Worshipful Master with his Wardens (2023)
How to join 329?
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. Lodge of Brotherly Love welcomes new members who live, work or study in Somerset and wish to join and become a Freemason in a Yeovil's Premier Lodge.
You might think that to become a Freemason is quite difficult. It’s actually straightforward. You do not have to wait to be invited. If you wish to become a Freemason and join a Lodge then simply contact us. After you contact us, we will be in touch to arrange a meeting with you to:
• Answer any further questions you may have about Freemasonry.
• Discuss the procedure of joining a Lodge of Brotherly Love No 329.
Why become a Freemason?
Every Freemason has his own reason for joining. For many, Freemasonry acts as a ‘constant’, providing them with a unique combination of friendship, belonging and structure, with many Freemasons saying they have made valuable lifelong friendships. Above all and for most, Freemasonry is simply an enjoyable hobby. Other reasons include:
• Achievement – progressing through the offices in the Lodge to become Master.
• Brotherhood – making new friends from all walks of life. Charity – contribute to deserving causes, both Masonic and non-Masonic.
• Education – learning from peers and mentors by practicing and making speeches.
• Knowledge – finding out about the history and mysteries of Freemasonry.
• Self-improvement – making a contribution to your family, society and local community.
What benefits will I get out of Freemasonry?
• You will meet people from very different walks of life.
• Have the satisfaction of helping others less fortunate than yourself.
• Increase your self-confidence and ability to learn.
Who can become a Freemason?
• Any man who holds a belief in a Supreme Being. All religions are welcome and respected.
• Is male and normally at least 21 years old. There are special circumstances where those aged 18 years and above such as University students can join.
• Does not have a criminal record.
How much does it cost?
You don’t have to be well-off to become a Freemason. It costs less than you may think and is comparable to other organisations.
Charity plays a big role in every Mason's heart
Charity has always been a core principle of Freemasonry and we’re proud of our 300-year history of helping those in need. Our members make an important contribution at a local, national and global level every year by giving both their time and money to make a real difference to a number of organisations and communities.
It’s why Freemasonry is one of the largest charitable givers in the country, contributing £51.1m to deserving causes in 2020 alone. Freemasons do not only donate money – more than 18.5 million hours of volunteer work is undertaken by our members in their communities every year.
Our members engage in many activities including community fundraising and volunteering, as well as a varied programme of events where spouses, partners and families are welcome. We’ve made substantial donations across the country to local air ambulances, blood bikes and provide a number of emergency response vehicles, including two super aerial platforms for the London Fire Brigade.
Freemasonry does a huge amount for medical research into treatments for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and a whole range of other conditions, including Alzheimer's, by funding UK medical scientists to make ground breaking discoveries.
More recently, money raised has helped to support those affected by overseas disasters as well as those at home, such as the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Links with other Lodges
Parrett and Axe Lodge No 814
At a meeting of Brotherly Love on 13 July 1859 the Worshipful Master reported that their recommendation to Grand Lodge that a Warrant be granted to a new lodge to be held at Crewkerne had been rejected!
At the time all but one of the proposed founders were members of Brotherly Love and following pressure by the petitioners it was finally accepted. The new Lodge was given the number 1116. On 10 July 1860 it was consecrated at the George Hotel in Crewkerne. The Rev Richard J.F.Thomas, a member of Brotherly Love and Vicar of St.John’s Church in Yeovil, was installed as the first Master. He presented the Volume of the Sacred Law that is still used today. In 1863 the Lodge number was changed to 814. Brotherly Love supplied the candlesticks and tracing boards at a cost of £7,70p. The tracing boards had the date 1809 on them and it has been suggested that they could possibly be the boards used by the Scientific Lodge that met in Crewkerne and had been passed to our Lodge after it was erased. Additionally Brotherly Love gave celestial and terrestrial globes to them in 1860. In May 1916 Mrs Buchanon, the wife of our Past Master Norman Buchanon, gave the Lodge the Book of Consecration, which was dated 10 July 1860, the noted WBro Dr.William Wynn Westcott, a member of Brotherly Love between 1873 and 1880, became Worshipful Master of Parrett and Axe Lodge in 1875.
