St Albans Abbey hosted a special service on Sunday marking 300 years of Freemasonry in England.
More than 450 masons in full regalia, together with their families, gathered for the thanksgiving celebration.
The service was attended by the Dean of St Albans, the Very Reverend Dr Jeffrey John, the Bishop of Hertford, the Right Reverend Dr Michael Beasley, the Provincial Grand Master of Hertfordshire, Paul Gower and Sir David Hugh Wootton, Assistant Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England and a former Lord Mayor of London. Also present was Councillor Annie Brewster, former Mayor of St Albans.
The Provincial Grand Master said “We are truly grateful to the Dean and Chapter of the Abbey for allowing this service to be held once again, further strengthening the ties between the Diocese of St Albans and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Hertfordshire.”
The Abbey service was one of many events happening throughout the country celebrating the Tercentenary of the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1717.
Deputy Provincial Grand Master David Ferris said: “The liaison and co-operation between the Abbey and Hertfordshire Freemasons are well established, with masons assisting at various Cathedral events, particularly the Annual Pilgrimage in June where they help steward the popular event celebrating St Alban, which is attended by pilgrims from around the world.
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Hertfordshire is based in St Albans.
Freemasons contribute over £33 million a year as one of the UK’s largest charitable givers. Raising funds largely through voluntary donations by freemasons they help support individual members and families, local communities and global emergencies.