Led by the WM Chris Betts, 14 members of Lodge of Charity No 2651, travelled on route 49 (A49) from Warrington to Shrewsbury and were accompanied by some of their wives, to attend the 28th annual meeting of lodges with Lodge of Charity in their name. A convoy of four cars set off early in the morning to arrive in Shrewsbury well before lunch.
When they arrived at their host’s destination they were informed that an ‘on foot tour’ of Shrewsbury had been organised. This proved to be a little too strenuous for one or two of the contingency, but those who completed the tour said it was very enjoyable. Typical comments being made were: “We have been treated to a wonderful and very informative guided tour of Shrewsbury”, by David Trumper, a member of the host lodge. A vote of thanks was offered to David.
Upon their return following the tour they arrived back at their destination, hungry and looking for food and duly settled in a suitable eatery and enjoyed the refreshments on offer.
There are 16 lodges with Lodge of Charity in their name under the auspices of United Grand Lodge of England and one under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of Ireland. This year the meeting was arranged by the Salopian Lodge of Charity No 117, an Atholl lodge in Shrewsbury.
The lodge meeting was chaired and opened by the WM Rev Philip Niblock, in the presence of Roger Brentnall Pemberton, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Shropshire. The meeting was well supported by over 70 brethren from nine of the Lodges of Charity.
Following the usual administrative business David Foulkes, lodge almoner, gave a very emotive talk based on information taken from the archives of the lodge. He described many of the petitions made to the lodge almoner at the time of the First World War.
This was followed by brethren of the host lodge presenting a third degree walking charge, a piece of ritual which was completely new to most of the brethren in attendance and proved to be very interesting.
The festive board that followed consisted of Shropshire blue and broccoli soup, Shropshire fidget pie, Shropshire biscuits with lemon curd and crème fraiche and Shropshire cheese board. A raffle was held which raised a total of £313 with proceeds going to the 2019 Festival.
During the evening all visitors were presented with a very comprehensive booklet covering the history of the host lodge, a commemorative key ring, bottle opener and shopping trolley coin. For the Warrington Masons it proved to be an ideal opportunity to meet old friends and make many new ones. They enjoyed the day very much and are looking forward to the next annual meeting of the Lodges of Charity to take place in 2017 which will be held in Bradford.