentice member of the Lodge and four visiting Entered Apprentices. To crown it a further candidate was that evening proposed for membership!

The picture shows the happy group and includes the WM, the Deputy PGM Alan Wellan, the Wardens and the five EAs.   posted 30 Jul 2009

Coventry Masons Rescue the Rhinos

The Radford Rhinos, one of Coventry's Explorer Scout Units, were devastated when a promise of transport by minibus failed to materialise.

The Rhinos had been invited to take part in the Gilwell 24 hour challenge at Gilwell, the Scouting HQ in the UK, which was to coincide with the inauguration of Bear Grylls as the new Chief Scout. Unfortunately the Rhinos learnt just days before the event that the minibus, which had been promised to get them there and back, was no longer available.

But not to be defeated, their Unit Leader Sarah Miller knew that Rhino Daniel Rowlands' dad was a local freemason, and that we are renowned for our community and charitable support. So she gave Daniel's dad Paul (who is due to become JW of Charterhouse Lodge 5690 in October) a quick ring and asked if he knew anybody that could help.

The outgoing Chief Scout, Peter Duncan, with Daniel Rowlands
The outgoing Chief Scout, Peter Duncan, with Daniel Rowlands - The outgoing Chief Scout, Peter Duncan, with Daniel Rowlands
Pictured left - Radford Rhino, Daniel Rowlands, with the outgoing Chief Scout, Peter Duncan.

Cutting a long story short, following a short appeal for assistance at the Masonic Hall in Coventry the full amount of £220 to cover the cost of the hire of a minibus was raised along with a further £30 towards the petrol, thus ensuring that the Explorers could take part, and where they had a fantastic time.

Our Grand Charity last year pledged £500,000 to the Scout Association to support the KidsOutdoors initiative, giving them £100,000 each year for the next five years.   posted 19 Jul 2009

Mature Movers Given The Chop

W Bro Mike Midgley, who was Master of First Lodge of Light 468 in 1990 and who is currently their Treasurer and Charity Steward, has been awarded a Certificate of Outstanding Achievement by Birmingham City Council Adult Education Service (see picture). This was for all the good work he has done during nearly 30 years of service as an Adult Education Tutor and Lecturer in the Birmingham area, teaching subjects such as Karate, Tai Chi, Self Defence, Relaxation and Meditation.

W Bro Mike MidgeleyMike's extensive training in working with the elderly, and disabled groups of all ages, enables him to take into account the many health problems that go with the ageing process, and he tells us "The development and establishment of classes has been a very big challenge but has been very worthwhile as I now have several groups in the Birmingham Area that are vibrant and thriving. The satisfaction I get from seeing the smiles on my students' faces during classes is very heart warming and everyone thoroughly enjoys the activities. The residents in the Care Homes that I teach in look forward to my weekly visits and it perks up their lives to have someone 'have a bit of fun and laughter with them' whilst quietly getting them to move their bodies to music as much as possible."

More recent additions to the programme he runs are Keep Fit for Mature Movers (Active Elderly 60-89 years of age) and Movement to Music for the Frail Elderly in Residential Care (75-100+).   posted 19 Jul 2009

New OSM Deputy Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler for Warwickshire

Our congratulations go to Wy Bro Merrill Elliott, who was installed as the new Deputy Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler for Warwickshire at the Annual Provincial Meeting of the Order of the Secret Monitor. Our webmaster, Bro Phil Benson, has taken over Merrill's previous office as Provincial Grand Recorder.

A full report can be seen on the OSM page.   posted 19 Jul 2009

Phishing Scam - HMRC

If you receive an e.mail, supposedly from HMRC advising they want to send you a tax refund, delete it immediately. It is a phishing scam.

Phishing is a form of identity theft, where fraudsters steal your identity and personal information to gain access to your accounts or commit other crimes using your persona.

A full description of this particular scam can be read here   posted 19 Jul 2009

Masonic Roarers

The Mike Hailwood Lodge 9839 has published its first newsletter, and invites all Masons who have a current or previous interest or association with motorbikes to consider joining them as either visitors or members.

The Lodge has a unique programme of events, including biking to meetings at all of the Lodge rooms around the Province. They are also making a trip to the Isle of Man in September 2009 with the intention of holding a meeting there, at which they will conduct (under dispensation) a ceremony of Passing, the Candidate being David Hailwood, son of Mike after whom the Lodge was named.

Further details of the Lodge and copies of the newsletter can be obtained by contactingThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Their website is www.mikehailwoodlodge9839.co.uk.   posted 15 Jul 2009

Opportunity Knocks

The copy deadline (31st July) for the next issue of the Provincial Newsletter is approaching fast. There is a small amount of advertising space still available, rates starting at £100 for a quarter page. If you would like to advertise your business or service to all recipients of the newsletter (approx 4,800), call Harry Owen at the Provincial Office 0121 454 4422 or Peter Wellings on 07973 135761.   posted 14 Jul 2009

What's On?

We've streamlined the website calendar so that future events now appear in anew What's On? column, with details and application forms (where applicable). This column can include all events of interest to Warwickshire Masons, whether Provincial, Lodge, 2012 Festival, other Orders, or Social.

So, if you want to advertise your event, make sure we know about it first! To find out how, see the guidance notes here. Please remember to give everyone plenty of notice.

And remember, after the event why not tell us how it went? Perhaps with a photo or two? Guidelines for submitting reports are here.   posted 11 Jul 2009

Shipston-on-Stour Lodge Annual Pig Roast

2012 logoOn Sunday 19th July 2009 Shipston-on-Stour Lodge 9418 are holding their Annual Pig Roast in aid of the 2012 Festival. Full details are posted on theWhat's On page.   posted 9 Jul 2009

Vellum Lodge Summer River Cruise

On Sunday 26th July 2009 Vellum Lodge 5845 are holding a Summer River Cruise in Worcester. Full details are posted on the What's On page.   posted 9 Jul 2009

The Rose Croix - Who and What we Are

The Grand Secretary General of the Ancient and Accepted Rite will address members of the Warwickshire Chapter on 9th September 2009. For full details see the Rose Croix page under Other Orders.   posted 1 Jul 2009

In Case of Emergency - 'ICE' Campaign

We all carry our mobile phones with names and numbers stored in its memory. If we were to be involved in an accident or taken ill, the people attending to us would have our mobile phone, but out of all the numbers how would they know which one to call in case of an emergency? Hence the 'ICE' (In Case of Emergency) Campaign, which is quickly catching on.

The idea was thought up by a paramedic who found that when he went to the scenes of accidents there were always mobile phones with patients but they didn't know which number to call. He therefore thought that it would be a good idea if there was a nationally recognised name for this purpose.

All you need to do is store the number of a contact person or persons who should be contacted during emergency under the name 'ICE'. For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc. In an emergency situation, Emergency Service personnel and hospital staff would be able to quickly contact the right person by simply dialling the number you have stored as 'ICE'. It really could save your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest.   posted 27 Jun 2009

Jazz in the Park

The Mark Degree in Warwickshire is renowned for the variety and success of its programme of Social Events. Many of these are open to all Freemasons, their families and friends. They also provide an excellent opportunity to bring prospective candidates for Craft Lodges along to a relaxed environment and meet up with Masons in an informal setting.

On Sunday 5th July, Jazz in the Park takes place in the picturesque grounds of Guys Cliffe, Warwick. Bring your picnic tables/chairs, gazebos, groundsheets and (just in case) umbrellas to enjoy a lazy, hazy, summer afternoon of entertainment with the fabulous Jazz Band. Pig Roast, Barbecue and wine/beer/soft drinks are included in the ticket price.

For full details see the flyer here, or contact Peter Wellings tel: 07973 135761 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or John Handley tel: 01564 777578 e.mailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Details of other events can be seen on the Mark website warwickshiremark.org.uk/calendar.php (link removed).   posted 25 Jun 2009

From Darkness to Light

Warwickshire Freemasons assembled dressed in their regalia and escorted the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, into the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, for the Annual Service of Provincial Grand Lodge. St Mary's is a busy working church, set in the centre of the ancient town of Warwick where people have worshipped for over 1,000 years, and have left evidence of their faith in the architecture and decoration of the building — one of the largest and most interesting Churches in England.

Prior to the service the members and their families listened to delightful music newly arranged and played by Ruaraidh Sutherland, Assistant Director of Music for the Church.

The Rector of St Mary's, Revd Vaughan Roberts, welcomed everyone to the service, during which representatives of the Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Christian faiths offered thoughts and blessings relating to the theme of the multi-denominational service "From Darkness to Light". The Provincial Grand Chaplain, W Bro Revd Canon Denis Claringbull, presented a short commentary in which he referred to the lesson read by the Provincial Grand Master, and thanked the Vicar for the use of the Church, God for our health, and Freemasonry for showing light from darkness.

