Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire

Royal Masonic School for Girls, Rickmansworth - Prize Giving

On a very warm summer day at the Royal Masonic School for Girls, Rickmansworth, it was a pleasure to see so many parents, staff and governors watching the happy pupils receiving their well earned prizes and trophies.

The school (now known as RMS for Girls), started with fifteen pupils and a matron in Somers Place in East London and moved twice within London until it finally settled in the magnificent grounds of Rickmansworth Park, Hertfordshire, in 1934.  RMS is one of the oldest girls’ schools in the country. Founded in 1788 by Chevalier Ruspini (founder of the former Royal Masonic Trust for Girls & Boys, now part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation), the School's original purpose was to educate the daughters of Freemasons who were unable to support their families through death, illness or disability.

The School became an open fee paying school in 1978 and accepts girls from all backgrounds and faiths. The majority of families associated with the School have no links with Freemasonry, with the name now largely being a reference to the school's past. 

With 315 acres of stunning grounds, Rickmansworth Park once surrounded a stately home. The school was purpose built on its site, making the most of its generous land.  With over 3000 trees, rolling grassland and exceptional facilities, the staff and students are indeed blessed to live and work in such a beautiful place. When the School was designed, the size, scale and quality of the buildings was extremely generous to a fault. The aerial shot below gives as idea of the extent of the school and its magnificent grounds.

RMS for Girls

Despite the reduced dependence on Freemasonry, this is an amazing school which embraces its traditions while looking forward to the future.  The school motto comes from Psalm 144, “That our daughters may be as the polished cornerstones of the Temple.”   The Ashlar is a traditional and valued award given as a silver badge to girls in recognition of their hard work, demonstration of the school values, and contributions to school life.  Pupils have the opportunity to earn an Ashlar at various stages in their school life at senior school and sixth form.

 The presentation

This photograph shows the Great Hall at Rickmansworth, where the prize giving took place, and the concert by the recipient years & the RMS Orchestra performed songs and music ranging from Elton John to Sibelius.

The Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association contributes £500 annually to fund the prizes for the pupils, and has had the daughters of several Warwickshire freemasons educated at the school in past years. For further information on the School click HERE.

JBH

 

Nuneaton’s newly bereaved get extra support thanks to Warwickshire Freemasons

A drop-in service for newly bereaved people has been established at Nuneaton’s Mary Ann Evans Hospice, thanks to a £12,723 grant from Warwickshire Freemasons.

The grant from Warwickshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

The grant has been awarded for a new strand of bereavement support called Stepping Stones, which is a regular drop-in session for people who are newly bereaved. We invite people to come along for some light refreshments and an opportunity to meet with a few other people who are experiencing grief in its early stages.

The hospice is working in partnership with Nuneaton Crematorium and three local funeral directors with this project to encourage more people to access bereavement support where needed. Many people do not know they can access the hospice's bereavement support network, especially if they have not previously been connected with it. Funeral directors offer supportive great support to their customers around the time of death but are very aware of the limitations of their role. It therefore makes perfect sense for funeral directors, the Crematorium and the hospice to form a partnership.

In the last six months of 2017 the Hospice’s bereavement service facilitated approximately 1,800 visits to its bespoke building, the Warren. Over 200 people of all ages regularly access the different kinds of bereavement support being offered.

It is vitally important that children and young people know they can come to a place where their grief is going to be acknowledged and supported in a confidential setting. A parent of children under 18 dies every 22 minutes in the UK; around 23,600 a year. That means 111 children are being bereaved every day. One in every 29 schoolchildren has been bereaved of a parent or sibling – that’s a child in every class. If children and young people are not offered the right levels of bereavement support the grief will come out some years later, often in disruptive behaviour.

Pauline, who lost her son in 2014, said: “I contacted the Mary Ann Evans Hospice bereavement support service four years ago.  My son, Neil had been going through a particularly difficult time with his life-limiting illness.  I have really valued having the space to talk with someone over this period time and especially since his death.”

