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I am getting old; for which I am grateful. It is much better than pushing up daisies in an overgrown churchyard. I still have many things to enjoy and take pleasure in, though needing glasses, false teeth and hearing aids makes getting started in the morning somewhat slower.

   Lodges too grow old and of what possible use, is a Lodge that has become deaf to the demands of new times, stiff, blind and cantankerous; only looking back to how things used to be, resisting change, stifling the efforts and ambitions of a new generation?

   We all like the comfort of the familiar and we can sometimes resent change

and new ways of doing things. “We’ve always done it that way…  “

Youngsters sometimes like to do things differently – just because they like

to do things differently.

   We need to distinguish those things that belong to our generation

and those things that have an abiding value – which could perhaps be

called the ancient usages and landmarks.

   If age brings wisdom, it is surely that we should hand on core values and then graciously accept that a new generation paints with new colours, in new ways, on different canvases even though, sometimes, we don’t like the results.

   We should celebrate the journey of our Lodge thus far; revel with pride and satisfaction in what has been done well. Celebrate what was achieved. Take pride in being members of a Lodge with a long tradition and learn from the important lessons on that journey.

   In 2020 we have experienced extraordinary times with a worldwide pandemic (as did our brothers in 1918 and 1920 when perhaps 50 million people died worldwide). As  yet, we cannot see what the future will bring and how different things will be. Whatever, we will pick up the task again and begin writing a new history.

   As Masons and members of the Lodge of Friendship: -

Take pride in the work of the Lodge by discharging your offices to the very best of your abilities;

Bring to the Lodge and to your brethren a reflection of that Light and Love which is the nature of our Creator.

Hand on to a future generation those Masonic mysteries which are at the heart of our work.

Perpetuate that warmth, generosity and humanity that should always distinguish us as men and as Masons;

Maintain in their fullest splendour those truly Masonic ornaments, benevolence and charity.

John Winstanley September 2020

PS: be kind to old folks !

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Updated: Nov 13, 2020


Grumpy Gargoyle

The masonic journey is symbolised in our Lodges by the rough and perfect ashlars - the rough ashlar, a formless stone taken from the quarry and the perfect ashlar formed into a carefully worked stone of true die, ready to be developed further in the hands of an expert workman.

However, the majority of stones, though precisely and carefully prepared, never become the richly carved and admired focus of attention but yet support and uphold the intricately constructed arch, the soaring walls, and fine towers. All these plain stones, in large numbers, give essential strength and stability to support the few intricately carved decorative stones.

Those amongst us that are raised up and given prominence and admiration should always remember that they are held up and supported by the plainer yet essential stones of their foundations, walls and pillars. The building would stand without decorative stones but without foundations the most intricate carvings have no purpose.

We are not all destined to be the delicate wings of an angel, maybe not even the frightening visage of an ugly gargoyle yet we all have a place and an essential contribution to make in our shared quest from darkness and ignorance to light, creativity and generosity.

John Winstanley

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  • Lodge of Friendship No44

Updated: Jul 27, 2020


No, this isn't our DC in his garden as he has currently got much more facial hair. However he and all the members of Lodge of Friendship want to know how you and your family are coping with the current restrictions. We would like your ideas and suggestions for how we can help each other through these times and come back stronger when the restrictions ease. Members, please email us with any contributions to this blog and we will put your ideas on our wall.

"Actually, the picture bears some resemblance to our Almoner!"

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