A Christmas message from our District Grand Prefect.

R.W.Bro. Mervyn F. Wilson
R.W.Bro. Mervyn F. Wilson

Dear Brethren,
Who would have thought last Christmas that we would only meet for two and a half months
in our respective Councils this year… and who could have envisaged the lockdowns, social
distancing and isolation we have all had to endure? Yet, despite all this, we have kept in
touch by telephone and virtual meetings – and the word ‘Zoom’ has become part of our
Masonic vocabulary!
I would like to thank you, the Allied Brethren of East Lancashire for your tenacity and
determination in facing up to these tremendous challenges in a time of uncertainty and
unprecedented change.
Please continue to keep in touch – particularly with those who may be alone at Christmas –
and do maintain regular contact with your fellow members by meeting virtually on the same
dates as your normal Councils meetings.
Thankfully we now have the knowledge and reassurance that effective vaccines are now
available and are being administered to the key workers and those at high risk. Let us pray
that it will not be long before we can replace these virtual meetings with actual ‘physical’
meetings and once again enjoy the camaraderie of Freemasonry that we all love and
cherish so much.
Finally, Margaret and I extend to you, your families and friends, a very happy Christmas and
a peaceful, healthy but mainly safe 2021.
Sincerely and Fraternally
Mervyn F Wilson

The History of the Mark Province of East Lancashire – 150 years anniversary.

To mark the 15oth anniversary, The Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Province, RW Bro. Alexander Sillars McLaren has worked with WBro Craig Wood to produce a booklet to celebrate the event, using information provided by VWBro David Brown. All three brethren are also very much part of the Allied District of East Lancashire and have produced this most informative and interesting history.
The booklet covers the years before the Province was constituted and gives information on Lodges that worked under the Scottish Constitution, the First Six Lancashire Lodges, William Romaine Callender, PGM, The Provinces of East and West Lancashire and The Provincial Grand Masters of the Province.
They cost £6.00 including postage and all profits from the sales will go to the 2021 Festival.
You can order a copy by emailing David Thompson at  giving your name and address.
The preferred method of payment is by Bank transfer to the following account using your initials and 150th as a reference.
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of East Lancashire
Sort Code 20-55-59 and Account No 80108707.

Beyond The Craft

Mark Mason’s Hall bring us the following news:

You will no doubt have seen the various releases of episodes of the “Brother. Beyond the Craft” series of Podcasts, produced in association with Mark Masons’ Hall. These are proving very popular as an interactive introduction to our Orders. A great way for potential Candidates to find out more; a good source of additional information for new members; and there’s even some useful nuggets for those of greater experience.

We have curated this collection of all the episodes which you can share with you members, by email or social media, either as a whole or pick out the items relating to your Order.

We hope you find these a useful addition to your recruitment and retention programme- Click here

East Lancashire District Meeting 2020

Due to the current pandemic this year’s district meeting took place on the now familiar zoom format where the brethren can join in on line. Indeed a total of 55 members of East Lancashire district tuned in at 11 am to attend the meeting.

The meeting room had opened some 15 minutes before which gave the brethren a chance to greet one another and engage in some entertaining banter.

Mervyn delivering his address via zoom

Every one was glad of the chance to catch up with one another following this very long and continued period of suspension of normal meetings.

With every one now on mute, The District Grand Prefect Mervin Wilson opened the meeting with a welcome and thanks for attending. You can listen to a portion of his address by clicking on this link:

The meeting took the same format as it would have done in the lodge room which included the re appointment of the District team.

Further documentation (the Minutes of last year’s meeting, the District accounts, the Permission letter from Grand Council, the List of District appointments/promotions) relating to this meeting can be found on the pass word protected page.

Click here to visit the documents page

(please contact your Council Secretary for the pass word or web.amdel@gmail stating your credentials.)

He also thanked John Crawford who retired as District Treasurer after 11 years of service to the District of East Lancashire.

It was then announced that the District would be making a donation of £1500 pounds which has been raised by the Allied members in favour of the 2021 East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund. Its worth pointing out that members of the Allied Degrees are also members of the Mark Degree and the head of East Lancashire Mark Masons, Alex Mclaren was on hand to thank the brethren for donating this significant sum of money.

Mervyn then gave his address to the brethren following which he closed the meeting with his best wishes to one and all!

