2017 Tercentenary of United Grand Lodge of England

Freemasonry in England is gearing up for the 2017 Tercentenary of Grand Lodge of England. For all Freemasons, under the UGLE it will certainly be a year to remember!

2017 Tercentenary of Grand Lodge Logo

Origins of Freemasonry

The question of when and where Freemasonry originated are still the subject of intense speculation. Freemasonry is understood to descend from the operative stonemasons who built the great cathedrals and castles of the middle ages.

The first evidence of the initiation of an English speculative Freemason was of Elias Ashmole in 1646. From the 1660s more evidence exists of gentlemen being made Freemasons in non-operative Lodges.

Tercentenary Goose & Grid Iron
The Goose and Gridiron Tavern.

On 24 June 1717, four London Lodges, came together at the Goose and Gridiron Tavern in St Paul’s Cathedral Churchyard. They declared themselves a Grand Lodge and elected their first Grand Master. This was the first Grand Lodge in the world.

In 1751 a rival Grand Lodge appeared in London. They dubbed the first Grand Lodge the Moderns and called themselves the Antients. The two existed side-by-side both at home and abroad for over 60 years, refusing to recognise each other.

After four years of negotiation, the two Grand Lodges united in 1813 to form the United Grand Lodge of England.

20th Century

By the turn of the 20th Century, over 2,800 Lodges had been established.

The two World Wars both had a massive effect on English Freemasonry. In the years following the First World War, over 350 new Lodges were established. 600 Lodges were then founded in just three years after the Second World War. In many cases, they were former servicemen who wanted to continue the camaraderie they had built up during the war.

The 250th anniversary of Grand Lodge in 1967, culminated in the installation of The Duke of Kent as Grand Master. An office he has held ever since.

1992 saw over 12,500 Freemasons celebrate the 275th anniversary of Grand Lodge. For the first time, media were present at a meeting and the event was featured on television across the world.

Preparations are underway the celebration of the Tercentenary of Grand Lodge in 2017, and like Freemasons across England and Wales. Members of Crescamus Lodge will join in with the celebratory events which are happening both locally and nationally. The highlight will be a  meeting of Grand Lodge at the Royal Albert Hall.

Crescamus Hits Eastbourne

Members of Crescamus, their partners and friends travelled from Croydon to spend the first weekend of February in Eastbourne for Crescamus Lodge’s annual Ladies Festival.

Ladies Festival
Lodge members and guest enjoying their meal

A wonderful weekend was had by all at the Langham Hotel. On Friday night following a sumptuous dinner, the hotel was transformed into Las Vegas. Guest played blackjack and roulette in a pop-up casino. The evening was a great source of fun for all and made sure that no-one lost any money and the event was for fun. Although it did not stop a sense of competition as the Lodge’s Master elect walked away with a bottle of bubbly for being the biggest winner on the night.

Ladies Festival
Members of Crescamus Lodge

Gala Dinner

The following day we enjoyed a lazy day around town; some shopping, some seeking out the sights and others just relaxing from the exertions of the previous night. All that was left was to prepare for the highlight of the weekend, the five-course gala dinner.

After an amazing meal, the guests danced until late, raising money for St. Christopher’s Hospice.

The weekend ended with all looking forward to the next social event with keen eyes on next year’s Ladies’ Night.

Surrey Freemasons Support Charities to the Tune of £100,000

Cheques for just over £100,000 had been donated by Freemasons across the whole of the UK. In addition to the money donated by Surrey Freemasons, we were also privileged to distribute substantial amounts sent from The Grand Charity of the United Grand Lodge of England specifically for the benefit of various Surrey Charities.

Provincial Grand Master gives cheques to charities donated by Surrey Freemasons
Provincial Grand Master gives cheques to charities donated by Surrey Freemasons

Spokesman for the Surrey Provincial Charity Committee, Nick Parsons, said: “This is the twelfth such Cheque Presentation Event organised by the Surrey for Surrey Scheme, which pools together donations from members of different Freemasons Lodges and Chapters across Surrey, in an effort to make a significant impact for each charity. All this money has been raised by Freemasons and their families.”

Since the start of this scheme a sum approaching £1 million has been donated to 130 various charities.

Charities present on this occasion were: The Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, Cancer Research UK, St. Raphael’s Hospice, The Fircroft Trust, Shooting Star CHASE, Princess Alice Hospice, The Phyllis Tuckwell Memorial Hospice, Pond Meadow School, TLC (Teddies for Loving Care), Guide Dogs for the Blind, TOFS (Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula Support), SeeAbility, REACT (Rapid Effective Assistance for Children), The Jigsaw Trust, The Lily Foundation and Us-in-a-Bus all of whom spoke eloquently when giving details of their wonderful work.

Christmas at Crescamus

On Monday 12 December, Croydon Freemasons of Crescamus Lodge, complete with their friends and family enjoyed a wonderful Christmas dinner.

