Lloyd Pickering's Blog

Personal blog site of Lloyd covering diverse topics of Programming, Freemasonry and Gaming

Introduction to Freemasonry

As an introduction post on Freemasonry I felt it appropriate to plagiarise myself. Recently my mother lodge (Old Dunelmian 8100) held our installation meeting. Installation is a big occasion for a lodge and happens once a year when we install the new master of the lodge (kind of like the president of the lodge).

At this particular meeting, we were honoured with the presence of many provincial and grand officers. During the festive board (meal) that followed some of the provincial big wigs spoke to me about a post I made on Lodgeroom introducing myself. They congratulated me on writing passionately about how I came to get involved in Freemasonry and what it means to me. They felt that it might be a good example for others to consider getting involved. They suggested I should keep posting about my experiences (note the thoughts and opinions in this blog are my own personal opinions and in no way reflect the official views of anyone else in Freemasonry). Here is the text from the original post:


Hi All!,

I’m Lloyd and I’m currently a FC in Old Dunelmian 8100 (a school lodge for former pupils/staff of Durham School).

I guess I should really explain a little how I became involved in the craft, and what’s happened to date!

I have a thirst for knowledge and I was always intrigued by the idea of freemasonry but I thought it was an invitation only type thing, so didn’t actively pursue it in any way. I wasn’t aware of anyone who was a mason, or the whole process etc, and there’s so much crap floating around online that you can’t really be sure what is true or false doing your own research.

A bit shy of 2 years ago my (now ex) gf and I were invited along to one of her friends’ place for dinner. I got talking to her father, who it turns out is a Grand Officer. Even though the invitation to dinner was as my ex’s +1, I seem to move in the same circles as my ex’s friend went to school with my sister, and another sister was in the year above me at school (and also into IT like me). As part of my business studies a level at school, the family’s business was used as a case study and we were shown around etc. It’s kind of surprising that I didn’t end up in contact on my own, really.

The conversation at dinner turned to the craft and I expressed an interest in finding out a bit more about out the whole thing and another dinner was arranged with some of the members of OD 8100 lodge. From there I got a chance to ask any questions, and the usual questions were asked of me. The restaurant was conveniently located around the corner from the lodge which allowed us to go have a look around the temple afterwards. I really enjoyed this as I was able to compare and contrast with the restored temple at Beamish Museum (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, see: http://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/freemasonry/freemasonry.htm)

The evening resulted in an invitation to a social night a short while after, and an application form was submitted that night. The wait after putting in an application seemed to take forever, but eventually I was initiated in May 2011. At this meeting I also got my first ‘promotion’ as I was asked if I wouldn’t mind serving on the lodge committee (still don’t know what I’m supposed to do, but I haven’t been asked to do anything so far, so it’s all good) and be a steward for the coming year. I also made my first mistake as when all the provincial officers stood to give fraternal greetings it seemed to me that the whole room was upstanding, so I stood up too which resulted in a few chuckles and a few well humoured comments that possibly I was jumping the gun a little!

The next meeting in July was our installation. For this meeting the lodge asks for a special dispensation to meet at the school, with the lodge set up in the theatre, and a meal afterwards in the school’s hall. The meeting was brilliant, but obviously as an EA I missed more of the actual ceremony than I saw; having said that, with a few hundred people wearing black tie, rammed into a theatre with no air-con in July…I think I may have got the better end of the deal (46). The grand officer who introduced me to the lodge is also their VGO, and I was in his party for the festive board along with a chap from Universities lodge which was the other lodge I was considering (I did my Master’s at Durham recently). This was great as I got a chance to learn a bit more about the universities scheme and how it all works etc.

I was passed In December 2011, and was pleased that the ceremony was less…opaque. Unfortunately the meet clashed with the provincial carol service so numbers were a little light…when it came to toast the provincial officers at the festive board I was the only one to actually toast (other than the WM). We don’t do firing thankfully, or I would have looked like a right idiot stood there basically on my own.

I am due to be raised in September. In the meanwhile we have another FC who is due to be raised ahead of me and a new candidate to initiate (as well as our installation).I was hoping they would do a double raising so I didn’t have to wait so long before I could visit, but nothing seems to move quickly in the craft :)

As I guess will be clear, I am very much enjoying things, and am looking forward to seeing degrees being performed where I’m not in the candidate’s shoes! While I don’t intend on going overboard when the doors to other lodges and side orders open up, I do look forward to meetings currently and only wish my lodge met more frequently than six times a year (I guess that’s why I’m on this site). I have been warned though that it is easy to get pulled into too many things too quickly which can make it all seem like a chore.

I would certainly recommend the craft to those considering it and have had some friends along to the social evenings on the hopes one or two will make the decision to follow me in. No pressure though (1)

I look forward to getting to know the ‘locals’ here.

Categorized as Freemasonry

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