New team lines up for action! Minimize

RW Bro Tim Henderson-Ross

In a special ceremony held at Wycliffe College, conducted by RW Bro Sir David Wootton, the Assistant Grand Master, RW Bro Tim Henderson-Ross, was installed as Provincial Grand Master of Gloucestershire. 

In its 261 year history, RW Bro Tim became just the 18th to be honoured with the position, following the retirement of RW Bro Adrian Davies.

L to R: W Bros Derek Gunningham and John Thurston, RW Bro Tim Henderson-Ross and W Bro John Gillo

“Under RW Bro Adrian’s leadership the Province has embarked on many initiatives which were designed to make the Province more efficient and effective,” said RW Bro Tim afterwards. “Efficient and effective cover such areas as administration, recruitment and retention, charitable giving and winning hearts and minds both within the fraternity and in the wider community. By any measure he has been supremely successful in this.”

“For a number of years,” he continued, “I have been a member of the Executive and have played my part in the decisions which have changed the running of this Province. As such, there will be no great changes in the near future apart from those consequent on our different personalities.

However, in my address, I made a number of points which I wish the brethren to consider. I am concerned that in our understandable desire to maximise our charitable giving we can forget about brotherly love and truth. All the lessons we need are in the words of our ritual. I urge the brethren to make a conscious effort to listen to the words and heed the lessons. They are an ideal – a council of perfection – but we should all strive to improve.

That is what marks us out as Freemasons.”

RW Bro Tim, who lives with his wife Tricia in Wotton-under-Edge, was initiated in the Lodge of Grace only twenty years ago and was a ‘Millennium Master’. He was made an active Provincial ADC in 2005. In parallel, he was working extensively in London and was invited to join a Grand Stewards’ Lodge by a work colleague, later becoming a Grand Steward. Back in Gloucestershire, he took over as the Director of Ceremonies, progressing to Assistant and then Deputy PGM.

Deputy Provincail Grand Master W Bro John Thurston


W Bro John Thurston

The new Provincial Grand Master was pleased to appoint as his deputy, W Bro John Thurston. John, who was educated at Wycliffe College, lives with his wife Mary in Lydney.

He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucestershire and chairman of Watts Group. 

The new Deputy was initiated into Old Wycliffian Lodge in 1967 and became master in 1985. He is active in many other masonic orders.

John is an experienced Provincial Executive member, having previously been Assistant PGM.




Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro John GilloW Bro John Gillo

Continuing in the post of Assistant Provincial Grand Master is W Bro John Gillo.

He lives in Dursley with his wife Amara. He was born in Dilke, however, and traces his forebears back to before 1775 in the Forest of Dean.

Over the years, John has been involved in many sports, including cricket, horse-racing and motor clubs. He spent his working life in banking.

John was initiated into Royal Forest of Dean Lodge in 1970, becoming WM in 1985.

He is heavily involved in many other masonic orders.




Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro Derek Gunningham

W Bro Derek Gunningham

The most recent brother on the team is Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Derek Gunningham.

He lives in Churchill, Somerset with his wife Stephanie. 

W Bro Derek is a funeral director in the family firm. In fact, he was initiated into Acacia Lodge (London), which is a funeral directors’ lodge, in 1976.

His Gloucestershire lodge is Kendleshire, in which he was master in 1994 and 1995. He is active in Royal Arch Chapter and other orders.

His interests include motor-cycling, travel and rugby.

Grand Master visits the Province Minimize

Historic occasion 
Mrs Angela Davies and PGM welcome HRH


Paying his first ever visit to Gloucester Cathedral, the MW Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, was made welcome amongst his Gloucestershire brethren at their annual church service.

The Grand Master firstly lunched at the Masonic Hall in Stroud, accompanied by Dame Janet Trotter, Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, and the High Sheriff, The Hon Hugh Tollemache.

They were hosted by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Adrian Davies and his wife Angela.