Geoff Walker and the Stepping Stones Team

Gill Hancock, Director of Family Support Services from Mary Ann Evans Hospice commented: “We’re very grateful to Warwickshire Freemasons for their generous grant, which will allow us to help many more newly bereaved people, so that they are not suffering in silence.”

Geoff Walker from Warwickshire Freemasons said: “We’re very pleased to be able to help the Mary Ann Evans Hospice with their Stepping Stones project for newly bereaved people. The pain of losing a loved one is very difficult to bear at any time, but it’s especially difficult for young people. If they don’t get the right support when they need it, the long term effects can damage their lives for years into the future.”

 

The Provincial Church Service 2018

The Annual Church Service of the

Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire

Sunday 10th June 2018

The Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick

 Church

This year’s Church Service began with a procession escorting R W Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master, comprising his newly appointed team of Acting Provincial Grand Officers and Officers of Grand Lodge from Alderson House through Warwick to the Church. The weather was warm and sunny, and visitors to Warwick had their cameras at the ready to capture the spectacle of Freemasons processing in full Regalia.

The Procession

Procession on the way to St Mary’s

This year, the procession was joined by the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Mr Timothy B Cox, and the High Sherriff of Warwickshire, Mrs Clare Sawdon.

The Procession entering the Church

The procession escorting the Provincial Grand Master into the Church

At the Church the procession joined the assembled Freemasons with their families and friends for a very enjoyable and inspirational service. The service started and finished with readings from the Holy Scriptures of the Hindu, Sikh, Islamic, Jewish and Christian faiths, delivered by W Bro Suresh Modi, W Bro Parminder Bhamra, W Bro Sohail Karamat, W Bro Keith Reynolds and W Bro Paul Wheeler respectively. These readings served to emphasise the inclusive nature of Freemasonry in Warwickshire.

Following readings from both the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Michael Morris and the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, and hymns sung with great gusto, the Provincial Choir sang Handel’s Anthem “Zadok the Priest”, thought to have been written in 1727. The Anthem is derived from the biblical account of the anointing of Solomon and was magnificently performed by the Choir, conducted by W Bro Michael Irving, and featured a splendid organ recital by Mr Mark Swinton, Organist and Assistant Director of Music at the Church.

The Choir

The Choir at the Annual Church Service, Warwick

The address by the Rev Dr Vaughan Roberts was themed "300 Years on – What Next?", and questioned how we should move forward after the extensive Tercentenary celebrations. The conclusion is that we should continue to make our mark in the world, and echo the sentiments expressed by the Grand Master – Do not hide the Light which has shone in our Tercentenary year. We need to be open and proud of our Freemasonry and its history.

The Service

 Prior to two rousing verses of the National Anthem, the Provincial Grand Master thanked Rev Dr Vaughan Roberts for again allowing the service to be held at St Mary’s, and congratulated all concerned with the organisation of the event. He particularly thanked W Bro Michael Irving and the choir for the wonderful way in which they had sung and enhanced the entire service, and particularly mentioned the Mr Mark Swinton for his masterly playing of the organ prior to and throughout the service.

The Order of Service contained a brief summary of the connections between Freemasonry and St Mary’s, and mentioned that during the recently concluded “Famous Five” initiative, over £32,000 had been donated by Warwickshire Freemasons to the Church. Rev Dr Roberts, mentioned that the final sum received would be used to replace the aging sound system in use in the Church.

An uplifting day, enjoyed by all.

Photography by W Bro Simon Grove

JBH

Warwickshire Young Carers

Warwickshire Young Carers

On Friday the 25th May, the Province's retiring Provincial Charity Steward, John Hayward, accompanied by Geoff Walker, the newly appointed Provincial Charity Steward, went to visit the Warwickshire Young Carers Project based in Ryton on Dunsmore, to present a certificate to mark the grant of £5,000 donated by the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

John Hayward at WYC

The scheme provides care and support to over two thousand children and young people in Warwickshire, who are themselves carers, caring for parents and siblings with a wide range of physical and emotional disabilities.

