Welcome to the website of the University of London Lodge No. 2033, a regular Masonic Lodge under the authority of the United Grand Lodge of England. Feel free to browse our site if you want to learn more about Freemasonry in general and our Lodge in particular.
What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry means different things to each of those who join. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances. For others it’s about being able to help deserving causes – making a contribution to family and society. But for most, it is an enjoyable hobby.
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry. The following information is intended to explain Freemasonry as it is practised under the United Grand Lodge of England, which administers Lodges of Freemasons in England and Wales and in many places overseas.
Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its principles (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge – which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.
Freemasonry instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: its values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.
From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. This work continues today.In addition, large sums are given to national and local charities.
History of the Lodge
Early In the penultimate decade of the 19th Century a number of distinguished Freemasons associated with the University of London, appreciating that It had by then become a well-established Institution and that it would continue to grow, banded themselves together to found a University of London Lodge. For this, in November 1883 a circular was Issued to as many graduates of the University as were known to be Masons, which stated. Inter alia,
“It has occurred to some London Masons that it would be a good thing to form a University of London Lodge, confined to our own graduates. Such a Lodge would form a nucleus of sympathetic Members who would know and love each other, and working together for the good of Masonry and our University, might become a source of great strength to the latter…”
Following a favourable response, a meeting was arranged on 10th January 1884, where it was resolved, amongst other facts, that ”the Lodge be called the ‘University of London Lodge’…”; “a Petition to the MW the Grand Master be prepared”…; and “the meetings should be held at Freemasons Hall on the second Thursday of the months of January, May, June and November”.
The Lodge, numbered 2033 in the Register of the Grand Lodge of England, was consecrated in the Temple of Freemasons Hall on Wednesday 14th May 1884 by the Right Honourable The Earl of Carnarvon, Pro Grand Master.
After the Consecration Meeting, three emergency meetings were held on 22nd May, 4th June, and 17th July for the purpose of initiating, passing and raising and also admitting Joining Members. To encourage new Members, a brief notice about Lodge Meetings appeared in ‘The Times’.
At the November 1893 meeting It was agreed that the dates of meeting should be changed to January, March, May and November; the amended by-laws to give effect to this change were approved by the United Grand Lodge and promulgated in January 1894, and since then the Regular Meetings have been held on those dates. At that time there were about 40 Members in the Lodge; the majority of them had been physicians, surgeons, barristers or solicitors, with a few schoolmasters and tutors.
At the March 1905 Meeting it was decided to make a special occasion of the forthcoming May 1905 Meeting, which would be the 21st Anniversary of the Foundation of the Lodge. The By-Laws and a “Short History of the Lodge” were re-printed, and a complete list of at the Members, past and present, was also printed, together with details of all the Honorary Members.
By 1910 the Lodge had increased to 91 Members, of whom about 40 were still on the Register.
The Lodge continued to flourish until the outbreak of the World War I In August 1914. The number of active Members was about 40. However, there were no Ceremonies during the year 1915/1916, and attendances at the Regular Meetings had fallen to about 16.
At the November 1922 Meeting a motion was proposed that the Lodge should subscribe to the Grand Master’s appeal for funds for the Masonic Peace Memorial and endeavour to qualify as a ‘Hall Stone’ Lodge.
The 50th Anniversary of the Consecration of the Lodge, on 14th May 1934, attracted a large attendance, 40 members and 45 visitors, of whom 14 were Grand Officers. For the next several years there was an increase in the number of candidates.
During the World War II the Membership declined. By Government decree, and an edict from Grand Lodge, al evening Masonic meetings In London were suspended. The Lodge was inactive for over a year, but recovered rapidly soon after. At the May 1944 Meeting there was a discussion about forming a Lodge Benevolent Association, Its By-Laws being approved at the January 1945 Meeting.
After the War the attendances at the Meetings were gradual Increasing, with about 30 active Members of the Lodge and several applications pending.
At the request of Grand Lodge, the Lodge was honoured to host the annual Prestonian Lecture at the Regular Meeting held on 12th May 1955. This meeting attracted a record attendance, totalling 165, of whom 47 were members of the Lodge. In addition to several Grand Officers, the Masters of many sister Lodges were present.
The Lodge continued to be well attended in the sixties and seventies. The 80th Anniversary of the Lodge found It In a very active state, with the number of active members at around 50, and with many applcations pending.
The Lodge Benevolent Association, established In 1944, continued to collect Members’ subscription for the Masonic Charities and the Royal Masonic Hospital
In 1965, a new University of London Masonic Charities Association was established. The charity record of the Lodge began to be Impressive, becoming Patron of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (In 1971), the Royal Masonic Institutions for Girls (In 1981) and Boys (In 1983), and Grand Patron of the Royal Masonic Hospital (In 1978).
The Lodge entered Its Centenary Year with 65 Members, of whom 2 were Grand Officers. Since then, the total membership has been between 60 and 70. A History of the Lodge was prepared on this occasion, by consuming all the available records In the Lodge Archives.
The Lodge looks forward to the future with confidence, and extends Its most cordial greetings to al Freemasons throughout the world, and to all other people.
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FREEMASONS' HALL, 60 GREAT QUEEN ST, LONDON WC2B 5AZ