A brief history of Grey Friars 1101

Grey Friars Lodge 1101

Grey Friars Lodge had its beginnings in 1866 when our ‘Mother Lodge’ had so many members waiting too long to progress up the ranks of Masons that it was decided to form a new lodge (we call it a “Daughter Lodge” when one Lodge creates another) for the queue of prospective members  to join to enable them to progress sooner, so Grey Friars Lodge 1101 was born (the one thousand one hundredth and first Masons Lodge).  Why Grey Friars?  Well, the meeting room in 1866 was in Grey Friars Road and built on the site of a demolished church erected by friars of the Order of St. Frances of Assisi who wore a simple grey habit.  They were known as the Grey Friars thus our name and the figure of the Grey Friar being incorporated in the Lodge emblem.

We are the second oldest Reading Lodge and the fourth oldest in the Province of Berkshire with a long history of supporting the town of Reading, its residents and those in the wider surrounds of the county by way of support for those in financial difficulty including the servicemen returning from both world wars.  Did you realise that Masons donate more to charity than any other organisation in the UK except the lottery? We are proud to be part of that giving.

In the late 1960’s Reading was undergoing a large town development with Grey Friars Road being developed so the centre was sold, and we moves to our present site at Sindlesham.  The solicitors negotiating the sale and purchase of these properties were actually members of the Lodge.  During the hundred years we had been at Grey Friars Road we had accumulated several artifacts which had been donated by past members and which are in use to this day at our meetings and used by many other Lodges who use the same premises. In addittion we donated our secretary’s table and columns holding the celestial and terrestrial globes to the new Masonic Centre.  They are part of the furniture in the main meeting room called ‘The Berkshire’.  We also donated our large library now housed in the new Library and Museum.

In 2008 we were visited by the Assistant Grand Master, the Chairman of the University Scheme and our Provincial Grand Master who explained the principals of the scheme and inviting us to join to be the scheme Lodge for the Province.  After a unanimous vote in favour we joined in November that year and have subsequently installed several Reading University alumni as Masters of the Lodge. Maybe it is time you joined us too?

(thanks to Peter Kean, Past Master of Grey Friars Lodge.)

The Family Tree of Lodges that originated from Grey Friars Lodge 1101
Greyfriars Lodge Reading 1101
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