A Lodge is born
Trinity Lodge’s beginning have a close link to the history of Darlington.
The first Parish Church of Darlington, St Cuthbert’s, was built by Bishop Hugh de Pudsey around circa 1180 AD. Over the centuries the rapidly growing Darlington found the need for a second church, a ‘daughter’ of St. Cuthbert’s and in 1836 the foundation stone of Trinity Church was laid.
Because our Masonic Hall is within the parish of Holy Trinity Church, and the majority of our founder members belonged to St Cuthbert Lodge 3417, it was logical that as Trinity Church was the ‘daughter’ of St. Cuthbert’s Church and we were to be the ‘daughter’ Lodge of The St. Cuthbert Lodge, it was deemed fitting that we became Trinity Lodge.
On the 9th June 1925, United Grand Lodge of England granted a Charter or Warrant to Trinity Lodge, Darlington, and numbered us 4751 on the Register of Lodges of the United Grand Lodge of England.
Five months later, the Lodge was consecrated on Wednesday, 11th November 1925.
This was the culmination of nearly three years of planning following a letter posted on the 22nd January 1923, requesting attendance at a meeting to be held to:
- Select a Master Designate;
- Select the Wardens Designate; (three officers must be Past Masters)
- Name of proposed new Lodge,
During the meeting, it was agreed that the fledgling Lodge would hold its meetings on the fourth Wednesday of September to May inclusive, with the Installation meeting (the handover of the outgoing Master to the Master Elect) being held in October.
With consecration, we became the seventh craft lodge to be welcomed into the family of lodges already meeting at the Masonic Hall in Archer Street, Darlington. This family like any family rapidly grew, and now embraces thirteen craft lodges and numerous ‘side degrees’.
After the Great War of 1914 – 1918, and its subsequent impact on society, the early 1920’s experienced a significent revival of interest in Freemasonry. Between 1920 and 1929, five new lodges were consecrated in Darlington; prior to this, between 1761 and 1910, only three lodges existed in Darlington.
Amongst our founder members and early brethren were men who had served in that terrible conflict. No doubt the comradeship and experiences that they endured forged within them a faith in the brotherhood of man, and a hope that the future would be better if we would live up to the principles and tenets of Freemasonry. Connecting these important tenets would be the practice of charity, being a love of our fellow men.
From a belief in these virtues, what could be more fitting than that they should decide that the Trinity Lodge motto become:
Fides Spes et Caritas (Faith, Hope and Charity)
The principles and tenets of Freemasonry
For centuries Freemasons have followed these three great Principles:
Brotherly Love means that every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and will behave with compassion and understanding to his fellows. Simply put, this means we are all equal irrespective of culture or station in life and show respect for the diversity of mankind.
Relief. From earliest times Freemasons have been taught to help, to the best of their ability, those in distress without detriment to any who are dependent upon them, and to give their support to outside Charities. Masons have always shown benevolence throughout the ages and continue to do so in a world struggling to maintain equilibrium.
Truth. Freemasons strive for truth both in their view of themselves and in their dealings with others. Masonry requires high moral standards and its members endeavour to uphold these principles in their public and private lives.
Our meetings consist of first a business meeting dealing with minutes, agendas and propositions. We may then initiate, pass or raise new members by using a form of ceremony which has remained fundamentally unchanged for well over 200 years. These small plays are used to explain our values to candidates as they progress to becoming Master Masons by degrees: First, Second and Third.
After the ritualistic part of our meeting has ended we join together in our dining room and lounge for dinner and drinks. Of greater importance is the fellowship which is engendered by our evening. This cannot be explained in mere words, it is better understood once experienced.
This in one form is the love of our fellow men and in another the benevolent support of charitable organisations.
Our organisation has a record of supporting charitable organisations, local, national and international, which is second to none.
At all our meetings we collect monies for charitable purposes. This money can then be allocated by our lodge to recognised local charities. And it is not restricted to Masonic groups. Charitable grants are also made by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham to assist groups within the Province of Durham.
On the highest level within the world of Freemasonry, the United Grand Lodge of England distributes large charitable sums in relief of national and international disasters and also funds medical research as well as many other good causes working to overcome disadvantages affecting those less fortunate in life.
In addition to these forms of charitable activity, we have set up and run our own care homes for masons and their dependents; similarly, we can assist members and dependents who need help, be it financial, physical or medical.
This is all done on a voluntary basis; we do not seek publicity and we raise the monies for charitable use through our own membership. A full list of where we have given support is published to all members on a regular basis.
We, in Trinity Lodge, are proud of our record in our participation in fundraising. Collectively, we have achieved a lot.
Within the lodge, we have benefited by the generosity of members who, for over our 85 years, have donated items of furnishings to the lodge. It would be invidious to name these members, and they would not wish to be identified. Because they were able to donate an item does not place them at a higher level. As one of the most important values of Freemasonry is that we are all on one level.
In conclusion, Freemasonry was formed to practice all that is good in fostering brothery love and the words of John Ruskin echo down the ages in ensuring that we, in Trinity Lodge No 4751, adhere carefully to our moral code and beliefs:
“God has lent us the earth for our life; it is a great entail. It belongs as much to those who are to come after us, and whose names are already written in the book of creation, as to us; and we have no right, by anything that we do or neglect, to involve them in unnecessary penalties, or deprive them of benefits which it was in our power to bequeath.”
If, after reading this, you wish to know more about Freemasonry, or better still you would like to become a member, then click here to contact the Secretary: Trinity Contact Page