The Old Chelmsfordian Lodge 5499

The Commitment

 

It is made  clear to every Initate into Freemasonry that his family and professional life should at all times come first. However, you should be aware of the demands that joining the lodge may make of you, both financial and temporal.

Before the Ceremony of Initiation into The Old Chelmsfordian Lodge, a candidate pays an initiation fee of £20 and a registration fee (£70). There is also an annual subscription of £120.

We have five "Regular" meetings a year, on the second Saturdays of February, March, May, October and December. A member should endeavour to attend all five. The meetings start at 4.30pm, and are followed by the "Festive Board", which ends at around 9pm.

A number of our wives and partners get together for a meal on the evenings of our Regular meetings.

As the meetings are, in effect, morality plays, we need to rehearse. We do this at the Lodge of Instruction (LOI), which takes place early on a Friday evening. If you take an office, or if you are to deliver some ritual at the next Regular meeting, you are asked to make every effort to attend the LOI.

The expense and demands upon a Brother's time may not end here, though anything further is a matter for the individual. You can invite masonic guests or visit other Lodges on a regular basis. You can join other Lodges, the Royal Arch, any number of appendant Orders. But you should never let Freemasonry interfere with your family life or your job.

If you find yourself working away from home, you can find out about Masonic meetings in the town where you are staying, and go along rather than sitting alone in a hotel room. This applies both in England and abroad, provided that UGLE recognises the Grand Lodge in the country where you are staying.

Once you become a Freemason, you are always a Freemason, even if you resign your membership. So you can join another Lodge without the need to undergo the ceremony of Initiation again, and an "unattached" Mason can visit every Lodge in the country and abroad, but only once in respect of each Lodge.

There is a dress code. In Lodge we wear dark suits, white shirts and white gloves. In The Old Chelmsfordian Lodge the Lodge members wear the old school tie, and when visiting a non-old school Lodge we wear either a plain black tie or the Provincial or Grand Lodge tie. At the Lodge of Instruction the dress code is tidy casual.

In Lodge, LOI and at the Festive Board we prohibit discussion of politics and religion. Given Chelmsford's proximity to London we find that there are supporters of all the London clubs in the Lodge, and these are outnumbered by Manchester United supporters. Perhaps we should add football to the list of prohibited topics.

 

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