Progressive Science Lodge No 5007
Following a visit from the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Col Alfred Thrale Perkins, in 1924 he commented that as Yeovil was expanding and as the Lodge of Brotherly Love had over one hundred members it was time to think of consecrating another lodge in the town. Consequently discussions took place and the result was that the Worshipful Master and Wardens of Brotherly Love signed a petition for a new lodge in Yeovil in September 1927. The Minute book of the new Lodge shows that three names were considered for the Lodge with ‘Progressive Science’ chosen, the others being ‘The St Ivel Lodge’ and the ‘Wyndham Lodge.’ The minutes of the new Lodge recorded:
"During the Mastership of W Bro C L Normandale in 1926, nearly all the Past Masters of Brotherly Love agreed to become Founders of a new Lodge. The first meeting of the Founders took place at the Westminster Bank on 4 March 1927 under the presidency of W Bro E Nutt, the Worshipful Master of 329, where it was unanimously decided to proceed with the formation of the new of the Lodge. W Bro Benjamin B Swaffield, a Joining Member of 329, and a Past Master of ‘Unity 386’ in Wareham and PPSGW (Dorset) was chosen as Master with the first Tuesday of the month chosen as the day of meeting. A full meeting of the Founders, of whom thirty out of the thirty-six founders were from Brotherly Love, took place on 17 March 1927 at the Masonic Hall where it was agreed for application to be made to Grand Lodge for forms to be signed by the Petitioners, with the WM and Wardens of 329 signing in Open Lodge of 329, which was done at the meeting of 27 September. At a meeting of the Founders on 2 February 1928 at the Masonic Hall it was announced that the Grand Master had granted the petition and the warrant was dated 1 February 1928. The Consecration ceremony took place on 2 October 1928 at the Masonic Hall with the Provincial Grand Master, The RW the Venerable Arthur Farrar, Archdeacon of Wells, presiding and assisted by Provincial Officers and members of Brotherly Love and neighbouring Lodges."
Two of our Past Masters, Sidney Thring and William Ricketts, as well as becoming founder members of Progressive Science also became Master of the Lodge. It is a joint shareholder with the other Yeovil Lodges in the Masonic Hall Company.
Corinthian Pillar Lodge No 7552
The 1950s saw an expansion of interest in masonry in the Yeovil area. In Brotherly Love alone, there were thirty-six new members or joining members between 1950 and 1957. It was not surprising therefore that there was interest towards establishing a new lodge in the town. A meeting of six Master Masons, which included W Bro Harold Haynes of Progressive Science, was held at the National Westminster Bank on 25 March 1957 with W Bro Arthur Pope of Brotherly Love elected to preside. In May 1957 W Bro Pope proposed that the Lodge of Brotherly Love approve the formation of a new lodge in Yeovil and it was agreed to sponsor a petition to grant a Warrant for the new lodge. It would meet on the third Friday of the month, and it would be called Corinthian Pillar Lodge, named after the architectural pillar of ‘Beauty’. There were twenty-eight founders of the new Lodge of which eleven were from Brotherly Love, but none of them or any of our Masters since then have become the Worshipful Master of Corinthian Pillar.
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Claude Lumsden Norman, with the full Provincial team in attendance, consecrated the Lodge on 8 November 1958. He installed W Bro Harold Haynes as their first Worshipful Master. A total of ninety-seven masons attended the Consecration meeting, which was followed by dinner at the nearby Manor Hotel at a cost of 12s 6d per head.
In 1961 an equivalent number of shares in the Masonic Hall Company, as held by Brotherly Love and Progressive Science, was offered to Corinthian Pillar and accepted by them. All three lodges were then the principal shareholders in the Company.
The Scientific Lodge No 203
The Scientific Lodge No 203 met at Crewkerne from 1807 but had originally been constituted in Shadwell in London in 1766 at the King’s Arms Punch House. In 1808 the Charter was transferred to Crewkerne and the Lodge met at the George Inn.
The Lodge provided five of the seven petitioners for Brotherly Love although one of the petitioners, James Peironnet, never actually attended a Brotherly Love meeting. At our first meeting Bro Thomas Gaylard, was elected a joining member, having been made a mason in the Scientific Lodge in 1807. Later four other members of the Scientific Lodge became joining members namely William Willie and Thomas Trask in 1810 then Philip Collins in 1820 and George Budden in 1821. The Lodge itself was erased in 1827.
