The Members of Vyne Lodge offer a warm welcome to anyone visiting our webpage. The aim is to help those with an interest in Freemasonry in and around Basingstoke, or Masonry in general. It is intended that our page will assist you in finding out more about our honourable institution and Vyne Lodge in particular. To this end, our webpage provides a brief history of Vyne Lodge and some answers to the most frequently asked questions.
A Brief History of Vyne Lodge
Vyne Lodge was formed in 1958 mainly by a group of men who were originally London Masons and had been relocated to the local area. Those who were London Masons obviously found it difficult and expensive to travel back to London for their Masonic meetings. These Masons met regularly at the Wheatsheaf Hotel in Winton Square, Basingstoke, where W. Bro. John Stroud, then already a Grand Lodge Officer, was the innkeeper. It was at these meetings that the formation of a new Lodge at Basingstoke to cater for the relocated Masons was arranged.
An approach was made to Sir Charles Chute at the Vyne in Sherborne St John (pictured above), who kindly gave his permission for the name ‘Vyne’ to be used, together with his Coat of Arms as the Lodge Crest.
The Vyne Lodge No. 7612 was formally consecrated by R. W. Bro. Wilfred Attenborough, Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight and his Provincial Team on Thursday 9th October 1958. Followed by the Installation of W. Bro. Laurie Hill as the first Worshipful Master.
The Lodge was to be run on London lines with four meetings a year, each meeting to include two full ceremonies with calling off for coffee/biscuits between; the working to be their own edited version of the Nigerian Ritual. The subscription initially was eight guineas per year (inclusive of Dining fees).
The Lodge now has five meetings a year, four meetings are for the ceremonies involved in the introduction and progression of new members and the remaining for the Installation of the new Master.
How do I Join?
If you are interested in joining Vyne Lodge, please contact our Lodge Secretary. He will be more than happy to answer questions you may have and explain the joining process briefly as set out below.
Your initial approach is to contact the Secretary by emailing: [email protected]
The secretary will then contact you by telephone or e-mail to arrange a preliminary meeting where you will have the opportunity to ask any questions and seek further information.
The preliminary meeting should establish if there is a mutual benefit in you becoming a Freemasons and if so whether you wish to proceed with an application for membership.
If after the preliminary meeting you wish to proceed it will be necessary for you to attend a short, more formal meeting where you will have the opportunity to meet with members of the Lodge Committee.
The Committee meeting having been a success, at a Regular Lodge meeting your Proposer and Seconder will formally announce your wish to join Vyne Lodge.
At the following meeting of the Lodge a ballot is held among the members of the Lodge.
The ballot being successful, you will be requested to attend your first meeting as a candidate for Initiation into Vyne Lodge. On completion of your initiation ceremony, you are a Freemason!
Where & when do we meet?
The Lodge meets on the third Thursday in the Months of October (Installation of new Master), November, January, March and May at the Basingstoke Masonic Centre, Victoria Street, Basingstoke RG21 3BT
What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry teaches moral lessons and self-knowledge through participation in a progression of allegorical two-part plays, which are learnt by heart and performed within each lodge. These plays form the ceremonies for admitting new Masons and the annual installation of the Master and appointment of officers. There are three ceremonies for admitting a new Mason, each are in two parts – a slight dramatic instruction in the principles and lessons taught in the Craft followed by a lecture in which the candidate’s various duties are spelled out.
It is through these ceremonies that Freemasonry offers its members an approach to life, highlighting the need for fairness and integrity in all things both socially and in business. Members are urged to maintain high moral standards, to be compassionate towards others particularly the sick and those less fortunate than ourselves but at the same time regarding the interests of the family as paramount.
Why do people join and remain members?
People became Freemasons for a variety of reasons, perhaps by family tradition, or by the introduction of a friend, perhaps even out of a curiosity to find out what it is all about. Those who become active members and remain in Freemasonry do so principally because they enjoy it, but there is also a sense of personal achievement in learning and performing the ritual, by learning and performing the ritual together and progressing through the offices promotes a strong bond between individuals. In supporting each other through the progressive offices also helps to promote a higher level of self awareness and self confidence. In all of this a Mason is encouraged to conduct his life in such a way that he will ultimately become a better man, not better than anyone else but hopefully better than if he himself might have been had he not experienced the benefits that Freemasonry has to offer.
Who can join?
Membership is open law-abiding men over the age of twenty one years of age, of good character and who acknowledge a belief in a Supreme Being. Men of all faiths are eligible as Freemasonry is a multi-racial and multi-cultural organisation. Membership is open to university students under the age of twenty one under the university scheme details of which can be found by using the link to Receptor Lodges for the University Scheme
Is Freemasonry active in the community?
The answer is an emphatic yes, Freemasons are extremely proud of their record in providing regular and consistent financial support to individual charities by making thousands of grants each year. Freemasonry has always been active in supporting various local and national causes. High on the priority list for support by local Lodges are local hospices for the young as well as old, community care projects, special needs schools for disabled children and by responding to appeals and projects throughout England and Wales each year.
Support for national issues including medical research, heritage and disaster relief are covered by the Grand Charity. Donations to all these and other worthy causes amount to millions on pounds each year and all raised by the Masons themselves, their families and friends. Apart from financial contributions, Masons are increasingly involved in providing practical assistance to various charity raising functions throughout the country. The personal generosity of Freemasons within almost 8,000 lodges, will continue to ensure Freemasonry makes a valid and essential contribution to the community.
The Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight has a mobile exhibition unit (see above picture) which attends many major public functions each year throughout the Province to explain the aims and objectives of Freemasonry.
How will I benefit?
First of all there are strictly no pecuniary or material befits to be gained in becoming a Freemason, nor should they be expected, indeed any attempt to gain such benefit would be deemed a misuse of membership and subject to Masonic discipline. The benefits are to meet and dine with men from all walks of life on an equal footing, to forge long term friendships, to share in the process of leaning. Members should consider it an opportunity to learn more about themselves, to achieve a greater understanding in the benefits of good citizenship, to serve the community by being more compassionate in relationships with others and understand their needs and with the ultimate aim of becoming an exemplary member of society but at the same time understanding that in the event of personal tragedy or misfortune Freemasonry is there to assist where appropriate.
How much does it cost to be a Freemason?
It varies from Lodge to Lodge but anyone wishing to join can find a lodge to suit his pocket. On entry, there is an initiation fee and other one off payments and later an apron to buy. A member pays an annual subscription to his lodge which covers his membership and the administrative cost of running the Lodge. It is usual to have a meal after the meeting; the cost of this can be included either in the annual subscription or paid for at the time.
It is entirely up to the individual member what he gives to Charity, but it should always be without detriment to his other responsibilities. Similarly, he may join as many lodges as his time and pocket can allow as long as it does not adversely affect his family life and responsibilities.
If you are interested in finding out more about Freemasonry or considering joining, please contact the Lodge secretary by e-mail at the address below.