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Rochdale District Latest News


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St Edmund's Church, Fallinge

This church, dubbed Rochdale's Temple to Freemasony, which had been abandoned and left to become derelict for the last three years, will soon be re-opening after the first phase of extensive repairs have been carried out. It is now in the hands of the Churches Conservation Trust who have raised an appeal for half a million pounds to save the church.

The church features a blend of Gothic revival architecture and Masonic symbolism.The church was built and given to the people of Rochdale by Albert Hudson Royds , former DeputyProvincial Grand

Greater Manchester Police
Concert Band
Richard Street .
29th January 2016

A concert organised by the Sales and Marketing Committee of the Rochdale Masonic Building Co. Ltd saw more than 150 guests entertained by the 30 strong Greater Manchester Police Concert Band.

The concert was staged in the large lodge room where the audience was enthralled by a wide range music which started with a trumpet fanfare and was followed by both traditional and modern scores.  It closed with a rousing rendition of Jerusalem and as an encore the band played the Dambusters theme to provide Tommy Spencer with yet another flying lesson.

Both guests and band members were served with a choice of refreshments at the interval when raffle tickets were sold raising more than £500.00 for the victims of the recent floods.

Building on the success of the evening, the Buildings Committee are hoping to stage a similar event next year, when it is hoped that the Police Band will perform some of their other musical themes such as jazz or swing band configurations.



The Investiture of
WBro Peter Graham Hewitt, PAGDC
Assistant Provincial Grand Master
RWBro Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL
Provincial Grand Master
Wednesday 27th January 2016
at the Masonic Hall Richard Street Rochdale

On the 27th January the WBro John A Harrop PProvJGD, Worshipful Master and Brethren of Roch Valley Lodge No. 5120 were delighted to host the Investiture of WBro Peter G. Hewitt as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of East Lancashire by the Provincial Grand Master RWBro Sir David Trippier.

After opening the Lodge in the First Degree, the Brethren were delighted to receive the Provincial Grand Master accompanied by a Provincial Deputation and it was a mark of the esteem and respect in which WBro Hewitt is held that his Investiture was supported by over 145 Masons from across the Province  

WBro Harrop presented the gavel to the Provincial Grand Master who then conducted the Investiture and paid tribute to WBro Hewitt in a very warm and sincere ceremony.

The celebrations were continued at the Social Board where a hearty meal and an evening of fellowship were enjoyed by all.

WBro Peter Graham Hewitt PAGDC, Assistant Provincial Grand Master
RWBro Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL Provincial Grand Master

WBro Arthur John Pearson PSGD, WBr Norman Cope PSGD,  VWBro Derek Nelson Thornhill JP PSSwdB, 
WBro Peter Graham Hewitt PAGDC,  RWBRo Sir David Trippier RD JP DL PGM,   WBro Chad Anthony Northcott PSGD, 
WBro John Christopher Welton  PJGD,   WBro John Richard Farrington PSGD.

RW PGMSir David Trippier, WBro Peter Hewitt the District Deputation and the Master and Brethren of  the Roch Valley Lodge.

The Social Board




WBro Harry Bucknell Celebrates 60 Wonderful Years in Freemasonry

Harry receiving his Illuminated Certificate from WBro Peter Hewitt

On the 28th December 2015 WBro Harry Bucknell, PProvDepGSwdB, at the age of 97 and an Honory Member of Roch Valley Lodge No 5120 celebrates his 60 years in Freemasonry.
A private party was arranged for Harry at the Four Seasons Care Home in Littleborough, where he now resides, by kind courtesy of the Owner/Manager of the Care Home, Mrs W Collinson.

Brethren from his Lodge and Harry’s two daughters, gathered at the home on Thursday 14th January where a his fine achievement was recognised.  WBro Peter Hewitt, APGM, took great pleasure in referring to Harry’s fantastic support and the wise council that he had given to his beloved Lodge over six decades.

WBro Hewitt addressing WBro Bucknell

Extracts from the Minutes of Roch Valley Lodge dated 28th December 1955 were read out by WBro Colin Farrow and WBro Alan Grime read a personalised letter of congratulation from the RW PGM, Sir David Trippier.

WBro Hewitt then presented Harry with both the letter and an Illuminated Certificate that he could hang on the wall of his room by the side of his 50th Certificates for both Craft and Royal Arch.

WBro Michael Lucas presented Harry with his 60th Lapel Badge and WBro Tony Heanley asked all present to join him in a Toast to WBro Harry Bucknell for his wonderful achievement. 

