Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire

Team “Thud” accepts the Diabetes UK Challenge

Diabetes UKJohn Hayward, Provincial Charity Steward writes:

"Diabetes UK has issued a '1 Million Step Challenge', the challenge runs from 1 July - 30 September and it is to take 1 million steps over 3 months whilst being sponsored for every stride to help reach a future where diabetes can do no harm. One of the first to take up the challenge is our Provincial Communications Officer, and currently acting Provincial Senior Grand Deacon, Ian Slesser. With the whole of his family, they have formed Team Thud, with the aim of achieving 5 million steps in this massive challenge."

Team Thud

Team Thud: Twins Jack and Niamh, with Mum and Dad and very smiley Liam "Thud" Slesser at the front

Ian says, "Since Liam was diagnosed with Diabetes last year, we have learnt how much this illness changes a young person’s life. Whilst Liam is amazing and takes it all in his stride, it is our aim to raise money in the hope that Diabetes UK will be able to continue and accelerate their fantastic work to find a permanent cure for Type 1 Diabetes."

John Hayward continues, "The Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association cannot support an individual, but I can encourage our members to do so, hence this article. Ian has made an amazing difference since becoming our Communications Officer, not only to our Provincial website but also by creating a significant presence on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, and in the press in general. I hope we can help him in his aim of a minimum £1500 at the completion of the Challenge. It is simple to donate by visiting the dedicated JustGiving page – by clicking here"

Shakespeare's Desk and Chair

On Sunday 2nd July some seventy Freemasons of Warwickshire paraded, in full regalia, through the streets of Stratford, for the first time since 1929, and they were joined in their parade by the Lord Mayor of Stratford Victoria Alcock.

Procession through Stratford

The procession commenced at Shakespeare's Birthplace and proceeded through Stratford upon Avon to Shakespeare's New Place. Here they were greeted by the CEO of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Dr Diana Owen and there followed a dedication of Shakespeare's Desk and Chair in the gardens. The Desk and Chair have been donated by the Freemasons of the United Grand Lodge of England, who celebrate 300 years of Freemasonry in 2017 and also by the Freemasons of Warwickshire to mark their commitment to the community of Stratford. The Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, David Macey, formally handed over the Desk and Chair after the conclusion of the ceremony.

The dedication of Shakespere's Desk and Chair

This was the first Freemasons Procession through Stratford upon Avon since 2nd July 1929, when Freemasons led by Lord Ampthill processed through the town and held a ceremony to mark the laying of the foundation stone of Shakespeare's Memorial Theatre.

Freemasons processing through Stratford in 1929
Freemasons processing through Stratford in 1929

The Mayor of Stratford, with the Provincial Grand Master and the CEO of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Shakespeare’s New Place was his family home from 1597 until he died in the house in 1616.  The house was demolished in 1759, a registered garden has been designed to commemorate the importance of the site and allow visitors to make their own personal connection with Shakespeare. When Shakespeare bought New Place he was an established playwright and it is believed that he wrote his later plays there, including The Tempest.

You can follow in Shakespeare’s footsteps through a new entrance on the site of the original gatehouse and enjoy a contemporary landscape that reveals the footprint of the Shakespeare family home. The re-imagined site gives an impression of the scale of New Place and relationship to the surrounding buildings; such as the neighbouring King Edward VI School and Guild Chapel that were once attended by a young Shakespeare.

Commissioned artworks and displays throughout the site evoke a sense of family life and hint at Shakespeare’s major works that were written during the 19 years he owned New Place. To find out more about Shakespeare's New Place you can visit The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust website at:

Shakespeare’s Desk and Chair – by Simon Kenny

Shakespeare’s Desk and Chair are an integral part of the Heart of the Home, lying within the hornbeam circle and next to His Mind’s Eye, and looking back towards the Golden Garden of New Place, representing his life’s work. Carved from wood, and cast in bronze at The Morris Singer Foundry - the oldest fine art foundry in the world, Shakespeare’s Desk and Chair depict his life as a working writer, the power of his creativity and, as visitors will be able to sit in the chair, it will be an evocative focal point.

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Once you have voted, please tell your firends, family, people you pass in the street, the more votes we get, the bigger the share for our local charities - it's that simple!

