ISSUE 11, October 2004
Elias Ashmole: Masonic Icon
Travel: The magical beauty of Scotland
Honoured: By the Glovers' livery company
The Theatre: Strong links between Craft and stage
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Mauritius: Fascinating Masonic history
Rochester Cathedral: Kent Masons' magnificent fresco
Clerkenwell: 25 years of Masonry
  Bravery award: One Mason's heroism is honoured
Christmas shopping: What to buy in London's West End
High flight: Helping terminally ill children
Jewels of the Craft: An essential part of Masonry
Library & Museum: John Pine exhibition and Library & Museum Trust report
Masonic education: Events for Masons; Quatuor Coronati Lodge; Mentors for new Masons
Charities: Masons provide emergency aid for flood victims; Charity news; Demelza gives voice
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Rochester Cathedral

A fresco largely funded by Freemasons has been dedicated at Rochester Cathedral to the people of Kent.
Charles Marchant reports.
   Left: PGMs William Bryen (left) of West Kent and John Bonomy, East Kent, in front of the fresco

Below: Crowds throng in front of the magnificent fresco

A window on the world

Few places can claim a continuous history going back 1,400 years – but Rochester Cathedral can – and on Thursday, 24 June, a special service was held in the Cathedral to celebrate its foundation by Bishop Justus in 604AD.
    As part of the celebration a magnificent fresco, largely funded by the Freemasons of Kent as a millennium gift, was dedicated. It will form a magnificent backdrop to the new Baptistery being set up in the north nave transept.
    The special service was lead by the Acting Dean, Canon Jonathan Meyrick, supported by the Bishop of Tonbridge, Rt. Rev. Dr. Brian Castle, the College of Canons, the Honorary Priest Vicars and other clergy from the Diocese and included a specially commissioned anthem by John Taverner. The Acting Dean, on behalf of the Chapter, expressed their gratitude for the generous gift.
    The packed congregation was headed by the Lord Lieutenant of the County of Kent, Allen Willett, and included the Vice-Chairman of Kent County Council, Cllr F. Gibson, and several mayors from the county.
    The Freemasons of Kent were represented by RW Bro William Bryen, Provincial Grand Master for West Kent and RW Bro John Bonomy, Provincial Grand Master for East Kent, together with members of the two Provincial Executives and many individual Freemasons.
    At a second service three days later on Sunday 27th June, several hundred Kent Masons, their families and friends, packed the cathedral, and led by the two Provincial Grand Masters, united in a Service of Thanksgiving. The Very Reverend Edward Shotter, Dean Emeritus of Rochester, preached the sermon.
    It was he who had first proposed the fresco as part of the cathedral’s new Baptistery in the north nave transept, a spot where pilgrims have entered the building for centuries and where it will have maximum impact.
    In his sermon, Dean Shotter said that in an age where visual images play such an important part in our lives, the fresco will be a powerful way of communicating the message for a renewal of faith.