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History of Saint John's No. Lodge

The Lodge was Consecrated on 24th October 1859 as 1097.


The petitioners were Egbert Steer Cossens, Lodge No 839, a hotel keeper, a Provincial Grand Steward of Bucks, Berks and prime mover of the petition; he did all the negotiating with Grand Lodge; Henry Bursey, Lodge No 318 & 839, a Provincial Grand Steward, was a surgeon in Newbury; Robert Atkinson Ryott, Lodge No 839, a Chemist & Druggist was Mayor of Newbury in 1869 and 1870; Francis G Hall, Junior Deacon of Lodge No 839 was also a chemist and druggist; Thomas Deller was a brewer in Newbury and Junior Warden of Lodge No 839; William Henry Cave, Provincial Grand ADC of Bucks & Berks. was a solicitor in Newbury and Worshipful Master of Lodge No 839; Francis Goolden was a surgeon in Maidenhead and a member of Lodge No 167; J M Langton owned Langton’s Brewery in Maidenhead and was a member of Lodge No 597 and Charles Venables Jnr, was a papermaker in Taplow near Maidenhead and an accomplished musician, a member of Lodge No 11.

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Although six of the petitioners came from the Loyal Berkshire Lodge of Hope No 839, later to be renumbered as 574, the Reading Lodge of Union offered a prayer of support to the petition and is thus considered to be the Mother Lodge of Saint John’s.

The summons dated June 1895 reads 'Brethren will meet under the clock at Paddington Station at 10.20am to proceed by special saloons to Taplow, where an electric launch will convey members up river prior to the meeting

In the renumbering, in 1863, Saint John’s No 1097 was renumbered to 795. Originally meeting every month, then every other month at Skindle’s Hotel at Maidenhead Bridge, the Lodge settled down to become a ‘summer’ lodge, meeting in June, July, September and October; some years ago, the July meeting was moved to May. The Lodge met at various locations around Maidenhead but in the early 1900s moved to the Temple at Windsor. In 1980 the temple at Windsor became too small, due to its large membership, and it finally moved to where it now meets, at the Masonic Centre, Sindlesham, near Reading.

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Although the Lodge worked the Emulation Ritual when it was formed, somewhere in its life, this changed and it is now one of only two lodges in the Province of Berkshire to work the Taylor’s Ritual.

The Lodge has one Daughter Lodge, Ellington Lodge No 1556 although there are several granddaughter lodges.

Saint John's Lodge celebrated its Centenary in 1959 and its 150th anniversary in 2009.

The Lodge has long been supported by its Lodge of Instruction that now meets at the Staines Masonic Centre on the 1st and 2nd Friday of the month; freemasons looking to practice their Taylor’s Ritual are most welcome. For further information contact Preceptor W.Bro. Michael King.

A full and detailed history of the Lodge was prepared for our 150th Anniversary Meeting in October 2009. Please ask the Secretary for a copy.