The Rector of St Mary's greets the Provincial Grand Master after the service.Photo: The Rector of St Mary's greets the Provincial Grand Master after the service.

During his sermon, the Rector thanked both the Provincial Grand Master and Provincial Grand Chaplain for the opportunity of preaching. Although not a Freemason himself many of his in-laws had been, and he maintained a strong interest in the fraternity due to its influence in forming our contemporary society and its long association with the Church. Indeed the local association went back at least as far as 1728 when the Master of the first Lodge in Warwickshire was Vicar of the Church.

Why are we here, and where were we going, he asked?

In a well researched outline of the origins of Freemasonry, which included various references to social history such as the influence of the Guild system in the 17th century, the Rector quoted from the American academic and historian of science Prof Margaret Jacob commending her work and publications, based upon examination of genuine records, as opposed to the incredible fiction published by such masters of fantasy as Dan Brown.

Freemasonry is a contemporary, multicultural and multiracial organisation which has strived at all times to help bring divided societies together. This is amply demonstrated by the peace and harmony maintained within its Lodges, and reflects the Church's work in bringing men of faith together for the benefit of mankind. The full sermon can be read here.

The Provincial Choir, very ably conducted by Provincial Grand Organist W Bro Roy Marshall JP, demonstrated their skill during the service, to the delight of all present. Nothing happens without someone making it happen, and everyone involved with organising and running the event deserves warmest congratulations and thanks.   posted 23 Jun 2009

Bedford Lodge Garden Party

2012 logoOn Sunday 19th July Bedford Lodge 925 are holding a Garden Party in Alvechurch in aid of charity.

Full details about the garden party are posted on the Events page.   posted 21 Jun 2009

Guys Cliffe House Open Day

On Sunday 28 June, a rare opportunity is available to members of the public to visit the grounds and buildings of one of Warwickshire's hidden gems. Not normally open to members of the public, visitors to the Annual Garden Party may enter the grounds and experience the property at first hand.

Full details about the open day are posted on the Events page.   posted 21 Jun 2009

Queen's Birthday Honours

Our hearty congratulations are extended to W Bro Alan Sturley who has been awarded an MBE for services to young people in Warwickshire.

Alan, who is in his late 70s, is a former pupil of Warwick School and past Chairman of the Old Boys' Association, hence his membership of Schola Warwicensis Lodge No 9321 where he is Almoner and Past Master. He is also a former Almoner and subscribing Past Master of the Lodge of Unity No 567.

The well deserved honour was awarded following Alan's long career as Head of Gresham Special School in Leamington, and his work for the Warwick Apprenticing Charity which is based on apprenticing charities set up in the 17th and 18th century. It makes grants to students who live within the bounds of Warwick undertaking apprenticeships, attending university, or undertaking any other form of training designed to help in the furtherance of their career.   posted 21 Jun 2009

Quarterly Communication

The June Quarterly Communication of the United Grand Lodge of England was presided over by the MW The Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes, who congratulated everyone who had fought their way to the meeting through the tube strike.

Pro GM, Peter LowndesHe announced that the annual meeting of the Grand Charity, usually held in March, will now continue to be part of each June's Quarterly Communication, returning to the previous format. The special event organised by the Grand Charity in commemoration of His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent's forty years as our Grand Master proved to be a considerable public relations success for the Craft as a whole.

The new UGLE website, designed as both a public relations exercise and recruitment tool, is in the process of going live, and underpins our philosophy of open communications. It will help Masons when they talk to family, friends who are genuinely interested to hear what Freemasonry is all about, and will go a long way to dispel myths with our detractors.

When applications for jobs and certain offices ask whether the applicant is a Freemason, we are now actively pursuing any government body or organisation who specifically asks such question. Lambeth Borough Council has now backed down on this subject and we are now turning our attention to the Ministry of Justice. Although most Masons would be delighted and proud to say that they are Masons, the inclusion of such a question is flagrant discrimination.

In conclusion, The Pro Grand Master thanked everyone involved in organising and running the meeting, looked forward to seeing as many as possible in September and wished everyone and their families a very happy summer.

The full text of his address may be seen at www.ugle.org.uk/news/progm-speech100609.htm. (Link no longer works.)   posted 21 Jun 2009

Grand Charity

A number of national charities, across England and Wales, will benefit from generous grants totalling nearly £2 million approved at the Annual General Meeting of The Freemasons' Grand Charity. The grants include a sum of £500,000 for adult and children's hospice services and £192,000 for air ambulance charities.

For full details, including a list of the beneficiary charities please visit the Grand Charity site or read the attached information release.   posted 21 Jun 2009

Knocking at the Door?

The June meeting of Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge, at which our Deputy PGM, VW Bro Alan Wellan, was declared Master Elect, saw several joining members, the presentation of a further eleven gavels and a magnificent demonstration of the Building of King Solomon's Temple.

A full report can be seen on the Lodge News page here.   posted 19 Jun 2009

DCs Taught a Lesson!

The Warwickshire Provincial Grand Directors of Ceremonies Lodge received a presentation from W Bro Keith Marchington, one of the five Authorised Orators for the Province led by the Provincial Grand Orator W Bro Trevor Sturt.

A full report on the presentation can be seen on the Lodge News page here.  posted 19 Jun 2009

Flying High

Reading Court, The Masonic Housing Association complex on Tiddington Road, Stratford upon Avon, is always pleased to receive enquiries from potential applicants for flats. Most of the units are for single occupancy but there are some doubles. There is of course a waiting list.

All those interested, brethren and widows, or aware of someone who is interested, are invited to make contact with W Bro Charles Dyer, preferably by e mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. He will then provide information about procedures and arrange a visit to the complex. It offers sheltered accommodation, not nursing care.

Ada Bate and  Jean Wattison with Pam Jowers and Steve WeltonThe setting, in delightful gardens, and the active social life, make living conditions superb.

The residents have just hosted a fund raising Strawberry Tea and as a result of this and other functions were able to present a cheque for £1,000 to the Warwickshire and Northants Air Ambulance scheme, a worthy and generous achievement.

Picture shows ( left to right ) residents Ada Bate and Jean Wattison with Pam Jowers , the Warden, and Steve Welton from the Air Ambulance.   posted 12 Jun 2009

Grand Charity Aid for Namibia Floods

The President of The Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £5,000 to the Red Cross to support their relief work following the worst floods to affect Namibia in 40 years. The money will help to fund the costs of the deployment of the mass sanitation emergency response unit. This unit specialises in preventing the outbreak of diseases, vital in a situation where there is flooding and where many thousands of people have been displaced.

Over 700,000 Namibians are believed to have been affected by the severe flooding which hit six regions and led to the declaration of a state of emergency. Crocodiles and hippos were reported to be swimming though the flood waters, attacking and killing people and even though the rains have now subsided the resultant damage to homes and crops has displaced thousands and is expected to lead to food shortages in the coming months.

The Red Cross emergency appeal will help 20,000 people to receive assistance with their immediate needs. There is particular concern that the affected communities may be vulnerable to diseases such as malaria and cholera and there is critical need for clean water, sanitation, treatment and hygiene kits.

The grant from The Freemasons' Grand Charity will make a vital contribution towards the relief work of the Red Cross. In addition to constructing temporary latrines and assisting with sanitation and waste disposal the Red Cross will be distributing thousands of blankets, tents, mosquito nets, hygiene kits and over half a million water purification powder sachets.   posted 12 Jun 2009

Grand Master's Anniversary presentation

A group of ten charities had reason to celebrate this week when they attended a special event where they were presented with grants from The Freemasons' Grand Charity totaling £550,000. The grants were given in commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the installation of His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, KG, as Grand Master of United Grand Lodge of England and Grand President of the central Masonic Charities.

In front of an audience of hundreds of Masons and their guests, The Duke personally presented the cheques to representatives of the charities. The organisations supported are charities for which His Royal Highness has a particular concern and meet The Freemasons' Grand Charity's objective of supporting people in need.

More information about the beneficiary charities is available from the Event Brochure on The Freemasons' Grand Charity website here (link removed).

Grants presented at meeting:

  • Save Canterbury Cathedral £100,000
  • Combat Stress £50,000
  • The Colonel's Fund Grenadier Guards £50,000
  • King Edward VII's Hospital Sister Agnes £50,000
  • Leukaemia Research £50,000
  • Royal Air Force Charitable Trust £50,000
  • Restore – Burn and Wound Research £50,000
  • Royal Hospital Chelsea Appeal £50,000
  • The Colonel's Fund Scots Guards £50,000
  • The Stroke Association £50,000

  posted 9 Jun 2009

Open and Shut

A Past Master of one of our Lodges spotted the following in his employer's Code of Conduct:

"Membership of any organisation which is not open about its membership or proceedings, or which seeks a commitment of allegiance or to support or advance fellow members, e.g. Freemasons, may be seen by the public as liable to influence the conduct of an employee. Employees must therefore carefully consider whether such membership is compatible with your job."

