Enriching a ceremony with ancient ritual


W Bro Ash Butler – IPM – reports

Members and guests of the Manor of Stockwell Lodge No 4746 were treated to a Raising with a notable difference at their June meeting.

As if a double third wasn’t enough, it was decided to treat Brothers Owen Lee and Martin Ritchie (and Lodge members) to not one but two pieces of expertly delivered ancient ritual.

The WM, W Bro Richard Armstrong, LGR and his officers ably proceeded with the ceremony in the Lodge’s own inimitable style until W Bro Phil Hutt LGR broke off part way through his expert delivery of the Charge after Raising.

Sporting his new dark blue LGR apron, Bro Phil suddenly paused and handed it over to the Lodge’s longstanding permanent invited guest, W Bro Chris Eley. Bro Chris then proceeded to deliver an impactful and thought-provoking piece on the emblems of mortality, focusing on the hourglass.

The sentiment of this rare ritual was lost on no one. It had indeed been only a few minutes since W Bro Steve Eggleton, PGStB, had delivered an emotional eulogy for a much-loved brother and Lodge member, W Bro Ian Mead LGR. After a well-fought battle with cancer, Bro Ian had recently been called to the Grand Lodge Above. The poignant ritual made the brethren reflect on the need to perform our allotted tasks while it is yet day.

Not to be outdone, though, another regular visitor, Bro Josh Vaughan, seamlessly delivered the “Walking Charge” with equal expertise and emotion to a riveted audience. Unsurprisingly, there was a tangible and palpable buzz for quite some time after the successful meeting had ended. Everyone was on an enjoyable high. Bros Owen and Martin had both patiently waited for a wee while for their raising, for obvious reasons, but everyone agreed that it was well worth the delay!

The labours of the evening being ended, the Lodge and its guests retired to the Union Jack Club for an enthusiastic festive board where the high spirits naturally continued, reflected in the cheery toasts being both well delivered and well received all around.

The raffle raised a tidy sum to be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of W Bro Ian Mead. Several officers were due to hike the South Downs on the Macmillan Mighty Hike the following day, so a few hurried exits were made to ensure at least a few hours of rest before an early alarm. All parted in exceedingly good form and looking forward to the next meeting to hopefully pass the Lodge’s Lewis, Bro Lewis Bird (and yes, he is a Lewis, too!)

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 50 December 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 50 here.