Royal Naval Lodge No 2761
The District Grand Lodge of Malta was formed in 1815 when two Craft Lodges were consecrated. By the end of the nineteenth century there were seven Lodges meeting in Malta. In 1979, fifteen years after independence, the British military base in Malta closed and the recruitment of suitable candidates was proving difficult. Also at that time the Maltese government required all organisations in Malta who received financial support from outside the country to register and obtain approval to continue. The United Brethren Lodge No 1923 had surrendered its warrant in 1982 and other lodges considered moving to the United Kingdom. It appeared initially that the Royal Naval Lodge would move to Bath but a phone call from Bro John Rawlins, of Corinthian Pillar Lodge and a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy serving at the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton, suggested Yeovil might be considered, as there was considerable support from Yeovil masons.
In September 1984 a request was received from Gerald Bryant of the Royal Naval Lodge No 2761, which had been meeting in Malta, concerning the possibility of establishing the Lodge in Yeovil. Our Lodge committee enthusiastically supported this request. A last minute offer to transfer the Lodge to Sherborne caused much consternation as so much preparatory work had already been undertaken. After much background work and dispensations from Somerset and Malta it was agreed the Lodge would meet in Yeovil.
The last meeting in Malta was held in December 1984 following which the Worshipful Master, C E (Jack) Warner, flew to UK to install his successor, Gerald Bryant, at an Emergency meeting held in Yeovil on 11 January 1985 where the Provincial Grand Master for Somerset, Kenneth C Kinnersley was also present. The formal transfer of the Lodge to the Province of Somerset took effect from 2 January 1987. From those early days it has often returned greetings to ‘our adopted Mother Lodge’. It is now a shareholder in the Masonic Hall Company.
A feature of masonry is for masons to visit other lodges and develop long-lasting friendships with other masons. Mention has been made with the links with the Lodge of Benevolence in Sherborne and Parrett and Axe in Crewkerne whilst another link was the visit of brethren of the Robert Thorne Lodge of Bristol on 25 April 1934, which proved to be a "unique occasion". No doubt other visits with Robert Thorne happened over the years but they then fell away until a revival of this link was made in 1997, which has continued intermittently since then. Other fraternal visits have taken place with Alfred and Guthrum No 4535 in 1936 and St. Nicholas’ No 4561 in 1970 and 1972. In the past decade there have been fraternal visits with St. Dunstan’s Lodge No 7973, which meets in Glastonbury.
Close ties have always existed between Brotherly Love and its daughter Lodges. Many have been members of more than one lodge or become regular visitors at meetings. The respective Masters historically became Honorary Members for their year-in-office, while now all have an open invitation to their respective meetings and the festive board.
The Royal Arch Chapter of Brotherly Love No 329
The Charter of the Chapter of Brotherly Love No 329 was granted on 6 November 1822. This followed a petition that was sent to the Supreme Grand Chapter signed by Thomas Cave, George Wellington, Philip Collins, Thomas Bowdage, John Spratt, John Greenham, John Pearce and Edward Thomas Percy. All but the last three petitioners were members of our Craft Lodge. The new Chapter was given the Number 624, the same as the Lodge of Brotherly Love, because following the constitutional changes of 1817 an instruction had been issued that all Chapters must be attached to a Lodge with the same number. The first meeting was held on 16th September 1823 in the Lodge Room in Vicarage Street and was led by Thomas Cave. At the meeting three members of the Lodge of Brotherly Love were proposed as members.
It was not, though, the first local Royal Arch Chapter that included members of Brotherly Love. The Mystic Stone Chapter No 117 was chartered by the ‘Moderns’ Grand and Royal Chapter following a petition by the Rev John White Middleton, Robert Chaffey and Thomas Hamlyn on 10 March 1812 and met at the George Inn, Martock. The latter two were members of the Lodge of Brotherly Love at the time of submitting the petition in January 1812 and the Rev Middleton joined at the February Lodge meeting. This Chapter was not linked to the Lodge, as prior to 1817 the Grand and Royal Arch Chapter was separate from the premier (Moderns) Grand Lodge. However the Chapter did not flourish and no returns were made to the Grand Chapter.
Thomas Cave in March 1822 had requested the Supreme Grand Chapter that the Charter of the Mystic Stone No 117 be revived, but the it replied pointing out that unless a full list of members and the appropriate fees were paid this was not possible. Alternatively a petition from nine registered Royal Arch Masons was needed to establish a new Chapter linked to the Lodge. Even though only eight eligible Royal Arch Masons signed the petition for the new Chapter a Warrant was issued. The Chapter is still active and in good health. What is remarkable about those early days is that Thomas Cave was the First Principal on no fewer than twenty-five occasions.