The St Cecilia Demonstration Team performed the very first of several unique 1717 Enactment Ceremonies in celebration of the Tercentenary of United Grand Lodge, by kind invitation of Cambrian Lodge 364, at the Neath Masonic Hall on Tuesday 31st January 2017.
The team are aiming to perform this unique Enactment throughout the Province in order to raise funds for the 2021 Festival. St Cecilia Lodge 8748 is very proud to support the 2021 Festival and have recently achieved a Bronze Award.
This is a great example of how Brethen & Lodges can create additional ways to raise further funds towards the 2021 Festival in aid of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.
The Enactment on this occasion was a 1717 Initiation and was both informative and fun, with the Demonstration Team using a certain amount of theatrical licence to entertain & educate a very large and enthusiastic audience.
It was very appropriate to start off the round of demonstrations at the oldest purpose built Temple in the Province. Cambrian Lodge was Consecrated on the 31st of January 1821 in St. Thomas’s Church in the heart of Neath, as in those times the Lodge met in a variety of licenced premises in the town, before the building of the present Masonic Hall & Temple, hence the date chosen was highly significant – 196 years since Cambrians Lodge was Consecrated.
The audience were taken back 300 years as the Enactment was conducted in candlelight, with the St Cecilia Team wearing costumes & wigs of the period, creating a wonderful atmosphere. The ceremony, having been rehearsed for several months, was performed with accuracy and also a sense of fun & humour, with Minutes and correspondence relevant to the period including an invitation for all the Brethren to attend Bro George Frederic Handel’s premier on the River Thames in London of his “Water Music”! The “Worshipful” issued fines to Brethren for their misdemeanours, and conducted his team & the Initiate, who was chosen from the audience, through the Ballot and the Ceremony. The team were: WM WBro Allun Jones, SW WBro John Jones, JW WBro Darran Evans, SD WBro John Taylor, JD WBro Idwal Jones, Treasurer WBro Dave Hartwell, Secretary WBro Paul Haley, Tyler WBro Roger Mapstone.
Pictured is the Cambrian Lodge Bible that was used and dates to 1780, which added to the historical charm of the whole evening.
Tercentenary Office WBro Kevin Hearne congratulated the Team, “Having travelled to Neath to learn more about masonry in the 1700’s I really was not sure what to expect – the outcome was quite simply outstanding! The effort that Roger Mapstone and the team have put in was plain for all to see – especially the behind the scenes endeavours of the wonderful Mrs Mapstone in making the costumes. The hours that must have been invested in research have clearly paid dividends and your “world premier” in Neath went down to huge acclaim. My congratulations to the “Worshipful” and team for travelling forward 300 years to be with us.”
WBro Roger Mapstone gave an explanation of some key aspects of the Ceremony at the end and answered questions from an enthralled audience, who noted the similarities and differences with the familiar rituals of today.
At the after-proceedings, a cheque was donated to St Cecilia towards the 2021 Festival for £179. St Cecilia have already received invitations to perform further Enactments and welcome further enquiries to enable the Team to make a large donation to the 2021 Festival. Enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Provisional dates are : Cambrensisi Cardiff on 3 April 2017, Dan y Coed Caerphilly on 16th May 2017, Indefatigable Lodge Swansea on 11 Sept 2017 and confirmation details will appear on the Provincial website, facebook & twitter accounts