Installation Meeting 2017

Agricola Lodge No 4501 has a new Worshipful Master!

WM with IPM
Our new WM (L) with his IPM

At our installation meeting on Friday 24th November 2017, Paul Constable was installed into the Chair of the Lodge as it’s 96th Worshipful Master.  The ceremony being expertly carried out by his predecessor Neil Sadler.

Paul is one of a very select group of Masons who have served as Master of Agricola 4501 on more than one occasion.  Aged 67,  Paul is a retired  IT professional and former Royal Navy seaman.  He lives in Tunbridge Wells with his wife Lin,  and has been a member of the Lodge since 2004.

Grand Officers
Our new WM with the PGM’s Representative and some of the Grand Officers

Every Installation meeting in East Kent  is attended by a senior member of the Province,  representing the Provincial Grand Master.  On this occasion we were pleased to welcome Provincial Junior Grand Warden, Martyn Summers.

 

 

We were also pleased to welcome 24 other guests and visitors.  This number included the Masters of Duke of Kent, Monckton and Malling Centenary Lodges who assisted during the ceremony.

Following the appointment and investiture of the new Master’s team of Officers,  the Brethren approved donations to the following Charities….

The Kent Museum of Freemasonry

Teddies for Loving Care

Demelza Hospice Care for Children

The Masonic Fishing Charity

 

The formal work of the Lodge being complete, members, guests and visitors repaired to the dining room where they enjoyed a sumptuous meal of Farmhouse Pate,  followed by Roast Lamb,  a dessert of Baked Apple, and the usual Cheeseboard, Coffee and mints!

During his response to the Toast to the Provincial Officers,  Martyn Summers thanked the Lodge members for their warm welcome, and conveyed to the new Worshipful Master the personal congratulations of Provincial Grand Master Geoffrey Dearing.

Master and Wardens
Our New WM with his Wardens

After the meal a  raffle organised by new Charity Steward Jim de Save raised the magnificent sum of over £325.00 which was donated to the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity

 

 

Agricola Lodge No 4501,  traditionally ends the Festive Board with the Tyler’s Toast which guides our thoughts to those of our Brethren who might be in “….distressed circumstances”.  This having been completed,  the Brethren departed,  eagerly looking forward to a new Masonic year.

Kent Museum of Freemasonry

If you are considering joining Agricola Lodge No 4501, you will no doubt want to know more about the origins and history of  Freemasonry in Kent.

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See reviews on Tripadvisor

Here in East Kent we are lucky to be the home of the Kent Museum of Freemasonry . Located at the heart of Canterbury’s tourist route, it lies close to the Westgate Towers and is just a five minute stroll from the Cathedral.

Entrance is free of charge, although voluntary donations are welcomed

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The Kent Museum of Freemasonry is an Arts Council Accredited Museum.  It meets nationally agreed standards on collection care, Accredited Museummuseum management and the provision of information and services to visitors.

The museum boasts a rare collection of exhibits of national and international importance. Its collection of Masonic material is possibly the finest in the UK outside of London.  The vast collection of regalia and books covers all Masonic orders through the ages.

It also has  a well-stocked shop selling masonic regalia, clothing, jewellery, gifts and books.

VISITOR INFORMATION

The Museum is situated mid way between Canterbury’s East and West mainline railway stations. There is ample public car parking nearby and Park & Ride is also available around the city. The St Peter’s Place bus stop is directly outside the main entrance

The museum is normally open from 10am to 4pm, each day. However  if your journey is more than a local one please phone ahead to check that it is open.

Visits can be arranged for groups and parties including, subject to availability, a tour of the neighbouring Lodge Room with an after-tour meal.

If you wish to visit in order to enquire about family history or the masonic history of certain individuals or Lodges,  it is recommended that you phone ahead and arrange an appointment with one of their specialists.

There is Wheelchair access throughout.

HISTORY

The history of the Kent Museum of Freemasonry can be traced to the latter end of the 19th Century.