You can read the address here:

MMH Provisional Plan for Post Lock Down

Mark Mason’s Hall has issued a Provisional Blueprint for an exit strategy to assist the masonic orders under its jurisdiction to come out of the current suspension due to Corona Virus. It can be downloaded here: Click here

17 July 2020 – Further update can be read: Click here

Appointment of the Deputy District Grand Prefect

The District Grand Prefect, RWBro Mervyn Frank Wilson has been pleased to appoint WBro Peter Hegarty PGJD as the new Deputy District Grand Prefect for East Lancs. This ceremony should have taken place at the regular meeting of Constitution Council, Tue 19th May. Due to the general suspension of all Masonic activity, this meeting has been cancelled.

Peter Hegarty

The Office is, however, effective from that date and the investiture will be marked at a future meeting when it is deemed safe to go out again and sit amongst our friends and Brothers as we used to do. 

I am sure we would wish to congratulate Peter on his preferment and offer him our very best wishes in his new role.

Peter is looking forward to visiting all our Councils, when the general suspension has been lifted and Allied meetings resume.

General Instructions regarding the Coronavirus outbreak from Mark Masons Hall

Out and about in the North East

Brethren from both East and West Lancashire accompany Mervyn Wilson (DGP East Lancs) & Paul Snape (DGP West Lancs)on a visit to Durham & Northumberland.

Team Visit to Shuttleworth Council

The District Team have been out in force again, recently! Visiting Shuttleworth Council in Colne. Thanks to Bob Summers for the photo.

New Deputy District Grand Prefect

Mervyn Wilson, District Grand Prefect, has with great pleasure announced that Peter Hegarty will invested as his deputy at the meeting of Constitution Council No 183 on the 19th of May at Accrington.

Ride again 2020 – Mark Charity Steward’s event

East Lancashire Mark Provincial Grand Charity Steward, Brendan Harte, is to complete a sponsored bicycle ride from Manchester to Blackpool in April this Year. This will be in aid of the East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund (ELMBF).

Brenden is a member of JEG Allied council and supporting him would give a welcome boost to the ELMBF.

Details of the event can be downloaded here:

Download and print a sponsor form:

Southampton sojourners

The heads of both Lancashire districts headed down south to Southampton to attend the investiture of a new District Grand Prefect.

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Mervyn Wilson (East Lancs DPG, left)) and Paul Snape (DPG West Lancs, right of centre) and the brethren board a train.
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At the end of their travels and in need of refreshment they, in true Allied style entered a hostelry. Well a hotel in any way! The next day they attended the meeting along with the Grand Master who performed the investiture in fine style.

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The heads of both East and West Lancashire, centre flanked by brethren from both districts attending the meeting.

Our DPG out and about again!

Mervyn Wilson (front second from the left) has been out and about on his travels again.

This time in Burton-on-Trent visiting the District of West Midlands.

If you haven’t spotted our DGP in the photo, he is the one with the “glow in the dark” socks.

He is joined by colleagues of East Lancashire as well as Paul Snape, DGP West Lancashire (Centre) with some of his own district officers.

Gourmet Lunch

Taking place at Horwich masonic hall and at a cost of only £25 /Person!

The District Grand Prefect R.W.Bro.Paul Snape (West Lancashire) has expressed a wish that we should hold a Gourmet Sunday Lunch at Horwich Masonic Hall on Sunday 5th April 2020 at 2:00pm. The event is also being supported by the Province of East Lancashire and all brethren and their families will be made most welcome. The invitation extends to non – masons as well as those masons who are not members of the Allied order.

Last year’s event was a great success and I hope you will all support our District Grand Prefect in making this year’s event equally successful..
Dress for Gentlemen lounge suits and for the Ladies cocktail dress.

The booking form and further details can be downloaded from the summons section of this website – Click here

Looking to complete all your degrees?

Herbert Barrington Slater Council No.234 will be working The Knights of Constantinople as well as Grand High Priest at the February meeting:

Saturday 22nd February at Salford Masonic Hall. All brethren who are looking to take either or both of the degrees mentioned will be made most welcome. The summons will appear in the ‘Summons ‘ section. or Email for more information and book in.

Flying the flag for East Lancashire!

The Dist Grand Prefect RWBro Mervyn Wilson on his travels around the country flying the flag for East Lancs. This time in Croydon for the Dist of Surrey annual meeting.

At Last – Wayne makes it into the chair of HBS!

Wayne Kilford had waited two years to become the Master of Herbert Barrington Slater Council No 234. Having served his year as Master, Allan Shields was all set to place Wayne into the chair at the Installation meeting last December, however Wayne was overseas in the Faroe Islands with his work.

