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Launch of Cornerstone North East.

On Friday 8th December 2023 Civic Lodge No5841 met at Burdon Road Sunderland to carry out a Third Degree ceremony for Brother Simon Walker. It was also an occasion at which the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Michael Graham was leading a small deputation of Provincial Officers to mark the launch of the Cornerstone North East. The Durham Cornerstone is a vibrant social and educational network aimed at our Light Blue Masons.

Their journey with Freemasonry starts from the day of their initiation and they become part of The Durham Cornerstone from day one. It extends across the entire geographic area of the Province of Durham but due to differences in geography, culture and distance, our Province is varied, and this is recognised in its structure. As a result, The Durham Cornerstone is sub divided into four semi-autonomous regional committee led areas, the NE, SE, SW, and NW.

The Durham Cornerstone will look to foster an environment where new Brethren can become Engaged in the life of the Province, Discover more about our organisation, Explore their early years in Masonry and Develop as Masons. The Cornerstone is a space to encourage inclusion, involvement, and development by engagement through social events for members, non-members their partners and families. They are encouraged to discover all aspects of Masonry through visits to Masonic themed attractions, talks and events as well as visits to Lodges and Chapters. We will also put on learning and development events throughout the year to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence.

Civic Lodge did indeed rise to the occasion and put on a spectacular event. Not only do they have all light blues on the ladder, those same Light Blues conducted the ceremony taking on pieces usually reserved for Past Masters. In fact, there was only one Past Master involved in a small portion of the ritual the whole evening. A truly impressive event.

At the Festive board the Deputy Provincial Grand Master praised Civic Lodge for its vision and foresight in keeping its members engaged, a great example of the Members’ Pathway in action.

If you are a Light Blue and we haven’t already made contact with you, you can get in touch by speaking with your Mentor or Lodge/Chapter Visiting Support Officer who will be happy to support you. Alternatively, the contact details for each of the four areas are shown. If you are not sure which is your area don’t worry. Contact us via any of the emails shown and we will connect you to the right person.

Cornerstone.ne@durhamfreemasons.org
Cornerstone.nw@durhamfreemasons.org
Cornerstone.se@durhamfreemasons.org
Cornerstone.sw@durhamfreemasons.org

Stronger Together

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The Durham Cornerstone Launch

Mon 13 November saw the launch of the Durham Cornerstone by the Provincial Grand Master at a regular meeting of Sanctuary Lodge who traditionally pay their respects to the fallen in a moving tribute held annually at this meeting. The evening also saw Brother Sam Jones and Brother Darren Robinson raised to the third degree in an excellent ceremony overseen by Provincial Deputation led by the Provincial Grand Master.

The Act of Remembrance consists of a recital of The Fallen by Laurence Binyon followed by the Last Post. Following a two-minute silence, reveille is played after which the Kohima Epitaph. The hall has in darkness save for a red glow and the flicker of candlelight as WBro Peter Johnson sang an incredibly moving version of the song ‘Bring Him Home’ from the musical Les Misérables.

The Durham Cornerstone

The event was complemented by the attendance of well over 70 brethren which included over 30 Light Blue regalia wearing brethren all seated on the centre leg. This was no coincidence and was meant to represent the importance of the Durham Cornerstone, being guided by the head of the table, and supported by the stronger arms of the outer legs. The Durham Cornerstone logo includes the date the Province of Durham was formed, 1734 which also represents the 1 (st) Regular Step, the 7 liberal arts and sciences of the Second Degree, the 3 degrees of Craft Masonry and the 4 (th) step to complete your masonic journey through pure and antient masonry. Our Foundation; Our Future

The Durham Cornerstone will extend across the entire geographic area of the Province of Durham but will be sub divided into four semi-autonomous Regional Committee led areas, the NE, NE, SE and SW.

The aim of The Durham Cornerstone is to encourage inclusion, involvement, and development by Engagement through social events for members, non-members/masons and partners/families, Discovering all aspects of masonry through visits to masonic themed attractions, talks, events etc. Exploring by encouraging visits to other lodges and RA Chapters and Develop Masons (Craft/RA) by developing knowledge and skills through learning and development events.

This will be achieved by organising a range of relaxed, socially focussed, and affordable events open to both Masons, non-masons, and their families as appropriate. The Durham Cornerstone will also act as a forum for open and candid discussion and be a conduit to inform Province of ideas and issues that are affecting our members and potential new members.

All new masons and current masons up to Provincial Rank are automatically members and once current members attain Provincial preferment, they will not be excluded but lead positions will always be allocated to those wearing Light Blue Regalia to retain the focus on supporting our newer members. The Durham Cornerstone will be part of the Province under a Steering Group chaired executively by the PGM, the Steering Group will be co-chaired by one of the area leads on a rotational basis with the Provincial Engagement Lead and will include the Provincial Grand Mentor, The Provincial Membership Officer, Provincial Learning & Development Officer, a representative of the Provincial Communications Team and a standing Cornerstone Member who will act as major events coordinator for the Cornerstone.

Each area group will be supported by an Area Mentor who will act as Group Mentor. Each group will also be supported by an Area Membership Officer. Their roles will be to support the group.

The four geographical Cornerstone leads selected on a two year rotating basis are as follows:

North East Cornerstone:

Leads Bro Connor Goodfellow and Bro Mick Clark

Contact Cornerstone.ne@durhamfreemasons.org

North West Cornerstone:

Leads – Bro James Newton and Bro Jake Walker

Contact Cornerstone.nw@durhamfreemasons.org

South East Cornerstone:

Leads – Bro James Finney and Bro Tony Graham

Contact Cornerstone.se@durhamfreemasons.org

South West Cornerstone:

Leads – Bro Chris Bains and Bro Michael Turfrey

Contact Cornerstone.sw@durhamfreemasons.org

The respective leads will be looking for Hall Cornerstone representatives who will join the respective area Cornerstone committees so if you are interested in getting involved email the respective leads.

We want our newer masons to know that they are part of something much bigger than just their respective lodges, they are not only members of our Province but also members of a worldwide fraternity. Watch out for events to be published soon and get involved.

#Strongertogether.

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New Masons

New Freemasons

Masons in their early years in Freemasonry are important to the Province of Durham. We want you to be a member of a Lodge but also to feel a part of the Province. We are on a journey with common values that bring us together and we want to support you as you grow in Freemasonry.

We have set up a Durham New Masons Forum, with the initial aim of learning what it is that you need as you assimilate yourself into life as a Freemason.

Our New Masons Forum focus groups will give you a say and allow us to consider what has worked and not worked in the past as well as to review what others are doing in the other Provinces around the country.

Our ultimate aim is to build a vibrant and fulfilling experience for our early years Masons, with a sense of belonging which will sustain them in years to come on their Masonic journey. Watch this space.

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