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  • Writer's pictureIan Slesser


Updated: Oct 4, 2018

The Annual Church Service of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire - Sunday 10th June 2018, The Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick

This year’s Church Service began with a procession escorting R W Bro David Macey, Provincial Grand Master, comprising his newly appointed team of Acting Provincial Grand Officers and Officers of Grand Lodge from Alderson House through Warwick to the Church. The weather was warm and sunny, and visitors to Warwick had their cameras at the ready to capture the spectacle of Freemasons processing in full Regalia.

This year, the procession was joined by the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Mr Timothy B Cox, and the High Sherriff of Warwickshire, Mrs Clare Sawdon.

At the Church the procession joined the assembled Freemasons with their families and friends for a very enjoyable and inspirational service. The service started and finished with readings from the Holy Scriptures of the Hindu, Sikh, Islamic, Jewish and Christian faiths, delivered by W Bro Suresh Modi, W Bro Parminder Bhamra, W Bro Sohail Karamat, W Bro Keith Reynolds and W Bro Paul Wheeler respectively. These readings served to emphasise the inclusive nature of Freemasonry in Warwickshire.

Following readings from both the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Michael Morris and the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, and hymns sung with great gusto, the Provincial Choir sang Handel’s Anthem “Zadok the Priest”, thought to have been written in 1727. The Anthem is derived from the biblical account of the anointing of Solomon and was magnificently performed by the Choir, conducted by W Bro Michael Irving, and featured a splendid organ recital by Mr Mark Swinton, Organist and Assistant Director of Music at the Church.

The address by the Rev Dr Vaughan Roberts was themed "300 Years on – What Next?", and questioned how we should move forward after the extensive Tercentenary celebrations. The conclusion is that we should continue to make our mark in the world, and echo the sentiments expressed by the Grand Master – Do not hide the Light which has shone in our Tercentenary year. We need to be open and proud of our Freemasonry and its history.

Prior to two rousing verses of the National Anthem, the Provincial Grand Master thanked Rev Dr Vaughan Roberts for again allowing the service to be held at St Mary’s, and congratulated all concerned with the organisation of the event. He particularly thanked W Bro Michael Irving and the choir for the wonderful way in which they had sung and enhanced the entire service, and particularly mentioned the Mr Mark Swinton for his masterly playing of the organ prior to and throughout the service.

The Order of Service contained a brief summary of the connections between Freemasonry and St Mary’s, and mentioned that during the recently concluded “Famous Five” initiative, over £32,000 had been donated by Warwickshire Freemasons to the Church. Rev Dr Roberts, mentioned that the final sum received would be used to replace the ageing sound system in use in the Church. An uplifting day, enjoyed by all.

Photography by W Bro Simon Grove

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