To celebrate the work of local Freemasons

Following a further civic engagement at Brockworth, the Duke arrived at the Cathedral with the Mayor of Gloucester, together with County and Civic leaders.

Every one of the 900 chairs in the building had been mustered to cater for the expected flock of Masons and their partners.

The congregation was welcomed by the Dean, The Very Reverend Stephen Lake. Lessons were read by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Tim Henderson-Ross, and RW Bro Adrian.

In a light-hearted yet poignant address to the congregation, The Very Reverend Stephen announced that he had met the Duke of Kent a couple of years ago and asked if he had ever visited the Cathedral. He had not, but he thought his cousin may have done so.

Not wishing to show any unfamiliarity with the Royal Family tree, the Dean discreetly withdrew to do his homework, only to discover that the Duke was clearly referring to HRH Her Majesty the Queen!

The Dean repeated his oft-said remarks that he was proud to make Gloucestershire Freemasons so very welcome in his church

£20,000 donation

In a right-royal gesture, the Grand Master presented the Dean with a cheque for £20.000 towards the Cathedral restoration fund, representing £10,000 each from the Freemasons’ Grand Charity and Gloucestershire Freemasons.

In order to meet the helicopter flight-slot, it was essential that the Grand Master made his farewell at precisely 4.50pm.

Not least thanks to the impeccable organisation of a team led by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Peter Lynch, (and the scurrying of the Stewards in securing the collection), the Duke and entourage sedately exited exactly on time.

The logistical exercise had, as always, been conducted with precision, yet dignity.

W Bro Adrian and Angela bade adieu and so this momentous occasion drew to a close.

W Bro Adrian resumed his place and then led the procession out of the nave . . . . for the final time in his tenure.

Understandably, there were more than one or two chests rightly puffing with a sense of achievement and pride, and doubtless memories captured forever.



Gloucestershire Flooding Minimize

The following information has been received from Richard Graham MP about the flooding in Gloucestershire:

Latest flooding information

There is a chance of a tidal surge this evening which may take the Severn at Gloucester to its highest level this winter and since 2007. More high winds, rain (and hail and sleet in the hills) are forecast for tomorrow and this weekend. So this going to be the toughest few days in Gloucestershire yet: others of course have had it much worse already.

My message above all is keep informed (details all circulated last week but repeated below): look out for your neighbour and report anything that needs attention (trees down or houses not sandbagged).

Meanwhile thanks to the EA and local authorities for responding rapidly to various messages I sent them with issues highlighted after last week's mail - clearing trees and supermarket trolleys in streams, preparing sandbags around houses closest to the River etc and thank you for identifying potential issues.

But tonight and the next three days will test us even more. If you live on low ground close to the River or any of the various tributaries please check for major obstacles that divert water and make sure you have sandbags if you need them - the city council will supply them: let my office know on 501167 if you can't get hold of any, with your name, house address and tel number.

In answer to queries about power supplies, the flood prevention programme in place at Castlemeads and Mythe stations, along with 24 hour monitoring of the site and pumps on standby, should prevent the 2007 disasters.

100 troops arrive today to support flood protection work by filling and placing sandbags and clearing roads of broken branches and debris created by strong winds. Their first stop will be Alney Island which is now at the most immediate risk of flooding despite constant EA pumping. Staff are on hand to advise on sandbagging individual properties. Residents on Deans Way and Rivermead also have sandbags in use.

Roads: A number of road closures remain in place around the county due to the high water levels. Where roads are closed due to flooding, it’s safest not to attempt to drive through floodwater. For the latest information on road closures go to or call Gloucestershire Highways on 08000 514 514.

Rail: As I know from my travels, and because of submerged cable lines, this week FGW is running an amended service between Gloucester and Paddington and latest updates can be found here:

Follow @Glosprepared, @GlosHighways, @Glosfire and @GlosCC, @EnvAgencyMids on Twitter for updates using the hashtag #floodglos #floodaware, or log onto the website

The Environment Agency’s live flood warning map can be found here: and the Floodline number is 0345 9881188

Other Help available
A good flood insurance policy is critical and information on claiming and assistance is available here
The insurance industry has committed to continue to offer flood cover to existing customers until June 2015 when a new scheme negotiated by the government called Flood Re starts that will ensure flood insurance remains widely affordable and available. We've solved insurance issues for a couple of people: let me know by e mail if you have any problems.