Stained Glass Window
Stained Glass Window

Speculative masonry has been present in Canterbury since 1730 when the city’s first lodge began meeting at the Red Lion Tavern which adjoined the old Guildhall in the High Street. According to Lanes Masonic record 1717-1894, no fewer than 3 private and 6 military lodges were consecrated in the city. In 1878 the Canterbury lodges, that until then had met in different public houses in the city such as the Kings Head and Brewers Arms, joined together to purchase their own premises near to the Westgate Towers at 38 St Peter’s Street. It was in the garden of this building that the Canterbury masonic temple was subsequently constructed in 1880.

 

Over the years the separate lodges acquired and inherited many contemporary and historic masonic artefacts and ephemera. Once the temple was established these were all brought together in a room at the rear of the building. However, as the collection began to grow, space became an ongoing problem.

In 1919 the East Kent Masters Lodge No.3931 was consecrated in Canterbury.   It’s first Master was Colonel Fiennes Stanley Wykeham Cornwallis, (later the first Lord Cornwallis).  It was he who conceived the idea of the Kent Provincial Library & Museum.

Laying the Foundation Stone
Laying the Foundation Stone

1920 saw the Province of Kent form a fundraising committee under the chairmanship of W.H. East of Dover.  Over the next 5 years the Provincial minutes acknowledge the receipt of many gifts from lodges and the appeal fund, “doing well”, but without the mention of specific totals. However, in 1925 the accounts of the Province showed the sum of £1,036 4s 11d being paid to Bro Edward Dean of St Augustine’s Lodge No. 972 for the purchase of the garden of 34 St Peters Street, Canterbury.

In 1930 an architect, Bro F.G. Haywood of Market Square, Dover, was appointed to plan and oversee the construction of the building. The main contractors were W.W. Martin of Ramsgate and G.H. Denne & Son of Walmer.

The Provincial Grand Master, The Lord Cornwallis, was by this time also the Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England.   When the old Grand Library and Museum in Great Queen Street, London was demolished to make room for the new Grand Temple and Connaught Rooms, he acquired the stained glass windows, internal doors and most of the showcases for Canterbury.

The solid oak entrance doors came from St Mary’s College, part of the Jesuit Monastery in Hales Place, Canterbury, which was also being demolished at the time.

June 1932 saw the building completed and £2,900 was paid to the contractors from the Province’s general fund. The total cost including the land is recorded as £3,936 4s 11d.

The Kent Library & Museum of Freemasonry was officially opened by the Provincial Grand Master on April 19th 1933.

The collection has continued to grow and now boasts more than 3,000 items including masonic paintings, literature, regalia, glassware and ceramics.

2012 Redevelopment

Undergoing restoration
Undergoing Restoration

 

After an extensive eighteen month redevelopment programme the Kent Museum of Freemasonry was reopened to the public on September 14th 2012

 

 

Museum Entrance
Museum Entrance

The first change that is evident to previous visitors is the striking new entrance from St Peter’s Place, which catches the eye of the thousands of passers-by who walk, cycle and drive past every week.

As well as a bigger library space and the new audio-visual displays designed to provide visitors with an overview of Freemasonry and its presence and history in Kent, the refurbishment included a timber-framed balcony creating a separate workspace for the curator and his team resulting in an enlarged exhibition display area and a small shop where souvenirs and masonic regalia can be purchased.

Remembrance Day Parade 2017

Members of Agricola Lodge No 4501 were amongst a contingent of almost 40 Maidstone Freemasons who took part in this year’s annual Remembrance Day Parade in Maidstone Town Centre on Sunday 12th November.

Remembrance Day 2017
Maidstone Masons pay tribute to the fallen

They  joined members of HM Armed Forces, Reservists, Armed Forces Veterans,  Community Groups and Youth Organisations from across the area to commemorate those who lost their lives in the Two World Wars as well as those killed or injured in more recent conflicts.

The Banner on display this year was that of Maidstone’s oldest Lodge, Belvidere No 503

The parade began at 10:30 am in Week Street, passing along the High Street and past the Town Hall,  before arriving at the War Memorial in the Broadway.

The Service of Remembrance included the national two minutes silence at 11am and the laying of wreaths in memory of the fallen.

A wreath on behalf of all Maidstone Freemasons,  was laid by Belvidere’s newest member  Bro. Chris Took.

RBL Poppy Appeal
RBL Poppy Appeal

Maidstone’s Freemasons are traditionally strong supporters of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal with many acting as Poppy sellers and collectors for the Charity.