Following his remonstrations, the said employer (a major Governmental department) duly removed the reference to Freemasons, acknowledging the statement as being clear on its own "without using any contentious examples".

If any other members see similar "inaccuracies" but are nervous of approaching the body directly, the Provincial Information Officer will be happy to do so. ContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   posted 9 Jun 2009

Annual Church Service

This will again be held at the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, on Sunday 14th June 2009 at 3.00pm, preceded by a full procession (in Masonic dress, weather permitting) from Alderson House.

Full details may be obtained from the Provincial Office.  posted 29 May 2009

Help at Hand

W Bro Mike Derry is Tyler for two Lodges meeting at Stirling Road and would like to offer his services to others. His telephone number is 0121 770 3897, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  posted 29 May 2009

The Warwickshire Rose

The latest issue of The Warwickshire Rose, the newsletter of the Ancient and Accepted Rite in Warwickshire, can be seen on the Rose Croix page of the website in the Other Orders column. Or it may be accessed here.  posted 29 May 2009

Listen to the Provincial Grand Master's address

A recording was made of the address of the Provincial Grand Master to Provincial Grand Lodge on 16 May 2009.

To listen to it, click on the play button below or download it to listen to later.

Play the PGM's speech

Right-click to download the PGM's address | Duration: 15 mins

posted 29 May 2009

London Calling

We were honoured in Warwickshire with a visit to our HQ at Stirling Road by UGLE Grand Secretary Nigel Brown (pictured below) and Information Officer Chris Connop, for a regional meeting of Provincial Information Officers (PIOs) which was attended by Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and ourselves.

UGLE Grand Secretary Nigel BrownThe purpose of this series of meetings taking place around the country, scheduled to be completed by the end of June, is to highlight the importance which the Grand Secretary lays upon Public Relations and Communication in our increasingly positive dealings with the media, and to discuss ideas how best to develop this. The extraordinary nature and architecture of Freemasons Hall at Great Queen Street, London, has resulted in it being listed among the "Unique Venues of London" and makes it very popular as a venue for shows, concerts, lectures and presentations, as well as a location for films and television productions. This is without affecting the daily routine of the building and provides excellent "soft" PR.

A new website for PIOs has now been created which provides a forum for them to share good practice and inform each other of any interesting initiatives or successes. It also includes extensive guidelines regarding the practicalities of PR and Communications. The main UGLE website is being completely overhauled and by responding to demands identified following careful research will become a major recruitment tool for us.

At the meeting a lively and informative discussion took place embracing a variety of topics, including opportunities arising from such events as Freemasonry in the Community and the Heritage Open Days, the formulation of a five year plan for the next stage of our PR objectives, and the clear message that we will not tolerate scurrilous and offensive attacks on freemasonry, which we are ready and willing to make quite clear to the general public.

Warwickshire PIO Peter Wellings made the point that in addition to activities from the centre covering national and policy matters, it was vital to involve brethren at grass roots level (see below) as they were the ones in closest contact with the most important audience – our local communities. Whilst they should always refer enquiries about Masonic policy to him or the Provincial Office, there is a huge range of activity across every Province such as charitable donations, social events and involvement of Lodges and members within their locality which can be highlighted in local media.

Initial details were announced of the forthcoming "Greatest Masonic Event Ever", ie the 300th Anniversary celebration of Freemasonry. This will be held on 14th June 2017 at ExCeL London, which will by then have been truly tried and tested by the 2012 Olympics. Capacity is 80,000 – make sure you book early!

Peter Wellings would like to hear from brethren who are able to help him develop our PR and communication activities in Warwickshire. Please contact him on 07973 135761, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  posted 21 May 2009

Apologies for Absence

Keen Warwickshire freemason W Bro Malcolm Griffiths was unable to attend the Installation meeting of his Lodge due to commitments elsewhere – he was being installed as Mayor of Bridgnorth, after just three years since becoming a councillor. His membership of freemasonry is considerably longer however, having been initiated into Lodge of Happiness No 7952 in 1983, becoming Master in 1993 and 2002, now serving as Almoner.

Malcolm also had to miss the annual meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge for the first time in many years as he and his wife, Lady Mayoress Julie, were supporting their counterparts in Kidderminster at a welcome reception for soldiers returning from duty in Afghanistan. He is always proud to fly the flag for freemasonry and everything it stands for and will certainly be doing so during his term in office.

Congratulations Malcolm, and all best wishes to you and Julie for a happy and enjoyable time in high civic office.   posted 21 May 2009

Charity from Faith and Hope

The Lodge of Faith and Hope No 4772 has supported the Wilson Stuart Cub Pack, which caters exclusively for mentally and physically disabled children, for well over 15 years, and have been delighted that the Province has also been able to support them in recent years.

"Arkela" and her Deputy
W Bro Roger Chapman (Charity Steward - the David Bailey of the Lodge) accompanied W Bro John Hayward to the Cubs' headquarters in Erdington, to present cheques totalling £500; £350 from the Province and a further £150 from the Lodge.

John is pictured with "Arkela" and her Deputy, who were absolutely delighted and will use this donation to cover costs for their annual camp later in the year, which these days proves to be a very expensive event.

Funds provided last year totalling £700 helped to replace equipment lost in a fire during the previous year.   posted 21 May 2009

Full House at Provincial Grand Lodge

Our Provincial HQ at Stirling Road was packed to capacity for the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, with cctv transmitting pictures on giant screens to the brethren towards the back of the meeting hall.

Prior to the opening of Provincial Grand Lodge the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies gave a briefing to all present, following which the many distinguished guests, including visiting Provincial Grand Masters, Deputy and Assistant PGMs, Grand Officers and leaders of other Orders entered the Lodge in procession, with our own Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price, CBE, being escorted into the meeting by his Officers.

After opening Provincial Grand Lodge in due form the PGM remembered Brethren who had departed to the Grand Lodge above, including W Bro Christopher Sanders, RW Bro Stanley Lates and W Bro Rodney Pitham. He also referred to the sculpture of the Bear (chained) and Ragged Staff on his pedestal, and individually welcomed the distinguished guests, then everyone else present.

Following the various reports presented by Provincial Officers, which included a rallying call for events supporting the 2012 Festival from W Bro David Macey (in particular his Charity Walk early in April 2010), together with other formalities, the PGM appointed and invested W Bro Michael Morris, PJGD, as Assistant Provincial Grand Master, making special reference to Michael's son being the cushion bearer.

The PGM re-appointed the Deputy PGM, VW Bro Alan Wellan, the Assistant PGMs, W Bros Roger Parker, Nigel Bister, David Macey and John Emms, acknowledging their individual efforts towards the well being and success of many aspects within the Province. Officers for the ensuing year, including W Bro Anthony Cheeseman as Provincial Senior Grand Warden (photo - front left) and W Bro David Shakeshaft as Provincial Junior Grand Warden, were appointed and invested, and Past Ranks were conferred or confirmed. Those invested were reminded of the important leadership role they had to play in the Craft in Warwickshire.

The PGM then addressed the meeting and a full transcript is available here.

Outgoing and incoming Provincial Senior Grand Wardens Rex Lowin and Tony CheesemanPhoto left: Outgoing and incoming Provincial Senior Grand Wardens Rex Lowin (front left) and Tony Cheeseman (front right).

At the festive board following Provincial Grand Lodge a splendid meal was enjoyed by everyone present, and in his toast to the PGM our new Provincial Senior Grand Warden, W Bro Tony Cheesman, referred to the great strength of the soul and heart of Warwickshire Freemasonry arising from the magnificent effort and devotion applied by our PGM.

Next year's annual meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge will be held on Saturday 15th May.   posted 18 May 2009

Summer Break?

During the Masonic close season there is always plenty going on if you know where to look.

On Thursday 11th June the Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge will view a demonstration of "The Building of King Solomon's Temple" at Stirling Road, and the following evening, Friday 12th June, the Warwickshire Provincial Grand Directors of Ceremonies Lodge will enjoy Orations entitled "Building the Temple" and "Jacobs Ladder", as well as an outline of the Orations Scheme, at the Alderson House rooms in Warwick. These events may be attended by all Masons and full details and application forms can be seen on the Lodge News pagehttp://www.warwickshirepgl.org.uk/lodge_news.php.

Then on Sunday 14th June we have the Annual Church Service at St Mary's Collegiate Church, Warwick.