Harry with his daughters Valerie and Sheila and Lodge members

Harry responded suitably and extended an invitation to all present to join him in 10 years’ time when he would be celebrating his 70th birthday in Freemasonry.
The Four Seasons Care Home very kindly provided a finger buffet which was greatly enjoyed by all.



The Lodge of Probity and Freedom

Worshipful Master  - Bro Steven Holmes

On Thursday 14th January the Lodge of Probity and Freedom were pleased to receive a deputation from the Rochdale District, lead by the District Chairman WBro Peter Rhodes.

The occasion was the passing of Bro Peter Fitchett who had been initiated into the Lodge during 2015.

In addition, the Lodge was pleased to welcome WBro Jeff Antrobus , from the Luz De Murcia Murcia Lodge No.91 based in Spain.  WBro Antrobus is currently the Provincial Grand assistant Treasurer in the Province of Murcia, which forms part of the Grand Lodge of Spain. Prior to moving to Spain,  WBro Antorbus was a member of Tudor Lodge No.467 of Oldham and holds the rank of Past Provincial ADC in the Province of East Lancashire. 

The ceremony was conducted by the officers of Probity and Freedom in a very sincere manner and the evening was concluded with the usual good fellowship at the social board.

Senior Warden - Gareth Unsworth , Worshipful Master - Steven Holmes , Candidate - Bro Peter Fitchett,
WBro Jeff Antrobus Pro Gr Ass Treasurer ( Province of Mercia ) Junior Warden - WBro Greg Bradley



Rochdale District Social Committee New Years Celebration

The New years celebration organised by WBro Bernard Percy and his team was once again a great success.  This year, the annual event was supported by 130 guests. After the usual 5 course meal, the guests were entertained by the well known duo Saremma. It can be seen from the attached photograph that everyone enjoyed a great start to the New Year.

The District Social Committee would like to take the opportunity of thanking everyone for their support during 2015 and to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New year .



Rochdale Masonic Social Committee
Foodbank Appeal


Individual Members together with the Lodges of Rochdale were once again very generous in providing support for the annual foodbank appeal. This generosity resulted in a donation of £250 as well as a delivery of ten boxes of tinned and none perishable food to the Rochdale Food Bank on 21st December.

Food Bank manager Steve Field said, " this donation is gratefully received as we approach the most difficult time of the year for some families in Rochdale"

The RMSC would like to thank all the Brethren and Lodges who donated and would be pleased to receive further donations should any further items be made available.


WBroTony Gillard presenting the cheque to Steve Field of Rochdale Food Bank and is supported by WBro Kenny Greer



Children’s Christmas Party
Rochdale Masonic Social Committee

On the 19th December 2015, Rochdale Masonic Social Committee again hosted another very successful Children’s Christmas Party.

Sixty Two boys and girls aged between three and twelve were entertained by Dazzle the Clown and his vanishing rabbit.

After the entertainment, all the children enjoyed burgers and chips followed by cookies and cakes.

After filling themselves up with goodies, the children joined in with more dancing and party games. Father Christmas then made a spectacular entrance to deliver presents and selection boxes to all the children. This concluded another fantastic family event at Rochdale Masonic hall with everyone going home looking forward to the Christmas period.

Members of the Social Committee would like to thank all the staff and helpers on the day and wish them a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.




Rochdale Freemasons Provide Hospice Gifts.

The Freemasons of Rochdale continued their annual Christmas tradition by paying a visit to the Springhill Hospice to deliver a number of festive gifts for patients.

The money raised by lodge members had been donated to help to provide Christmas gifts for the local men and women who are in receipt of Hospice services.

Chief Executive Julie Halliwell said, "It's a wonderful gesture to think about others at this special time of the year. I know that our patients really appreciate these gifts and we extend our thanks to the Freemasons of Rochdale Todmorden and Bacup for their kindness.”

After the presentation a small team of Freemasons then hand delivered the ‘Christmas Goody Bags ' to the homes of patients throughout the Borough of Rochdale.


Back Row - Bernard Percy -District mentor, Peter Rhodes - District Chairman, Doug Smith - Deputy District Chairman, Kenny Greer - District Charity Steward.
Front Row - Dr. Charlotte Barber, Clarece Gillis - Nursing Assistant , Rebecca Davies - Staff Nurse , Sheila Johnson - Director of Clinical Services, Gemma Renshaw - Staff Nurse, Julie Halliwell -CEO.






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If you have any new stories you would like to see published here, please contact

WBro Ken Rowlatt, District Communications Officer for Rochdale District.



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