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Freemasonry in Winchester
Becoming a Freemason in Winchester
Becoming a Freemason: Regularity is a concept based on adherence to Masonic Landmarks, the basic membership requirements, tenets and rituals of the craft. Each Grand Lodge sets its own definition of what these landmarks are, and thus what is Regular and what is Irregular (and the definitions do not necessarily agree between Grand Lodges). Essentially, every Grand Lodge will hold that its landmarks (its requirements, tenets and rituals) are Regular, and judge other Grand Lodges based on those. If the differences are significant, one Grand Lodge may declare the other "Irregular" and withdraw or withhold recognition.
The most commonly shared rules for Recognition (based on Regularity) are those given by the United Grand Lodge of England in 1929:
The Grand Lodge should be established by an existing regular Grand Lodge, or by at least three regular Lodges.
A belief in a supreme being and scripture is a condition of membership.
Initiates should take their vows on that scripture.
Only men can be admitted, and no relationship exists with mixed Lodges.
The Grand Lodge has complete control over the first three degrees, and is not subject to another body.
All Lodges shall display a volume of scripture with the square and compasses while in session.
There is no discussion of politics or religion.
"Antient landmarks, customs and usages" observed.
Blue Lodges, known as Craft Lodges in the United Kingdom, offer only the three traditional degrees. In most jurisdictions, the rank of past or installed master is also conferred in Blue/Craft Lodges. Master Masons are able to extend their Masonic experience by taking further degrees, in appendant or other bodies whether or not approved by their own Grand Lodge.
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is a system of 33 degrees, including the three Blue Lodge degrees administered by a local or national Supreme Council. This system is popular in North America, South America and in Continental Europe. In America, the York Rite, with a similar range, administers three orders of Masonry, namely the Royal Arch, Cryptic Masonry, and Knights Templar.
In Britain, separate bodies administer each order. Freemasons are encouraged to join the Holy Royal Arch, which is linked to Mark Masonry in Scotland and Ireland, but completely separate in England. In England, the Royal Arch is closely associated with the Craft, automatically having many Grand Officers in common, including H.R.H the Duke of Kent as both Grand Master of the Craft and First Grand Principal of the Royal Arch. The English Knights Templar and Cryptic Masonry share the Mark Grand Lodge offices and staff at Mark Masons Hall.
In the Nordic countries, the Swedish Rite is dominant; a variation of it is also used in parts of Germany. The earliest official English documents to refer to masons are written in Latin or Norman French. Thus we have "sculptores lapidum liberorum" (London 1212), "magister lathomus liberarum petrarum" (Oxford 1391), and "mestre mason de franche peer" (Statute of Labourers 1351). These all signify a worker in freestone, a grainless sandstone or limestone suitable for ornamental Masonry. In the 17th century building accounts of Wadham College the terms freemason and freestone mason are used interchangeably. Freemason also contrasts with "Rough Mason" or "Layer", as a more skilled worker who worked or laid dressed stone.
The adjective "free" in this context may also be taken to infer that the mason is not enslaved, indentured or feudally bound. While this is difficult to reconcile with medieval English masons, it apparently became important to Scottish operative lodges.
Master Masons in medieval England
A medieval Master Mason would be required to undergo what passed for a liberal education in those days. In England, he would leave home at nine or ten years of age already literate in English and French, educated at home or at the petty (junior) school. From then until the age of fourteen, he would attend monastery or grammar school to learn Latin, or as a page in a knightly household would learn deportment in addition to his studies. Between the ages of fourteen and seventeen he would learn the basic skills of choosing, shaping, and combining stone and then between the ages of 17 and 21, be required to learn by rote a large number of formal problems in geometry. Three years as a journeyman would often finish with the submission of a masterwork dealing with a set problem in construction or design. At this point, he was considered qualified, but still had a career ladder to climb before attaining the status of Master Mason on a large project.
In his function as architect, the Master Mason probably made his plans for each successive stage of a build in silverpoint on a prepared parchment or board. These would be realised on the ground by using a larger compass than the one used for drafting. Medieval architects are depicted with much larger compasses and squares where they are shown on a building site. Fine detail was transferred from the drawing board by means of wooden templates supplied to the masons.
