Welcome to Alfred Lodge No.340, the original Lodge in Oxfordshire.
I'm incredibly proud to be Master of Alfred Lodge No 340, an Office first held by my long gone predecessor John Ireland in 1814. Little did he and the founders back then know, that we would still be thriving today over two centuries later.
After many years in Oxford City, we now meet 6 times each year at Woodstock Masonic Hall in New Road.
The landscape of Oxford and indeed the county has changed beyond recognition in those years. Our traditions, ceremonies and fellowship have remained the same. The timeless appeal of freemasonry has grown from strength to strength.
Put simply, by becoming a Freemason you make great enduring friends, you help many people with our charitable endeavours and you improve yourself!
Our tenets are just as valid today as they were when the United Grand Lodge of England was formed 300 years ago.
If you are interested in becoming a Freemason, and in particular joining the Alfred Lodge No 340, please get in touch. There's a blue button lower down this page.
We would love to have the opportunity to talk to you.
Steve Pope (Master 2020)
IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS ALFRED
Although there are records of Freemasons meeting in Oxford some 80 years earlier, Alfred Lodge No 340, Oxford is the oldest surviving lodge, having met continuously in and around the city since 1814.
We were the second lodge to be warranted by the United Grand Lodge of England (the first having disappeared long ago)
Over the two centuries since our founding we have brought thousands of like minded men together to participate in our ceremonies, social gatherings and charitable endeavours.
We are proud of our long held traditions, and today our Master, his Officers and members of the lodge are custodians of a legacy that we hope we can pass on to future generations of new Masons
More than 205 years of existence says something about our values at Alfred Lodge No 340.
We are happy to answer your questions, and more importantly enquiries about becoming a Freemason.
OUR FOUNDING FATHER JOHN IRELAND
WHAT GOES ON AT ALFRED No 340?
It's quite simple really, our meetings are divided into two parts.
The first section is like most other clubs or societies, where we carry out the business of the lodge. Every meeting has a printed agenda and this is where points are listed.
These might include feedback or updates from our Charity Steward, Treasurer and Almoner, or updates at Provincial or national level that are relevant to our members.
With over 200,000 active members in England and Wales, Freemasons give a substantial sum to both Masonic and general charities (and individuals in hardship), both here and around the world.
We donate at local, national and international level, and try to be quick to react to both need and situations.
One recent example was to give London Fire Service 2 extended reach vehicles suitable for rescue in tower block fire situations. This national donation, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, was to the value of £2.5 millions.
During this first part of our meetings, we might also make a new Mason, and this is known as Initiation. Two more stages will follow this, until the Candidate becomes a Master Mason (this is different from Master of the lodge)
I'm sure you have seen apocryphal reports of goats being used in our ritual. This is absolutely untrue!
We can say there is nothing sinister about our ceremonies or ritual.
We do wear aprons, and this is symbolic of the working clothes of Operative Stonemasons, on which we base our allegorical degrees. These are like small plays.
The second part of our meetings is called a festive board. This is the lively social section. Generally there are toasts, a few speeches, a raffle, and a 2 or 3 course meal.
Discussions of religion, politics (Brexit included!) and other polarising subjects are forbidden here. The idea is that we all enjoy the benefits fun, food, a friendly atmosphere, and fraternal fellowship without friction.
In between the main meetings we rehearse our performances in what is known as lodge of instruction.
We encourage and support any Mason who wishes to take the path towards being Master of the lodge, but there is never pressure to do so.
FEBRUARY MEETING NEWS
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 5th February at 6PM.
Alfred lodge No 340 member V W Bro Phillip J Purves will be presenting his personal recollections in a lecture called Experiences of a Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies.
Phillip is known not only in Craft Freemasonry, but also in a multitude of other orders in Oxforshire and beyond.
He was initiated into Alfred 340 in 1986 and became Master in 1997.
The meeting promises to offer a wealth of interesting and entertaining information
Phillip is also the author The History of the Alfred Lodge No 340 1814-2014