The Mark Degree organises a lively programme of social events which may also be attended by all Masons, the next one being "Jazz in the Park" on Sunday 5th July, in the delightful grounds of Guy's Cliffe, Warwick. Full details can be seen on the Calendar page of the Mark website www.warwickshiremark.org.uk/calendar.php.   posted 17 May 2009

Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

The Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge will be held on Saturday 16th May 2009, at Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB.

The meeting starts at 10.30am and all Brethren should to be seated by 10.15am.   posted 12 May 2009

Saviour to Hand!

Bible Probe, who describe themselves as being a non-denominational outfit for Christians and Messianic Jews, pronounce on their website:

"Masons have mixed idolatry, paganism, the occult, Kabala, fertility cults, Satanism, spiritualism, demonology, and put it into a blender and come up with the Masonic religion. It is not of God! It is a false religion; the Harlot of Babylon. Masons say they offer new candidates "the light". The light they are actually giving is: Lucifer".

And guess what? They also offer prayers of cleansing for Masonic Degrees. Just send your cheque to. . . .

Everyone has a hearty chuckle at such ridiculous drivel, which the authors don't seem to realise only magnifies their ignorance. Do let us know of any similar reports or comments seen – we might be able to get royalties off a new Dan Brown production, filmed of course at Great Queen Street!   posted 12 May 2009

Grand Lodge Investitures

The Province of Warwickshire was well represented amongst 1604 Freemasons, who attended the annual investiture meeting of Grand Lodge at the end of April. MW Bro Peter Geoffrey Lowndes, the Pro Grand Master, presided over the proceedings and was pleased to invest the many newly appointed or promoted Grand Officers.

At the beginning of his address he let it be known he does like to speak his mind, but that on public occasions such as this it is best to stay with the prepared script! In welcoming everyone present he assured them of the appreciation of those at HQ for their attendance.

Congratulations were extended to all those invested and promoted, as well as a reminder of the expectation of future commitment. Whilst appreciating being handed over to with the Craft in as buoyant a mood as it has been for some years, as well as the tremendous work carried out by his predecessor, there was still plenty to be done.

In particular, we must ensure that all candidates for initiation have a proper understanding, before they join, of what we expect of them and what they can expect from us. It is many years since we have shown so much pride in our membership and we should have the confidence to explain that we expect, and generally speaking get, all our members to behave in a way that benefits society at large. This is not only from our considerable charitable activities, but also from our emphasis that all members are expected to behave in a civilised, lawful and neighbourly fashion at all times, with action being taken if a member acts in a way that is unacceptable to society in general through antisocial or dishonest behaviour.

The Pro Grand Master concluded his address by thanking the Grand Secretary and his team for their huge amount of organisation, leading to the building really buzzing on a big occasion such as this. He and the Deputy Grand Master (both being former Grand Directors of Ceremonies) had taken more than a passing interest in the ceremonial aspect and congratulated the present Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for running the show so smoothly with just one word - impeccable.

It was especially pleasing for the Warwickshire brethren to see W Bro John Emms promoted to Past Senior Grand Deacon and W Bro Tony Wall to Past Junior Grand Deacon, in addition to the first appointments to Grand Rank conferred on W Bro Michael Morris as Past Junior Grand Deacon, W Bro Nigel Burton as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and W Bro Eric Bear as Past Grand Standard Bearer. It should also be mentioned that our Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2006/7, W Bro Eric Rymer, was invested as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies through his other Province of Staffordshire.

Afterwards our Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price, CBE, hosted a dinner for no fewer than 29 Warwickshire brethren at the Royal Air Force Club on Piccadilly where he has been a member for the past 40 years. The PGM once again congratulated the members of the Province on receiving their honours at Grand Lodge and added his particular thanks to the Provincial Grand Secretary, W Bro Nigel Burton, for his excellent arrangements. It was without doubt a most enjoyable and memorable day for all those fortunate enough to be present.   posted 9 May 2009

DC Directs

Following a very well attended meeting of Temple Councillors held at our Provincial HQ in Stirling Road, to which all members of Lodges had been invited, our Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies W Bro Philip Hall (pictured) delivered a most interesting and enlightening presentation in which he included his views on some of the ceremonial activities seen around the Province. 

Philip Hall
Philip Hall - Philip Hall
The variety and individuality of the Lodges was a constant source of delight, although some of the "traditions" witnessed could perhaps be tracked back to an error or misunderstanding in the distant past and perhaps be re-considered in that light!

W Bro Philip referred to the challenging times we live in and the need to adapt in order to continue attracting to our ranks men of honour and good standing, and the importance of the mentoring programme as well as the manner in which we run our meetings to maintain their interest, commitment and involvement. Whilst our ritual was regarded as sacrosanct, the festive board was the most relevant area where we can adapt and change in accordance with contemporary practices, and examples were given suggesting how our meetings could be modified accordingly, particularly as regards time frames.

After pointing out that the success of a festive board was largely dependent upon the Lodge DC's forward planning and management, he then went into considerable detail covering all aspects including seating plans, use of gavels, wine takings, toasts, raffles, charity appeals, etc.

The presentation was very well received and a full copy, which should be essential reading for all Lodge DCs, is available from your own Lodge's Temple Councillor.   posted 9 May 2009

Goats Milk at Newdegate

Newdegate Lodge No 5102 celebrated an English Night at their meeting rooms in Nuneaton on St George’s day. This was their Past Masters’ evening, at which Bro Dean Wagstaff was raised to the third degree in an excellent ceremony shared between the WM and Past Masters.

W Bro Nigel Bister presents a 50 year certificate to W Bro C Kenneth BurtenshawOn the same evening W Bro Nigel Bister, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, presented a 50 year certificate to W Bro C Kenneth Burtenshaw, (pictured left) who was born in Dublin and initiated into Unity Lodge No 238 in Ireland in April 1956, moving to Nuneaton the following year. He joined Newdegate Lodge in 1972, was Master in 1986 and is currently Almoner. He was also a Founder member of George Eliot Lodge No 9227 and a member of the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge No 9253. Those present heard about Ken’s career, his swimming exploits, his service with the Boys Brigade and the excellent work he does for good causes.

Nearly sixty brethren attended this splendid occasion, including members of Abbey Lodge on their annual visit.

At the festive board the Roast Beef was carved at the table, and accompanied by "Goats Milk" Real Ale from the Church End Brewery at Ansley. As well as the usual Masonic songs, there were more Masonic songs set to English Folk tunes.   posted 9 May 2009

Annual Donations

Every year the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association makes many donations to worthy non-masonic charities, which this year totalled £92,100 shared amongst 191 recipients. Pictured are representatives from many of the recipient charities, who received their cheques at a lunch held at Stirling Road, Representatives from many of the recipient charitieswith the Provincial and Deputy Provincial Grand Masters.

The WMCA Trustees evaluate the financial situation on an annual basis and decide an amount which can be afforded to donate and donations are subsequently made to registered charities which operate within the area covered by the Province of Warwickshire.

The process is managed on behalf of the Trustees by Tony Newby, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, together with Chris Grove, the Provincial Grand Almoner, from the Charity Office, Stirling Road.

A full list of this year’s recipients is available here.   posted 9 May 2009

Funeral of W Bro Rodney Pitham

The funeral of W Bro Rodney Pitham, Past Senior Grand Deacon, a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire, who died suddenly on Sunday 26th April, will be held on Tuesday 5th May at St James the Great Church, at the junction of Stratford Road and Church Road, Shirley B90 2AX. The service will be at 2.00pm, followed by a private cremation for family only.

Family flowers only, but donations are invited in memory of Rodney to the Warwickshire Masonic Benevolent Fund (WMBF), Charity Office, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9SB. (cheques payable to WMBF).

We understand that in his will Rodney asked that no black ties or dark suits be worn.

Refreshments will be available afterwards at the Solihull Masonic Temple, 1621 Warwick Road, Knowle, Solihull B93 9AH.  posted 3 May 2009

W Bro Rodney Pitham

It is with much regret that we have to announce the death of W Bro Rodney Pitham PSGD a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire on Sunday the 26th April 2009. Further details will be posted when they are available.   posted 27 Apr 2009

Warwickshire Grand Officers' Mess

The next Mess Dinner will be held on Thursday 23 April 2009 at the Solihull Masonic Temple at 6.30pm for 7.00pm. The guest speaker is Mrs Diane Clements, the Director of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry at Great Queen Street, whose talk is entitled 'A Woman's Place? - The Female Presence at Freemasons' Hall'. This promises to be most interesting and informative and Mrs Clements, a leader in her profession, is worthy of a large audience. Those Grand Officers who are members of the Mess and who have not yet replied to the invitation to attend should do so as soon as possible to Peter Randon the Mess Secretary. This will be an evening to remember.   posted 21 Apr 2009

Royal Society snaps up a stately hothouse

In a recent article in the 'Sunday Times', Jonathan Leake, Science Editor, reported that the Royal Society, Britain's premier scientific body, has bought one of the country's finest stately homes and plans to make it into a rural hothouse to train leading researchers.

