It must be around 2 years ago the Lodge had an enquiry from a young man about joining Freemasonry. That enquiry led to the young man attending a number of Festive Boards (the meals after the Lodge meetings) and a relationship developed to such an extent that he joined Abbey Lodge No.2529 in January 2019. No surprises there.
What did surprise us was that his unstoppable enthusiasm for all thing Masonic rubbed off on a relative – his father. The father had found out about our open invitation to non-masons to attend our meals and availed himself of the privilege.
Move on a year and our January 2020 meeting saw the father join Freemasonry in his son’s footsteps which is quite unusual as it is normally the other way around. And to put icing on the cake the son presented the Working Tools to his father in a very polished fashion.
At the Festive Board that followed the initiation there were 3 more gentlemen interested in finding out more about Freemasonry in general and Abbey Lodge in particular.
Our picture shows the Worshipful Master and Wardens with our new initiate with his son standing front left.
Freemasonry in Whalley is thriving – perhaps it’s because you always get a warm welcome in Whalley!!
A Hall Stone Lodge
Abbey Lodge meets each month from October through to May inclusive on the second Thursday of each month. The exception to this is our December meeting that at one time fell on the same night as the village Pickwick (Dickensian) Night. To avoid the clash the December Lodge meeting is on the second Tuesday. The Installation Meeting takes place in May.
Abbey is a Hall Stone Lodge and was presented with a Hall Stone Jewel in recognition and appreciation of its efforts in raising an average of 10 Guineas (£10.50) per member towards the building costs of Freemason’s Hall in London which stands as a Peace Memorial in remembrance of the Masonic Brethren who gave their lives in sacrifice during the Great War 1914 – 1918. There were 28 members at the time and 280 Guineas (£294.00) was the amount needed to achieve Hall Stone Lodge status. At the time that the Grand Master launched his Peace Memorial appeal the Province of East Lancashire was also running an appeal to build a new headquarter building in Manchester. Abbey Lodge members not only subscribed to the Peace Memorial appeal but also the local Provincial appeal.
Abbey Lodge No. 2529 is one of only two East Lancashire Lodges to hold Hall Stone Lodge status. The story behind Abbey becoming a Hall Stone Lodge can be found here.
The Hall Stone Jewel is worn by the Master on a collarette whenever on Masonic business. A full explanation about the Peace Memorial and Hall Stone Jewel prepared by the Museum at Freemason’s Hall (the Peace Memorial) can be downloaded here.
In recent times, our numbers have increased with a steady influx of new members to such an extent that we have an unbroken chain of ‘light blues’ up to the Worshipful Master. Our membership demographic is broad with our youngest member at 29 and our oldest at 93 years of age with a lot in between.
We are a society with secrets not a secret society. Many of ‘the secrets’ are actually common knowledge these days. Much of what we do centres around positive personal development and certainly we raise funds to support each other. It is not so widely known that Freemasonry in England is second only to the National Lottery in giving to good causes. And all that money comes from within the fraternity not collected from the general public.
As is mentioned elsewhere on this website social events are held throughout the year. Whenever possible the Union Club rooms are utilised to host events but on occasion they do become a little too small for the numbers wanting to attend so we are known to utilise other local and not so local venues.
One date in our diary is the Postlethwaite Dinner held in December each year. You can read more about it here.
Planned social events are listed on our Events Calendar.
Brother Ian J Ferrier, Worshipful Master of Abbey Lodge for 2019 and 2020
Thursday, 9th May 2019 saw Brother Ian Joseph Ferrier installed in the Chair of King Solomon in Abbey Lodge according to ancient custom. Over 50 Brethren witnessed the ceremony in a rather full Lodge Room. The Installing Master was Worshipful Brother Raymond Evans. The Address to the Master was given by Worshipful Brother Simon Capstick, to the Wardens by Worshipful Brother Stuart Smith and to the Brethren by Worshipful Brother Eric Bond JP.
The Provincial Grand Master was represented by Worshipful Brother Chris Welton, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Manchester Area.
The Festival of St. John was held at Whalley Golf Club.
Best wishes are extended to the Officers and Brethren of Abbey Lodge No. 2529 (see below) for the forthcoming year.
The Officers and Brethren of Abbey Lodge present at the Installation Meeting 2019
We are very proud of our heritage and have recently (2019) celebrated 125 years of Freemasonry in Whalley. During the ‘Lockdown‘ of 2020 research has been carried out on the 14 Founder Members of 1894 putting names to the faces on the 1897 photograph accompanying this text.
Eight of the Founders were Captains of the Cotton Industry, men of standing and substance. Two were solicitors and two more were chemists whilst one was a Reverend (Clerk in Holy Orders as recorded on a contemporary census) and the last one was a ‘Gentleman’. They have now been given there own individual space on this website. The biographies are a ‘work in progress‘ as information pops up from unlikely sources all the time.
Abbey Lodge tyles for ordinary meetings at 7:30 PROMPT.
Please beware that latecomers may not be admitted immediately but at a time convenient to Lodge proceedings.
As the Lodge tyles at 7:30 pm members and visitors are strongly encouraged to pre-order dinner drinks at the bar prior to the meeting. Abbey Lodge Stewards will fulfil your order whilst the Lodge Closes thus ensuring the Festive Board starts at a reasonable time.
What Abbey Lodge undertook in 2019
- Month 2019
- Lodge Business
- Initiation – Ashley Harper
- Passing – Paul Hacker
- Raising – Michael Long
- Passing – Andrew Dodd
- Summer Recess
- 125th Anniversary Celebration
- Passing – Ashley Harper
- Raising – Paul Hacker
- Short Lodge Meeting followed by Postlethwaite Dinner
See what we have been up to in the past decade by visiting our photographic archive which contains over 2000 images of Masonic and non-Masonic events we have put on.