Two years planning, teams from Grand and Provincial Grand Lodges and 200 Brethren, including 28 Founders all came together at the University of Warwick on 3rd June 2017 to do something that does not happen very often these days; witness the consecration of a new Lodge, The Collegiate Lodge No 9943; in the brand new and impressive Slate Conference Suite at the University Campus.
This Lodge has been brought into being as part of the pioneering Universities Scheme which is helping young people find Freemasonry; in this case forging links with students, alumni and workers of the University of Warwick, Coventry University and Coventry Colleges.
Many will have watched the Sky 1 Series 'Inside the Freemasons' and been delighted to see how successful the Scheme is. In support of further growth the Lodge was consecrated by the RW Assistant Grand Master and President of the Universities Scheme, Sir David Wooton, supported by the Provincial Grand Master of Shropshire, RW Bro Peter A Taylor, and the Provincial Grand Master of Worcestershire RW Bro Robert C Vaughan. The Assistant Grand Master used the consecrating elements of corn, wine, oil and salt according to ancient custom and was assisted by the Grand Chaplin, VW Bro Rev Canon Michael Wilson, who delivered a splendid Oration worthy of the occasion. RW Bro Sir David Wootton welcomed the newly consecrated lodge into the Universities Scheme, it being the 74th Lodge to join.
Also supporting the event was the Past Assistant Grand Master, RW Bro David K Williamson, founding President of the Universities Scheme together with W Bro Edward Lord, the current Chairman of the Universities Scheme who together with the Consecration Team were subsequently proposed as Honorary members.
The Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, RW Bro David F Macey, then Installed W Bro Mark J Greenburgh as the first Master who then in turn invested him as the Immediate Past Master. The Master, who is shortly to be appointed as the Chairman of the Universities Scheme, finally invested his Officers including W Bro John F R Handley as Senior Warden and W Bro David Joyce as Junior Warden.
So what a great day it was. 'Inside the Freemasons' had given us a brief insight into the consecration of a new Lodge, here was an opportunity for many of the assembled Brethren to see and be involved in their first such event watching some of the 'stars' of that series at work including Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies and soon to be Chief Executive Officer of the United Grand Lodge of England, W Bro Dr David Staples acting as the Director of Ceremonies; and for those who watched the programme he did not 'do a Staples!'
After the meeting, the guests dined at the University’s Scarman House dining hall and enjoyed a splendid Festive Board meal befitting such an occasion.
With the party over the hard work begins; making this Lodge a success. Discussions are already taking place with potential candidates with a first regular meeting to take place in October.