Lastly the Prime Minister's package of measures to help those affected includes:

• £5,000 repair and renew grant for all affected homeowners and businesses
• 100% business rate relief for 3 months for all businesses affected by the flooding
• £10 million fund for farmers suffering water-logged fields to help restore it to farmable land as quickly as possible
• a total commitment in excess of £750 million from the major banks to provide financial support to business and individual customers affected by the floods

The next few days are pretty critical and will be our biggest test since 2007. As then the key is community resilience and if any of you see a situation that needs help please let me know.

This evening we celebrate Jamie McDonald's amazing 5,000 mile run across Canada. I hope that celebration isn't immediately followed by any of my constituents being flooded at home.

The watchword is ‘Continuity’ Minimize

Exclusive interview
Seizing an opportunity of capturing RW Bro Adrian Davies and W Bro Tim Henderson-Ross in the same room at the same time, your SquareTalk reporter gained first-hand insight into their thoughts running up to the change of leadership in the Province in May.  W Bro Dick Smith and DPGM and PGMOver soft-drinks, in the relaxed atmosphere of Stroud Masonic Hall following a Gloucestershire Masonic Society lecture, they were nevertheless asked some direct questions and, not surprisingly, gave some pretty straight answers.

ST: Today we have heard a fascinating lecture on the history of masonry in this Province.  It was interesting to learn how different PGMs steered the brethren of Gloucestershire, particularly through some sticky times in the eighteenth century.  Did either of you imagine when you took your first steps you would reach the very pinnacle of the Craft in this Province?

PGM: Not even in my wildest dreams!  I suppose I’ve been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.  I was 28 when I was initiated into Royal Lodge of Faith & Friendship.  It took ten years to get to the chair, which was quite quick in those days.  I was the youngest of my circle, so sadly the others have passed on.  I became an active Senior Deacon in 1987 and then later Swordbearer.  I retired from the Police in 1990, so that gave me time to devote to both my Freemasonry, including helping out at the Wotton office, and being a JP.  I was on the bench for 14 very enjoyable years.  In 1996, I was made the Provincial Grand Almoner and that really got me very much involved in Executive matters.

ST: And how about you, W Bro Tim?  Did you believe you were destined for the top?

Clearly, to those making such decisions, the methods of Masonic preferment are probably highly logical, although often unfathomable to those on the receiving end!  I was initiated in the Lodge of Grace only twenty years ago and was a Millennium Master.  I believe RW Bro Adrian attended my installation, so our paths thus became curiously linked.  I was made an active Provincial ADC in 2005.  In parallel, I was working extensively in London and was invited to join a Grand Stewards’ Lodge by a work colleague, later becoming a Grand Steward; an enormous honour.  Back in Gloucestershire, I took over as the Director of Ceremonies, then progressed to Assistant PGM and suddenly Deputy some six months ago.  Yes, you could say it has been something of a whirlwind, but certainly never expected.

Why now?
ST: A question for you, RW Bro Adrian.  What induced you to step down at this time?

  Last year, in a very short period of time, I had three different deputies.  All three are personal friends of mine, of course, and they were all magnificently efficient in their duties.  But the rapid change naturally produced a great deal of strain which I am not too proud to say I felt.  Angela suggested very strongly that I should “step down a gear”.  Being the PGM is a full-on commitment and not one which allows you to actually “step down a gear!”  So, it was clearly time to hand over to a younger man and one whom I could recommend.  W Bro Tim was my recommendation.  He is a man in the same mould.  I would never have endorsed anyone who did not believe in the same principles. 

