Patron for the Masonic Samaritan Fund
Patron of The Royal Masonic Trust for Boys and Girls
There are currently twenty one subscribing members of Howe Lodge, evenly split between Past Masters, and those yet to attain the Masters Chair. One member has recently been presented with his certificate celebrating sixty years of Lodge membership, although work commitments meant he could not become Master until the year 2000; another member became Master in 1990, again in 2008, and also 2018 and 2019. The present Worshipful Master is the great grandson of John Ward Lloyd the first Worshipful Master of Howe Lodge in 1851.
The Lodge is in good heart, with six new members in the last two years, and prospective candidates awaiting for the end of current Government Covid restrictions to be able to join for Initiation into Freemasonry.
Howe Lodge meet on the second Monday, in the months of January, February, April, May, October and December at The Masonic Hall Wretham Road Birmingham.
Becoming a Member of Howe
Howe Lodge welcomes applications for new members, and extends the Masonic “Hand of Friendship” to all. If after visiting our website, you may wish to join us, we advise you to speak to any family member, or friend whom you know to be a Freemason. Then contact a Lodge member, or the Secretary, who can explain the advantage, and costs, of becoming a member.
We will then arrange to meet you socially, so that you can find out more about us, and so that we can find out a little more about you.
There then follows a meeting with the Lodge committee, prior to any balloting and consequential joining.
Antient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons
The Lodge is the entry level of Freemasonry throughout the World. Once becoming a member you can visit Lodges in most countries.
You also have access to other Masonic Orders, and Degrees in this Country, depending upon satisfying certain conditions, principally the commitment of time, and experience of Lodge membership. You should also be aware that each Lodge has its own annual subscriptions to charge, with dining fees and charity collections to follow.
There are a number of Orders related to Freemasonry, some of which become available once passing the Third Degree of Craft Masonry and becoming a Master Mason. Howe 587 is represented by Lodges in Craft Masonry, Mark Master Masonry, The Holy Royal Arch Chapter, and The General Lodge of Instruction.
Craft Masonry is the starting point of the journey for all Freemasons, through their Masonic experience.
Every Mason is a subscribing member of at least one Craft Lodge. The Masonic journey commences by being initiated into a Craft Lodge. There are three distinct steps, called degrees. A newly made mason is known as an Entered Apprentice, he is later passed to the Second Degree of a Fellowcraft, and then raised to the Third Degree of a Master Mason.
Each degree is conferred by a Ceremony in the form of allegorical plays, which are designed to impart meaning to the candidate, and lead him to contemplate on his ethics and contribution to society in general.
Lodge meetings also provide a platform to come together, with other like minded people, although discussion of politics and religion are expressly forbidden.
After the formal Lodge meeting there is usually a formal meal, called the Festive Board, giving the opportunity to be with friends in a relaxed atmosphere.
Howe Mark Masters Lodge TI
Mark Master Masonry
The Degree of Mark Master Mason is open to all Master Masons. The ceremony, in which a Brother is ‘advanced’, can be said to comprise of two Degrees; the first in which he is acknowledged as a Mark Man, followed by the second where he becomes a Mark Master Mason. The Mark referred to in its title takes its name from the mark or symbol with which the stonemason identified his work and can still be found in many Cathedrals and important buildings.
Much use is made of Holy Writ to instruct the Candidate, and Brethren in the story which serves to teach that the real message is one of contemplation of human strengths and weaknesses. In chronological terms the Degree follows that of the Second Degree in Craft Masonry. There is reputedly some evidence that the Degree is 400 years old but the earliest English records stem from 1769 when it was first worked in the Chapter of Friendship, Royal Arch Chapter No. 257 (formerly No. 3) in Portsmouth. However, a minute book dated 1599 of the Lodge of Edinburgh states that several speculative brethren had appended their marks after their names.
The first meeting of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons was held on Monday 23rd June, 1856.
The ordinary members’ regalia comprises an apron and breast jewel. The apron is of white kid with a triangular flap bordered with a two inch ribbon of light blue with crimson edges. It has rosettes of the same colour whilst Masters and Past Masters have the rosettes replaced with silver levels. The jewel of the order is a key stone appended to a ribbon which matches the apron and bears a mallet & chisel which are the tools of the Order. The key stone, which bears certain characters, forms an integral part of the ceremony.
Holy Royal Arch
Royal Arch Masonry, normally referred to as Chapter is common in the lodges, ultimately ruled by Great Queen Street in London. The Holy Royal Arch Chapter is attached to a Craft Lodge as it is formed, and holds the same number.
Howe Chapter No 587 was formed in 1855, and five of the founders were members of Howe Craft Lodge.
Howe Chapter meets four times a year, on the 1st Thursday of September, November, January, and the 2nd Thursday in March. As with Howe Craft Lodge, it meets at The Masonic Hall Wretham Road, Handsworth.
General Lodge of Instruction No 587
(Under the sanction of Howe Lodge, No. 587 and recognised as a Lodge of Instruction by the Committee of The Emulation Lodge of Improvement, London).
At a meeting of Howe Craft Lodge on Monday 13th February, 1854 it was proposed that: “This Lodge to sanction a Lodge of Instruction to be governed by such regulations as may from time to time be made by the Howe Lodge”
At a Special Meeting of Howe Lodge on 16th February, the terms on which the LOI should be founded were agreed. The new Lodge met in March 1854. Bro Bassett Smith agreed to officiate as Director of Howe Lodge of Instruction, at a salary of £10 per annum.
Jewels of Howe Lodge
The photo on the left shows one of the Past Masters Jewels belonging to Howe Lodge. Every Master who passes through the Chair is presented with a Past Masters Medal, to commemorate his period in office. They are returned to the Lodge if a Brother is promoted to Grand Lodge office, or no longer continues as a subscribing member.
The medal illustrated was first presented to W Bro A Dudley-Evans in 1929 and later to his son W Bro W N Dudley-Evans in 1958. It is proudly worn by a Past Master of Howe Lodge today.
That on the right is a photo of a Howe Lodge Centenary Medal. Lodges that have met continuously for over 100 years are entitled to have this medal struck in recognition of this achievement.
The Lodge Centenary medal is standard to all Lodges reaching this honour, save that the individual Lodge name and number are depicted in the manner shown.
The photo on the left is a Past Masters Jewel for Howe Mark Masters Lodge. In the centre of the Jewel, on the ribbon, are the letters TI, standing for Time Immemorial. This denotes that the Lodge was formed in 1850 before Mark Grand Lodge existed. There are only a few Lodges in the UK that can display this insignia.
On the right is a Past First Principals medal for Howe Chapter no 587.