On 23 March 2024, the Eastern Area Team held an open evening at Rochdale Masonic Hall for invited guests to join us for a presentation, tour of the building and a Q&A session to learn more about Freemasons, who we are and what we do. We were also joined by a representative of Ladies Freemasonry and three of the local charities that we support.

The event was opened by John Curry, our Assistant Provincial Grand Master for East Lancashire, who gave a brief explanation into Freemasonry. He talked about some of the history of masonry, the structure of our Grand Lodge and Provinces and also the charity work that we do. Followed was a piece on Ladies Masonry, their history and how many of the traditions and ceremonies are similar to that of the men.

The floor was then handed over representatives from three local charities that we support. Springhill Hospice talked about how they care for patients with life-limiting illnesses. Jolly Josh talk about providing a nurturing environment where children, their parents, caregivers, and siblings can thrive together through a range of play, social, and hydrotherapy-based sessions. Rochdale Children’s Moorlands Home talked about providing much needed holidays to deserving local children. All 3 charities rely on fundraising to provide their services to our communities and have received support from local freemasons. You can find out more on each charity on their individual websites.

Rochdale Children’s Moorlands Home

Jolly Josh

Springhill Hospice

Charity work is very close to the heart of a mason. During a masonic year (where we install a new master annually) each lodge collects donations at their meetings and they hold social events throughout the year to benefit various charities. Our East Lancashire Province also holds a festival once every 11 years. A Festival runs for 5 years and East Lancashire is currently looking to raise over £2million for our Masonic Charitable Foundation, which in turn provides grants to masons and non-masons alike.

Our visitors were then invited upstairs to view the museum, changing area, the Royal Arch room and the impressive lodge room that we have at Rochdale. Richard Sykes, our Eastern Area Assistant Membership Officer, then led a friendly talk on what we do during a masonic meeting. He went on to describe what officers we have during a meeting, showing where they sit and a little on their duties. He also talked a little about the ceremonies that we conduct as a member is initiated and their journey through to becoming a Master Mason.

Following this everyone returned downstairs for a bite to eat and a Q&A session for any pressing questions that cropped up, dispel any myths, and to have a chat about our funny handshakes.

We would like to thank all those that attended and stayed with us throughout the evening. We hope you enjoyed the presentation and that it shed some light on who we are and what we do. If this sparked your interest in joining us then please reach out to our membership team by clicking the link below and filling out a short contact form and we will be in touch. Also, if you missed this event please drop is a message. We have masonic halls in Bacup, Oldham, Middleton, Rochdale, Shaw and Todmorden and would love to consider further events at a future date.