RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION
I would like to add to some of the issues
raised by Terence Waters and refer to the
article by Tony Harvey (MQ, Issue No.
20). Modern life has changed, but
whether for the better I cannot answer.
Freemasonry is that overriding light that
does not change, but it has to innovate:
“innovation through tradition” is the key
to survival and success.
Whilst some practices are not always
conducive to everyday life, for instance,
commencement of many meetings at
5pm, others that might seem old
fashioned are part of our tradition.
They make us feel we are part of
history, maintaining the ethos of what
they created hundreds of years ago. The
successive cutting of tradition and
making things easier is not wrong, so
long as we do not downgrade it to lose
the challenges and uniqueness of the
Order. We all enjoy Freemasonry, but
some changes need more consideration.
In every Province, younger and newer
Brethren exist, and an understanding of
their thoughts and views should be
sought directly by the working parties
who advise the Rulers.
Tony Harvey’s article on Scouting and
Freemasonry highlights that if Lodges
form local links with young men,
collaborating with them in their journey
through Scouting, they hopefully will see
the support and comradeship that
They will then have a desire to
become part of the Masonic brotherhood.
Furthermore, with this in mind, the ladies
in Scouting would have a fuller understanding
of what Freemasonry is, with a
view to family life, the commitments, the
enjoyment and support to be had.
Helping and supporting young people
from an early age can benefit both
organisations in a constantly changing
world of ethics and values.
I found Peter Coward’s article (MQ, Issue
No. 20) about the Breeches Bible in the
possession of Lodge of Affability No. 317,
most informative. It is not, however, the
only example of the Geneva Bible in use in
the English Constitution.
My Lodge, Good Report No.136, uses
one, a 1585 edition printed in London by
Christopher Barker. It might be the bible
on which the Lodge was consecrated in
1765, but this cannot be confirmed. It has
been rebound in recent years and is in
remarkably good condition considering its
regular use in the past. It is now brought out
once a year for our Installation meeting.
I read Bro Coward's article on their Lodge's Breeches Bible with great interest. It was in a similar manner that I discovered our old Lodge bible - by scouring the bottom of the Lodge box - and it also appears to be a Breeches Bible.
It appears that our Bible was presented to our Lodge at our consecration in 1789. Our Breeches Bible is in perfect condition and was published in 1598. More information can be found at our Lodge web site at www.lionandlamb.org.uk
Archivist. Lion And Lamb Lodge No 192
… there is a Breeches Bible in the possession
of my Mother Lodge, the Lodge of
Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel) No.1 (SC), the
oldest Lodge in the world, with written
records dating back continuously to 1599,
more or less the period when the English
translation was coming into existence.
However, the Lodge has not had it for
as long as that, but I believe it was acquired,
as a gift, in the middle of the19th century.
Richard A. Savours,
… St Peter’s No. 419, which meets in
Wolverhampton – also has a Breeches Bible,
which is in regular use. It is a 1614 edition
and was presented to the Lodge by its first
Master in 1834. I know that Wulfruna
Preceptor No. 79 also has a Breeches Bible.
… To my knowledge, two Lodges in
Norwich use the Breeches Bible – Union
Lodge No. 52 and Mancroft Lodge No.
6074. Union Lodge was consecrated on
24 June 1736, and for some reason was
offered for sale in London.
It was purchased by Lord Amherst
of Hackney, a Past Master of the Lodge,
who presented it back to the Lodge on 2
November 1897. Half the title page,
including the date, is torn out, but it is
known to have been printed by the deputies
of Christopher Barker, printer to the Queen
King’s Lynn, Norfolk
… Alexander Burnett Brown Lodge No.
6133, Province of Middlesex, owned a
Breeches Bible, but the Lodge closed in 2000.
At closure, the Bible, together with other
family items, was returned to Alexander
Burnett Brown’s grandson, W Bro Anthony
Burnett Brown, who died in 2002.
David A Walters
… Lodge of Unity No. 386, which meets at
Wareham in Dorset, has used a Breeches
Bible since it received its Warrant in 1827.
At the time, Scientific Lodge of Crewkerne,
Somerset, was about to surrender its
Warrant, and the bible – dated 1585 – was
offered to the founders of Lodge of Unity.
… Mancroft Lodge No. 6074 also has a
Breeches Bible. The Lodge was consecrated
on 24 May 1945 by the then Bishop of
Norwich, Rt. Revd. Percy Mark Herbert,
Provincial Grand Master for Norfolk.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master,
Frederic Ray Eaton, assisted at the
ceremony, and presented the Bible, and
it is so inscribed. It is used at each Installation
of a Master, although not at the regular
meetings. It was printed in 1611 and contains
within the leather cover the signed Roll of
… The University of Manchester Mark Lodge No. 1001 has a Breeches Bible, presented at its foundation in 1944 by Bryan Cary, its first secretary. It was printed in 1599, bound with a 1664 Book of Common Prayer and a psalter.
Secretary, University of Manchester Mark Lodge
… A Breeches Bible, of exactly the same edition as that of Affability Lodge, is still in regular use in Carshalton Lodge No. 4429. It was presented to the Lodge at its consecration in 1922 by our first joining member, Edmund Hunt Dring, a Past Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076.
James Edgar Taylor
… Lodge of Harmony No. 133 also possesses a Breeches Bible, which appears to have been in constant use since well before 1829. In the late 1970s Sotheby's valued it at £20 for insurance purposes.
A R Thornhill
… Pilgrims Lodge No. 772 has a Breeches Bible on which every Master has sealed his Obligation since 1859. The only clue to the date is that pencilled above the printing: "Date 1603".
Left: The Lodge of Affability reference in the Geneva Bible
Above: The famous ‘breeches’ passage in Genesis III, Verse 7
Web site created by Mark Griffin