Why Is the Festival Being Celebrated?
The Causeway Horsham Festival Festival of Lodges 2017 will be held on 19 September 2017 and will celebrate the founding of UGLE 300 years ago this year. This is our so-named Tercentenary year. This is the overt reason for us undertaking management of the event. We are one of the younger masonic lodges in the Horsham District, dating only from 1958. That said, we have many members of high rank, and many more of long standing within the masonic community. This will be one of the more significant events during this celebration year, and it is an honour for Causeway to organise it - attendees from PGL Horsham, PGL Buckinghamshire and invited guests from all over the country, perhaps from across the world, will be there, either participating or simply enjoying the spectacle of perhaps 70-100 Freemasons working cooperatively together.
Fraternal Relationships With Local Lodges
WBro Sillett, the Causeway Lodge mentor, has always been very keen to integrate lodges towards a more cohesive organisation - that principle is well demonstrated by his close ties with the East African District (within the United Grand Lodge) and Romanian Grand Lodge, encouraging their interaction and integration with UGLE. covert reason for the festival, might be to actively draw together our local brethren as friends as well as brothers. Relationships between our lodges have always been fraternal, but other interactions are sporadic. We operate very much in "stand-alone" mode, although members visit each others' lodges with some regularity. By invitation, we attend Installation meetings. We might enjoy each others' Ladies' nights or social events together. We all have representatives at Horsham Masonic Halls Ltd (HMH Ltd). But "working together" as brothers is a rare event.
The last time we held a cooperative event was when WBro Sillett organised an open day for the UK Home Office which we held it here in Horsham. On that occasion, a roomful of non-masons of both genders met with us in Horsham one Sunday. We had approval to discuss Freemasonry openly and to present significant parts of the ritual openly, leaving out any sensitive "secrets". Horsham area Freemasons turned out to work together and the event was a great publicity success, though it was perhaps less successful as a recruitment opportunity. In time we will repeat this presentation as an Open-Event for Horsham people.
How Might This Event Benefit Others?
Causeway Lodge - As a small lodge that is well known for the quality of our ceremonies, for fraternally resolving our issues privately, and for the success of our charitable collections. For us to undertake the organisation and delivery of this event, will bring honour to the lodge, and that is no bad thing. It may even encourage other Freemasons to join us.
Horsham Lodges - Our expectation is that members of our sister lodges will undertake the Officers' roles, including some of our WM's responsibilities on the night, and that significant parts of a split 3rd Degree ceremony will be spread over up to 16 participating guests. We will have jointly rehearsed the ceremony on the two Sundays before the meeting, each participant having received an e-copy of the core ceremony text. Rehearsing and undertaking a major ceremony together with strengthen our fraternal bonds, and allow us to learn new and/or better ways of doing things, from observing one another, as all participants will use their own ways to fulfill their various roles.
Local Charities & Organisations - We expect to have between 70 and 100 attendees on the night. By any measure, this is an enormous number of Freemasons at any event and one of the largest gathering ever to take place in Horsham. The broken column collection for Masonic Charities should be significant. The proceeds from the raffle should total several hundred pounds - before the meeting, our WM must be able to announce the local recipients of the raffle proceeds - in addition, our Charity Steward should be able to request a matched-funds donation from PGL Sussex - thus, one or more local charities might benefit greatly.
WBro. Ian Aird (29 June 2018)