On the splendid evening of Tuesday, April 25th, 2023, eleven members of the Middlesex Light Blues Club (MLBC) embarked on a memorable journey to visit Baily Lodge No. 5239, nestled in the historic city of Bristol. For many of these keen brethren, this occasion marked their first encounter with the enigmatic and captivating Bristol Masonic workings.
The night was further elevated by Baily Lodge’s remarkable execution of a ‘double’ third ceremony, made all the more extraordinary by the involvement of a father-and-son duo. Following this momentous event, attendees were treated to a sumptuous festive board, where the Bristol ‘fire’ proved to be a delightful and engaging experience.
Before the evening’s festivities, the MLBC members convened at a nearby coffee shop at 4 pm, later making their way to the resplendent Bristol Freemason Hall, which opened its doors at 5 pm. The building’s grand architecture and enchanting ambience captivated the MLBC members, many of whom were first-time visitors. As they absorbed the hall’s atmosphere, the brethren were warmly welcomed by the Worshipful Master and Director of Ceremonies of Baily Lodge. The group’s camaraderie and lighthearted banter with the lodge’s Treasurer only served to enhance the experience.
Adjacent to the bar, the brethren discovered a spacious changing room where they donned their regalia before entering the temple. Upon their arrival, the lodge’s Inner Guard ‘challenged’ some of the visiting brethren, requesting that they whisper a secret word to prove their status as Entered Apprentice Freemasons. Although initially surprised, the MLBC members complied and were soon enlightened on this wonderful custom by the hospitable Inner Guard.
The temple itself was an architectural masterpiece, boasting soaring ceilings and an intriguing layout that differed significantly from what the Middlesex brethren were accustomed to.
The evening’s ceremony was executed flawlessly, and everyone in attendance thoroughly enjoyed themselves. At the festive board, the brethren eagerly discussed plans for a future visit to witness a Bristol ‘Initiation’ ceremony and a Royal Arch exaltation, both of which promise to be extraordinary experiences. More information on these forthcoming events will be available in future MLBC communications.
In conclusion, the MLBC members’ visit to Baily Lodge proved to be an immensely enjoyable and successful venture. They wholeheartedly encourage fellow brethren to experience the unique allure of Bristol’s Masonic traditions for themselves and to stay tuned for news of upcoming visits and intriguing destinations.
We would like to thank W. Brother Andy Jones for helping us organise this memorable visit and we look forward to working with Brother Andy in organising another visit for an Initiation Ceremony.