It wants to use Chicheley Hall (pictured), Chicheley Hallin secluded grounds near Milton Keynes, for science seminars and conferences and to brief politicians and other policy-makers on issues such as climate change.

The grade 1-listed building, completed in 1725 by the master builder Francis Smith of Warwick, is among Britain’s most admired Georgian mansions.

Many who read the article will not have realised the link with the first known Lodge in Warwickshire constituted at The Woolpack in Warwick on 22 April 1728. Francis Smith was the Junior Warden at that meeting, his older brother being Senior Warden.

Also, the early development of both freemasonry and the Royal Society were undoubtedly intertwined, with many gentlemen of the era being members of both organisations.   posted 21 Apr 2009

Helping in the Hills

The trustees of the Longmynd Adventure Camp [LMAC] have seen the cost of converting its primary ablutions block into a segregated mixed gender facility more than double. LMAC Chairman Don Rogers explains "Not only have our initial estimates had to be revised due to increases in the cost of materials, but our plans to reuse a number of our existing toilet partitions has been thwarted. The incursion of damp after 30 years of service has rendered them unusable and their replacement cost is an eye watering £6,500."

W Bro David Kettle presents the chequeHowever this has not deterred the Charity from getting on with the job thanks to some generous offers of assistance and grant funding. The officers of the Charity were also delighted to receive donations from two Masonic sources – W Bro David Kettle (pictured centre) presented a cheque for £350 on behalf of the Province of Warwickshire in recognition of the provision of services to the children of the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham. The Trustees have for many years gifted a one week camp to children that have little or no access to the countryside. W Bro Allan Caswell and W Bro David Sagar presented a cheque for £374 on behalf of the Church Stretton based Caer Caradoc Lodge. The presentation took place in the Carding Mill Valley beauty spot with Don Rogers (LMAC Chairman), and Kim March (Secretary) in attendance.   posted 21 Apr 2009

Special Address

At the next meeting of the Temple Council, at Stirling Road on Monday 27th April, there will be an address by W Bro Philip Hall, our Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies. This will be of interest to many members and anyone who would like to attend would be most welcome. It would be helpful if those wishing to attend advised the Council Secretary W Bro David Bateman:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  posted 21 Apr 2009

Stanley Lates RIP

The Funeral Service for RW Bro Stanley Lates will be held at St Alphege Church, Church Hill Road, Solihull B91 3RQ, on Monday 6th April 2009 at 2.00pm, followed by a private cremation.

Donations in memory may be made to the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, c/o the Charity Office, 2 Stirling Road, Birmingham B16 9SB, or to the Parkinson's Disease Society, c/o Thomas Bragg & Sons, 562 Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull B90 4AY.

Family flowers only please.   posted 31 Mar 2009

Want to keep up to date? Use RSS.

For some time, the Provincial web site has offered users notification of changes to the Provincial News page. Since the new site was launched last year, this has been augmented by the web-standard system known as RSS - Really Simple Syndication.

Help on how to use RSS is available here.

RSS is built directly into Internet Explorer 7 and 8 and Firefox and many other recent Web browsers and Microsoft provides a "How-to" here. Anyone clinging tenaciously to an older version of either browser should click on the link (above) to the help on the Provincial web site.

So, why are we using RSS rather than the older system? The old system checks the page once per day and looks to see if any changes have been made. Small changes are not flagged and not advised to subscribers, so a change from "available" to "not available" would go un-noticed. This could be changed so that every change, no matter how small, would be flagged. However, that would have the unfortunate side-effect of noticing when spelling mistakes were corrected, or when a PJGD became a PSGD after an error was noticed and corrected.

This has happened in the past, and we were sent complaints when no obvious change was seen by the viewer.

RSS has none of these problems.

  • News update notices are controlled directly by the webmaster, hence no spurious notifications are generated.
  • It is recognised by all modern browsers - some of them will prompt you when a RSS feed is detected on a web page you visit - and can be used directly from them.
  • It is used by every major organisation in the world, such as the BBC, as their preferred news alert system.
  • It is simple to use and reliable in operation.

In order to prevent further ongoing difficulties caused by using the outdated change notification system, this service will be discontinued on 31 March 2009. This may be the last automatic change notification you will receive. Please now subscribe to the RSS system.

Separate RSS feeds are available on the Provincial web site for Provincial and Lodge news so that you can choose what you want to be advised about.   posted 25 Mar 2009

You Asked, We Listened!

Always responsive to requests from Lodges and individual members in the Province, a number of additions have been made to the Provincial web site.

Lodges asked if they could have a section to promote their coming events; this has now been provided here. Lodges also asked if they could add news items about their lodges to the web site alongside the main news.

The web site was enlarged in response and items of a more local, rather than Provincial or country-wide, nature are now listed here. A new, separate, Events page was set up so that forthcoming events can be seen more easily, arranged in date order, and not be swamped by items of news posted later.

The main Provincial news page can still be accessed here.

The menu system was changed, of course, to provide access to the new pages, and links to each of the other sections are included on each of the pages.

Lodges can now send items of interest via email or directly from the form on the web site here.   posted 25 Mar 2009

Historic Quarterly Communication

The MW The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, KG, was re-elected at the March Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge, during which he was pleased to install MW Bro Peter Lowndes as the Pro Grand Master, and RW Bro Jonathan Spence as the Deputy Grand Master, with RW Bro David Williamson having agreed to continue as Assistant Grand Master. This team will build on our recent successes and lead the Craft with inspiration towards 2017 - our three hundredth anniversary. He also invested VW Bro Oliver Lodge as Grand Director of Ceremonies.

The Grand Master highlighted the enormous debt of gratitude we owe to the Past Pro Grand Master, MW Bro Lord Northampton, for his dedicated and unstinted service at home and abroad. Achievements highlighted included the appointment of a Grand Chancellor, the move of the Masonic charities into 60 Great Queen Street and the development of the Mentoring and Orator Schemes, all of which have contributed significantly to improving communications between Great Queen Street and Provinces and Districts - one of Lord Northampton's principal objectives on becoming Pro Grand Master. His support for the Grand Master's policy of speaking openly about our Freemasonry has led to a greater understanding of Masonic affairs by the general public, as well as educating the Brethren to feel less inhibited in talking about Freemasonry, and his worldwide activities emphasised our Grand Lodge's role as arbiters of regularity.

As regards the future, the Masonic and business experience of the new Rulers was outlined because, although Masonry is not a business, Grand Lodge has begun, under the direction of the Grand Secretary, to be managed along business lines. The new Pro Grand Master will preside over the Craft Annual Investiture meeting in April, where he will have the opportunity to outline his own ideas, and the Deputy Grand Master will take over the role of encouraging synergies between the four Masonic charities.

Open communications with members of the non Masonic community will remain a key objective supported by, for example, the new Grand Lodge website, Freemasonry Today magazine and the very successful events that are run for non masons from our wonderful headquarters building.

Lodges should select only quality candidates and then, with the Mentoring Scheme see that they are cared for, and educated through their Masonic journey. Brethren should always be mindful of the future of the Craft, so that we can be confident of the next generation of Masons. The Craft is in the soundest shape that it has been for many years, and is an Organisation much more confident in itself.

For the full text of the MW Grand Master's address go to www.ugle.org.uk/news/gmspeech-110309.htm (Link no longer works.)   posted 25 Mar 2009

£5,000 for emergency aid for Fiji flood victims

The President of the Grand Charity has approved an emergency grant of £5,000 to help victims of flooding that has affected large areas of Fiji. For full details please visithttp://www.grandcharity.org/news.php/31/pound5000_following_floods_in_fiji  posted 25 Mar 2009

In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that we have to announce that R W Bro Stanley Alan Lates passed away peacefully on Sunday 22nd March at home.

He was a Past Provincial Grand Master of the Craft and Past Grand Superintendent of the Royal Arch in Warwickshire, and had been awarded the highest accolade, the Order of Service to Masonry. His achievements in the other Masonic Orders were of similar great significance.

We will all have fond memories of R W Bro Stanley and will miss his presence with us. Our sympathies are extended to Rosemary and the family.   posted 23 Mar 2009

Grand Ranks

Many congratulations go to the following Worshipful Brethren for their preferment in Grand Lodge, their investiture taking place in London on Wednesday 29th April 2009.

First Appointments:

  • Michael C Morris, Past Junior Grand Deacon
  • Nigel R Burton, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
  • Eric Bear, Past Grand Standard Bearer
  • Eric Rymer, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies

Promotions:

  • John R Emms, from Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies to Past Senior Grand Deacon
  • Tony Wall, from Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies to Past Junior Grand Deacon

In addition, Michael Ward, an honorary member of St Barbara 4930 and a member of 4538 is to be promoted to Past Junior Grand Warden. He is also the Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London and after 29 April will be addressed as RW Bro Michael Ward. posted 15 Mar 2009

Red letter day for Red Cross

The Freemasons' Grand Charity joined with the British Red Cross in Birmingham to launch a new Red Cross ambulance.

