Monday, June 23, 2008

The Affinity Lodge in U.K. & U.S.

The interesting phenomena of "affinity lodges", (operating Masonic lodges made up of brethren with a shared affinity) is far from unknown in the United States and other jurisdictions but in the U.K. it makes up roughly half of the Masonic Lodges operating out of the London.

Some of the more well known lodges in the U.S. that come to mind are the Explorers' Lodge Kane #454 (NYGL), the Harvard Lodge (MassGL) the Fraternity Lodge #454 (DCGL), Freedom Military Lodge #1775 (DCGL), and the Kappa Alpha Order Magnolia #53 (DCGL), Civil War Research Lodge #1865 (VGL). In fact affinity lodges in some U.S. jurisdictions, after many years of decline, have renewed with a great interest and new and old affinity lodges are growing at a much faster clip than lodges in general. Recently the Rutgers Masonic Club associated with the Union #19 Lodge in New Jersey has shown tremendous growth for example. And the (incorrectly labeled "European") or Traditional lodges have also grown far faster and healthier than Masonic Lodges in general.

In the U.K. however, the affinity Lodge has always been a staple of Masonic life. There is even an Internet Lodge (and Eastern Stars). Here is a small sample of such lodges in the U.K. :

Internet Lodge #9659- The Lodge was Consecrated on 29th January 1998 at Freemasons' Hall, Bridge Street, Manchester after a small group of brethren who subscribe to the UK Mason List on the Internet felt that the time was right for a truly universal Masonic Lodge. Whilst all the day-to-day business is carried out either by e-mail or in the "members only" section of its web site, the Lodge holds regular meetings three times a year. Only UGLE recognised Lodge members may join or attend physical building meetings but we do welcome all to submit papers and attend our paper presentations in special non-Masonic meetings.

Old Cliftonian Lodge No. 3340 -
Masonic Lodge meeting 3rd Thurs in Jan, Oct and Nov, and the 4th Thurs in April, at Freemasons Hall, London. The lodge is associated with the Old Cliftonian Society and one of the five founding Lodges of the Public School Lodges' Council.

Old Epsomian Lodge No. 3561 -
Masonic lodge meeting second Wednesdays in February, April and June at Freemasons Hall, London; and November at Epsom College, Surrey. Membership drawn in part from former students of Epsom College.

Old Foresters' Lodge No. 7726 -
Affinity masonic lodge for alumni and Masters of the Forest School. Meets in London

Old Lancing Lodge No. 4660 -
Masonic lodge meeting on the 4th Tuesday in Jan, Apr and Sept at Freemasons Hall, London
Parachute Regiment Lodge No. 9315 -
Masonic lodge meeting 1st Sat in March, June, Sept and Dec at Freemason's Hall, London

Shotokan Karate Lodge No. 9752 -
Masonic lodge meeting at Freemasons Hall. Special interest lodge for freemasons with an interest in the martial arts.
Telephone Lodge No. 3301 -
Masonic lodge meeting four times a year on the fourth Saturday, in October, November, January and March, at Mark Masons Hall, St James's Street, London.
The Five Orders Lodge No. 3696 -
History, newsletter, diary, articles and contact.
The Royal Air Force Lodge No. 7335 -
Masonic lodge meeting 2nd Mon Jan, 4th Mon March, 3rd Fri May, and 3rd Mon Oct 
(Install) in London. Affinity lodge for serving and retired officers of the Royal Air Force.

Note: These affinity Masonic lodges should not be confused with Masonic clubs. An
affinity lodge is an operating Lodge that "opens and closes" according to ritualized business meetings and operate under the authority of a grand lodge. These affinity lodges may or may not do degree work (according to the Grand Lodge authority) and some only accept those who are already Master Masons.

Masonic clubs
are not lodges and do not perform any ritual work such as "degree" work or "opening and closing of the lodge". Masonic clubs do not operate as part or under the auspices of any grand lodge but are meetings of Masonic members and interest groups.