More than 1,000 Lincolnshire Freemasons and their families and friends gathered in Lincoln Cathedral for a unique service
Wearing Masonic regalia and parading in the Cathedral for the first time, they were marking the United Grand Lodge of England's Tercentenary and the formation of the first Grand Lodge. The service was conducted by the Dean of Lincoln, the Venerable Christine Wilson, and the Provincial Grand Chaplain of Lincolnshire, the Rev John Spriggs.
The Rev Spriggs said: 'What we know is that 300 years ago formed the first Grand Lodge. From that small beginning, Freemasonry has grown and spread throughout the world.
'As Freemasons we are justly proud of our Craft and all it achieves in the lives of its members and their families, and in the wider community.'
Also in attendance were the Provincial Grand Master Graham Ives, with the Lord Lieutenant Mr Toby Dennis and Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill.
After the service, the PGM Graham Ives presided at a lunch a few miles away at the Epic Centre at Lincolnshire Showground.
Fresh intake for Universities Scheme
Five years ago, Lincoln’s Saint Hugh Lodge, No. 1386, was admitted to the Universities Scheme. The undergraduates have brought vitality to the lodge and introduced many new young people to Freemasonry. PGM Graham Ives, Deputy PGM John Hockin and the Provincial team visited the lodge to witness the raising of five candidates in November. This was followed by the raising of five brethren and five initiations in subsequent months.
Over in Stoke-on-Trent, Universities Lodge of Staffordshire, No. 9907, has been consecrated at Shelton Masonic Hall, becoming the 65th lodge in the Universities Scheme. The Consecrating Officer was Past Assistant Grand Master David Williamson, President of the Universities Scheme.
Lincolnshire makes a difference
Freemasons in Lincolnshire have raised £2,762,932 for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB), which was announced at an event attended by more than 960 masons and their partners to mark the conclusion of their 2014 Festival Appeal. The Province has also donated a further £25,000 to Lifelites.
Provincial Grand Master Graham Ives, who serves on the RMTGB’s council, said, ‘The Trust is a modern, vibrant and forward-looking charity. It has been a great privilege for us in Lincolnshire to support such a worthwhile cause.’ RMTGB President Mike Woodcock added, ‘Thank you for everything you have done during this appeal. Your contribution will make such a difference to the lives of so many children.’
In June, one hundred and eighty masons and their families attended the Annual General Meeting and Court of the RMTGB
The event took place in the RMTGB’s two hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary year at the County Assembly Rooms, Lincoln, under the chairmanship of Graham Ives, Provincial Grand Master for Lincolnshire and member of the Council of the RMTGB.
The president and chief executive, along with other members of the Council and staff, delivered presentations to explain the past, present and future work of the charity.
Lincolnshire Freemasons are in the final year of their 2014 Festival Appeal in support of the RMTGB, which is currently assisting more than two thousand children and grandchildren of masonic families.
Lincolnshire special day
It is not often that a Provincial Grand Master sees the initiation of his son, but such was the case for Graham Ives in Lincolnshire when his son Henry became a mason. Not surprisingly, there was a large turnout for the occasion, as the PGM delivered the Charge after Initiation to his son, initiating him into Earl of Yarborough Lodge, No. 2770.
Pictured above: ProvGM Graham Ives and his son Henry with WM Michael Hutchinson and Wardens Steve Marris and Barry Flint