The emergency vehicle has been funded by a grant of £50,000 from the Grand Charity and will be used to support the emergency services as they help local people during an emergency such as the Birmingham Tornado and the freak snow storms during February.

The donation has come as part of the Red Cross West Midlands Emergency Response Appeal (WMERA) which is raising money to fund Red Cross volunteers and equipment which will be used to upscale the work of the Red Cross as it supports vulnerable people and communities across the West Midlands.

Rodney Pitham, Chairman of the Non-Masonic Grants Committee of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, left, and Chris Grove MBE, Provincial Grand AlmonerBritish Red Cross Operations Director for the West Midlands Caroline Leighton (pictured with Rodney Pitham, Chairman of the Non-Masonic Grants Committee of the Freemasons' Grand Charity, left, and Chris Grove MBE, Provincial Grand Almoner) said at the presentation "Whether it's helping people caught up in emergencies, such as the Warwickshire floods, or providing trained first aid cover at local events, this is what we do, day in, day out. During emergencies, the police, fire and ambulance services are among the first to respond. Once the immediate danger has passed, the Red Cross is on hand to help people get over the crisis, whether it's a high profile national emergency, such as the floods of 2007, or a personal crisis such as a house fire".

She continued "We need to do more: demand for our services is growing. The number of callouts is increasing and we need to recruit and train more volunteers to meet these needs, as well as purchase equipment, such as command and control centres.

"We are really grateful for the support we have received from The Freemasons' Grand Charity. It will enable us to respond even more effectively and reach even more people throughout the area".

Speaking on our behalf, Rodney Pitham said "The Freemasons' Grand Charity supports people in need and has a history of providing financial assistance to the worldwide emergency relief efforts of the British Red Cross. WMERA was an opportunity to extend this help to the wider activities of the Red Cross and we are delighted to be associated with the services that this vehicle will provide for the people of the West Midlands."

After handing over the keys of the Ambulance, Rodney and all the other supporters present were given a most enlightening guided tour of the Regional HQ in Birmingham, during which the wide variety of activities were outlined. Examples ranged from co-ordinating logistics for International relief missions, deploying the bulk storage of emergency supplies strategically located in "Thunderbird" style pods around the world, such as rescue boats in Scotland, and camp beds in Germany, right through to the daily one-to-one support given locally to distressed individuals.   posted 15 Mar 2009

Working Tools for Working Hands

W Bro Graham Bull having heard that there was a need for landscaping of the car park extension at Reading Court kindly offered to source materials and also provide the services of members from De Montfort Lodge No 5155.

Bro G A Bull, Mrs Marilyn Bull, W Bro J S Kisbey, W Bro J D Kisbey, volunteer Nick and Worshipful Master L J WhiteheadThe band of workers, including Graham's wife Marilyn, duly arrived at Reading Court with a full selection of the working tools of a masonic gardener. They did a wonderful job and the Chairman, VW Bro Alan Wellan, the committee and of course the residents are most grateful for this display of masonic support. Thank you and well done all of you!

Pictured are (left to right) Bro G A Bull, Mrs Marilyn Bull, W Bro J S Kisbey, W Bro J D Kisbey, volunteer Nick and Worshipful Master L J Whitehead.   posted 15 Mar 2009

Provincial Museum and Library

As is well known from the 2008 Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, and from reference to page 136 of the Masonic Year Book, the museum and the library are being evaluated under the direction of Deputy PGM Alan Wellan with the aid of W Bros Clifford Hadley (museum) and John Emms (library). The objective of the exercise is to ensure that cataloguing is up to date and that the layout is as informative and user friendly as possible.

At the Temple Council Meeting on January 29th 2009 it was suggested that as Museum and Library Representatives have not met for a considerable time, and the evaluation was not complete, it may not be necessary in the medium term for lodges to continue appointing them. Since the Council Meeting some brethren have expressed concern at this suggestion; the concern is recognised and so it is now suggested that Representatives remain in post so that they are available for when meetings recommence. There will be an update at the April meeting of the Temple Council.   posted 15 Mar 2009

Masonic Relief Grants: Quarterly Update

Between December 2008 and February 2009, 434 Masonic Relief Grants were made to support individual Masons and their dependants experiencing financial need or requiring mobility equipment. In total, £828,703 was approved for payment to assist the beneficiaries.

Masonic Relief Grants represent one of the primary activities of The Freemasons' Grand Charity. Grants are made to Masons or the dependants of deceased Masons - including widows, partners and also divorced/separated spouses or partners - who are experiencing hardship; no case of genuine need is ever rejected.

Grants are made for essential daily living costs, unexpected needs or towards the provision of mobility equipment. They typically range from £100 up to £4,500 per applicant per year, and can be renewed for as long as the need lasts. In cases of exceptional need larger grants may be awarded.

Applications are assessed against guidelines taking into account the income, expenditure and savings of the applicant, but as a guide individuals with a Masonic connection who are in receipt of support from the State, such as Pension Credit, are likely to qualify.   posted 15 Mar 2009

2012 Festival

2012 logoThe total amount at the end of February 2009 stands at £1,341,253   posted 6 Mar 2009

New APGM

The Provincial Grand Master has been pleased to appoint W Bro Michael C Morris, P Prov SGW as a fifth Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Craft Province of Warwickshire and will invest him at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge to be held on Saturday 16th May 2009.

Michael was first appointed to Provincial Rank in 1995 when he was appointed as a Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon. He was then promoted to Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 2003, and was appointed as acting Senior Warden in 2006. He became a representative on the Provincial Grand Masters' Rulers Forum in 2007.

He has enjoyed a distinguished career in the legal profession and is currently a District Judge sitting in the West Midlands.

Many congratulations Michael, and all best wishes for a happy and enjoyable time in this high office.   posted 25 Feb 2009

Marking Well

Many congratulations to Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro Roger S Mac, who is to become the new Deputy Provincial Grand Master for the Mark Province of Warwickshire, following the sad death of W Bro Chris Sanders. He will be installed into this Office at the meeting of the Warwickshire Installed Mark Masters Lodge No 1400 on Thursday 30th April. Roger's Mark CV can be seen in the news column on the Mark website www.warwickshiremark.org.uk.  posted 25 Feb 2009

Floating Masons help Bushfire Fund

The doyen of Freemasonry Afloat, W Bro Trevor Wellings, currently aboard P&O liner Arcadia as it sails around southern Australia, reports that the Masonic Festival held on the previous leg raised A$900. This will be donated to the Victoria Bushfire Disaster Fund and forwarded by the senior Grand Officer present, who was disembarking in Melbourne.  posted 25 Feb 2009

Warwickshire Royal Arch Masons Support Age Concern

Royal Arch Companions in Warwickshire have shown their generosity by donating £18,000 to provide a fully equipped Ford Galaxy people carrier to Age Concern Warwickshire, a local branch of the national Age Concern organisation. For full details and pictures from the presentation, go to the news column on the Royal Arch websitewww.royal-arch.org.uk.  posted 25 Feb 2009

Action against Flu

Provincial Almoner Chris Grove presented £10,000 to Action Medical Research Director of Research Dr Tracy Swinfield at Birmingham University's new School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. This was made up with £5,000 from the WMCA and the same amount under a match funding scheme being run by the Freemasons' Grand Charity at the moment.

Action Medical Research allocates the charitable donations which they receive towards research projects all over the UK, to help find new ways of preventing, treating and curing disease and disability. The charity was born out of the concern of a father for his daughter, who was diagnosed with polio in 1949. He was so distressed, and appalled by the lack of knowledge about what was a disease of epidemic proportions, that he used his small savings to set up a new charity. In 1952 the National Fund for Poliomyelitis Research was established, and eventually research funded by the charity led to the development of the polio vaccine, paving the way for virtual eradication of the disease world-wide. Their website is www.action.org.uk.

Our grant will assist a project being conducted in collaboration with the University's School of Medicine, in which researchers are investigating whether controlled exercise using weight training principles can boost the effectiveness of the flu jab. The exercises are designed to cause inflammation in the arm, which researchers believe might kick-start the immune system, so it is ready to go when the vaccine is injected.

If effective, exercise could be a very simple, cheap and natural way to boost the effect of the flu jab. It might increase immunity and help protect more people from the flu, sparing them from illness and saving lives. Chris Grove presents the chequeIt may also mean the jab can work at lower doses, which would decrease costs and increase availability. If this project does conclude that exercise helps boost the effects of the flu jab, it may also help in vaccination programmes against a wide range of infectious diseases as well.

