Special Interest Lodge News: Howzat!

St John’s No 80: A cricket Lodge for London


St. John’s Lodge No 80 – the London Cricket Lodge – truly exemplifies the value of Special Interest Lodges (SILs), fostering social connections both inside and outside the Lodge; and sometimes bringing people together around a common interest who otherwise might never have met. Case in point: remarkably, despite their long years in masonry, Director of Ceremonies Martin Barker (left), Rob Wood, the Senior Warden (centre) and Worshipful Master, Ian Balcombe (right), had never crossed paths before fate bowled them a curveball and St John’s joined MetGL with a change of purpose.

St John’s was an Atholl Lodge in the Province of Durham. These Lodges trace their lineage back to 1751 and a rebellion against the perceived modernisation of Freemasonry, but St John’s was on the verge of handing in its warrant. Due the historic significance of the Atholl Lodges, it was felt that it was essential to save theLodge and its lineage. There was a connection with cricket through some members in Durham, so a poll was taken in London to gauge interest in repurposing the lodge as the London Cricket Lodge.

Today in the Lodge, there is a very active WhatsApp group used by members to identify where they are, what matches they are going to see, to arrange social meet-ups, and to connect. Today, these three cricket loving Brethren have become the best of friends, and are pictured at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground.

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 52 August 2023 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 52 here.