Young Carers get a well deserved break with the MTSFC

MTSFCAt the beginning of June, the Warwickshire branch of the Masonic Trout & Salmon Fishing Charity (MTSFC)
organised a day’s fishing for 10 young carers at Broadacres Fishery at Hanbury.

MTFSC and the Young Carers

The MTSFC exists to offer young people a day out in the country, enjoying the delights of fishing. Normally, the children who attend these events have special needs, but on this occasion, the 10 guests were young carers. Warwickshire Young Carers' Project works with Carers from the age of 8 upwards (6 in some areas), and aims to help improve the lives of young carers across Warwickshire. The Project supports young carers in their caring role, give them an opportunity to relax and take a break, and help them to realise their own dreams.

Find out more about Warwickshire Young Carers at:

MTSFC  The weather was wonderful and the fish were biting – all the children caught lots of fish, with the help of their casters – all volunteers, including the fishery manager, who generously donated the use of the lake for the day.
Lunch was provided, using the very comfortable facilities of the fishery café and was enjoyed by all. This was followed by a presentation of a certificate to each child, as a memento of the day, with three special medals for the most unusual catch (a landing net!), most fish caught and largest fish. Everyone went away very happy with the day. MTSFC Fishing


The Fishing Group

The Warwickshire Branch of the MTSFC is organized by W Bros Ian Hart, Nigel Bullimore, Bob Croxall and Bob’s wife, Julia. The area representative is W Bro Eric Rymer, Past
Assistant PGM. The funding for all the events comes from donations by the Province and individual Lodges and is gratefully received.




Lambeth Palace and Coventry Cathedral

On the hottest day of the year so far (21st June), a contingent from Coventry & Warwickshire travelled to Lambeth Palace, home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to meet the Archbishop and to hear the urgent need for additional funding for Coventry Cathedral. The group included the Bishop and Dean of the Cathedral and numerous members of the clergy at Coventry, with the Mayor and former Mayors of Coventry, and many supporters, donors and business personalities from the city. Also included in the group were the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Victor Keene, Provincial Charity Steward, W Bro John Hayward, and a number of Coventry freemasons with interests in the Cathedral.

VW Bro Victor Keene approaching Lambeth Palace
VW Bro Victor Keene approaching Lambeth Palace

The presentation commenced with an introduction from the Dean of Coventry outlining the needs of the Cathedral, followed by an inspirational address from the Archbishop, who clearly has a great affection for Coventry having spent a number of years of his vocation there before becoming head of the Church of England.

The appeal on behalf of Coventry Cathedral is known as "Investors in Hope" and is founded on the basis that:

"Coventry Cathedral is an extraordinary place, dedicated to inspiring and bringing reconciliation, hope and peace. The organisation is looking for some extraordinary people, committed to supporting this iconic place, and enabling the inspirational work to continue and flourish in the years ahead."

Coventry Cathedral is firmly rooted in the real world. Because the real world is often unforgiving, the inspirational presence offered by the Cathedral, together with the work and witness that flow from it, are in constant demand. But the world is also unforgiving materially and financially. Even a building as evocative and much-loved as this faces maintenance concerns and money worries.

These issues are now coming to a head – which is why the Cathedral is looking for some very special people who are being called Coventry Cathedral’s "Investors in Hope".

The need is for an additional £200,000 each year to enable them simply to keep the doors open, the lights on, and the work and witness alive. To help us sustain their vital work month in, month out, they are inviting "Investors in Hope" to join the committed giving scheme.

The evening presentation at Lambeth Palace was completed by a Compline – the final service of the day – personally conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who thanked everyone individually for their presence.


The interior of Lambeth Palace Chapel
The interior of Lambeth Palace Chapel

Turning to Warwickshire, a choral evensong service was held in Coventry Cathedral in October 2015, and a further service is planned later this year. This follows recent meetings and exchange of views between Freemasonry in Warwickshire and the clergy at Coventry Cathedral. The Provincial Grand Master and VW Bro Victor Keene have both been involved in these discussions, and the Province, via the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association, has pledged an initial £5000. The Provincial Charity Steward is discussing matching this amount via the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

Detailed information on Coventry Cathedral can be seen on their website here and full details of Investors in Hope can be seen here



Contact Us

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


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Tel: 0121 454 4422

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