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We are a unique members’ organisation that has thrived for over 300 years. We have no political or religious affiliations, and comprise of members of all ages, races, religions, cultures and backgrounds. We meet in our individual Lodges throughout the country where we have ceremonial traditions which encourage us both to be more tolerant and respectful and actively to fulfil our civic and charitable responsibilities; we also make time to eat, drink and meet together, and form lifelong friendships.

St Cuthbert’s Lodge is a lively and progressive lodge of local Freemasons who meet in Howden. We welcome good men from all walks of life who want to meet new people, contribute to the local community, and learn about the traditions and mysteries of Freemasonry.

In common with all Freemasons, we strive to live good lives and we share an enjoyment of Freemasonry and a unique bond of friendship.

 Charity is also a core principle of Freemasonry and in recent years we have supported many local causes.

We pride ourselves on being a proactive, innovative and friendly Lodge. With around 50 members ranging in age from 20’s to 8o’s. Our members come from all walks of life, including, local government, shopkeepers, painters & decorators, builders, finance, teaching, gardening specialists and paramedics. Many of our members live in Howden with others from further afield including Hull, Goole and Selby and overseas.

Freemasons use four important guiding principles to help define their path through life: integrity, friendship, respect and charity.

In today’s world filled with uncertainty, these principles ring as true as they have at any point in the organisation’s history.

One of the oldest social and charitable organisations in the world, Freemasonry’s roots lie in the traditions of the medieval stonemasons who built our cathedrals and castles.

Membership is open to people from all backgrounds. The organisation’s aim is to empower members to be the best they can be – it’s about building character, supporting members as individuals, and helping them make a positive contribution to society.

Freemasonry provides a structure for members to come together under these common goals, enabling people to make new friendships, develop themselves and make valuable contributions to charitable causes.

All our meetings commence at 7.00pm and finish usually by 10.30pm.  Our Masonic year starts in October with the installation of the new Worshipful Master. At our meetings we perform ceremonies which progress newer members into Freemasonry, and we also learn about Freemasonry and its philosophy.

The bar is open before and after each meeting followed by a four-course dinner known as a Festive Board, during which we can relax and get to know each other and our visiting guests. Members are encouraged to attend meetings, rehearsals and some social events only if their situation allows and are supported throughout their masonic journey.

Becoming a Freemason means you will be joining approximately 200,000 members throughout England and Wales, as well as Districts overseas.

Membership is open to any man over the age of 18 irrespective of their race or religion. In total, there are more than 7,000 Lodges, with students able to join one of 87 University Scheme Lodges.            

History

In 1850, Brethren from the York Lodge, No. 236 founded a lodge in Selby, the Lodge of St. Germain, No. 566.  In turn, four years later in 1854, Brethren from the Selby lodge founded a lodge in Howden, the Lodge of St. Cuthbert.

The choice of name for the new lodge in Howden was probably influenced by the connection between the Prince Bishops of Durham and Howden Minster:  With the historical connection between Saint Germain and Selby Minster, it would have made sense for these founding brethren to choose for their new lodge a name with a similar connection in Howden.

The initial meeting in Howden took place in the residence of a Robert Brown, who with permission from the Provincial Grand Master, the Earl of Zetland, was also initiated into the new lodge, becoming its first Tyler.  For the next twelve years meetings took place in Robert Brown’s residence (the building is still to be seen in Howden). 

In 1858 it is recorded that permission was granted for the time of Lodge meetings to be changed to Thursdays ‘on or before the Full Moon’.  Street lighting being virtually non-existent at this time, the reason could have been to enable country gentlemen to find their way home, or more prosaically it could have been because the ferries across the river operated later at times of the full moon.  Whatever the reason, to this day St Cuthbert’s Lodge has remained a ‘lunar lodge’, meeting on or before the full moon!

The Lodge did not obtain its own premises in Howden until 1889 when a purpose-built lodge was erected at the corner of Northolmby Street, Howden.  This building has been in continuous use since then, with several structural improvements, though still retaining its possibly unique ‘winding staircase’.

In 1930, a new lodge was formed for St Cuthbert’s Brethren living in the Brough area.  This Lodge, Brough Lodge No. 5464, in turn, founded, in 1961, the Lodge of St. Michael No. 7833.  Thus St. Cuthbert’s is part of a masonic chain of lodges stretching back from the founding of York Lodge in 1777, to the present day.

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