Pictured with Chris and Tracy are (left) Dr Vikki Burns, Project Leader, and (right) post graduate research team members John and Jo.   posted 25 Feb 2009

New Year's Honours

We were delighted to see RW Bro Tom Lloyd, Provincial Grand Master for the neighbouring Province of Staffordshire, awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours list. This was for services to West Midland Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association of which he was Chairman for a number of years until stepping down early in 2008. Well done Tom.   posted 21 Feb 2009

Emergency Relief

The Freemasons in Victoria, Australia, have acted very quickly in order to help relieve the suffering caused by the devastating bushfires which occurred on 7th February. In response they have established The Grand Master's Victorian Bushfires Appeal. Funds raised by this Appeal will be directly applied to significant community redevelopment and reconstruction projects in addition to providing direct assistance to seriously disadvantaged members of the Masonic and wider community. The appeal has been launched with an initial contribution from the Benevolent Fund of $400,000, together with newspaper announcements of it.

Full details can be seen on the Victorians' website:www.freemasonsvic.net.au/NewsArticle/News/tabid/267/Default.aspx?newsID=44

Our own Freemasons' Grand Charity is making an emergency grant to the Grand Lodge of Victoria to help them with their work.   posted 16 Feb 2009

An Aston Martin for Aston Manor

2012 logoThe brethren of Aston Manor Lodge 6323 are holding a rather special raffle at the festive board of their meeting on Tuesday 21st April, at Yenton Assembly rooms. The prize is an invitation for two people to a driving event at Millbrook Proving Ground. This will include an Aston Martin with a Performance Driving Instructor around the ground, followed by a complimentary lunch. Proceeds from the raffle will go to the 2012 Festival.

To take part in the raffle you will have to attend the Lodge so first enjoy their meeting and then chance your arm. Shrewd punters will of course work out the excellent odds - fire regulations mean the maximum number of participants will be just 90! Applications from the Lodge Secretary Bro SN Abel on 02476 676 100.   posted 16 Feb 2009

Help to Hand

W Bro RK Ward reports that at the recent Installation Ceremony at Gothic Lodge No 4735 visitors were surprised to see a Past Master occupying the chair and welcoming them. The Provincial DC asked that all Provincial Officers form a column for the Presiding Officer in the usual way.

The Presiding Officer occupied the chair and informed the brethren that the Installing Master had been rushed into hospital that afternoon. As other Past Masters of the Lodge were away on holiday, he and his acting DC would therefore carry out the ceremony from start to finish.

The ceremony was performed with warmth and sincerity and was greatly appreciated by all the brethren there, who had never experienced seeing a Presiding Officer or DC enact a complete ceremony with only approximately four hours notice.

The past masters and brethren of Gothic Lodge would like to sincerely thank the representatives of the Province for their help and support. They were W Bro Rodney Pitham and W Bro Philip Hall.   posted 16 Feb 2009

A Very Special Occasion

At Griffin Lodge of Installed Masters recently, the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael J Price CBE, presented a 60-year certificate to W Bro Arthur George Lewis PJGD, a Past Master of the Lodge (both pictured, with WM Bill Clark seated).

The PGM, RW Bro Michael J Price, presents a 60-year certificate to W Bro Arthur LewisThe PGM led Arthur to the centre of the floor of the Lodge and started by noting that the following day was Arthur's 86th birthday, the Brethren acknowledged this by singing Happy Birthday. The PGM then gently teased from Arthur some fascinating details of his life, from being born in Perth, Australia to his upbringing in Willesden, including Arthur's life initially as a Scout, then a Scout Messenger for the ARP on to being a Sergeant in the Home Guard. When Arthur was old enough he joined the Royal Artillery in 1942 and went to the Far East. Following his demob at Woolwich he then started civilian life as a Quantity Surveyor working for London Transport. Before long he was traveling again and spent 18 months in Ghana working for the Municipal Council in Accra before returning to the UK.

After marrying Audrey in 1956 they lived in Orpington, raising a son and daughter before finally moving to Dunchurch in 1995. Arthur had initiated, passed and raised his son Gordon and installed him in the Chair of King Solomon. He then exalted him into Royal Arch and installed him in both J and Z chairs. The PGM then asked Arthur to thank Audrey for her tremendous support during all of those years, prior to reading aloud the 60-year certificate which he presented to Arthur together with a 60-year lapel badge.

They both returned to their seats and the Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies then recited the Proclamation from the Lodge floor. This listed all of Arthur's Craft and Royal Arch accomplishments. This was very well done and well received by the Brethren.

Arthur then thanked the PGM and the Brethren and addressed the Brethren giving a few further observations on how the craft had changed during his membership. He finished with a warm tribute to the Provincial Grand Master.   posted 16 Feb 2009

A Very Rare Occasion?

At Darell Lodge No 5945, Rugby, Assistant PGM W Bro David Macey presented 50-year Certificates to W Bro Arthur Martin and Bro David Fox, 

50-year certificates for W Bro Arthur Martin and Bro David Fox
50-year certificates for W Bro Arthur Martin and Bro David Fox
this was thought to be a very rare occasion being a double presentation.

Arthur (92) has been a lifelong member of the Lodge, whilst David (72), formerly of Dover and the Province of East Sussex, joined Darell Lodge some 9 years ago.

Pictured are the APGM together with David and Arthur (seated l-r), and WM Stan Parnell.   posted 16 Feb 2009

Shakespeare Hospice features

Every year our Grand Charity makes donations to hospices throughout the country, this year being no exception. The Shakespeare Hospice received two cheques from Deputy PGM Alan Wellan Alan Wellan and Duncan Forbes(pictured with Duncan Forbes, CEO of the hospice), £1,000 from the Grand Charity and £400 from the local David Garrick Lodge.

Over £2.5 million was distributed to non-Masonic causes in the last 12 months by the Grand Charity, for which Rodney Pitham is Chairman of the non-Masonic grants committee.   posted 16 Feb 2009

Many, Many Happy Returns

A 50 year certificate was presented to W Bro Ron Rollason (pictured centre) by Assistant PGM W Bro Roger Parker, at Kenilworth Lodge No 6939.

APGM Roger Parker and W Bro Ron RollasonRon was initiated into Kenilworth Lodge exactly 50 years ago to the night, his son W Bro Peter Rollason (pictured on right) was initiated into the lodge 25 years to the night, and the photograph was taken by W Bro Peter Jones who was initiated into the lodge 18 years to the night.

As there was also an Initiation Ceremony, it was a very special evening and thoroughly enjoyed by all.   posted 16 Feb 2009

A Fond Farewell

W Bro Leslie Baber PProvSGW, who was the oldest and longest serving member of St Paul's Lodge No 43, and a former member of the Chapter of Fortitude No 43, passed to the Grand Lodge above on 28th January. He was 95 years old, was initiated into St Paul's Lodge in March 1950 and was Master in 1964. He is survived by his wife Lillian, who is 99 years old, and his two daughters Janet and Brenda, to whom our sympathies are extended.

Leslie and Lillian were fortunate to have passed the milestone of their Platinum Wedding Anniversary (70 years) in 2007.

Those who were privileged to have known Leslie will remember him as the true gentleman he most certainly was.   posted 16 Feb 2009

Under the Knife!

At a recent Installation meeting the new WM, an eminent Cardiac Surgeon, installed his officers immaculately and with a touch of humour. However when he invested his JW he told him that his position was in the South, his duty to call the Brethren from labour to refreshment and refreshment to labour, that PAIN and pleasure might be the result. It brought the house down!  posted 16 Feb 2009

A Daily Advancement

Not to be confused with the Oration scheme, W Bro Ray Hollins has independently produced a series of booklets entitled "A Daily Advancement in Masonic Knowledge - One-Hundred Short Talks on the Craft" which could be presented in Lodges for the interest and benefit of members. These may be purchased from him directly; full details are available here as a PDF. Any proceeds are donated to Masonic Charities.  posted 16 Feb 2009

2012 Festival

2012 logoThe total amount at the end of December 2008 stands at £1,230,600  posted 22 Jan 2009

Oh Yes They Did

The annual Pantomime - this year the ever popular Dick Whittington - again went extremely well with a full house enjoying the professional and brilliantly performed show (see picture) at our Provincial HQ in Edgbaston.

Oh yes they didChildren from local schools attend the event, with support from the Birmingham & Solihull Taxi Drivers Association, who are responsible for transporting the children to various schools within the City. St. George's, which is walking distance from Stirling Road, alone brought almost 100 pupils, helping to fill the ballroom area.

