The Warrington Group of Lodges and Chapters held their annual multi-faith service of celebration at St Elphin’s Parish Church, in central Warrington.
The service was very well attended, not only by Masonic lodge and chapter members, but others from a number of associated Orders linked to Masonry, with officers from Provincial Grand Lodge as special guests, including Assistant Provincial Grand Masters Kevin Poynton and Barry Jameson, along with friends and families. It was also promising and pleasing to see so many relatively new to Masonry present, who volunteered to take roles within the service.
The guest of honour was the Deputy Mayor of Warrington, Cllr Maureen Creaghan accompanied by her consort and brother John Nunnerley, whose feedback was very positive.
The event began with a parade of lodge banners and senior grand and Provincial grand officers, witnessed by members, guests, families and friends. Vocal celebrations were supported by a choir of volunteers and Provincial organist Stephen Derringer, who provided the congregation with an extremely accomplished performance, of some potentially challenging pieces of music.
The service was jointly led by Rev Graham Halsall and Lay Minister Lee Marsh, who took all present through a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable service of reflection and a re-focussing on the purpose of Masonry, including members’ roles and responsibilities, related to Masonic aims and objectives.
Rev Graham Halsall’s homily continued this theme and noted that, as individuals, we can only do so much, but as a larger body of Masonic groups, encouraging, developing and working together, we can achieve so much more for those in our society, who need support and assistance from charitable institutions such as Freemasonry.
The service was followed by a reception and refreshments at Winmarleigh House, the hall used by the Warrington lodges and affiliated orders.
The after-service reception was addressed by Warrington Group Chairman Andy Barton, who thanked guests for their attendance and support for the celebration, all those involved in the organisation of the service, especially the new members group set up for the task and also the hall staff for coming in to provide refreshments on a Sunday afternoon.
All agreed that it was not only a successful event, but also a motivational experience and one we hope to be repeated next year.
Pictures and story by Dave Eccles.