A nice variety of Masonic meetings during the month, including some social events, over a good cross-section of Orders:
The month started with a pastoral visit to Verney Clayton Chapter No.261 at Accrington on Wednesday 3rd April. Sixteen visitors from no less than 6 Chapters came to witness the Perfection of E&P Bro Dave Mottershead, a most welcome addition to the Chapter’s strength following the change from Saturday afternoon to Wednesday evening meetings.
Aside from regular visits to the Chapters in my own ‘patch’, I am also privileged to visit Chapters in neighbouring Districts, usually for their Annual Meetings which take different forms from one District to another. This month saw the Annual Meeting of the East Cheshire District on Saturday 6th April, meeting under the warrant of Toft Chapter No.897 by dispensation at Middlewich – my first visit to that particular venue – when the members of the Chapter (all Past Sovereigns) gave an extended demonstration of the Perfection Ceremony, followed by an excellent lunch. Sadly, I was unable to attend the Annual Meeting of the District of Northumberland, due to domestic commitments.
My next visit was to Mark Wilkinson Chapter No.194 at Darwen on Saturday 13th April. Following a brief business meeting we retired to the festive board for an excellent buffet lunch and an address on the Easter message from the Reverend Geoff Tolley.
My third ‘local’ visit of the month was to Emmanuel Chapter No.447 at Bolton on Tuesday 16th April to witness the Enthronement of E&P Bro Jack Best as Most Wise Sovereign in an excellent ceremony by the Immediate Past Sovereign, Ill∴Bro John Green 30°.
Mark & Royal Ark Mariner:
The half-yearly meeting of the Thomas Sharples Barlow (‘Grand Officers’) Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.1383 was held on 1st April at Mill House Masonic Hall, Clayton-le-Moors, the ‘home’ Mark building of the WM, VWBro David Anderson, who entertained us with a talk on the history of Mark Masonry at Mill House.
My own Mark Lodge, Wycoller Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.1582 met at Colne on Wednesday 17th April, also a lecture on Mark Masonry.
The following day, Thursday 17th April, Susan and I made our way to Greenfield Railway Station which was the starting point for the second ‘Mark Brew’ walk in aid of the East Lancashire 2021 Festival for the Mark Benevolent Fund. The weather was fine for the 11 walkers (and one 4-legged friend) who set off along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, crossing Saddleworth Moor at Diggle to meet up at the Riverhead Brewery Tap in Marsden for lunch. All fed and watered, we were glad of the frequent Trans Pennine Express service from Marsden to return us to our cars at Greenfield. A super day out, thanks to Colin Bodimeade for organising the event which raised £200 for the festival (and thanks to John Barlow for the pictures).
The Installation meeting of the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Officers Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No.990 took place at Manchester Hall on Monday 29th April and was followed the next day (by strange co-incidence, due to there being a 5th Monday and a 5th Tuesday in the month) by the half-yearly meeting of the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Officers Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.990 at Clayton-le-Moors – again, the ‘home’ Mark building of the WM, WBro Graham Mangham.
And finally . . .
The weekend of 12th-14th April was somewhat unusual in affording me the opportunity to attend three quite different events in three different (but all Christian) Orders.
As detailed above, I visited Mark Wilkinson Chapter Rose Croix on Saturday 13th April. The previous evening, I had attended a meeting of Prince of Peace Knights Templar Preceptory No.97 at Preston for the Installation of Em. Kt. Stephen Bolton as Eminent Preceptor and Eminent Prior.
Finally, on Sunday 14th April, Susan and I attended the Annual Family Church service for the Red Cross of Constantine, Division of North and East Lancashire at St. Saviour’s Church, Bamber Bridge.