Lodge Number 9569 in the Register of the United Grand Lodge of England
An international and widely recognised fraternity, Freemasonry provides its members with the opportunity to embark on an amazing lifelong journey of learning and self-discovery and of deepening personal moral strength and compassion. Most Masons find the experience both challenging and rewarding and above all, enormously enjoyable.
Whilst dating back several centuries in this country no one knows exactly when Freemasonry, as we know it today, started.
However, the Craft on which it was founded, that of stonemasons, dates back thousands of years, recent examples of which can be seen everywhere, in our castles, churches, cathedrals, and other historic buildings.
The strict rules and guidelines that were used to train and develop young men into supreme masters of the stonemason's craft are used in Freemasonry, but now, in metaphorical form, to develop the character, values and spirit of the individual.
For Freemasonry expounds the art of self-discovery and continuous self-improvement; of using human virtues as templates, enabling men gradually to fashion, sculpt and craft themselves into better individuals from the inner person and hopefully, to become even more helpful, worthy and useful members of society.
Buckinghamshire and Berkshire were originally in a joint Masonic Province, but, in 1890, they became independent, with Lord Carrington as Provincial Grand Master for Buckinghamshire.However, Sir John Throckmorton had been PGM in 1796, although there were no Lodges, it is purely a nominal office within Grand Lodge.
Buckinghamshire was without a Lodge until May 1852, when Buckingham Lodge No. 591 was formed at Aylesbury. Sir John was also PGM for Berkshire, but on his death in 1819 no further appointment was made for Buckinghamshire until 1847 when the two Provinces were united under the Marquess of Downshire.
Lord Carrington's Installation took place at the then County Hall, Aylesbury. The entire range of buildings was used for the occasion. The actual Ceremony took place in one of the courts, whilst the luncheon was held in the Corn Exchange. The first Lodges in Buckinghamshire were consecrated in 1892, and in 1901, at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting at Marlow, a Provincial Benevolent Fund was founded. In 1905 the Provincial Directory was revived and has appeared annually ever since.
Moreover, 1905 was also the last occasion - except 1941 - in which Provincial Grand Lodge met in the Province, its annual meeting since 1906 being held at Freemasons' Hall, London.
At the 1920 meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, mention is made of the Masonic Million Memorial, to which every Lodge in Buckinghamshire subscribed. As every Lodge in the province raised the qualifying amounts, they were each entitled to be known as a Hall Stone Lodge. This gave Buckinghamshire the very great distinction of being the only Hall Stone Province within the United Grand Lodge, and for this reason, there is a Lodge room in Freemasons' Hall, London, named after Buckinghamshire.
The 1939 and 1940 meetings of Provincial Grand Lodge were cancelled because of the war, and in 1941 it was held at Wycombe Abbey School. The 1942 meeting was abandoned, and in 1943 was back at Great Queen Street.
Following the end of the Second World War, the Province expanded rapidly. In 1980, the Prebendal Close sheltered housing scheme, a Buckinghamshire project, but largely financed by the Masonic Housing Association topped up by Buckinghamshire Masons, was officially opened.
Currently there are over 120 Lodges in the Province and more than 5,000 subscribing members.
The whole ethos of modern Freemasonry is the support for international, national and local charities and helping those less fortunate in our own local communities.
Although our ceremonies still form the intrinsic core of our fraternity, giving service to the community at large has become the main focus of our activities.
Buckinghamshire Freemasonry has a long history of giving both financial aid and human resources.
Over the last decade, there have been many highlights but the continuing financial support for 'The Pace Centre' in Aylesbury by the BMCF, Lodges and individuals and the adoption of the principle of giving a little respite to both young and adult carers throughout the county are perhaps the jewels in our crown.
Our community projects cover a wide spectrum of events from Christmas parties for young and adult carers, to day trips and special events for disabled and underprivileged children including events held throughout the year by the 'Masonic Trout & Salmon Fishing Charity' to clay pigeon shooting and golf days run by the Beaconsfield ' Freemasonry in the Community' centre committee. The expertise of Masons throughout the province is wide and varied so there is seldom a project or event that we are unable to organise, run or support.
Some of our recent projects include day trips to Drayton Manor Park for autistic children in the Aylesbury area, Adventure days out for young carers in the Wycombe / Beaconsfield area, refurbishment of local community group halls in south bucks, OAP and carers dinners and Christmas functions throughout the county, community shows, public garden restoration projects, care home repairs and decorating, assisting with community fundraising eg. sponsored walks, rides, Armistice Day lunches for veterans in Winslow and Buckingham areas.