Mark Master Mason

The Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales
and its Districts and Lodges Overseas


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The Degree of Mark Master Mason is open to all Master Masons. The ceremony, in which a Brother is 'advanced', can be said to comprise two Degrees; the first in which he is acknowledged as a Mark Man, followed by the second where he becomes a Mark Master Mason. The Mark referred to in its title takes its name from the mark or symbol with which the stonemason identified his work and can still be found in many cathedrals and important buildings.

Much use is made of Holy Writ to instruct the Candidate and Brethren in the story which serves to teach that the real message is one of contemplation of human strengths and weaknesses. In chronological terms the Degree follows that of the Second Degree in Craft masonry. There is reputedly some evidence that the Degree is 400 years old but the earliest English records stem from 1769 when it was first worked in Chapter of Friendship, Royal Arch Chapter No. 257 (formerly No. 3) in Portsmouth. However, a minute book dated 1599 of the Lodge of Edinburgh states that several speculative brethren had appended their marks after their names.

The first meeting of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons was held on Monday, 23 June 1856.

The ordinary members' regalia comprises an apron and breast jewel. The apron is of white kid with a triangular flap bordered with a two inch ribbon of light blue with crimson edges. It has rosettes of the same colour whilst Masters and Past Masters have the rosettes replaced with silver levels. The jewel of the order is a key stone appended to a ribbon which matches the apron and bears a mallet & chisel which are the tools of the Order. The key stone, which bears certain characters, forms an integral part of the ceremony.

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On Tuesday, Mark Brethren from across the Constitution arrived at Freemasons’ Hall for the March Quarterly Communication of Mark Grand Lodge. M.W.Bro. John Herbert Prizeman, Pro Grand Master, was the Presiding Officer, accompanied by R.W.Bro. Francis Charles Spencer, Dep.G.M., and R.W.Bro. Prof. Denovan Keith Wilson, A.G.M. The meeting having been opened, and the Memoriam to Brethren called to higher service having been marked, the next item of business was for the Pro Grand Master to invest V.W.Bro. Dan Heath, P.G.J.O., as Grand Secretary. Following further items of business, it was then time to Elect the Most  orshipful Grand Master and Worshipful Brother Sebastian Daly, Prov.G.D.C. of Cheshire, rose to propose the re-election of Most Worshipful Brother His Royal Highness, Prince Michael of Kent, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales and its Districts and Lodges Overseas. This was seconded by the President of the General Board and greeted with acclamation, and the Proclamation by the Grand Director of Ceremonies followed. R.W.Bro. James Hilditch, Past Provincial Grand Master for Oxfordshire, was then elected as Grand Treasurer. And then we embarked on what has become the highlight of the March meeting, a review of the work of the Mark Benevolent Fund over the past twelve months. The President of the M.B.F., R.W.Bro. Archie Torrance, outlined the recent grants made by the M.B.F., which totalled £400,446. Grand Lodge was called off and the President of the M.B.F. retired, with other representative Trustees, in order to be readmitted in procession, bearing the ‘Portal Jewel’, the symbol of, and link to, the Founder of the Mark Benevolent Fund, Reverend George Raymond Portal. The Brethren then rose to welcome representatives from two selected charities. From the Irene Taylor Trust, an organisation bringing music tuition into prisons: Funding and Communications Director, Luke Bowyer; Projects and Progression Coordinator Kitya Mark; and singer and songwriter, Darren Clugg. And from ShelterBox, the charity providing disaster relief and humanitarian aid, Trustee James Sinclair Taylor.

Also processing into Grand Lodge was the 2024 M.B.F. Festival team, led by the Festival President, R.W.Bro. Gary Horstman, Prov.G.M. for Cheshire. There were several addresses given, relating to the progress of the M.B.F., its activities in 2023, and how to go about securing grants for funding of worthy causes. Also an update on the 2024 M.B.F. Festival, and the formal launch of the Grand Masters Keystone Fund. You can read the text of these addresses here We then heard from ShelterBox Trustee James Sinclair Taylor who received a cheque for £50,000.00 for their efforts in the current troubled regions of the world. And Darren Clugg, from the Irene Taylor Trust, entertained us with two of his own compositions, and the story of how the music project had helped him through his time in prison, and kept him on the straight and narrow following his return to the community. At the meal afterwards a cheque for £500 was presented to the Irene Taylor Trust, which we hope to follow up with a full funding exercise for one of their projects. The guests then retired and Grand Lodge was called on. The Pro Grand Master rose to address the Brethren, starting with another cheque presentation, to W.Bro. Sir Michael Snider, P.G.Swd.B., Craft Metropolitan Grand Master, this time for £100,000.00 to go towards the London Freemasons’ support for London’s Air Ambulance Charity. This was greeted with great acclamation by the Brethren. M.W.Bro. Prizeman then introduced his counterpart in the Craft, R.W.Bro. Jonathan Spence, P.G.S.W., Pro Grand Master of UGLE. R.W.Bro. Spence talked about the strong bonds now developing between the Craft & Royal Arch and the Mark and other M.M.H. administered Companion Orders. The message is very clear, we are all Freemasons and, working together and choosing a path of Masonic progression through the Royal Arch and Companion Orders is a strength and benefit for all concerned. To succeed, we must nurture our Craft Lodges and keep them fresh and vibrant with new members, and the retention of existing members, delivering high quality ceremonies, at well-attended meetings and, above all, a happy, warm and welcoming environment for like-minded Brethren to enjoy the fraternal bonds that Freemasonry has to offer. These members then promulgate through the other Orders, bringing with them enthusiasm and freshness, which helps them grow and flourish as a result. R.W.Bro. Spence then informed Brethren that, for the first time ever, he had invited the Pro Grand Master of the Mark to similarly address the Quarterly Communication of UGLE the following day. More on this later. M.W.Bro. Prizeman thanked the Craft Pro Grand Master for his address and concluded his own address, welcoming guests from other Constitutions, Brethren from overseas, and Heads of Orders. He then thanked W.Bro. Darren Coleman-Heald, P.G.S.D., Charities Manager, and the rest of the team at M.M.H. who had put so much work into the charitable side of the day’s meeting. And the G.D.C. and his team for the ceremonial arrangements for the day. The Brethren then retired to a very enjoyable meal in great numbers at the Grand Connaught Rooms, and the buzz around the dining hall paid testament to the thoroughly enjoyable time Brethren had experienced during this annual celebration of the fantastic achievements of the Mark Benevolent Fund. You can read a full transcript of the Pro Grand Master’s address here
And find videos relating to the M.B.F. presentation here - Part 1Part 2 & The ShelterBox Video. We mentioned the Pro Grand Master being invited to address the meeting of UGLE on Wednesday. This he did, with a powerful and passionate speech highlighting the importance of our continued and ever-improving working relationship with the Craft which brought the full-house attendance in the Grand Temple to its feet in warm and appreciative applause as he returned to his seat. You can read a full transcript of that address here.




M.W.Bro. His Royal Highness
Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO
Grand Master

M.W.Bro. John H. Prizeman
Pro Grand Master

R.W.Bro. Francis C. Spencer
Deputy Grand Master

R.W.Bro. Prof Denovan K. Wilson
Assistant Grand Master


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