Annual Church Service Procession
Kind weather allowed a full Masonic procession to the Annual Church Service at the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick. This is a busy working church, set in the centre of the ancient town 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. Its association with Freemasonry dates back at least as far as 1728 when the Master of the first Lodge in Warwickshire was Vicar of the Church.
The present Vicar of St Mary's, The Rev Dr Vaughan Roberts, welcomed everyone to the service during which representatives of the Jewish, Sikh, Islamic, Hindu and Christian faiths offered thoughts and blessings relating to the theme of the multi-denominational service “Brotherly Love and Charity”. Conducted by the Provincial Grand Chaplain W Bro John Cowan, together with the Assistant Grand Chaplain W Bro Paul Wheeler, the service included Lessons read by VW Bro Alan Wellan, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, and the RW Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master, with the Provincial Choir, conducted by W Bro Roy Marshall, demonstrating its professionalism by singing moving anthems, including one in celebration of our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, as well as a delightful Gaelic Blessing at the end to music written by the Provincial Grand Organist W Bro Peter Summers. Music before and during the service was played by the Church’s Assistant Director of Music, Mark Swinton.
The Address was delivered by the Archdeacon of London and Rector of St Bride’s Fleet Street, The Venerable David Meara, who felt honored to be taking part and enormously pleased to be back in Warwick. In his address David referred to the lifelong bond he had shared with his own twin brother Richard, which had included pleasure and joy as well as sorrow and pain, as being emblematic of true Brotherly Love.
The Second Lesson had been the parable of the Good Samaritan and gave an example of the application of Charity, which David suggested could have been interpreted differently by a first century audience as the Samaritan might have been an enemy of the traveller. But we should not embrace only those closest to us as our neighbours and brothers, extending our charity to them alone, but also to those beyond and wherever there is a need. David’s Address can be seen here.
Finally, after the National Anthem had been sung, the Provincial Grand Master and Mrs Sandra Macey were escorted to the church doorway, where they joined The Clergy in bidding farewell to members of the congregation as they departed.
His slideshow can be seen here.
Warwickshire Freemasons in procession.
(l-r) David Meara, Vaughan Roberts, John Cowan
The RW Provincial Grand Master escorted by his Sword and Standard Bearers,
under the watchful eye of the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies
Another GBP 600k for Hospices
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity makes hospice grants every year for each Province to distribute locally. Warwickshire presentations for the year were arranged by the Provincial Grand Charity Steward W Bro John Hayward and made as follows:
- £3216 Acorns Children’s Hospice (Selly Oak) by the Provincial Grand Master RW Bro David Macey
- £3271 Marie Curie Centre, Warren Pearl Hospice (Solihull) by Assistant PGM W Bro Michael Morris
- £1000 Mary Ann Evans Hospice (Nuneaton) by Assistant PGM W Bro John Emms
- £5825 Myton Hospices, (Coventry/Warwick/Rugby) by Assistant PGM W Bro Trevor Sturt
- £1000 Shakespeare Hospice (Stratford upon Avon) by the Deputy PGM VW Bro Alan Wellan
- £4548 St Mary’s Hospice (Selly Oak) by Assistant PGM W Bro Eric Rymer
- £ 500 Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice (Coventry) by Assistant PGM W Bro Trevor Sturt
The Grand Charity sets aside £500,000 each year for adult hospices, and a further £100,000 for children’s hospices.
In order to accommodate the increasing number of hospices, especially hospice at home, day care and children's hospices, a formula is used to determine the amounts allocated each year.
Put simply, a hospice receives £500 if it provides a hospice at home service and £500 if it provides a day care service. The remainder of the £500,000 set aside for adult hospices and the remainder of the separate £100,000 set aside for children's hospices is then allocated according to the number of beds in each hospice, hence the varying amounts.
Since 1984 the Freemasons’ Grand Charity has donated a total of £9.9million to hospices, and the number of hospices across England & Wales to benefit in 2012 was 239.
(l-r) David Macey, Acorns Selly Oak Manager Chris Reed,
Acorns Trustees' Chairman David Butcher, John Hayward.
Myton Chief Executive Kate Lee, Trevor Sturt
St Marys Head of Income Generation and
Marketing Claire Marshall, Eric Rymer
Laura from Zoe's Place, Trevor Sturt
"60 Severn Street" have made an exclusive arrangement with Toye Kenning & Spencer which includes a tour of the regalia manufacturer's factories and a meal at Severn Street Masonic Hall. Full details can be seen here
Calling All Caravanners
W Bro Bill Roberts (Doric Lodge 4167), himself a keen caravanner, is looking to organise a weekend Caravan/Motorhome Rally for Masons, their families and friends either later this year or next year.
He has contacted the two main Caravan Clubs, who would be prepared to accommodate such a rally if a suitable date could be agreed upon, and if sufficient support was forthcoming.
Bill has also obtained a pledge of some sponsorship from one of the main caravan dealers, which would undoubtedly add to the joviality of such an event.
Catching the Smile
The weather was kind once again when the Warwickshire Branch of the Masonic Trout & Salmon Fishing Charity hosted ten children from Round Oak School, Warwick, at Heathcote Lakes near Leamington Spa. The day was for children with special needs to enjoy a day’s trout fishing in the countryside.
It was a difficult day for fishing, as proved by the experienced fishermen – both masons and non-masons, who were helping each child to cast – not many fish were caught! Our thanks go to those who helped out on the day. Heathcote Lakes have been very kind to the MTSFC over the years and have specially stocked the lake the day before our trips. It didn’t seem to help this year!
Nevertheless, all the children – and their teachers – had a great deal of fun and they all said they enjoyed the day tremendously. They had a great time fishing and also really enjoyed the splendid lunch, laid on by Julia and Bob Croxall. As the MTSFC’s motto says – they all “Caught the Smile”.
The MTSFC is a nationwide scheme, funded by Freemasons. Any Lodge Almoners looking for a worthy cause, please send donations via the Provincial Office to Assistant Provincial Grand Master Eric Rymer, who is the regional representative. The Warwickshire organiser is Provincial Grand Tyler Ian Hart, and he would be delighted to hear from anyone who is able to assist as a caster.
The next day out will be in April 2013, hosted by the Warwickshire Fly Fishers in Wolvey. The exact date will be published once arrangements have been finalised.
For more information on the fishing charity, see the web site at www.mtsfc.org.uk