Who are we?
Comparatively, Ernest Dixon Lodge No.7856 is one of the younger Lodges in Wearside Masonic Temple, being consecrated in December 1962. The Lodge is named after Robert Wilkin Ernest Dixon, a prominent Sunderland Freemason who served as Provincial Grand Master of Durham from 1937 to 1959. When the Lodge was formed as a daughter of Thornhill Lodge No.3216, the founding members considered many names including Duke of Edinburgh Lodge, King George Lodge and Walton Lodge, but eventually settled upon Ernest Dixon Lodge; proudly dedicating the Lodge to the memory of such a distinguished Freemason.
The principal philosophy of the Lodge is one of enjoyment; members are encouraged to take their Masonic duties seriously and couple this with enjoyable festive boards and social activities.
The members of Ernest Dixon Lodge are from a variety of backgrounds, including teachers, tradesmen, businessmen, publicans, engineers, civil servants and even an international DJ. The youngest member of the Lodge is in his early-twenties and the oldest member is in his eighties. Despite the variety in vocation and age, the members form a tight-knit group with strong bonds of fraternity.
What we do
Ernest Dixon Lodge uses an adapted form of the West End ritual and we pride ourselves on the quality of our ceremonial work. Learning is a focus of our Lodge of Instruction, and ceremonial direction is done in a very supportive and educational manner. It is our aim to transform all our members into Freemasons who understand the ritual, not simply perform it well.
Music is also an important part of our meetings, both in Lodge and at the Festive Board. We are quite possibly the only Lodge in the Province who uses
two organs to play the accompanying music during the ceremonies, with some interesting choices in the tunes played.
The Festive Board is typical of most Masonic post-meeting dinners, but toasts are generally kept to a minimum and it is conducted in a fairly relaxed manner. The formal proceedings of the evening are usually completed by 10:30pm, when many of the members retire to the lounge for a sociable drink.
Our members are active in the community and are significant contributors to Masonic life in Sunderland and further afield. We also enjoy our social events; the Lodge has a very successful Ladies’ Night, which is held every November at Wearside Masonic Temple and which always sells out.
We have a good relationship with a number of other Lodges, and often work together on projects and support each other through visiting.
Charity is at the heart of much of what we do, and our Lodge and its members have made significant contributions to charitable giving.
Why join us?
At one time our Lodge was struggling until our membership decided to work together to turn it around. Now, Ernest Dixon Lodge is thriving once more and is now one of the more active Lodges in Sunderland. Although the Lodge is just over 60 years old, we are keen that members, both old and new, continue to write its history by making their mark in Freemasonry.
With a growing younger membership, we are keen that men in their twenties and thirties who have an interest in Freemasonry consider Ernest Dixon Lodge as a place to start their Masonic journey. Our Lodge’s philosophy of enjoyment coupled with our supportive and friendly nature will help them to understand Freemasonry, developing and growing along the way. We want members who can contribute in whatever way they can.
Our Lodge is there for its members and, rightly so, we want to be the best Lodge we can be and embody the principal tenets of Freemasonry.
When we meet
The Lodge meets nine times a year; on the 4th Monday of the Months of January to May, and September to November, and on the 2nd Monday in December.
Lodge proceedings normally start at 7:00pm.
The Installation of a new Master and his officers takes place at the January
Joining fee: £100
Lodge subscriptions: £175
Typical dining fee: £10
There is ample parking within a short walk from the Temple.
Wearside Masonic Temple is easy to access from the city centre and all major roads leading into it.
Wide doors, a level entrance once beyond the entrance stairway, and easy access to the lift to all floors.
Emergency exits from the upper floors have steps.
The Wearside Masonic Temple was constructed in 1932 and not ideally suited to those with mobility issues. That said, once the small stairway at the entrance is overcome, with the assistance of our brethren, the building has a lift to all floors and internal doorways will accommodate wheelchair access to the overwhelming majority of areas.
No internal ramps, wide doorways, rest chairs, a hearing loop is available and all dining tables are wheelchair accessible.
A small number of stairs with handrails to the entrance leading to a lift to all floors.