I extend a very warm welcome to those visting the new Mark Province of Bristol
The Mark Degree is one of the Orders of Masonry which
directly follows on from the Craft. It is governed by the Grand Lodge of Mark
Master Masons of England & Wales and its Districts & Lodges Overseas.
Our Grand Master is HRH Prince Michael of Kent, who is an enthusiastic
supporter of our Order. Grand Lodge, as it is usually called, also governs the
Degree of Royal Ark Mariner.
England and Wales are divided up into smaller administrative
groups called Provinces. Bristol is one of those Provinces and I have the
privilege of being its 10th Provincial Grand Master. It is unique in being the
only Province where all its Lodges meet in one place – Freemasons’ Hall, Park
In our Province, we have 7 Mark and 3 Royal Ark Mariner
Lodges, which draw their membership mainly from the 36 Bristol Craft Lodges of the United
Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), which meet in the same building at Park Street,
although we also warmly welcome members from Craft Lodges in adjacent Provinces
under the UGLE. Our oldest is the Canynges Mark Lodge, which was founded in
1857. Previously to that, the Old Bristol Lodge worked the Mark Degree during
the first half of the 19th Century and before that, in the second half of the
18th Century, it was worked in the Bristol Craft Lodges.
As with all masonic Lodges, our guiding principles are
Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. We are unashamedly a fraternal society,
enjoying each other’s company, striving to reach the highest moral standards,
but most importantly caring for our elderly and infirm members and those who
have fallen on hard times. However, our charitable activities stretch much
further than our own. The Mark Degree,
like all other masonic bodies, operates a Registered Charity, the Mark
Benevolent Fund, founded in 1868, which supports many public charitable causes.
All contributions to the MBF come directly from our members and since its
inception, the MBF has distributed over £27m.
It will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2018 and to mark
the occasion, between now and then it will be disbursing over £2m to the “Hope
for Tomorrow” charity for the provision of mobile chemotherapy units to the
NHS. These units provide chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients in outlying
areas who could otherwise spend up to a whole day travelling to and from hospital.
Thank you for visiting and I hope that from what you read
here you may be interested in joining us in our unique Province of Bristol.
R W Bro. John Douglas Arthur Platts Provincial Grand Mark Master Mason for Bristol