Can­ter­bury Wel­comes Eng­land’s Freema­sons

This England - - News - STU­ART MILLSON

In February, the Dean of Can­ter­bury Cathe­dral, the Very Revd. Dr. Robert Wil­lis, presided over a spe­cial ser­vice in the pres­ence of HRH The Duke of Kent: a cel­e­bra­tion of 300 years of Freema­sonry in Eng­land.

Some very great names — Ki­pling, Co­nan Doyle, Ernest Shack­le­ton, King Ge­orge V (and in­deed, our present Duke of Kent) — have been associated with this il­lus­tri­ous fra­ter­nal or­der; and over the years many hun­dreds of thou­sands of pounds have been raised for good causes — in­clud­ing one mil­lion for the Royal Col­lege of Sur­geons, “for the bet­ter­ment of mankind.”

Can­ter­bury Cathe­dral’s Restora­tion Fund has also re­ceived £300,000 from the Freema­sons of East and West Kent, Sus­sex and Sur­rey, in ad­di­tion to sup­port for a scheme that trains mod­ern-day apprentice stone­ma­sons. Many other com­mu­nity good causes in the South East have also re­ceived the ben­e­fit of Ma­sonic in­volve­ment.

With mu­sic rang­ing from Parry’s I was Glad, to the singing by the 1,500-strong contin­gent of Freema­sons of All peo­ple that on earth do dwell, the spe­cial ser­vice con­firmed the great his­tory of a re­mark­able or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The con­gre­ga­tion gath­ered at Can­ter­bury Cathe­dral to cel­e­brate 300 years of the Freema­sons.

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