Who are we?
The Lodge currently has 49 members of various ages, many of whom actively attend. Our oldest member is 90 years of age and our youngest is 32 years. The average age of the last 25 members who joined is 53 years. Our members are drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds including public, professional and trade services, ex forces and academia to name a few. Many have joined as a recommendation from an existing member(s). We currently have 19 Master Masons in the lodge.
Occasionally, the Lodge organises social events for members, partners and non- masonic guests. These take the form of a formal dinner evening / Ladies Nights or, alternately, social evenings in a more relaxed format. Based at Freemasons Hall Darlington, we have plenty of opportunity to socialise with our brother & sister lodges in the building, both masonically and socially.
What we do
Members enjoy working together to deliver ritual and ceremonial with good humour and to the best of our abilities, which makes for very special evenings especially for new members and guests.
Each year we collect and donate significant sums to local non-Masonic causes (average £3,000 to £5,000 pa), as well as supporting the central Masonic Charitable Foundation and the Province of Durham’s charitable projects through the Provincial Benevolent Fund. We are fortunate to have an established Charitable Trust to assist in our work to do this. We also gained a Platinum Award for our efforts in the Durham 2021 Festival Appeal.
Why join us?
When our meetings are focused around bringing a new mason into the fraternity, we undertake a ceremony or small play which is focused on this. The ceremony/play is centred around the building of King Solomon’s Temple. After this ceremony the new member, (The Initiate) is a brother. It is true that for a short while the candidate is blindfolded and a trouser leg is rolled up, both actions having a symbolic meaning which is explained during the course of the ceremony.
Every freemason goes through this ceremony and once initiated you are a full mason. There are a further two ceremonies/plays that the candidate is taken through: the ceremony of passing (second degree) and the ceremony of raising (Third degree). Each of these plays represent the cycle of birth, life and death.
We value each member’s support, irrespective of their abilities. This may be by being especially involved in the ceremony or ritual, helping administratively or by simply suggesting or helping to arrange other events.
Ample car parking in adjacent ‘pay and display’ public facility. Free after 6pm and to ‘blue badge’ holders.
Somewhat unobtrusive ‘slip road’ entry off dual carriageway near town’s “Bondgate” roundabout becoming a one-way system to and from car park.
Wide door, wheelchair accessible.
Illuminated emergency exits on all floors. Diagrams of emergency escape routes are posted throughout the building and on the information TV. Smoke detectors are installed at the relevant points throughout the building.
We also have a defibrillator adjacent to the front door which is also accessible to the public.
Close to Town Centre on its northern side, near commercial buildings and one of the Town’s (long stay) public car parks. Clearly signed as “Freemasons’ Hall” when seen from nearby dual carriageway. Wheelchair access at main entrance and at (rear) ‘service’ entrance by arrangement. Controlled entry via a somewhat unobtrusive ‘plain’ door with handrail and ramp.
Entrance ’lobby’ with access to ground floor facilities which include smart Lounge/bar, superb large dining room, cloakrooms and toilets (inc disabled). Lodge room seating 90 (approx) upstairs with extra chairs brought in when needed. Small ‘robing room’ for Grand Officers doubles as a local ‘museum.’ Attendance registration table immediately outside Lodge Room entrance.
Stairs with ‘half-landing’ and handrails and/or lift provide access to upper floor.