Ever since the easing of lockdown restrictions lodges around the country have gradually been getting back to normal as members gather in larger groups, slowly but surely.

Granite Lodge Freemasons

Monday 7th March 2022 at Freemasons Hall in Leicester Granite Lodge took the opportunity to have a photograph taken. This is the first time in a while some of the members have been together.

Only meeting eight times a year, it is not always possible to gather together as a lodge, so on this occasion we took the opportunity of doing so to preserve the “return to lodge” after the pandemic in our history books.

Once a year, Freemasons from around Leicestershire & Rutland gather to award a select few of its members for their service to freemasonry.

Freemasons Hall

With nearly three thousand Freemasons across the county, it is always considered an honour to be recognised for service. Due to the Covid19 pandemic, all gatherings had been cancelled last year, however plans for 2021 are now in full swing.

Three members of our lodge have been chosen to receive appointments and promotions, which will be given later this year. Promotions have been passed to Martyn Trickett and Pete Ward, who have earn the titles of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden and Past Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies respectively. 

Also receiving an appointment is Richard Barnett, who is being re-appointed as Provincial Grand Communications Officer.

All of these awards will be celebrated with a service and a meal at the prestigious headquarters in Leicester. This service is usually very well attended by those wishing to pass on their congratulations, and often attracts Freemasons from around the country.

Granite Lodge is particularly well thought of in the county, with many members who have received, or are due to receive a Provincial award.

The secretary of Granite Lodge, Richard Barnett said. “It is a great honour to be recognised for service, and to be amongst people who have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of friendship, respect, integrity and charity.” 

As the country begins to exit lockdown, we are all looking forward to seeing the people we love and doing the things we have missed. For the members of the Granite Lodge in Leicester, this means being able to resume meetings with the people that have supported us through this trying time.

Freemasonry aims to aid its members to be the best they can be. For themselves, their families, and society in general. One of the core principles of Freemasonry is charity. The efforts of Freemasons during the Pandemic have been extensive. From donations to food banks to continued grants to local and nationwide charities. Last year, Freemasons provided more than 18.5 million hours of volunteer work throughout the country to help those in need.

We would encourage all people in Leicestershire who have an interest in Freemasonry, and wish to enjoy each other’s company and do good within the local community, to contact us through our website or via social media. If you are interested in learning more, or to join the Freemasons, we can arrange an informal chat to discuss the next steps. 

The Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England, Dr. David Staples appeared on BBC News to pay tribute to the life of Fellow Freemason HRH Prince Philip.

We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. We pass on our sincerest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the rest of the Royal Family at this difficult time.

The Duke of Edinburgh passed away on Friday 9th April 2021.

Further information on the role of HRH Prince Philip and Freemasonry is available through our contact form.

Lifelites is the charity which gives life-limited and disabled children using hospice services the chance to play, be creative, control something for themselves and communicate. All through the magic of assistive technology.

The charity has recently received a donation of £2,000 from Leicester Freemasons to assist with the supply of assistive technology.

Simone Enefer-Doy of Lifelites said, “Lifelites is delighted to have received a donation from the Freemasons. Their recognition of Lifelites’ work and its donation allow us to continue donating assistive technology for life-limited and disabled children using Rainbows children’s hospice. It is only thanks to our supporters that Lifelites can donate magical technology that makes the impossible, possible.  Enabling these children to communicate, play, and control something for themselves. We are incredibly grateful.”

Thanks to the Lifelites technologies, care is no longer restricted to hospice buildings. Hospice staff can reach out via video calls to families and children in their own homes with our iPads.  The iPads, Eyegaze and other entertainments and communications technology are so portable too. So whenever they are able to visit the children at home, hospice staff can take it with them.  Now children can enjoy the sights and sounds in a world of make believe safe in a haven of light-weight and easily transported PODs.

Peter Kinder, the head of Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons said. “We are a long standing supporter of the wonderful work the Lifelites team do, and the joy they bring to children who are facing life limiting challenges.”

Leicester Freemasons gift to charity
Pictured: Noah, using a specially adapted Lifelites iPad.

Members of The Granite Lodge, their family, and friends will be walking parts or all of the Leicestershire Round to raise funds for charity.

The official countdown is on for hundreds of Freemasons, family, and friends, who will be participating in a walk to raise funds for the Leicestershire & Rutland 2022 festival over the two weekends of the 2nd & 3rd and 9th & 10th October 2021.