The Master Masons who appear in record as presiding over major works, such as York Minster, became wealthy and respected. Visiting Master Masons and Master Carpenters sat at high table of monasteries, dining with the abbott.
The City of Winchester is a local government district in Hampshire, England, with city status. The district covers the ancient settlement of the city of Winchester itself, but also covers a large area of central Hampshire including Bishop's Waltham, Denmead, New Alresford, and Kings Worthy (for a full list of these, see the "Settlements and parishes" section below), for a total area of 255.2 square miles (661 km2). The 2011 Census recorded the population of the district as 116,600. The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by the merger of the City of Winchester with Droxford Rural District and part of Winchester Rural District. It borders Basingstoke and Deane to the north, East Hampshire to the east, the Borough of Havant and the unitary authority area of Portsmouth to the south-east, the Borough of Fareham to the south, the Borough of Eastleigh to the south-west, and Test Valley to the west. The city traces its history to the Roman Era, developing from the town of Venta Belgarum. It saw historic significance from its reconstruction under Alfred the Great in the 9th century, and grew in prominence until London replaced it as capital; Winchester saw a decline after plague swept the country, but began to recover from the 19th century.
The City of Winchester is made up of two parliamentary constituencies. Winchester constituency covers the north-eastern part of the city, as well as Chandler's Ford, which is part of Eastleigh. The remainder constitutes Meon Valley, which also covers part of East Hampshire and Havant. Winchester constituency has been represented by Steve Brine since 2010, whilst Meon Valley has been represented by Flick Drummond since the 2019 general election. The City of Winchester is made up of two parliamentary constituencies. Winchester constituency covers the north-eastern part of the city, as well as Chandler's Ford, which is part of Eastleigh. The remainder constitutes Meon Valley, which also covers part of East Hampshire and Havant. Winchester constituency has been represented by Steve Brine since 2010, whilst Meon Valley has been represented by Flick Drummond since the 2019 general election.
Winchester City Council
Elections to the council are held in three out of every four years, with one third of the seats on the council being elected at each election. From 1995 to the 2004 election the Liberal Democrats had a majority on the council, but after 2 years when no party held a majority the 2006 election saw the Conservative party gain control. The elections on 6 May 2010 saw the Liberal Democrats re take control of the council, however the council soon switched to NOC a year later in 2011. In 2012, the Conservative Party made their only Council gain of the entire English local elections and won a majority in Winchester once again. Subsequently, two Conservative councillors defected to the Liberal Democrat group, placing the council under No Overall Control. Following local elections on 7 May 2015, the Conservatives re-gained majority control of the council. Since the 2016 council election, in which new boundaries were introduced, no other parties than the Conservative and Liberal Democrats have held seats on the council. After the local elections on 2 May 2019, the Liberal Democrats gained majority control. Three independent councillors were elected as Conservatives. Cllr Weston resigned from the party in late 2019. Cllr Clementson was suspended from the party pending an investigation. In November 2020 Alresford & Itchen Valley councillor Lisa Griffiths resigned from the Conservative Party to sit as an independent. In September 2020, Liberal Democrat Councillor Kim Gottlieb (who joined the party after leaving the Conservatives) resigned as a Councillor, leaving one of the three St Michael seats vacant.
The council is currently led by a Liberal Democrat administration.
Becoming a Freemason in United Kingdom
Becoming a Freemason in England
Region South East England
Non-metropolitan county Hampshire
Status Non-metropolitan district, Borough, City time immemorial
Admin HQ Winchester
Incorporated 1 April 1974
• Type Non-metropolitan district council
• Body Winchester City Council
• Leadership Leader & Cabinet (Liberal Democrat)
• MPs Steve Brine
• Total 255.20 sq mi (660.97 km2)
Area rank 60th (of 317)
Population (mid-2019 est.)
• Total 124,859
• Rank 185th (of 317)
• Density 490/sq mi (190/km2)
• Ethnicity 97.8% White
Time zone UTC0 (GMT)
• Summer (DST) UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code 24UP (ONS)
OS grid reference SU485295