Lodge of Fraternity  No: 5916

Lodge of Fraternity  No: 5916

Fraternity Working

The working of the degrees in the Lodge of Fraternity has often been the subject of discussion between members and guests who wish to know exactly which ritual we adopt.

At the time of its founding and Consecration in February 1944, the founders of the Lodge decided on "Emulation with variations". These variations were introduced by the first Preceptors of the LoI, WBros Jack Murrell and Jimmy Bradley.

What we refer to as Fraternity Working came down through the years by word of mouth from those first Preceptors, who combined the working of Albert Lucking and Prittlewell Lodges, and added one or two of their own ideas.

The floorwork is taken from Universal working, but students of ritual will notice that in Fraternity Working, there are variations: the way the wands are held and the movement of the Deacons in the openings and closings being the main differences.

Confusion among new members of the LoI frequently arose, even after their ritual books had been amended by the Preceptor. However, little

disagreement was experienced in the early years, as WBro Bradley kept tight control over the working.

But after the death of Reggie Winn (the last of the founders to be  Preceptor), there was often disagreement and confusion over Fraternity Working, despite various Preceptors' efforts to maintain tradition by patiently amending new books of Emulation Ritual presented to members.

It was not until 1983 that steps were taken to establish, once and for all, consistent wording and procedure of Fraternity Working. In January, WBro Alan Garner, then WM, asked the GP Committee to consider publishing an addendum to the Emulation book of ritual so that Fraternity Working could be laid down officially. He suggested a small panel of Past Masters, who had been members of the LOI with Jimmy Bradley, which included the then

Preceptor and DC, WBro Arthur Badger, meet and discuss the ritual. As a result, two books of Emulation ritual were amended as a reference for future Preceptors.

In 1997, WBro David Badger, DC and Preceptor in his father’s footsteps, took on the task of producing a formal Lodge of Fraternity Book of Ritual, which took almost two years to complete. Today, the Lodge of Fraternity is one of the few Lodges to hand its newly raised Master Masons a book of ritual unique to the Lodge they have just joined.