The walk will be the famous Leicestershire Round, and depending on ability and fitness levels, people will either complete a short route, one day, or the entire route consisting of four parts, each covering twenty-five miles per day. Some are even preparing to tackle the entire distance in one go!

There is no barrier to entry, anyone can participate regardless of age or ability. With the recent restrictions on exercise being relaxed, preparations can now start formally, however remaining vigilant about safety and social distancing.

Freemasons in Leicester are open for business and looking for new members to join Granite Lodge. Exciting opportunities have arisen for anyone wishing to expand their friendship and social circles in a Masonic Lodge.

The Lodge has been planning its future. During the pandemic, Freemasonry was forced to pause, giving ample time for planning. By returning to business this year, the Lodge is looking for new members.

Firstly, Granite Lodge meet on the first Monday of the month, October through to May. With a waiting list already building, now is the right time to apply. Just follow this link. Alternatively, if you just want more information, please get in touch.

By joining the Leicester Freemasons, new members can expect to enjoy membership, for instance through integrity, respect, friendship, and charity.

One of the oldest Masonic Lodges in Leicester, Granite Lodge began life in 1884, the same year as Leicester City FC. In 1984 the Masonic Lodge celebrated one hundred years, in 2034 the 150 year celerations will begin.

Leicester Freemasons meet on London Road in the city. In conclusion, being part of this history is one of the benefits of membership.

Leicester Freemasons meeting at the Masonic Lodge for Leicestershire masons.
The Square and Compass of Freemasonry

Freemasons in Leicester are represented by HRH The Duke of Kent. His Royal Highness was elected as Grand Master in 1967, and installed on 14 June that year. This took place during UGLE’s 250th anniversary celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall. Being re-elected every year, The Duke of Kent is now UGLE‘s longest serving Grand Master.

Prince Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick was born in 1935, and educated at Eton and Le Rosey, Switzerland.

He is a cousin both of the Queen and of the Duke of Edinburgh. His father, who was Grand Master from 1939 until 1942, was the fourth son of King George V. His mother, Princess Marina, was the daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece.

As the Grand Master is a Prince of the Blood Royal – a member of the Royal Family. He may appoint a Pro Grand Master to be his principal adviser. This is to act for him on those occasions when, due to royal engagements, he is unable to be present.

Secretary of Granite Lodge of Freemasons in Leicester

The running of a Freemasons Lodge will be familiar to anyone involved with a membership organisation. Someone to lead the team, someone to collect the monies, a team of people, or committee, to make decisions. Also someone to take down the actions and apply due process where it is required. The latter in Freemasonry is referred to as the secretary. A familiar term and accurate for what is required of the secretary.

If you speak to any Lodge and ask them who runs the Lodge, the answers you will get will vary. From the Director of Ceremonies, the Past Masters, the Master, or the Secretary. However, the only people who will tell you it is the Secretary who runs the Lodge, are the secretaries themselves. This is not accurate, or at least it should not be. The one who runs the Lodge and has the final say in matters is the Master himself. He (or she) who actually takes charge of the Lodge for the year.

How do you get to be a Master of the Lodge?. More importantly for this article, how do you get to be a Lodge Secretary?. As you may have guessed from the title, in my case, I believe I did it in my own way. All with my own views and methods.

Before I joined Freemasonry, and in particular Granite Lodge in Leicester, I knew next to nothing about the organisation. As those of you reading this who are members of the Craft (what Freemasons refer to as the three degrees of Freemasonry), will resonate with feelings of anticipation and intrigue. This happened the first time I set foot onto the chequered floor of a Masonic Lodge.

What you will find is a group of people who are only too willing to make you feel welcome. They talk to you on the level – another term often heard which means to have a conversation with anyone regardless of position in the Lodge or society as a whole. And also to offer help and guidance of matters relating to the Lodge.

Many new Freemasons will be given similar advice, to take time, and enjoy the Lodge. Progress towards the Master’s chair at your own pace and only if you wish too. But do not rush.

In my case, I was eager to learn and progress, not to rush, but also not to miss an opportunity to advance my knowledge in the Lodge, or elsewhere in connection to Freemasonry. When the third degree (Master Mason) is taken, a wide range of opportunities will be available. On my part, I would attend our meetings which are only eight times a year, and also visit other Lodges within the county and beyond. Not necessarily to gain more experience, but to enjoy myself.