Wayne (left) being Congratulated by Allan

A second year as Master was not a problem for Allan however he did greet Wayne with open arms on the cold Saturday morning at Salford this time around. Allan welcomed the members and visitors present which included the head of the order in East Lancashire, District Grand Prefect Mervyn Wilson as the distinguished guest.

Allan then proceeded to install Wayne following which he immediately was appointed in the role of Council Secretary.

Wayne thanked everyone for a most enjoyable ceremony and concluded the council business.

Then it was down to the bar area where hot soup and sandwiches were served. Good food and conversation followed. Mervyn thanked the council for putting on a good meeting and said how much he had enjoyed the meeting and festive board.

The new master was suitably toasted and Wayne responded by thanking everyone as well as how much he is looking forward to the year ahead.

If Saturday Masonry is for you the HBS is the place to be!

Wayne (centre) With Mervyn (left) and the members of HBS and their visitors

Installation meeting of Michael Edward Herbert Council

The Installation meeting of Michael Edward Herbert Council 160 took place on Fri 29th November at Chorley Masonic Hall. There were 41 Allied masons present to witness RWBro Paul Snape DGP (WL) being installed into the chair of this prestigious Council. The ceremony was carried out in an exemplary style by WBro Tony Alderton. With the added honour of a visit from the Grand Master, MWBro Tom Jackson.

Membership of this Council is open to Grand Officers from any District and moves it’s meetings around both East and West Lancs. The next meeting is at Middleton Masonic Hall on 29th May 2020 when it is hoped to stage a Red Cross of Babylon Ceremony, to which any Allied Mason is entitled to attend.

from left to right, RWBro Mervyn F Wilson District Grand Prefect, MWBro Thomas F. Jackson Grand Master, RWBro G. Paul Snape District Grand Prefect (West Lancs) Worshipful Master, WBro Tony Alderton Installing Master.

Grand Council 2019

Tuesday 22nd October saw 25 Allied members from East Lancashire travel to London and attend the annual Grand Council meeting in support our District Grand Prefect, Mervyn Wilson and the Most Worshipful Grand Master Thomas Firth Jackson.

East Lancashire was honoured with four appointments or promotions; WBro Ivan Millington appointed as Grand Steward, WBro Peter Hegarty promoted to Past Grand Junior Deacon, WBro Gareth Jones appointed as Past Grand Standard Bearer and WBro Stephen Bolton appointed as Past Grand Inner Guard.

The day started off in the first class lounge at Piccadilly Station, Manchester where WBro Trevor Parvin , Assistant Secretary tried his best to herd us on to the 10.15 train to London.

The meeting was, as expected, organised in a very professional manner and followed by a very nice meal and wine in the Connaught rooms next door.

Just time for a drink in a local hostelry over the road then a train back home.

The District Grand Prefect is delighted with the amount of support from the members of our District and would encourage anyone who has not been before to put the 27th Oct 2020 in your diaries and give it a go. It is definitely a Grand day out.

More information, photos and the Grand Master’s address to the brethren can be found on the Grand Allied web site. Click here

Allied merchandise now available!

Details of Team visits – 2019/20

The District Grand Prefect will be visiting the following councils accompanied by his team of acting provincial officers:

Goulburn Council 36 (Bolton) Sat 19th Oct 2019

Shuttleworth Council 50 (Colne) Monday 2nd March 2020

HBS Council 234 (Salford) Sat 11th July 2020

District Meeting 2019

Rochdale masonic hall was the venue for the 2019 District meeting, which saw over 100 brethren in attendance. Many had traveled along way to join Mervyn Wilson, the head of the East Lancashire district and many of its members. Brethren had travelled from Kent, London, and Surrey in the south as well as Yorkshire, the midlands as well as a suitably large raid from neighbouring West Lancashire with their head, Paul Snape.

Mervyn (centre) flanked by his officers of the year – 2020

Mervyn welcomed everyone to Rochdale and then proceed to appoint and invest his officers for the year. Trevor Jewitt unfolded and delivered his final report before retiring after six years as District Secretary with thanks from Mervyn fo all his hard work. The ceremony and processions was perfect and wonderful to see all done under the watchful eye of District Director of Ceremonies Chris Welton.

Paul Snape (centre) with the West Lancashire visitors

Following a successful and enjoyable meeting the brethren retired to the lovely surroundings of the dining room to enjoy a drink and a tasty meal.

