The Grey Friars Summons

Explanation of the Design of The Grey Friars Summons


For each meeting, all members are summoned (invited) to the next meeting. In the ‘old days’ this would have been sent by Royal Mail to each member by the secretary. Today, using this new fangled  internet stuff, the secretary sends the summons by email instead. The format of the summons though is still that from 1896. It was designed by the then Worshipful Master  of Grey Friars Lodge, WM Ravenscroft.  Below is the explanation of the amazing graphics that he used, obviously drawn by hand (was awaiting delivery of his CAD system, Amazon were dreadful in those days).

This is another example of the traditions still embraced by Grey Friars Lodge.


Grey Friars Lodge and the figures 1101

The figures in what may be described as the Seal of the Lodge is that of a Franciscan or Grey Friar; as such he is in the habit of his order, and carries his badge, viz., A Skull.  The architectural background of this figure is designed to represent the style which was in use when perhaps operative & speculative Masonry seem most conspicuously to have together characterised the Guilds of Workmen, viz., the 14th Century, and when also the Franciscan order had reached its zenith.

The circle round the figure bearing on it the words Grey Friars Lodge and the figures 1101, as well as Seven Stars, being a circle is intended to represent the Lodge complete as only a circle can be; and while the central figure is also intended to symbolise the W.M., who existing for a time only in his capacity as Master carries the emblem of mortality; the circle being an emblem of immortality represents the enduring character of the Lodge itself, while the Seven Stars allude to the number required to make a Lodge perfect. The whole is bounded by a square which should be the figure on which all Masonic work is done, the diaper filling-in representing the square pavement on which the Lodge is placed.

The position of the seal as related to the rest of the design in what may be taken as the form of e Lodge, occupies the NE corner.  Brethren will comprehend the allusion.

The outer door represents a symbolic cord which, enclosing the Lodge, forms a barrier against all without.

The inner border also represents a symbolic cord which binds together all within.  Between these the design is intended to convey the idea of transition from darkness to light which every Mason is called to experience.

The symbols in the upper portion will be recognised as connected with the office of the East or Master’s end of the Lodge.

The situation and the allusion of the letter G, fellow Craftsmen will understand.

The emblems of the sun and moon refer respectively to the Junior and Senior Wardens, while those at the bottom of the design represent the operative symbols of the Master and his Wardens.

In connection with the latter, the Latin words, Audi, Vide, Tace, the meaning of which all Masons will know, are so placed as to signify that in their several degrees, while it is the Master’s office chiefly to speak, the S.W. is to mark and observe, and the J.W. at any rate until time for refreshment, is generally to maintain silence.

In the Master’s emblem the square and compasses are arranged so that they may be studied even by the entered apprentice.

The legend taken from Epistle os S. Paul to the Ephesians is written in Latin, partly for the reason that this was the language use by the learned of the Franciscan and other orders, but chiefly to indicate that our secrets are to be guarded by such obscurity as shall preclude their being opened to the uninitiated.

It reads as follows:–

“All the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God.
So mote it ever be.”


February,  1896


(Designed and explanation by W.Bro. Ravenscroft who was W.M. of Grey Friars Lodge, 1886-7.)

Click on the image to enlarge

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