As more visits to other Lodges occur, experience will grow. I began to form my own opinions of what to do next. All Master Masons are able to take the next step, and become a Royal Arch Mason. I am not one for taking a leap of faith without knowing what I am getting into, so a bit of research into what Royal Arch Masonry is, and when in the story of King Solomon (what Craft Masonry is based upon) it is set.

Many people offered advice to join the Royal Arch only when I had been Master of my Craft Lodge. However the pre-requisite is to have been through the third degree for four weeks and upwards. This would have meant waiting a further eight to ten years to join something which had already caught my intrigue.  

So, I began to do things my way.

I joined the Royal Arch, along with several other side degrees. All of these have some link or another to Craft Masonry, and in my opinion add further parts to the story which Freemasonry is trying to tell.

After becoming Master of Granite Lodge, I opted to take the route of Lodge Secretary. This was, and probably still is, the best fit for my skills in terms of process and organisation. On the way I joined more Lodges and degrees. Tjis was often against the advice of some of the more senior members, and often against the advice of some who were not members of any of the other orders. But it is my path to tread, and with careful consideration have joined five Craft Lodges, two Royal Arch Chapters, and around ten other orders associated with Freemasonry.

With this becomes experience. My role within the Province of nearly eighty Lodges has also increased my knowledge and experience. It is fascinating to see how others operate, sometimes differently but all following the same set of guidelines.

One of the often too used phrases in Freemasonry is “that is not how we do it in this Lodge”. Or “we do it because it is tradition in this Lodge”. These phrases often irk me, as in my opinion we are there for the members, their enjoyment and participation, no matter how large or small. For example, we may debate doing something different, and will come up against tradition.

However we have over the years affected many changes, such as the place we meet which has changed, the time we meet, the day we meet. How much the subscriptions are, and how we operate the Lodge. The Lodge summons in previous times would be printed and posted. Now we all use email. But change can and should be for good, and it most often is, although not change for the sake of change.

The modern era throws us many challenges, but also opportunities. As people generally work different patterns of start and end times, so must the Lodge be flexible, doing it “their way” otherwise we will not be able to attract the new members we would like. If we look at the year 2020, and how much that has affected us all. We have had to change and adapt, for example using video conferencing with the same ease as making a telephone call. Using instant messaging on smartphones as easy as writing an email. We must ask, what will come next?

Well, nobody knows, but what I do know is that change is inevitable, and we must ride with that change. So perhaps the title of this article should be “we did it our way” rather than “I did it my way”.

What I do know, is that Freemasonry offers huge opportunities for social contact, friendship, charitable giving, and a sense of doing good. I will continue to grow my experience within Freemasonry. This may be at a fast pace, but that suits me. So indeed, I really have done it my way.

Granite Lodge Secretary

Richard Barnett

Granite Lodges‘ secretary Richard Barnett is proud to be a member of the Lodge of Research. Freemasonry within Leicestershire is the key focus of the Lodge.

Behind a panel in a storeroom at Loughborough Masonic Hall, a hoard of Masonic artefacts were discovered. Frederick Fleemans’ handwritten lectures by were discovered in the hoard. Fleeman had been Master of Howe and Charnwood Lodge, No.1007, in 1916. Also founder and Primus Master of Beacon Lodge, No.5208, in 1930 and Master of The Lodge of Research, in 1940.

The earliest paper was written in 1911 and delivered to the Howe and Charnwood Lodge of Instruction in February 1911. The last was his Inaugural Address to the Lodge of Research just three months before his death.

The majority of these papers have never been printed. Indeed the 1939 History of Howe and Charnwood Lodge was only known to have existed from the Lodge Minute Book. His paper on the Rancliffe Lodge, No.608, was dedicated to the development of the chapter in his 1919. Because they were lost, this book on Freemasonry in Loughborough, was not known to exist.

The Lodge of Research website brings together all papers he wrote in an e-book. These include some fascinating facts. His histories of the early days of Freemasonry in Loughborough are of great interest. These nclude a reference which shows an interesting direct family link. This link is between one member of the Craft, a previous Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire, and H. M. Queen Elizabeth ll.

Picture: Frederick Fleeman

Shopping Basket