Agricola‘s current Worshipful Master Neil Sadler said…

“We are honoured and proud to take part in this annual Act of Remembrance for those who gave their lives in the defence of Freedom.  We urge all our members to support the work of the Royal British Legion and other Forces Charities in caring for and supporting servicemen and their families,  all of whom have given so much  in the service of our country.”

Our Charities: Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity

Agricola Lodge No. 4501 is pleased to be a supporter of the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity  (CEKFC).  This is our own Province’s local organization for providing assistance and support to a wide range of Charities, Community Groups and individuals here in East Kent.

CEKFC Logo
CEKFC – Caring for Kent

 

The Charity’s declared aim is

“…to invest in a brighter future, by assisting the vulnerable, and funding opportunities for the disadvantaged in our communities”.

 

CEKFC Taxi Bus
CEKFC Community Taxi Bus

 

 

It achieves this by making grants towards projects that directly assist the disadvantaged  here in our East Kent Community.

 

 

Recent grants have included…

  • Vulnerable People – improving the lives of the vulnerable and disadvantaged in our communities.
  • Helping to alleviate the impact of disability.
  • Providing care for the seriously ill and older people.
  • Supporting Carers.
  • Relieving poverty and distress
  • Youth Opportunities – helping children and young people reach their full potential.
  • Supporting youth groups and organisations
  • Developing life and work-related skills
  • Focusing on disadvantaged young people.
  • Helping the under 25s.

 

CEKFC Charity
CEKFC Charity Presentation

The Charity is named after the Cornwallis family which has played a prominent role in Kent  life for many years.  The family were landowners and farmers,  undertaking many public offices in serving the people of Kent.  It was in recognition of this service that Colonel Fiennes Stanley Wykeham Cornwallis was created Baron Cornwallis of Linton in 1927.

Their close connections with Kent have been mirrored in the family’s association with Freemasonry. The first Lord Cornwallis was Provincial Grand Master of Kent from 1906 until his death in 1935.

He was succeeded in this office by the second Baron who served as Provincial Grand Master of Kent until it was divided into the Masonic Provinces of East and West Kent in 1973.   At that time, Lord Cornwallis became the Provincial Grand Master of East Kent.

All About: The Province of East Kent

Freemasonry in England , Wales, The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man is administered by the United Grand Lodge of England,  through 48  “Provinces”  which are largely based on County and the London Metropolitan boundaries.

Each Province is headed by a Provincial Grand Master assisted by a Deputy and one or more Assistant Grand Masters depending on the size of the Province.

Here in Kent, the large number of Lodges means that the County is split between the Provinces of East and West Kent.

 

Province of East Kent
The Province of East Kent’s Insignia

Agricola Lodge No 4501 is a proud member of the Province of East Kent whose headquarters are in Whitstable.  It is headed by Provincial Grand Master, Geoffrey Dearing.

The Province is home to over 6000 Freemasons who meet in 186 Lodges, based at 34 different centres around the county.  Locations range from historic Gravesend in the north,  to Dymchurch on the South coast;  and from Paddock Wood in the west,  to the seaside resort of Ramsgate in the east.

 

CEKFC Logo
CEKFC – Caring for Kent

The Province’s main Charity is the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity (CEKFC) which is also based in Whitstable.

If you are looking to join a lodge outside the Maidstone area you can apply online by visiting the Province’s Membership Portal 

Lodge Officers: The Almoner

One of the most important roles in a Masonic Lodge is that of the Almoner.

An almoner was originally a chaplain or church officer  in charge of distributing money (Alms) to the deserving poor.  The word derives from the Ancient Greek: ἐλεημοσύνη eleēmosynē (alms), via the popular Latin almosinarius

Almoner Collar Jewel
The Almoner’s Collar Jewel

 

Caring for others is a key aspect of Masonic philosophy, and the Almoner‘s role is the one where that is put into most direct effect.

The Almoner’s core job is to be the “eyes and ears” of the Lodge, ensuring the welfare of its members and of their widows and dependants.

