Essex Freemasons paraded in public for the first time in over 10 years.

Essex Freemasons paraded in public for the first time in over 10 years at a special service of thanksgiving at Chelmsford Cathedral today. The service, to celebrate three centuries of modern Freemasonry was attended by hundreds of masons and their families together with many civic dignitaries from across the county.

The Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral, Very Reverend Nicholas Henshall, conducted the service which began with four public processions into the cathedral. The first was led by Freemasons and included many lodge banners from all parts of Essex followed by the Masters and Wardens of those lodges, Provincial Officers and the Essex Provincial Executive.

This was followed by the Essex Scouts Executive, Mayor, Council Chairmen and other civic dignitaries from around the county with the last procession including The Lord Lieutenant of Essex, County Council Chairman, Chelmsford City Mayor, the RW Assistant Grand Master, Sir David Hugh Wootton, and the RW Provincial Grand Master, Rodney Lister Bass OBE, escorted by the Provincial Standard Bearers and Provincial Sword Bearer.

“The first Grand Lodge opened in London in June 1717,” said Mr Bass, “and today we celebrated that occasion with this special service of thanksgiving. As well as hundreds of Essex Masons I was delighted to see so many other members of the public, civic dignitaries and charity representatives supporting us as well.”

“Essex Freemasons are very much part of the local community and long may that continue and we now look forward to the next 300 years.”

As part of those Tercentenary celebrations Masonic Centres across the County will be opening their doors to the public throughout the summer with events at Southend and Upminster on July 2nd, Frinton in September – and with more planned before the end of the year.