Double Celebrations for Kennington Lodge No. 1381

Report by W Bro Michael Duque LGR


Consecrated in 1872 in Kennington Oval, London, Kennington Lodge No 1381 was born from the masonic passions of Cricket players at the Surrey Cricket Club in 1872.

The Lodge, however, was almost erased from the Register of Lodges of the United Grand Lodge of England in 2016. It may have surrendered its warrant then, had it not been for the efforts of a few remaining active members helped by the office of the Deputy Metropolitan Grand Secretary, and a handful of passionate masons.

The Lodge recovered so well that the Brethren could happily plan the celebration of its Sesquicentennial Anniversary. So much so, they also added in a banner dedication. And so, on the 10th of September 2022 at Freemasons’ Hall, the members, their guests and many distinguished visitors enjoyed the double celebration.

As with so many other units, the pandemic proved to be a challenge in the months leading to celebration and raising funds was very difficult. But it didn’t hamper the spirit of the Lodge members.

VW Bro Mark Horlock, Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master, together with W Bro The Rev Niall Johnston, Metropolitan Grand Chaplain, W Bro Huw Pritchard, Metropolitan Grand Inspector, the Metropolitan Deputy Director of Ceremonies, and two Metropolitan Grand Steward escorts, all officially graced the meeting to commemorate the celebrations. After the Lodge maintained a moment of silence for the sad passing of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, together with the Metropolitan Grand Officers, Bro Horlock zealously addressed the brethren that while the country mourns for Her Majesty’s loss, the events that they were celebrating today were likewise worth rejoicing as they honour the past and present members of the Lodge at this important milestone.

During the meeting, the sesquicentennial worshipful master, W Bro Lorgelito Pena, called the Lodge centennial Worshipful Master, W Bro Eric Heath, to the East and offered him to reminisce while sitting in the chair. Bro Heath, who is 96-years old, and an honorary member of the Lodge, seemed very touched by the gesture. Representatives from 19 other Lodges came to witness the celebration.

The Banner Dedication was conducted by the Metropolitan Grand Chaplain W Bro The Rev Niall Johnston in such a touching and impressive manner. In his oration, Bro Johnston discoursed on the tradition and origins of the banner, and what it stands for. He likewise spoke about the masonic imagery and the visions that the banner signifies. He particularly liked the vision of hope offered by the sky and lawn of the banner – a wonderful source of inspiration to all.

On behalf of the centennial WM, W Bro Garry Heath delivered a colourful history of the personality and characters of the founders of Kennington Lodge and some of its significant members who lived and worked in and around Kennington. He also illustrated significant events in the Lodge since he was a “permanently invited guest” of the Lodge. He wrapped up his presentation by reminding its members the good fortune they all now savour from a Lodge that has existed for 150-years. He advised the current members to look forward and to contemplate on the thousands of masons who have been members of this Lodge before them and of their love of the Craft.

Following the conclusion of the banner dedication and sesquicentennial meeting, the Brethren retired for a sumptuous festive board in the Gallery Suite at Freemasons’ Hall. Attendees were offered a commemorative programme highlighting the significant milestones in the Lodge’s history. They were also given commemorative souvenirs by the WM. A reception drink was given prior to the start of the dinner accompanied with a large number of raffle prizes which raised a significant amount for charity, in addition to the proposition that a donation of £1,381 be made to the MCF.

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 50 December 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 50 here.