Who we are – Lodge

Our lodge was formed to support The Friends of Lord Harris Court, the Care home at Sindlesham. The Care home was replaced in 2022 by the Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh Court so the Lodge’s prime charitable focus is now The Friends of Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh Court Care Home. Which we do by making donations, and supporting the Summer Fayre and Christmas Bazaar every year, and also by visiting and supporting the residents directly. Two of the lodge members regularly hold services for the residents in the Home’s chapel.

We are also a lodge that likes to reflect our name by being friendly to our members and guests and always taking good care of them at our meetings, festive boards and social events. Although we take our feemasonry seriously you will find that we do not take ourselves in the same way, with everything carried our with a sense of fun and enjoyment.

The History

The Lodge of Friendship & Care was consecrated on 18th April 1978 and its Founders were all members of the Association of Friends of Lord Harris Court. They had attachments to Lodges in London and the Provinces, but with no common meeting place for the promotion together of the principles of Freemasonry. The friendships which developed over the years of working together in close harmony in promoting and enhancing the welfare of the Residents of Lord Harris Court, the sixth of fifteen Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Homes, led to the formation of a Lodge to cement the Brotherhood of those engaged in this work.

In the relatively short time since the Lodge was consecrated there have also been formed a Royal Arch Chapter, a Mark Lodge, a Preceptory of Knights Templar and a Royal Ark Mariner Lodge, all bearing the name ‘Friendship and Care’, and all owing their origin to the Association of Friends of Lord Harris Court.

The Emblem of the Lodge, and of the other Orders, incorporates the Crest of the Arms of the late M.W. The Rt. Hon. Lord Harris, C.B.E., M.C., D.L., Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons. He laid the foundation stone of the Home in 1970 and the original Home was named after him, the entire cost of the  Home being borne by the Mark Grand Lodge.

The Lodge is a Patron of both the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls and is a Grand Patron of the Royal Masonic Hospital.

The Banner

The background of the banner is of Pale Blue, usually known as Masonic Blue and represents the Master Mason, whereas “Province of Berkshire” is surmounted on Dark Blue, usually known as Provincial Blue. The letter “G” denotes “GOD”, the Grand Architect of the Universe and also denotes the Science of Geometry. The Emblem of the Lodge incorporates the crest of the Rt. Hon. Lord Harris, C.B.E., M.C., D.L., O.S.M., P.J.G.W., after whom the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Home at Sindlesham, Berkshire was originally named. The Founders of the Lodge were all members of the Association of Friends of Lord Harris Court. The Friendship of FRIENDSHIP AND CARE is derived from the Association of Friends, and also the friendships that have sprung up between the members themselves through working closely together and with each other in a common cause, and between the members and the residents of the Home in particular, and for other Masonic causes in General. Beneath the Emblem is The Volume of the Sacred Law, heron depicted the Hebrew words KODESH TO ADONAI meaning Sacred Unto the Lord, also the words BROTHERLY LOVE, RELIEF, TRUTH, being the Three great Principles of our Order. The Banner is adorned on the left side by a pillar of the Ionic Order and signifies Wisdom, the Wisdom of Solomon, King of Israel, in building, completing, and dedicating the Temple of Jerusalem to the Grand Architect, whilst the right is adorned by a Pillar of the Corinthian Order which means Beauty, referring, as it does, to the beautiful work of Hiram Abif and his skill in adorning the Temple. These pillars are surmounted by the Celestrial and Terrestial Globes signifying Masonary Universal. The Three Great Emblematic Lights in Freemasonry are represented by the Volume of the Sacred Law, the Square, and Compasses, whilst the Three Movable Jewels in a lodge are depicted,the Square, the Level, and the Plumbrule. Surmounted on the base of the Pillar of the Corinthian Order is the Seal of Solomon or Shield of David, the Seal is made up of two triangles and are said to be the Symbols of Fire and Water, but are liberally referred to as representing the Two Natures of Our Lord – His Divine and His Human nature.The banner was designed by Founder Member W. Bro, Leonard Hodghton Prov.A.G.D.C.,(Middlesex) and presented by him to the Lodge for dedication on 20th May, 1980.

The exquisite embroidery, most of which is of different shades of Gold Wire was created by Mrs Elizabeth Elvin of Wokingham, Berkshire, who was a pupil of The Royal School of Needlework.