Biennial Service of Thanksgiving

Provincial Grand Master, Paul Gower and Mayor of St Albans, Councillor Janet Smith stand adjacent the new icon with the Dean of St Albans, Very Reverend Jeffrey John

On Sunday, 16 June, Freemasons of Hertfordshire gathered at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban for the Biennial Service of Thanksgiving. This year, the service was even more special as it included the dedication of an Icon of St Michael the Archangel; a gift to the Cathedral from the Province of Hertfordshire.

Over 400 Freemasons, family and friends enjoyed the wonderful service, including the Mayor of St Albans, Councillor Janet Smith, the Provincial Grand Master, Paul Gower and Grand Superintendent, James Sharpley.

The Dean of St Albans, Very Reverend Dr Jeffrey John commented, ‘We are very grateful that this beautiful icon will grace the St Michael Chapel and assist our worship.’

The Provincial Grand Master said, ‘It was a truly magnificent occasion and one in which it was appropriate to reflect on our very close and happy association with the Cathedral, which stretches back over a number of years, and also to give thanks for the continued well-being of this Masonic Province during somewhat turbulent and difficult economic and political times.’

He also said that he had received many positive messages following the service; including one from one attendee who said, ‘It has to be the one of the best services in the Cathedral; made even more special by the dedication of your stunning St Michael icon. I continue to be overwhelmed by the support you give to the local community and thank you with all my heart for what you do!’

During the service a collection was taken for the 2019 Festival in aid of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, which will conclude on Saturday, 6 July.

After the service and dedication, the congregation enjoyed light refreshments in the north transept; kindly provided by the Province.

The Provincial Grand Master and the Provincial Executive would like to record their grateful thanks to all at the cathedral for their organisation and assistance; to David Ferris, who worked tirelessly to co-ordinate the service; to the Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge and the Fleet House Light Blues Club for their very hard work on the day and to the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team, who displayed the high levels of efficiency, tact and professionalism that we have come to expect from them as standard but which are the envy of many other Provinces.