Abbey Lodge Number 2529
Abbey Lodge meets each month from October through to May inclusive on the second Thursday of each month with ordinary meetings starting at 7.30pm. The exception is to this rule is the Lodge’s December meeting which is traditionally followed by The Postlethwaite Dinner when it starts at 7.00pm. The Installation Meeting takes place in May and usually starts at 4.00pm.
Abbey Lodge 2529 was consecrated in September 1894 being formed of the then members of The Union Club of Whalley who wished to take their fellowship to a new level. It wasn’t easy as most of them were in fact not Freemasons and a new Lodge could only be formed by active masons. Records show that a few were initiated at the now defunct Red Rose of Lancashire Lodge No. 1504 that met in Padiham.
Initially, Abbey Lodge met in what is now the Co-op formerly The Whalley Arms but plans were put in motion to extend the Union Club to incorporate the Masonic Rooms at the rear. These were opened in 1897. The Lodge Room is small and nicknamed Lancashire’s Little Gem . Special meetings were marked by holding a banquet at Whalley Abbey and photographs (like the one lower down on this page) exist of such occasions.
A Hall Stone Lodge
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 through the Masonic Million Memorial Fund appeal. This building 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 Masonic Million Memorial Fund 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 Masonic Million Memorial Fund 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 30 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 Alan P Holderness JP, Worshipful Master of Abbey Lodge for 2022
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.
The current Officers and Brethren of Abbey Lodge No. 2529 are shown below.
Due to the pandemic Brother Ferrier continued as the Worshipful Master in 2020. Informal video conference Lodge meetings were held throughout the various Lockdowns which proved a valuable way of keeping in touch. Meetings resumed in October 2021.
The Officers and Brethren of Abbey Lodge present at the Installation Meeting 2019
Founders of Abbey Lodge
We are very proud of our heritage and in 2019 celebrated 125 years of Freemasonry in Whalley. During the first Lockdown of 2020 research was 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, and perhaps best known, 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 meets from October to May (Installation Meeting) on the second Thursday in the month and 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.
If you are interested in finding out more about Freemasonry in general and Abbey Lodge No. 2529 in particular please get in touch via our Contact form or email the Lodge Membership Officer. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours.