As part of our 25th anniversary celebrations the following oration was given which explains the reasoning behind naming the Lodge..... Grants Lodge.
Brethren- What's in a name? Grants is to be the name of this new Lodge about to be consecrated. But why?
The Oxford Dictionary gives many definitions for its meaning but the one which I think appropriate to our gathering today is the meaning ...
consent to fulfil.
Every part of Lancashire has many famous names associated with it and Ramsbottom is no exception. The name associated with this area is that of Grant, because of the unbounded generosity and unstinted service of the two brothers, William and Daniel, who lived here in the early 19th Century. Their deeds were perpetuated by Charles Dickens in his novel "Nicholas Nickleby", under the role of the Cherryble brothers.
They died in 1842 and 1855 respectively, and it has been estimated that during their lifetime they gave in the region of £600,000 to charitable purposes in that area in many and varied ways. Ramsbottom Church was built at the sole expense of William and opened in 1834 as a tribute to God for His great kindness to the family.
This Lodge is not being Consecrated in their memory, but when the Founders were seeking for a name, what better could they have than the word "Grant" which means to
consent to fulfil. Surely no two-other people have better fulfilled that meaning than the Grants, because their principles are at the very heart of masonry - a strong and firm belief in God - the caring for people within their place with unstinted charity.
If a Lodge wishes to perpetuate the example of men of high ideals, then it must see to it that its members are of the highest quality because on you rests the responsibility of admitting new candidates. You will see that they consent to fulfil their obligations to put their trust in God and lead a virtuous life. Quality of life matters in this present day and its strength must be seen to come from the Supreme Being if this Lodge is to flourish. You will also consent to fulfil the principles of the Order, because these are essential to every Mason's way of life. Look at it like this - on the eve of my Ordination, the Bishop had the six men he was to ordain the following morning in his chapel. He said many things to us but gave only one piece of advice, which was this. On the anniversary of your Ordination to re-read each year the solemn promises you made and your duties as a priest, so that you never forget your sights.
Brethren, I give it to you that each year on the Anniversary of the Consecration of this Lodge, you re-read the explanation of the working tools in the three degrees because we constantly need to have them before us so that we never lose sight of our ideals. The Founding, therefore of a new Lodge presents challenges - you have consented to fulfil that its principles are firm - and that it is guided and governed by sound principles. But you will also see that this Lodge consents to fulfil its charitable role not only among yourselves and Masonry in general, but in the area you intend to serve - so that whenever the name of Grants is heard, it is not to the past that they look or talk, but of the present.
I say these things because for no other reason can there be any virtue or godly Masonic consequence to the Founding of this new Lodge - Grants. It is my prayer that the G.A.O.T.U. will guide and bless you in all your undertakings".
Our members live in areas as diverse as Dumfries and Galloway, West Yorkshire, Cheshire and Cumbria although most are local men from Lancashire and Greater Manchester, including Rawtenstall, Haslingden, Bacup, Waterfoot, Ainsworth, Bury, Whitefield, Sunnybank, Unsworth, Prestwich, Ripponden, Edenfield, Burton-in-Kendal, Drummore, Royton and Barnoldswick.
Our monthly meetings take place on the third Monday of the months of Jan-May and Sep-Nov and consist of a Masonic ceremony, followed by dinner, accompanied by much merry-making, joke-telling, leg-pulling, story-telling and friendly banter amongst a group of men who know how to enjoy themselves. Grants Lodge visitors tend to come back time and time again and we have a well-earned and keenly maintained reputation for an irreverent and light-hearted approach to many things we do.
Besides our scheduled monthly meetings, we also have other events and activities that Grants members either organise or take part in, such as our Dining Group, where one member in rotation decides on a venue of their own choosing, sets the date and makes bookings for anyone who wants to join the fun: masons and non-masons, friends and families. Recently we have been to a traditional fish and chip restaurant, a stately home, a French restaurant and further visits are planned to a Spanish Tapas bar and an Indian restaurant.
Everyone knows that Freemasons are great givers to charity and Grants Lodge is no exception. Freemasonry is justifiably proud of its reputation for charitable works and fundraising and few people will know that with the exception of the National Lottery, UK Freemasons are the largest givers to UK charities and are very prompt responders to national and overseas disaster funds.
Our list of recipients includes not only the well-known national charities but also those local, smaller causes that we believe deserve our support.