Provincial Grand Lodge Of Gloucestershire

Building Together at Cotteswold Lodge

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Building Together at Cotteswold Lodge

When you first walk through the door into the Masonic hall you can instantly tell how good a lodge is from the welcome. I knew I was in for something special though as Mark Smith, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, had urged me to go to see all the good things the lodge is doing.

What shows very clearly that something special is happening here is that I met two young men, both in their twenties, who were both initiated at the previous lodge meeting. The meeting I attended was also due to be a double initiation but one candidate had had to drop out due to a family bereavement, making it just a single initiation; the lodge was duly apologetic about that! What’s more the lodge balloted for another two candidates in that meeting! The lodge is by no means a large one but it is growing fast. When I asked the Master, Alan Rodgers, what the secret is as there are many other lodges who would like to be doing the same his answer was telling: ‘There’s no secret, we’re just putting a bit of effort into it.’ Actually he puts a lot into it himself as he commutes from Bannockburn for every lodge meeting.

The standard of the ceremony was exceptional (under the watchful eye of the Director of Ceremonies, Martyn Smith) and was almost completely perfect but when there was a minor glitch the Master just gave a knowing smile and everything moved on knowing that it will be perfect next time. The atmosphere in the lodge and over the meal is certainly indicative of why this lodge is so successful: it is easy to understand why candidates would feel comfortable coming into this lodge.

They are also firmly rooted in their community, currently working with the CHURN project to help set up a local Men’s Shed. Ian Chamberlain, after he had finished leading the candidate around, told me: ‘There is so much we Freemasons have to offer our community above and beyond the little white envelope’ (that is the charity donation each member makes at each meeting). It is a superb example of a lodge being fully on board with the United Grand Lodge of England principles of Integrity – Friendship – Respect – Service which we will be reporting on again as the members of the lodge lend their talents and expertise to help get the Men’s Shed off the ground.

It seems as if the Lodge is successfully implementing UGLE’s mission of ‘Building Together’ with each part of the structure securely in place: a happy lodge, valuable to and valued by its local community, bringing in new young members.

Our thanks to the Master Alan Rodgers, Secretary Tony Dix, Junior Warden Alex Wilson and Senior Deacon Ian Chamberlain for their hospitality and assistance in putting together this article. Our photograph shows Assistant Provincial Grand Master Mark Smith with Master Alan Rodgers presenting a fifty years service certificate to Phillip Ackerman Morgans who turns 93 in June; and with the two who were initiated at the March meeting.

Nick Ellwood – Provincial Communications Officer

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Building Together at Cotteswold Lodge