St. Erkenwald Lodge


Lodge History

The Lodge was founded in 1900 and we look forward to celebrating our 125th Anniversary in 2025. We are also fortunate to have a well-documented history of the Lodge, the highlights of which are below.

The Lodge was founded by a group of active Freemasons in the Barking area in the late 19th Century. After successfully petitioning to form their own Lodge, a Warrant was granted on March 15th 1900, in the name Erkenwald Lodge. The consecration of the Lodge took place on April 23rd 1900 at Freemasons’ Hall, London. The first Master of the Lodge was W. Bro Phillip J. King, who was installed by the Grand Secretary.

In 1904 the original Banner of the Lodge was presented and the Bishop of Barking gave a prayer of dedication.

The early part of this decade saw rapid expansion and progress of the membership of the Lodge. In January 1912, a total of 14 candidates had degrees conferred on them with 4 Initiation, 4 Passing and 6 Raising ceremonies. In April that same year a total of 8 Brothers were raised in a single Meeting and a further Brother was Passed. These must have been very long Meetings indeed.

The Meeting in December 1917 was interrupted for 90 minutes because of an air raid warning, but was soon resumed after the all clear was given.  Around this time two special Meetings were arranged to entertain convalescing Colonial Brethren with approximately 100 Members and Visitors attending on each occasion.

The end of this decade saw the approval for the name of the Lodge to be modified with the introduction of “Saint” to the name of Erkenwald. The Warrant was suitably amended on June 8th 1920, and the name on the Banner became correct at last. At this point the membership stood at an incredible 101 including four of the original Founders.

Later in the next decade plans were set in place to consecrate a Chapter affiliated to the Lodge. This eventually came about with the Consecration of St. Erkenwald Chapter taking place on May 20th 1927 at Freemasons Hall. W Bro. A Carter was the first M.E.Z. and leading Members of the Lodge filled the other Principal Offices.

The Lodge Meeting schedule continued unabated through the 1930’s. However, with the onset of further hostilities the Installation due to take place in October 1939 was deferred “until further notice” due to the National Emergency.

At the beginning of 1934 the venue for Lodge Meetings was a matter of serious discussion. Eventually 9 Members introduced a motion to move to Freemasons’ Hall, which was adopted and where we meet to this present day.

In the 1940’s just as during the Great War the Lodge continued to hold its Meetings, so was the case during the Second War. During the early period of the confrontation the frequency of Meetings was reduced, but by 1942 the normal schedule of Meetings had been resumed.

In 1941 W Bro. A Carter, who had been Secretary for a remarkable 33 years, was rightly voted to receive a Testimonial in recognition of his most valued and unprecedented service to the Lodge.

The decade closed with the 50th Anniversary Meeting and Jubilee celebrations. The Membership numbers were still very healthy with 102 names recorded on the Annual Return.

The second fifty years of the Lodges history started with an intense period of activity for the Lodge of Instruction held in numerous venues around London.

By February 1954 the contributions from the Lodge to the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls reached the level that qualified the Lodge as a Patron of the Institution.

The efforts of some senior Lodge Members were rewarded at the end of this decade when the consecration of the second Daughter Lodge was announced. The Daughter Lodge chose the name of the sister of St. Erkenwald, and thus became the St. Ethelburga Lodge No. 7677 upon the occasion of its consecration on 6th April 1960, but sadly gave back their warrant in 2006.

In the 1960’s Ladies Festivals continued to be a very well supported and enjoyable part of the life of St. Erkenwald Lodge. In 1964 at the Festival where the Worshipful Master was President and a total of 450 Brethren and Guests attended a splendid banquet at the Hilton Hotel in London.

H.R.H. Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent became Most Worshipful Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge in 1967 and remains so to this day.

In November 1971 the St. Erkenwald Lodge was chosen as one of the venues for the presentation of the prestigious Prestonian Lecture.

The highlight of the next decade occurred in March 1986. The existing Banner of the Lodge, in use for over 80 years was now showing signs of its age for a second time. The Lodge was extremely fortunate to have the offer from a group of nuns to manufacture a replacement Banner, and from a full size pattern and a series of colour photographs the extremely skilful group of seamstresses and embroiders crafted the new Banner. The Banner was paraded into the Lodge by one of the youngest members, and after being dedicated it was then placed in its proper place behind the Chair of the Worshipful Master.

During the first Century of its existence the Lodge has held a total of 515 Regular Meetings and 37 Special or Emergency Meetings.

The Lodge Centenary Meeting took place on Tuesday 25th April 2000 in Temple No.10 at Freemasons’ Hall.

Since the year 2000 the Lodge has had its ups and downs with numbers at one point falling rather low, but thanks to a few dedicated members it has enjoyed a resurgence in the last decade.

Highlights include 26 French members that after proper authorisation all joined in a single meeting. This was due to issues within the French masonic system, which has since been rectified. We are fortunate that many of those joining members are still with us today. We are also lucky to have a number of younger members in the lodge, which gives us a membership ranging in age from 30-92!

The current period of history is one that every brother will feel keenly. The Covid19 pandemic has now prevented us for meeting for an entire calendar year; something that we hope will not be repeated again. During this time we are meeting up casually online on a regular basis and hope that it won’t be too long before we are able to meet again properly and be able to enjoy successful meetings and followed by an enjoyable Festive Board.

Once we get permission from UGLE and Metropolitan Grand Lodge to begin meetings again we have a pretty full year ahead of us with at least three ceremonies to complete. We have 5 meetings a year on a Tuesday afternoon and evening. Please contact the Lodge Secretary for more information. We enjoy dining together at our Festive Boards at a venue just 10 minutes from Freemasons’ Hall. The Lodge is now looking ahead to its 125th Anniversary meeting, which will be in April 2025.


Arena 54 Print Edition

Read more

Beyond the Square: W Bro Richard Spooner on “exercising that virtue…”

Read more

We asked you… The Visitor’s Response

Read more
Cookie settings