Your tenure has seen a change in the financial fortunes of the public at large, RW Bro Adrian.  I assume that must naturally be reflected in rank and file Freemasons.  How do you view this?

PGM: The issue of charity has always been very important to me.  The money received by Gloucestershire from the four charities since 2009 has increased by a massive 77% . . . . . in fact 39% in the past year!  Because of these changing times, I believe that there will be an even greater call on these charities in the future.  That is why it is so important that we all support the 2018 Festival and  get behind W Bro Tim who will lead us in achieving our goals.

DPGM: I’d like to add that I have been struck by the work which the Grand Charity does, particularly in Gloucestershire.  It deserves our support.  I am enthusiastically endorsing the appeal.

Grand Master’s visit

ST:  The Province is buzzing with news of the forthcoming visit to us from the Grand Master at Gloucester Cathedral in March.  What prompted him to make this visit at this particular time?

It is simply to celebrate the work of local Freemasons.  There is no doubt that our profile has been raised in the county, not least in the eyes of the Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff, both of whom attended the service last year.  This will be a wonderful opportunity for the brethren to bring along their wives and partners to witness the special occasion.

DPGM: It is such a happy coincidence that it is occurring in the PGM’s last year.       

ST: W Bro Tim, during his time at the top, which of the PGM’s achievements would you highlight?

A number of initiatives have been consolidated over the past seven years.  We’ve not mentioned yet the mentoring system.  The activities of Membership Stewards are hugely important when addressing the subject of retention.  Feedback from the brethren indicates that the Appointments and Promotions Panels have been successful in providing fairer and more effective structures.  The PGM’s Appeal Fund realised a magnificent £1.3m and we have also had stabilisation of the Masonic Housing Program.  Need I go on?  In short, it is fair to say RW Bro Adrian has led the Province into the 21st century.  It has blossomed due to his warm personality.

ST: This Royal Visit will be seen by many as another example of the openness with which Freemasonry is now being credited.  We have seen impressive changes in this direction in recent years, which we imagine can only be to the general advantage of the Craft.  We know you personally have been much involved in developing communication, W Bro Tim, particularly in respect of the website and with open involvement with the Gloucester Parade, for example.  What plans do you have for the Province?

DPGM: I certainly intend to continue that policy of openness, which was started by Grand Lodge and has been enthusiastically supported by the present PGM.  I will be encouraging public interviews in the media and want to hear brethren speak of their Freemasonry with pride.  Yes, the Gloucester Parade has been very successful in raising our public profile.  I’d like to see more brethren proudly parading with us.  The Outreach programme has been another accomplishment in this field and more brethren assisting with that would be very useful and gratefully perceived.  I will continue to go out with the CAST team, which also puts us in the public eye.  I’m a great believer in promoting Freemasonry by example as opposed to ‘tub-thumping’.

The future?

ST: So what’s on the horizon for yourself, RW Bro Adrian?       

PGM: I have always been pleased to serve the Province over the years and nothing will change in that regard!  I will be there to support W Bro Tim whenever I’m called on.  The overall support I have received from the brethren has made the past seven years an unqualified pleasure.  I must admit it will be nice to have the freedom to visit when and where I wish in future.  For example, I’ll be able to spend more time following my passion for rugby and supporting the new Rugby Union Lodge.

ST: How would you like to sum up, W Bro Tim?

DPGM: Anyone who has spent a few minutes in the company of the Provincial Grand Master and myself will have recognised that I have a great deal of respect for him.  We have worked very well together over the past few years.  The only changes I envisage will be consequent on our different personalities . . . . nothing else.  The watchword will be ‘continuity’!

ST: And you, sir?

PGM: I am unequivocally thrilled that W Bro Tim is taking the helm.  I believe that the changeover will be seamless and that he will serve the Province well.

ST: May I on behalf of the brethren wish you both the very best for your futures and thank-you for being very frank with your comments.

Somewhat echoing that ‘continuity’ message, the response was in unison; in fact almost rehearsed . . . “It’s been a pleasure!”