 

Specific responsibilities include…

  • Maintaining regular contact with sick or distressed Lodge members.
  • Maintaining regular contact with Lodge widows/widowers/single members.
  • Making contact with families of recently deceased brethren.
  • Being alert to the needs and problems of Lodge members and their dependants.
  • Making contact with members not attending Lodge meetings.
  • Being involved if issues of exclusion of members arise.
  • Making new members welcome, in conjunction with the Proposer, Seconder and Lodge Mentor.
  • Ensuring that members, partners and dependants are aware of what support may be available.

 

MCF Logo
The MCF logo
  • Providing support to members in financial difficulty particularly through initiating the process of making applications for help to the Masonic Charitable Foundation.
  • Being aware of happier events such as birthdays, births and special wedding anniversaries so that the Lodge can send appropriate greetings.

To perform this role an Almoner needs to possess considerable tact, courtesy, discretion, patience and humour.  He  needs a sympathetic disposition, a commitment to helping people, and the time and energy to devote to the benefit of Lodge members and their dependants.

Could you do it?

Our Charities: The Masonic Fishing Charity

This year Agricola Lodge No 4501 is pleased to support

The Masonic Fishing Charity.   The Charity’s aim is to bring an interactive fishing and countryside experience to people with special needs.

Catching the smile!
Catching the smile!

 

It achieves this by running fishing events, both coarse and fly, at various fisheries.  Participants are invited from special needs schools and centres;  as well as people who have suffered trauma.

The East Kent Branch of the Charity organises 4 such events,  at fisheries throughout the Province.

 

This is far more than just a days fishing though! It enables mentally disabled people to gain in confidence, meet new challenges and achieve tangible results; it helps disadvantaged people and those from harsh backgrounds to renew their confidence by meeting people and interacting with adults from outside their current experience;   it helps physically disabled people (including war heroes and stroke victims) to participate and experience something that may otherwise be unavailable to them and it enables the Charity’s volunteers to give something back to the community and have some fun along the way.

MFC Logo
MFC Logo

The Masonic Fishing Charity is completely run by volunteers and is a non profit making enterprise.

You do not have to be a Freemason to help or take part in their activities.

 

All About: United Grand Lodge of England

You will read elsewhere on this site,  references to “Grand Lodge” or the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE),   but what is it,  and how does it function?

UGLE Coat of Arms
The UGLE Coat of Arms

 

The United Grand Lodge of England is currently celebrating it’s 300th Birthday as it was founded in London in  1717.   In that year four Lodges met at the Goose and Gridiron Tavern in St Paul’s Churchyard and decided for form themselves into the world’s first Grand Lodge.  Anthony Sayer became  the first Grand Master.

 

The Grand Master
The Grand Master

 

Today UGLE is the governing body for Freemasonry throughout England and Wales, as well as overseas Districts and Territories.  It has over 200,000 members meeting in over 7000 Lodges.  

It’s current Grand Master is

HRH The Duke of Kent.

 

 

MCF Logo
The MCF logo

As well as being an administrative body, UGLE, through it’s Charitable arm the Masonic Charitable Foundation , is one of the largest grant making bodies in the UK with payments totalling more than  £33,000,000 per year.  Grants are made to a wide variety of Charities, social groups, community organisations and individuals in need.

 

Freemasons Hall in London

UGLE is housed at the world famous Freemasons’ Hall in London’s Covent Garden.  

It has been the home of English Freemasonry since 1775.  The present Freemasons’ Hall was built between 1927 and 1932 as a memorial to the 3,000 members, killed during the First World War.

One of the UK’s finest Art Deco buildings. It has recently been upgraded to give access to people with disabilities.

Freemasons’ Hall is one of London’s top 10 film locations featuring in several Hollywood blockbusters. It was also the headquarters of the team from Spooks, the BBC spy series.

 

Grand Temple Interior
The interior of the Grand Temple

Starting with the Library and Museum, you can take a guided tour of the Grand Temple and ceremonial areas. There are up to five tours a day if the Hall is not in use for events.  It is strongly recommended to check times and pre-book.

 

Call 0207 395 9257 or email libmus@freemasonry.london.museum

Freemason’s Hall provides a magnificent setting for product launches, creative performances, receptions for up to 1,200 people, dinner dances catering for 25-250 and conferences for up to 1,000 delegates. Each year it hosts the London Fashion Show.