Teme Valley Lodge of Mark Master Masons No 1260

This is the oldest “side degree” to be established in Tenbury Wells being Consecrated 14th October 1961. The Lodge is thus shortly to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The first Ceremony of Advancement was performed 14th March 1962 when a local retired bank manager, Bro Harry Betham was Advanced. At the same meeting Bro John Kemp, a Company Director from Clifton – on Teme was also Advanced and with three other Advancements taking place that year, the Lodge got off to a great start. On the 13th March 1963, Bro John Cedric Walker of Woodstone Manor Farm, Lindridge, was Advanced and he remains a member to this day.

The Lodge has been particularly well represented at Provincial level with:
W Bro J Oliver the Provincial Grand Master 1993 – 1998
W Bro D T Davies the Provincial Grand Junior Warden 2005
W Bro J H V Moore the Provincial Grand Senior Warden 2007

At present, W Bro K J Bryant is the Provincial Deputy Grand Secretary and W Bro D T Davies is the Provincial Assistant Grand Secretary.

The Mark Degree is known as the “Friendly Degree” essentially performing one Ceremony of Advancement as well as Installation. The Advancement Ceremony is very much a play in which the Candidate has an active part. Being led to near disaster only to become the hero of the hour, the Ceremony is full of hidden meaning and although performed with due decorum, also has moments of humour. For many masons who belong to a number of degrees, it is the Mark which is most dear to their heart.

The Mark was performed before the Union of 1813 as either part of the Craft or Royal Arch with good documentary evidence of it being worked from 1750. The Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons was founded in June 1856 and because it is not named in the 1813 declaration, it is classified as an additional degree.