Dine with me at David Lamb

David Lamb Council No 197 inducted a TV star at the August Council meeting!

Come Dine with me has recently featured Matt Phillips from Manchester, many will know him to be a very good Mason, but in the show he was given the opportunity to show off his skills in the kitchen.

Matt was inducted during a fine ceremony by Council Master Duncan Ferguson , assisted by his officers and visitors seconded into office for the meeting. One of those taking part was Dennis Schiff who had proposed Matt into the Allied Masonic Degrees.

Following the meeting Matt could enjoy the meal without having to cook it on this occasion, that task had been suitably performed by the catering staff at Asdale Lea, Rawtenstall. He was made most welcome into his new surroundings and is looking forward to completing the other degrees the order has to offer.

Left to Right, Matt Phillips, Duncan Ferguson and Dennis Schiff

Travel arrangements to travel to Grand Council – October 22nd

Please see the itinerary posted in the ‘Summons’ section . Train travel is being arranged for the brethren who wish to visit. Click here.

9 Grand High Priests

Herbert Barrington Slater council, No234 held its July meeting at Salford and the main business was to work the degree of Grand High Priest with a staggering nine candidates.

Council master Allan Shields welcomed the visitors and swiftly dealt with the regular council business before inviting John Green to take over and work the ceremony.

The candidates were asked to leave the room while the members prepared the lodge with the appropriate fixtures and fittings suitable for use during the ceremony.

John, who was assisted by Shaun Higson and HBS members , delivered a fine ceremony word perfect which concluded with a fantastic rendition of the lecture by Fraser McCord.

Following the meeting the brethren retired for soup and sandwiches at the festive board. It is hoped that this ceremony will become a regular fixture and a warm welcome from HBS No 234 awaits any brother who is looking to take this particular degree in the future.

John Green (center wearing a collar) is flanked by the candidates taking the degree of Grand High Priest

Rochdale enjoys a first class ceremony

Thursday 19th June 2019. Rochdale St Lawrence Council 122 held their Installation meeting with Dist Secretary WBro Trevor Jewitt, representing the District Grand Prefect. 24 members and visitors enjoyed a first class ceremony conducted by the WM Tony Gillard, who had travelled all the way from Bedfordshire to install Bro  Bernard Percy into the chair.

Tony (Right) with Bernard

The meeting was followed by a most delightful summer meal produced by chef Lesley at Rochdale Masonic Hall, where the festive board was enjoyed by all present in a most convivial manner.

Top, Trevor Jewitt congratulates Bernard and (lower) with all of the members of Rochdale St Lawrence Council

JEG Installs our District Grand Prefect as its master

Not every council can boast that ‘The Chief’ is their Master but the June meeting of James Edward Glover No 137 saw RWBro Mervyn Wilson installed into the chair of the council.

Installing Master George Turner (right) congratulates Mervyn

The council travels throughout East Lancashire and other local Districts to hold its meetings and this installation was held at Middleton Masonic Hall in Manchester where the members and visitors were made most welcome.

Out going master George Turner was at the end of a two year spell in the master’s chair which concluded by him installing his successor in fine style and with sincerity.

The meeting was well attended by the council members which also included the Past District Grand Prefect, Alex Mclaren. Following the meeting they retired to the plush dinning room and enjoyed good harmony and excellent food.

The next meeting of JEG takes place in October and will be an opportunity to see our District Grand Prefect work the Degree of St Lawrence as a new candidate is waiting in the wings!

Mervyn (centre) enjoying the festive board with the members and visitors

A New Council is consecrated

The Grand Master MWBro. Thomas Firth Jackson and a delegation of Grand Officers were present for this very special occasion .He was accompanied by a galaxy of District officers including RWBro. David Malcolm Cordell, District Grand Prefect Yorkshire District and RWBro. Mervyn Wilson who is the District Grand Prefect for East Lancashire but also the first Master of the new council – Saddleworth Council No 281

Thomas Jackson The Grand Master flanked by the consecrating team

The Council was consecrated in fine style by Thomas Jackson and the team following which Mervyn was installed as it’s very first Master by David Cordell. Mervyn then proceed to invest his officers for the first year.

On the conclusion of the ceremony the Grand Officers formed a procession and were joined at the festive board by all of the members and officers of the new council.

The Grand Master (centre) with David Cordell (left) and Mervyn Wilson (right) flanked by the members of Saddleworth Council