Freemasons celebrate 300th anniversary of organisation

PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 July 2017

Masons Simon Eden, Peter Niccol, Jonathan Skeeles, Cheryl Eden and George Reed showing visitors around the lodge's temple.

Masons Simon Eden, Peter Niccol, Jonathan Skeeles, Cheryl Eden and George Reed showing visitors around the lodge's temple.

Archant

Freemasons in Nailsea opened their lodge up to community groups and clubs to celebrate 300 years of the organisation.

The club held an open day at the Masonic Hall, in Nailsea Park, and 28 groups and clubs ran stalls including Nailsea’s army cadets, police cadets and guides.

The event was organised to celebrate the founding of the first grand lodge on June 24, 1717, in London.

Members of the lodge also attended a church service at Wells Cathedral on June 25 where more than 100 masons paraded through the streets with banners and in full regalia.

Martin Slocombe, the assistant provincial grand master for Somerset, said: “We were delighted with the success of the day, how many visitors attended, and the interest shown in the support for the local groups.

“Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations.

“For many, its biggest draw is the fact that members come from all walks of life and meet as equals whatever their race, religion or socio-economic position in society.

“Its values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty, fairness and tolerance.

“Members all have their own special reasons why they enjoy Freemasonry. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances.

“For others, it’s being able to help deserving causes – making a contribution to family and society. But for most, it is simply an enjoyable hobby.”

Celebrations will be taking place in the UK and all over the world for the rest of the year.

The first lodge in Somerset was the Royal Cumberland Lodge in Bath in 1733 and the first for North Somerset was the Lodge of Agriculture in Yatton in 1867.

In North Somerset there are four masonic centres – in Clevedon, Nailsea, Weston and Yatton – comprising 28 lodges and 1,300 members.

Freemason in North Somerset raise thousands of pounds for charity each year and have supported causes including Children’s Hospice South West, 1 In 4 People and Breast Cancer Now.


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