A Message from the Provincial Grand Master.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our website. Here you will find a wealth of information regarding The Mark Province of Durham. If you wish to know more about us, how to join, our code of conduct, or the Charities that we support, then you will find this site both useful and informative. Charity, being one of our Keystones, is being practised by all our members and it is heartening and humbling to learn how much money is being raised from within our order for others less fortunate than ourselves.
Our Province was originally part of the Mark Province of Northumberland and Durham, which was constituted in 1870. In 1920 Durham became a Mark Province in its own right and since then there have been eight Provincial Grand Masters. Next year will be the Centenary of our Province and we are preparing for what we are confident will be a happy year of celebration.
As you navigate the Website you will find information about the Order of Royal Ark Mariners, which occupies an important place alongside the Order of Mark Masonry. Each Royal Ark Mariner Lodge is attached to a Mark Lodge and bears the number of that Lodge. The ritual of the ceremony of Elevation makes use of illustrations from the Old Testament and the building of Noah's Ark to expound the virtues of morality and the benefits of wisdom, strength and beauty.
Whether or not you are a Mark Mason you are welcome. I am confident you will find something to interest you in the various sections and items in the website so please come in and have a look round. If you would like to know more about any of the items, or to suggest other items, or to offer ideas about how the website can be improved, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be delighted to hear from you and invite you to contact the Provincial Grand Secretary. Please use the email address shown in the Contacts section of the Website to contact him.
The Degree of a Mark Master Mason.
Are you worthy to receive your Mark?
You will have some knowledge of King Solomon's Temple, but have you considered how it was built and by whom? What of the problems that arose during its construction? Who carried out the Quality Assurance? How these questions are answered is the ceremony of advancement to the Degree of Mark Master Mason.
The Mark Degree is one of encouragement and the Ritual is built on a single verse from Psalm 118 - "The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner". It deals with the building of King Solomon's Temple and the various craftsmen employed. But its real message is one of contemplation of human strengths and weaknesses.
The degree contains many lessons for the discerning mason and illustrates that the wisest of men can be mistaken: that experts are often wrong: that the weakest often display perseverance better than the strongest: and, that we all have a part to play in the building of life. It is for each to put his own interpretation on the message that the degree proclaims, but there is a clear encouragement that no man is beyond redemption and that the possibility of distinction is always within our power.
The Mark Degree can be traced back to the 16th century, and according to some sources, in the 18th century completed a Mason's progress, there being no Master Mason’s Degree as we now know it. Today, the prerequisite for advancement is that a candidate has attained the rank of Master Mason in the Craft.
Perhaps surprising to Master Masons from the Craft, is the fact that a Mark Mason will be involved in Mark ritual at an early stage. He can pass through the offices in a Mark Lodge and even to the Master’s Chair before becoming Worshipful Master in the Craft. In Scotland, Ireland, the United States of America and parts of Europe, Mark Masonry is a part of either the Craft or Royal Arch. In England and Wales, other parts of Europe and the Antipodean countries, Mark Masonry is a sovereign degree in its own right.
The Mark Masons Charity.
The Mark Mason's Charity is the Mark Fund of Benevolence. It was formed in 1868, is affectionately referred to as the MBF, and is genuinely close to a Mark Mason's heart. It works in parallel with the Grand Charity, and prides itself on its speed of response. The majority of its funds are for the benefit of distressed Mark Masons and their dependents, but like all good charities, it keeps a small separate element for other Masonic and non-Masonic purposes.
In 1994 every Mark Lodge was invited to nominate a Hospice. The Mark Fund of Benevolence then sent a cheque for £1000 to each Lodge for members to present to the Hospice of their choice, a total sum of £1.5 million. In 2000 the Mark Fund of Benevolence agreed to provide each division of the St. John Ambulance Brigade with a new 'state of the art' ambulance, costing approximately £40,000 each, a total amount of £2 million. The Durham ambulance was handed over in August 2000 in a ceremony at Auckland Castle. In 2003 £2,000,000 was distributed to hospitals specializing in the early detection and treatment of Prostate Cancer. More recently money has been made available for research into and support for those with Osteoporosis. Current activity is centred on a project to support the charity ”Hope for Tomorrow” with a £2.6m grant to provide ten mobile chemotherapy units at a cost of £260.000 each which will culminate in the Sesqui-Centenary of the fund in 2018.
Durham became a Keystone Province in 2002 and in 2003 all the Mark Lodges received their Grand Patrons’ collarettes from the Mark Fund of Benevolence. Within the Mark Province of Durham there are 43 Mark Lodges with a membership of 1,700. Separate from the Grand Mark Fund of Benevolence, the Province of Durham has its own Mark Benevolent Fund. It administers funds donated by both Mark and Royal Ark Mariner Lodges, it is able to respond quickly to any case of a Brother in distress pending the arrangement of more permanent assistance as well as supporting appropriate local charities and an increasing number of brethren are wearing the collar and jewel of a patron of the Mark Fund of Benevolence following substantial personal donations.
The Durham Fund is a registered Charity and at the last balance sheet date, 31st December 2013, total funds were £53,000.
“The Fourth Step to the Mark”.
DO YOU WANT TO INCREASE YOUR LODGE MEMBERSHIP - Yes of Course
The Durham Lodge of Installed Mark Masters No. 1492
Is Here to Help
We Invite Mark Master Mason Lodges to request a presentation of
“THE FOURTH STEP TO THE MARK”
An open recruitment evening presented by
Workmen from the DLIMM Quarries.
All enquiries to be directed to the Secretary of Durham Lodge of Installed Mark Masters:
W.Bro. Malcolm Graham
Tel: 0191 3887164 email; firstname.lastname@example.org
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