Southern Area Carol Service – Sunday 4th December 2016
The Southern Area Carol Service has always been one of the high points of the year for me. It is one of a very few Masonic events where the whole of Southern Area genuinely comes together to celebrate this fraternity that we all hold so dear. This year the Carol Service took place at St Peter’s Church in Ashton, as near as can be opposite Ashton Masonic Hall, although this year the service was hosted by Audenshaw District. It doesn’t really seem to matter which District hosts the service, the Church is always packed and we all thoroughly enjoy ourselves singing the old favourite and familiar Carols that we have been singing since our youth.
We were honoured by the presence of WBro John Pearson, our APGM and EComp Eddie Barlow, our APGP, who both attended, along with their wives, and enjoyed the singing, the readings and the familial festive spirit that filled the Church. WBro Gerry Hodson, Audenshaw District Chairman was also present with his wife, as was Ashton & Mossley Chairman WBro Peter Douthwaite, though his wife saw all too little of him during the service. As ever, WBro Douthwaite bustled around organising the Parade of Banners, the Collection and the return of the banners at the end.
The service began with the parade of Lodge Banners, on this occasion nine of our Lodges, some no longer active but still remembered, were represented. I’m not sure how often a Lodge’s banner is paraded into Lodge these days, but it is a rare event to see one being paraded outside of a Masonic Hall. If you look at photographs from the latter part of the nineteenth century you will often see parades of worthy Masons marching through the streets, following their banner, but those days, sadly, seem to have passed. It was wonderful to see the banners being paraded through the Church and standing proudly behind the Communion Table through the Service.
We sang the hymns that we all know and love, this year, again, enhanced by three Christmas favourites sung very beautifully by Peter Lee, who is himself a lapsed member of our fraternity, and accompanied by the wonderful John Miles, who is not, but who can be seen in all sorts of musical roles throughout Tameside, especially training and conducting the Tameside Festival Chorus. Together they gave us a most appealing and very sweet sound to remember. We also heard a thought provoking homily from Reverend Roger Farnworth, the Team Rector of the Parish of the Good Shepherd which encompasses all of Ashton’s central Churches. It is good to think about the real message of Christmas.
Then the service was over for another year and a good number of congregation took themselves off to the Broadoak for what has become the traditional end to the Carol Service. WBro Don Roberts continues to organise a festive Dinner for all those who wish to take part. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.
There are lots of photographs from the Carol Service and from the Dinner afterwards, far more than there is space to show on this webpage, but you can see them all by following this weblink.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.
WBro, a shortened version of Worshipful Brother means the person in question is now, or has been in the past a Worshipful Master of a Lodge. It is meant to indicate that this member is more experienced than members who go by the title Brother (Bro).
This term recognises the person in question as a member of Freemasonry. We call each other Brothers as a term of respect and integrity.
The East Lancashire Masonic Charity is here to care for and to afford charitable assistance to needy Freemasons or their widows or to any of their dependent relatives. Visit us at https://www.elmc.co.uk
A title afforded to senior members of the Province of East Lancashire who act as assistants to the Provincial Grand Master. In this Province there are 6 APGMs.
A title afforded to the ruler of the Provincial Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch in East Lancashire.
EComp, a shortened version of Excellent Companion means the person in question is now, or has been in the past an installed Principal in a Royal Arch Chapter. It is meant to indicate that this member is more experienced than members who go by the title Companion (Comp).
This term recognises the person in question as a member of the Royal Arch. We call each other Companions as a term of respect and integrity.
A title afforded to senior members of the Royal Arch Province of East Lancashire who act as assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals. In this Province there are 5 APGPs.
After the majority of Lodge or Chapter meetings, we gather to have a meal together. It is not compulsory however this is a time to just chat and relax with fellow members.