Christmas Meal
Christmas meal with all the trimmings

Before the meal all those in attendance were treated to a fabulous and educational presentation from Mike Neville, looking at the links (or lack of) between Freemasonry and Crime. From the origins of the first Grand Lodge in 1717 up to the present day, Mike explored the murky underworld of Crime and the Craft.

After the great talk, everyone moved to the dining room, where they enjoyed a sumptuous 4 course Christmas meal with all the trimmings.

But before the evening’s conclusion, all were treated to an excellent rendition of everyone’s favourite Christmas Carols, by the splendid Lynwood Singers. The choir members come from many parts of the country and meet on three or four occasions each year to sing the services for a weekend or a week in various Cathedrals, Abbeys, Minsters and other Churches throughout the country. Amongst these, they have been privileged to sing in Westminster Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral, so the Brethren of Crescamus Lodge and their guests were truly privileged to have such wonderful musical accompaniment.

Here’s to a wonderful and happy Christmas and healthy New Year from all at Crescamus Lodge.

Crime & The Craft

What are the Masonic links to cases of murder, treason and robbery? Was Jack the Ripper, Jack the Freemason? Grand Master murdered! What really happened to the Duke of Devonshire? Masonic signs at the Old Bailey… What was the sentence? What are the links between crime & the craft?

Join Crescamus Lodge this Christmas as renowned Masonic Author Mike Neville delivers an illustrated talk on his forthcoming book.

Followed by a three course Xmas meal and carols courtesy of the Lynwood Singers for just £35 per person.

Wives, partners and non-Masonic friends are more than welcome to join us for a night not to be missed!

Talking Heads

Crescamus Lodge is delighted to welcome a team from the Provincial Grand Chapter of Surrey during their next regular meeting at Croydon and District Masonic Halls on Monday 17 October 2016 with a presentation of Talking Heads; The Next Step into The Royal Arch.

Holy Royal Arch Chapter Regalia
Holy Royal Arch regalia

Talking Heads introduces the Holy Royal Arch to the new Master Mason or re-introduces the Order to Craft Freemasons who may have been members but who found it difficult to understand or those for whom it did not “click”.

It covers the history of the Order, explanations of the regalia, links to the Craft, why and the Royal Arch is the climax and completion of pure and Antient Freemasonry and much more.

Lasting 35 minutes and covering questions ranging from idle curiosity ‘why is it a separate Order?’ to more personal speculations such as ‘what is a Master Mason in the 21st Century missing by not being a member of the Royal Arch?’

The Lodge will be Tyled at 17:00 and the dining fee will be £21.00 excluding wine for those wishing to attend the Festive Board.

Reunited at Long Last

Many years ago the original Crescamus Lodge’s Secretary’s Jewel was separated from the Lodge without hope of being reunited.

Secretary's Jewel
Reverse of Secretary’s jewel

However, five years ago, it turned up on eBay, but before we could bid, the sale ended. An email to the seller revealed that whilst it didn’t sell on eBay he had, in fact, sold it at a car boot fair. Hopes were dashed and we thought we would never see it again.

Then this summer, out of the blue, it turned up on eBay again. This time, certain not to miss out, a bid was placed and we won the auction.

After many years, the jewel, which had been donated by a founding member of the Lodge and it’s first Secretary had been reunited and returned to its rightful home, where our current Secretary can wear it again with pride.

Jump for 2019!

On Saturday 16th July, a troop of Brethren and their wives from across the Province of Surrey headed by our Provincial Grand Master R.W. Bro. Ian Chandler threw themselves out a plane in a series of tandem skydives all in the aid of the Surrey 2019 Festival in aid of the RMBI.

Jump for 2019
One of the team jumping for the Surrey 2019 Festival

Those taking part with the Provincial Grand Master were Lucy Bryce, Steve Butwell, Paul Crockett and his daughter Meg, Georgina Cook, Beverley Field, Carol Magee, Harriet Norman, David Oliver, Terry Owens and his daughter Zoe, Brian Cox, Linda Ribbands, Phil Warnes and Angela Parsons. Congratulations to all of them!

Crescamus Lodge was well represented by the wife of one of our former Master’s who was one of the first to jump! Many thanks to all who jumped, so far they have raised over £22,000 with more money still to come in.

Crescamus Lodge Donates £4,500 to Charity

On Monday 8 December 2014, Crescamus Lodge donated a huge £4500 to charity.

Recipients included Croydon NightwatchThe Clink RestaurantThe Garwood FoundationTeddies for Loving CareBritish School of OsteopathyThe Prostate Project, Pilgrims HospicesShelter, and the Surrey 2019 Festival.

The donation to Pilgrims Hospices brought the total amount raised by the Lodge over the course of the year, for the Master’s chosen charity to a whopping £1350.00

The donations will be dispersed to the charities through the Surrey for Surrey fund which is administered by Surrey Province, which pools together donations from other Lodges to accumulate a larger amount to maximise the final donation. This larger donation can then be used to buy a piece of vital equipment or presented to fund a specific project of a charity.