For these children their caring responsibilities requires them to grow up far too quickly, interrupts their education and social development and impacts on any free time they might enjoy.

When on the visit the CEO, Deb Bignell, told John that the staff were taking over 40 children under the age of 12 on a residential week during half term. This was to allow the children some respite from their caring responsibilities and allow them to focus on themselves and have some fun.

Brethren the staff working on this project have our admiration and support and any Lodge which feels they want to make an additional donation can contact Deb Bignell on: 02476 217740 or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The charity is fundraising for a project to support children aged 6-7 who are young carers and to provide breaks and activities taking place in school holidays or at weekends.

A surprise at the Annual Provincial Meeting

 

Steven PriceW Bro Steven Price PPSGW awarded the

Provincial Grand Master’s Certificate of Merit

 

At the Annual Provincial Meeting on Saturday 10th May, following the conclusion of the formalities, the Provincial Grand Master asked the Provincial Grand Secretary if there was any further business for the meeting. Those used to this formality were taken aback when the PG Secretary announced that the Provincial Grand Master was to honour one of his brethren. The PGM then instructed the ProvDC to bring W Bro Steven Price to him.

The Provincial Grand Master explained to the brethren the incredible amount of work that W Bro Steven has put into Freemasonry over more than 4 decades, including exemplary service to Alderson House in Warwick, as the chairman of the rooms since 2010. Steven is also leading an initiative to help the Masonic rooms across the Province in 2018. Steven is not one to seek the limelight, but works tireless for the good of Freemasonry and the Provincial Grand Master has declared him worthy of recognition for all that he has done. He was then presented with the Provincial Grand Master’s Certificate of Merit, which was subsequently proclaimed by the ProvDC and applauded by all present.

Steven’s recollection of the event is as follows:

“For the first time in many years, I had not actually intended to attend Provincial Grand Lodge at all on Saturday, as we had family things on in the afternoon.  That changed when I had a telephone call from Peter Manning one evening last week, asking if anyone had been in touch regarding collecting the “Lodge in a box” from Alderson House.  We had a chat and he said “see you on Saturday then” to which I replied, “no, I’m not going this year.” He came back with, “well I think you ought to” but wouldn’t say why and eventually I agreed.

“I suppose I thought that I might get a mention and perhaps a “stand up so we can see who you are” sort of thing if the PGM launched the centres Initiative in which I am involved, or I wondered if he might mention me then as a sort of Assistant Prov. Grand Superintendent, but no and again when he had finished mentioning all of the initiatives for this year and no mention again, I thought, well that is it then!

“And then it happened.  When the D.C. was walking me down the room I asked what was going on, he just said, “shush, the mic’s on.”  It was quite surreal when the PGM started on my masonic career.  I have always just though of myself as an ordinary Joe, who loves his Freemasonry and everything that he is involved in and just trying to encourage others to get as much out of it as I do.  I thought that I had reached my peak when I was promoted to PPSGW in 2010 and PPGSN in Chapter.  I love Alderson House and have been very privileged to be its Chairman since 2010, but it is not all me, we have a strong Executive who support and encourage me, only occasionally looking askance at some of my suggestions!

“Obviously, I feel very honoured and it probably has not really sunk in yet, just how very special this award is.  The feeling of being applauded by so many people as we walked back, albeit to the wrong seat and then being saluted, well!  

“I suppose I should have said a few words and thank you, but in all honesty I was just shell shocked.

“When the dust has settled, I shall just carry on, doing what I do and hoping I can serve Freemasonry, in Warwickshire in particular, to the best of my ability and live up to this very special award.”

Congratulations from all in the Province on this very special and richly deserved recognition

Contact Us

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire
Yenton Assembly Rooms
73, Gravelly Hill North, Erdington
Birmingham B23 6BJ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WarwickshirePGL

For Masonic enquiries:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 0121 454 4422

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the governing body for freemasons within England and Wales and districts overseas.