Formed by members to enjoy their shared interests and hobbies, there are many special interest Lodges you can join in Freemasonry throughout the country to enrich the social calendar.
From football to rugby, through to military and emergency services to list but a few, special interest Lodges are another great way of meeting new people and there is almost certainly something for everyone.
Special interest Lodges were historically formed through a common interest or purpose and they continue to exist today. Lux in Tenebris Lodge No. 3856 in London, for example, is one of a vast number found throughout the country. Members of the Lodge are all blind and its name is taken from the Latin for ‘light in darkness’.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the special interest Lodges we have throughout the country:
Back in 2016, Football Lodge No. 9921 was founded in Hampshire, with a principal focus on engaging at a grassroots level to bring Freemasonry into their community. The Lodge founder is David Lallana (the father of Brighton player Adam Lallana) and has a number of high-profile members such as former England and Southampton striker James Beattie, with the Lodge not just focusing on Freemasonry or football, but also fun.
Football Lodge’s quirky take on the ceremonies made headlines after featuring in Sky’s Inside the Freemasons documentary. Members enter the Lodge to the sound of the Match of the Day theme tune and can receive a card (yellow or red, depending on severity) for social faux pas!
Welsh Rugby Clubs Lodge No. 9986 is another example of a Lodge dedicated to a love of a particular sport – in this case rugby. With the support of the Welsh national team, a group of rugby-playing Freemasons formed the first rugby Lodge in South Wales in 2019.
The rugby theme also extends to details such as the rugby ball-shaped gavel, while there are rugby caps for members, a rugby ball signed by the Lodge founders and plans for a tie featuring the Lodge logo – a cartoon red dragon carrying a rugby ball and wearing an apron with the club motto: ‘Passing It Forward’. There are also a number of English rugby Lodges who play occasional fixtures against each other.
Members are able to share their love of classic cars in Square Wheels Lodge No. 9966 – one example of many classic cars Lodges, which was founded in 2017 in the British Motor Museum in Warwickshire. The origins of the Lodge – which has more than 90 members – can be traced back to the Classic 300, a series of 17 classic car rallies that took place across the country during UGLE’s tercentenary year in 2017.
There are a number of other Lodges for car enthusiasts such as the Buckinghamshire Classic Car Lodge No. 9945, which was founded in 2017 and followed the consecration of the Buckinghamshire Motorcycle Lodge No. 9926 the previous year.
There are a number of Circuit of Service Lodges throughout the country, which exist to promote comradeship and fraternal contact between military Freemasons and bring together these Lodges for special meetings and events.
An important milestone will also take in 2021 with the Consecration of Lodge No. 10,000 – a special interest Lodge that is defined as being for and run by younger members. This newest Lodge – with an iconic number – will be run by younger members, who will gradually fill the principal and progressive offices and attract young initiates.
That’s not all – we also have Light Blue Clubs in our Provinces across the country. These have been setup to provide a great opportunity for new and young Freemasons to connect with other members from a similar group, meet socially, share their journey in Freemasonry and participate in events and activities across the country. In Leicestershire & Rutland and West Lancashire, both Provinces also formed Light Blues rugby clubs, and back in 2019 they competed against each other for the Freemasons Rugby Challenge Cup.
Essex Cornerstone Club is one such example aimed at connecting young and new Freemasons under the age of 40 across the Province of Essex. The club was established in 2016 and has become an established part of Freemasonry in Essex, with about220 members. Each month various social and educational opportunities are organised that compliment Lodge and Provincial activities, and help members make the most of their Freemasonry.
In almost all parts of the country, you can find a Lodge for those with an involvement, background or interest in The Scouts. Just two examples are Venturer Lodge No. 7897, which meets near Gilwell Park, the headquarters of The Scout Association in Essex, and Brownsea Island Lodge No. 9689, which meets in Dorset. Most other counties also have a Scout Lodge.
Many Scout Lodges have introduced elements of Scouting customs in their Lodge practices, whether it be wearing Scout uniform at meetings, holding events at campsites, singing Scouting songs when they dine or supporting local Scout Groups. Some members of these Lodges continue as active volunteers with The Scouts; others help when they can, while others still have fond memories of their time as a Scout and enjoy being in an environment with Scouting customs.
For many, the big attraction is that Scouting and Freemasonry develop in young people and adults exactly the same values and principles. Scout Lodges are instrumental in developing local support for Scouting.
There are also some Lodges for those with a similar background in The Boys’ Brigade or the Cadet Forces, which are developing ways of supporting their organisations locally.
Together all these Lodges form the Kindred Lodges Association, an association that holds two special meetings each year in different parts of the country.