News in Brief
Celebrating 300 years ‘united’! - 01 March 2015

 “The word ‘united’ is extremely appropriate as we move forward to our three hundredth anniversary celebrations in 2017,” said Peter Lowndes, the Pro Grand Master. Read More....

New Assistant PGM announced - 22 February 2015

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Tim Henderson-Ross, on a team visit to Royal Agricultural College Lodge in Cirencester, where the Provincial Senior Grand Warden, W Bro Nigel Bridges, is the Treasurer, chose this moment to announce that W Bro Nigel would be appointed Assistant Provincial Grand Master in May. Read more and Pictures...

Central Masonic Charities announcement - 22 February 2015

This message brings important news about proposals to consolidate the work of the four central Masonic Charities (CMCs) into one new charity. Read more...

Surprise Birthday Present for Military Wives.. - 03 February 2015

As they celebrated their first anniversary, the Bristol Military Wives Choir received an unexpected visit from Downend Lodge. Unbeknownst to them, the choir had been the chosen recipients of lodge raffle proceeds. Read more and pictures....


Cotswold Challenge ~ Walk for the 2018 Festival! - 02 February 2015

Cotswold Walk Entry Form
The event to be held on 13th June 2015 is simply to challenge yourself and raise hopefully £25 or more as a single donation from each of your sponsors who will donate online or via a single premium donation form. All proceeds to go to the 2018 Festival.
Click Here for an Entry Form and updated information...2/2/2015

50-100 Club Burns Night raises £650 - 27 January 2015

The 50-100 Club was ‘invented’ some ten years ago originally to help raise funds for Gloucestershire’s 2006 Festival. It proved so effective that it was sensibly decided to retain the initiative for successive festivals. Read more and Pictures...

New Newent Lodge making progress.. - 25 January 2015

Zetland Lodge in Gloucester has voted to sponsor the new Daffodil Lodge, destined for Newent. The necessary petition was signed by the Master and Wardens in open Lodge at the December meeting. Read more and pictures..


GMCA support for Milestone School - 25 January 2015

The Milestone School is a special school for children with severe and complex disabilities and the grant was requested to advance the education of pupils. Read more...

“It wouldn’t be a Burns Night without the Lassies!” - 19 January 2015

For almost two decades, Hambrook Lodge has organised a Burns Night at their January meeting. Over the years, however, their ladies being constantly regaled with tales of merriment in the true Bro Burns manner, were understandably envious! Read what happened...

MS Therapy Centre says ‘Thank-you’ - 17 January 2015

“On behalf of the West of England MS Therapy Centre, I would like to thank you for your kind donation of £1,000 from Gloucester Masonic Charity Action." says Terri McDonald, Head of Fundraising for The West of England MS Therapy Centre. Read more and pictures...

Champagne, Jazz and Christmas Carols at The Daffodil! - 13 January 2015

The Master of Foundation Lodge W Bro Adam Khodabaccus, hosted the annual Christmas event at The Daffodil in Cheltenham, raising over £1000. Read more and pictures..

Masonic Orders working together... - 11 January 2015

It was with considerable pleasure that cheques to the total value of £2,950 were handed over to Kate’s Home Nursing. It was a wonderful example of Masons working together to support such a very worthy charity. Click here for more and pictures


GO’s Mess provides platform for reformed character! - 10 November 2014

It certainly proved the case this time when the Gloucester-born Mayor of Barton, Delroy Ellis (left), used the opportunity to thank the brethren for supporting his charity, ‘Increase the Peace’.  Read More and Pictures...

A Tale of Two Passports! - 10 November 2014

It was the turn of Gloucestershire to host the popular annual get-together with the Province of Bristol and, as expected, The Hill at Stroud proved a delightfully suitable setting. Read More and Pictures....

Halloween Fund Raiser Tops £600 - 08 November 2014

There were ghouls and ghosts aplenty at Stapleton for a Halloween special which proved a ‘screaming’ success for the many who ventured out.
Read More and Guolish Pictures...

