Notwithstanding that Freemasonry has been shut-down for 18-months or so due to the COVID pandemic, the members of Grey Friars Lodge No. 4990 have wasted no time getting back into action since restrictions were lifted in July.

New Members and Plenty of Hard Work!

The last meeting before lockdown, that held in February 2020, saw the initiation of Bro Craig Ablett. Craig is the grandson of a former member of Grey Friars, so the occasion of him joining the Lodge was a particularly delightful one.

A combination of a busy WhatsApp-group and regular Zoom meetings helped Craig feel at home even though face-to-face meetings weren’t possible. Now that the lodge is meeting again, Craig has happily taken-on the role of Steward.

Furthermore, Craig has since been joined by three more new members: Bro Tom Batchelor, who was initiated at an emergency meeting held in August 2021; Bro Chris Read, who was initiated at the September meeting; and Bro Ronnie Webber, who was initiated at the November meeting.

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From left, Bro Craig Ablett, Bro Chris Read, WBro Dave Crossley (Worshipful Master of Grey Friars Lodge), Bro Tom Batchelor, and Bro Ronnie Webber

Despite missing 18-months of Freemasonry, the Master of Grey Friars Lodge, WBro Dave Crossley, has managed to undertake all three Degree ceremonies including a Calling Off and Calling On. He will also lead a white-table meeting in December before handing over to his successor in January. All in all, a very creditable achievement.

With so many new members, Grey Friars is assured of plenty of work over the next couple of years, and the line of progression looks to be assured leading up to the Lodge’s centenary in 2028.

Well, They Do Say, “All Work and No Play…”

Thankfully, the return to Freemasonry has not only meant the return of lodge meetings, but also the reintroduction of social events.

Accordingly, WM WBro Dave Crossley was thrilled to hold his Ladies Festival at long last.

Over 60-people attended a wonderful evening at Sheaf Close with music provided by a live band, Similar Jones.

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With the usual combination of good food, and speeches; plenty of opportunity to dance; and the chance to catch-up with old friends and new, this proved to be a very special occasion.

First lady Sharon was, of course, the centre of attention. It was a tough ask, but somehow, she managed to enjoy being serenaded throughout the entire evening!

And Let’s Not Forget What It’s All About…

Freemasonry being all about charitable giving, it comes as no surprise that the brethren of Grey Friars Lodge have been doing their bit by collecting food parcels for the Northampton Hope Centre.

The Hope Centre (registered charity no. 1015743) helps people experiencing the most acute problems of disadvantage and marginalisation including homelessness, addiction, and mental health.

As well as giving practical support, they focus on helping people to help themselves, provide support and services that will enable individuals to take back control of their own lives, and campaign with them against the causes of their disadvantage.

The aim of the Grey Friars' lodge-members is to help less well-off families to have the best Christmas they can. They have been gathering staple food items and special treats for the Hope Centre to distribute to needy families.

Other local lodges are also supporting the initiative to try to bring smiles to the faces of some of our hard-pressed neighbours over the festive period.

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Almoner WBro Steve Mills and Chaplain WBro Mark Capel from Grey Friars delivering the first few food parcels

Anyone who would like to support the Grey Friars Lodge initiative can contact Steve or Mark via the Contact Form.