Peter Astfalck did a wonderful job entertaining as the children arrived and during the interval, with each child going home with a gift from Father Christmas (Geoff Hill), as did all the Carers. Diane Hepworth, her staff and a support cast from the Province and Charity Office supported it all so well, with Eric Bear and his loyal band of Brethren from the Provincial Stewards Lodge helping both outside and in, organising the car park and stewarding in the children as they arrived.

Altogether, a great time was had by all.

And they did it againOur thanks go to the WMCA for the finance, to Chaplins (the Pantomime producers and actors) and MCL for the staging. Also, for the co-operation of all at Stirling Road, the organising by Roger Parker and his support cast (pictured), and of course the Provincial Grand Master who unfortunately was too poorly to attend.

It is the intention to organise another Pantomime in December 2009; two performances (am & pm ) for six schools as before and also for schools within the city with pupils who perhaps have never been to the theatre. In addition, we will be offering seats to 'special needs' children.   posted 21 Jan 2009

Taking the Lead

After a period when the Clarendon Suites were not performing too well, great strides have been taken in turning around the performance of the company. We are now reaping the benefits from the determination of our Provincial Rulers, and the efforts of our General Manager Diane Hepworth.

This has been made possible by the hard working and efficient team we now have, led by Diane. The PGM agreed that there should be a party to reflect our gratitude to the staff, kindly "suggesting" that the Directors roll up their sleeves (literally) and reverse roles by acting as waiters, barmen and kitchen staff.

The alternative team, led by a very familiar face wearing a Santa hat bearing the legend "the Boss", impressed the staff greatly.

Other familiar faces seen regularly around the Province demonstrated their ability to pull pints of lager froth, plough through mountains of washing up, organise a spoof raffle and assist with the disposal of surplus gateaux.

Hopefully the regular staff didn't have too much to clear up afterwards!

It was a wonderful gesture of our gratitude to everyone at Stirling Road who look after us so well - thank you all.   posted 21 Jan 2009

Quinquagennial Congratulations

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan J Wellan, presented a 50 year Certificate to W Bro John Richard Bettinson, OBE, LLD, during the 659th Meeting of Cosmopolitan Lodge No 3391 on Tuesday 6th January 2009. This date is significant as it is 50 years to the day since W Bro Bettinson was initiated into Cosmopolitan Lodge.

Alan Wellan makes a presentation to John Bettinson
Alan Wellan makes a presentation to John Bettinson - Alan Wellan makes a presentation to John Bettinson
There was a further cause for celebration, as the year W Bro John was brought into Freemasonry was the 50th Anniversary of Cosmopolitan Lodge. The mathematicians will have worked out that 2009 is the Centennial Year for this Lodge.

The Deputy PGM's presentation to W Bro John (see picture), who is a third generation Freemason of Warwickshire, was hailed by the Lodge members as being wonderfully memorable, informal and informative. W Bro John's Masonic background was detailed, together with his astounding commitment to serving the local community over a great many years.   posted 21 Jan 2009

Nonagintennial Glory

The Provincial Grand Master (pictured with Harry), the Deputy PGM, together with Assistant PGMs and other senior members of the Province and their Ladies attended a very special celebration early in January - a Birthday Party they had organised for W Bro Harry Owen, our Provincial "super salesman".

The PGM with Harry OwenHarry spent several years as Provincial Charity Steward, demonstrating his ingenuity and sales flair to generate funds for our charities, prior to being asked by the PGM in 2001 to consider helping the Province further by expanding his activities. This he readily agreed to and his Provincial merchandise catalogue now includes an extensive range including ties, handkerchiefs, cufflinks, pens, books, braces and a whole host of other items. He is the senior subscribing Past Master of Lodge of Israel No 1474, having been WM in 1970, and will be seen around the Province at most of the larger meetings with his wares.

Having left school at the age of thirteen and originally trained as a Jockey, Harry moved into the Soho markets selling ladies' fabrics. Following his army service he moved to Birmingham, where he spent most of his career as a furniture manufacturers' agent.

As a memento of the occasion a cartoon drawing depicting Harry in charge of a market trader's barrow was presented to him, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for his wife Margaret.

Thank you Harry, for all your splendid work, and many congratulations.   posted 21 Jan 2009

Going for a Stroll

At the meeting of St Philips Lodge No 5580 on 14th January the Brethren received a beautifully performed presentation of "The Walking Charge" by W Bro Andrew Skidmore (pictured with W Bro Peter Clarke, Master).

Andrew Skidmore and Peter ClarkeThe origin of this piece, which is a poetic encapsulation of the three Craft obligations, is something of a mystery. It is often regarded as an alternative version of similar works such as "The Mason's Pledge", "The Mason's Vow", "On Yonder Book" (the VSL) "The Canadian Charge" and "The Candlelight Charge", which can be traced back to at least the nineteenth century.

It does not seem to have ever been a part of the regular ceremonial workings of English Craft Freemasonry, but is a delight to watch when it does appear from time to time.

After the Lodge had been closed, Andrew gave a talk about "Freemasonry and the Internet". His own interest stemmed from the early days of his Lodge website several years ago. The massive expansion of the medium, supported by great advances in technology, make it an extremely useful source of communication, not only internally (corresponding with members), but also in providing potential candidates and the general public with details of our activities.   posted 21 Jan 2009

A Helping Hand

Support is what the Provincial Lodge Support Team is all about!

As the team enters its third year many Lodges have benefited from the generosity of the Brethren who give their time to support ailing lodges.

The concept of providing Lodges needing support, with willing Brethren who wish to visit, but are unaware of where to go, has been a great success.

To all you Secretaries out there, if you need support, be it a Tyler, DC or just Peter Sorrill helps outBrethren to visit and help bring life into to your lodge contact Peter Sorrill (pictured) atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him on 0121 475 1940.

If you would like to join this merry band contact Nick This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Further support is available from the Provincial Grand Directors of Ceremonies Lodge, which in addition to helping with ceremonies, can provide a full team if required. They also conduct ceremonies of passing and raising in their own Lodge, for members of other Lodges. Contact Lodge Secretary Les Long atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him on 01564 794457.   posted 21 Jan 2009

Last Call to the Target. . . . . and Beyond!

2012 logoDon't forget this special event on 31st January 2009 at which the Chief Executive of the Masonic Samaritan Fund, Richard Douglas, will be speaking.See the attached leaflet for full details.

All Lodges have received their invitation, will those which haven't confirmed their attendance please do so immediately by telephoning the Charity Office on 0121 454 0554.   posted 21 Jan 2009

A Moving Target

The 5th National Inter-Provincial Clay Pigeon Shooting Competition, hosted by the province of West Lancashire, will be held at the Dolphin Shooting Ground, Marsh Lane, Longton near Preston PR4 5JY on Saturday 27th June 2009.

The 100 Bird Sporting Competition will be shot over thirteen stands and shooting will start at 9.00am. Last Entries 2.00pm.

Dignitaries and non-shooters are welcome to attend the buffet lunch (£10 per head), and light refreshments will also be available on the ground. There will also be a "Have a go" stand under qualified supervision by CPSA coaches at £5 per 10 shots.

The Entry fee, to include buffet lunch, will be £45.00 payable in advance, or £55.00 payable on the day. Entries should arrive with the Secretary: W Bro Mike Casey, 7 Selby Avenue, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 2LY, Tel: 01253 403731, no later than Wednesday 17th June 2009.

A 30 Bird 2 man Flush will be available as a pool shoot, entry fee payable £8.00 per team, prize fund will be distributed after every 10 entries.

Further details of the West Lancashire Masonic Clay Pigeon Shooting Society, together with a Brochure, entry form and rules, are available fromwww.westlancsfreemasons.org.uk/pages/bodies/bodiespigeon.   posted 21 Jan 2009

And now a Quasquibicentenary!

The (Royal Arch) Chapter of Fortitude No 43 will be celebrating its 225th Anniversary at Stirling Road on Tuesday 10th February 2009. All Masons and their ladies are cordially invited to join the members at this momentous occasion.

For further details contact Peter Wellings (Scribe E) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him on 07973 135761.   posted 21 Jan 2009

Mentoring Seminar

The object of mentoring is to provide the newly made mason with explanations, information, and guidance about Freemasonry in his early Masonic life and beyond, the provider being an experienced mason who is willing to act as a Mentor, thereby hopefully retaining those brethren that have been recruited, and reducing any decline in membership.

The next presentation of the scheme will be held at The Warwickshire Masonic Temple, 2 Stirling Road, Edgbaston Birmingham on Saturday 14th February 2009 at 10.30am. The presentation should be complete by 12.00pm.   posted 21 Jan 2009

Contact Us

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire
Yenton Assembly Rooms
73, Gravelly Hill North, Erdington
Birmingham B23 6BJ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WarwickshirePGL

For Masonic enquiries:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 0121 454 4422

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the governing body for freemasons within England and Wales and districts overseas.