Gala Auction raises £10k for the Festival - 22 October 2014

There were over 100 brethren, wives, partners and friends present at the Thistle Hotel in Cheltenham for the Provincial Gala Dinner and Auction.
Read more and Pictures..

Gloucestershire Community Foundation 25th Birthday Party - 17 September 2014

The Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Dame Janet Trotter, the President of the Foundation, together with the Chair, Roger Head, and Trustees, were invited with a number of people to a Garden Party at Highnam Court to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Read more and Pictures..

Kingswood Chase and Tyndall Harvest Summer Fayre - 25 August 2014

The two lodges joined forces again to produce one of the highlights of the year in the south of the Province, with a couple of hundred people enjoying a fabulous day out at W Bro Jim Short’s Wick Farm. Click Here for Pictures

Highnam Family Day Out raises £4763 - 18 August 2014

One of the high-spots of the masonic calendar is the annual visit to Highnam Court for the family day out. Over 400 were rewarded by the dry weather and were royally entertained to boot. Who could not enjoy relaxing and picnicking in the 40 acres of stunning landscaped gardens surrounding this magnificent mansion, and raises £4763 towards the 2018 Grand Charity Festival Appeal  Click here for lots of Pictures...

Active Officers’ BBQ raises funds for charity - 10 August 2014

It has become customary for the Provincial Grand Wardens to organise a summer event on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master in order that the new officers and their partners get to know each other. Read More...

What it means to be a Freemason - 04 August 2014

United Grand Lodge of England have produced a new film explaining why Freemasonry occupies such a special place in so many people's hearts.
Click Here to watch

Latest Charity Stats - 29 July 2014

The central Masonic Charities have donated £17,764,232 in the twelve months to 30th June 2014. Read more..

MSF donation aids fight against dementia - 09 July 2014

“The MSF awarded £181,723 to Alzheimer’s Research UK in 2011 to fully fund the first two years of Professor Lovestone’s research,” said John McCrohan, Grants Director and Deputy Chief Executive. Read More..

A further £4000 for Midlands Air Ambulance - 23 June 2014

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Tim Henderson-Ross, was pleased to present this cheque, adding to the estimated £192,000 which Freemasons will donate to their regional rescue services during 2014.  Read more and Picture...

Helping Gloucestershire’s severely disabled children - 08 June 2014

Holding their summer meeting at Stroud, the Gloucestershire Installed Masters’ Lodge used the opportunity to host a presentation from the James Hopkins Trust. Read More...

Buckingham Palace Bound - 08 June 2014

VW Bro Colin Bendon and W Bro David Sullivan were invited to Her Majesty the Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace on 3rd June. Read More and Pictures...

Stroud Playgroup’s much-needed Grant - 05 May 2014

"The donation by local Freemasons will make a huge difference in helping us to achieve our dream of updating the aged facilities and keeping the playgroup running,” said leader Debbi Scobell on being presented with a cheque for £2,000 from Provincial Almoner Mark Smith.. Read More and Pictures...

CRY for help answered! - 11 April 2014

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Adrian Davies, stepped up to the plate to produce the £2,000 required to meet the £7,000 goal, the cost of carrying out screening sessions for 200 young sportsmen and women from the local area. Read more and Pictures.

Double Your Money Club raises £20k for 2018 Festival - 02 April 2014

Founders’ Inaugural Dinner
There were awards galore ~ some good ~ some amusing ~ but all deserved ~ at the inaugural dinner of this inspirational scheme; the brain-child of outgoing Provincial Grand Charity Steward W Bro Dave Sullivan.. Read all about it and Pictures.

Community Outreach Programme 2014 - 02 April 2014

 The  Community Outreach Team will be travelling far and wide this year.

 Full Program for this year Click Here

Did you know ?

There are 80 Lodges meeting in Gloucestershire with over 3000 members, want to find out more? Please feel free to research Freemasonry through this website and its various links or contact us for more information, we would be delighted to help.

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