Warrington’s Parish Church of St Elphin’s saw local Freemasons dressed in full Masonic regalia, along with their families, attending the annual Warrington and District Masonic Group Service of Thanksgiving and Rededication.
The Warrington Group officials, Andy Barton (group chairman), Chris Gleave (vice chairman) and John McIntyre (secretary) welcomed the Mayor of Warrington Cllr Karen Elizabeth Mundry and Jason Mundry her Consort (son), along with Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kevin Poynton, Second Provincial Grand Principal Barry Jameson, Ian Clark and several other dignitaries to the service.
This year Ashmole Lodge No 5128 was invited to steward the service. Before the service started the banner of the group was paraded and then left exhibited throughout the service. A warm welcome was offered by Lee Marsh (Preacher).
The first reading was delivered by Brian Wilson, WM of Ashmole Lodge and Michael Moor, also a member of Ashmole Lodge, delivered the second reading.
The service was officiated by Rev Geoff Buchan and an inspiring address was delivered by Lee Marsh. He focused on the differences between knowledge and wisdom, providing a thought-provoking example that the ‘knowledge’ may tell us that a tomato is a fruit, but ‘wisdom’ prevents us from including it in a fruit salad. He related this to this information era and the knowledge base it provides, yet questions the wisdom of society with the extreme levels of crime and violence that surround us.
He continued to relate the edicts of Freemasonry having a belief in an ethical approach to life. Values based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness with members being urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount. However, Freemasonry also teaches and practises concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need, all of which may indicate the wisdom approach to the application of knowledge
The Service of Thanksgiving and Rededication encourages all to reflect on their successes, trials and growth over the previous year and to rededicate and focus members’ minds for the challenges and aspirations for the year ahead.
The service was brought to a close by two verses of the National Anthem, followed by the recessional hymn ‘Lord of all power, I give you my will’.
After the service everyone was cordially invited for light refreshments which were served at the Warrington Masonic Hall in Winmarleigh Street. Andy Barton thanked all who had attended and helped to organise the service. He made a particular point of thanking the wives and families of those Masons who had attended, stressing how vital their support had been over the previous year and would be again in the ensuing year.
Thanks also went to David Harding (hall manager) and his staff for their work in preparing such delicious cakes which were greatly appreciated by everyone.
Pictures and story by John Starkey.