- Craft Freemasonry
The 9th Annual Northern ‘Let’s Talk Masonry’ Conference, was an outstanding success, with well over 100 attendees. The event, opened by The Provincial Grand Master of East Lancashire, Sir David Trippier, had a Tercentenary theme, but with a special visit from Glittering Star Lodge No 322 of the Irish Constitution, who gave an ‘exemplification’ of an Irish First Degree ceremony.
But before this star event, we had Chris Powell enlightening his audience with thoughts on Freemasonry as it emerged during the period 1700 into the 1760s, its characters and the interplay of social and economic factors on the development of ritual and thought. Chris also covered the evolvement of the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster and its operative origins, and the huge changes that subsequently followed during the 1720s and 30s as well as the development of what we now know as Speculative Masonry.
He was followed by our own John Acaster, who with his wealth of knowledge, continued with Chris’s thoughts into similar developments from 1760 onwards into the 1900s. An all-time favourite at our conferences, Tony Baker, took up the story from 1810 onwards, with the ‘United Grand Lodge Era’ right up to the present day. Asking “Has anything changed since the rituals were settled after the ‘Union’? He posed many questions for the audience, including; “Why do lodges in England work so many different rituals?” and “Why is Emulation so dominant and is this a good thing”?
Following the morning session, questions and answers were led collectively by the speakers followed by an excellent buffet lunch provided by the staff at Rochdale Masonic Hall where the event was held.
Glittering Star Lodge, now based in Kidderminster, commenced its life in 1759 when it received its Warrant from the Grand Lodge of Ireland to operate within the 29th Regiment of Foot, then based in Ireland, but originally raised in England under a royal Warrant by a Colonel Farrington of the Coldstream Guards and more recently, since 1977, has admitted non-service brethren. It is a true rarity and the conference was privileged to receive them. It has a very busy schedule of meetings using its ‘traditional ritual under its ‘travelling warrant.’
The afternoon continued with questions and answers to the members of ‘Glittering Star Lodge’ followed by a very entertaining question and answers session led by the speakers.
John Acaster then gave the audience an appreciation of the Royal Arch which went down very well, particularly with the younger members of the audience, many of whom had little knowledge of the Order and it certainly enlightened many of the more experienced Masons present as well.
The summary of the day was led by the three speakers and a final summing up by the Chairman of the Education and Development Committee, the organisers of the Conference, Duncan Ferguson.
Planning is already underway for the 2018 Conference which is to be formally announced at the East Lancashire Provincial meeting on 16th November 2017 at Blackburn.
Keep your eyes on the E&D section of the Provincial website for details: http://www.pglel.co.uk/craft-freemasonry/education-development/ and find us on Facebook…
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Freemasonry of East Lancashire