Leicestershire Freemasons celebrate new varsity generation joining the fraternity with a unique joint meeting

The Wyggeston Lodge No.3448 was part of a unique joint meeting held in Leicester on Saturday 23rd May 2015 along with Castle of Leicester Lodge No.7767 and Lodge of Science and Art No.8429. They met together in the inaugural joint meeting to celebrate their recent successes as Universities’ Scheme Lodges and to conduct each of the three degrees in Freemasonry to timely assist in progressing members.

Since joining the Universities’ Scheme, over 30 university staff, student and alumni have joined the Wyggeston Lodge in four years. The Wyggeston Lodge is the Scheme Lodge for the University of Leicester. The Castle of Leicester Lodge is the Scheme Lodge for De Montfort University and the Lodge of Science and Art is the Scheme Lodge for Loughborough University and have had similar success.

Members of the three Lodges and visitors from across the country gathered in the decorative Holmes Lodge Room at Freemasons’ Hall to witness each Lodge conducting one of the three ceremonies consisting of Candidates from all three lodges.

The United Grand Lodge of England, the governing body of the Freemasons, launched the Universities Scheme in 2005 to forge links with local University students and other young men so that they are able to enjoy membership of our historic fraternal and charitable organisation. A total of 63 Lodges in main university towns and cities across the country have now joined the scheme since its inception 10 years ago and have welcomed many hundreds of new members. The scheme also holds a bi-annual conference and Leicester will be honoured to host the next conference at the Headquarters of the Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons on London Road in November 2015.

The Acting Master of the Lodge of Science and Art, WBro Peter Legg, started the day’s proceedings with a triple Raising ceremony. After a short break, the Acting Master of The Wyggeston Lodge, WBro Andy Green, assisted by other members of the Lodge conducted a triple Passing Ceremony including our member Bro Kirpal Hundal who joined via the Scheme. Those assisting in the ceremony were Bros Paul Bodycot (Senior Warden), John Harvey (Junior Deacon), Peter Clarke (acting Senior Deacon), Chris Kent (Assistant Deacon) and WBros Tom Bodycot (Acting Junior Warden), Dipak Chauhan (IPM) and Kelvin Johnson (acting Chaplain) together with VWBro Peter Kinder, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, who acted as Director of Ceremonies. The Castle of Leicester Lodge then conducted a triple Initiation with Acting Master, WBro Paul Wallace taking the Chair.

The Lodges were pleased to welcome the Deputy Chairman of the Universities Scheme, WBro Daniel Johnson, who said it was “a marvellous day” and that the Province were seen as huge supporters of the Scheme.

The members of the three Lodges enjoyed a special celebration Festive Board after the meeting and raised several hundred pounds for the Alderman Newton’s Educational Foundation a local charity that offers financial support to individuals and schools to help people access education or training opportunities in Leicestershire.

The entire meeting went extremely well and clearly demonstrated the very good heart of the three Universities’ Scheme Lodges within the Province of Leicestershire and Rutland. Andy Green said “It was indeed an honour and pleasure acting as the Master for the Passing Ceremony at this auspicious occasion. I sincerely hope that we will be able to replicate this joint meeting again in the future as it has been a wonderful occasion.”

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