News 23rd Dec 2021 Updated 4th Jan 2022

The 157th Mark Benevolent Fund

President: R.W.Bro. Ian Wright PGM

Annual Festival 2025, Oxfordshire

Chairman: V.W.Bro. Barry Prior DPGM

Festival Update

January 2022

Provincial Grand Master's New Year Address
Brethren, a New Year is upon us with all of the expectations and excitements that it brings.
A new year makes us reflect upon the previous year and ask ourselves what we could have done better and how we can improve things.
The previous year was not a typical year. We did start to get back to a degree of normality, and I was delighted to finally get out there and visit as many of our Lodges as possible. I have a busy schedule proposed for this new year and will be visiting as many Lodges as I can. Brethren, there is no real substitute for physically meeting one another and enjoying the comradery which we all share.
We have a Mark weekend planned in Bournemouth this year. I hope it will be a success as it is the first time that this Province has ran such an event. It is intended to be a social weekend. However there will be an element of fundraising towards our 2025 Festival.
I am looking forward to presenting more achievement certificates to individual Lodges to recognise their commitment to the Festival.
Provincial Grand Lodge is changing its venue this year. Although we have not finalised it, I feel that we will have an exciting venue in a convenient location, and I am looking forward to seeing you all at Provincial Grand Lodge in May.
Brethren, keep safe and be vigilant when in the company of others. Remember that this virus will not simply disappear, we will have to make adjustments to our lives for years to come but we will prevail. So long as we are sensible, we can reduce the risks and meet one another safely again.


New Provincial Website

Our new Provincial Website is now live, and will run alongside the existing Festival Website.
The Provincial Website is geared towards providing the public (and prospective members) with information about who we are and what we do as Mark Master Masons and Royal Ark Mariners.
It also contains a Calendar listing meeting dates for all lodges (including other degrees), news, events, and information about other orders in the Province of Oxfordshire.
This is sure to be an invaluable resource for all of our members, and we strongly encourage making yourself familiar with the new website.


The Old Black Shoes

The old black shoes are looking glum
As I pass the lobby door,
"What's wrong with you?" they seem to say,
"We're going out no more.
We've taken not a single step,
Not third or even first,
And ne'er a sign we've seen you give,
Has Masonry been cursed?"
"lt has", I said, "by virus vile,
We have to stay at home
Until such time the plague has passed,
Then once more we'll roam.
The Masons' Halls are empty,
Regalia put away,
Gavels now stay silent,
DCs hold no sway.
Volumes of the Sacred Law
On pedestals redundant,
Now Brother Arthur contacts his friends
By social posts abundant.
No handshake, word or secret sign,
No friendly Festive Board
No Tyler's song to say Goodnight,
No organ's well-loved chord".
"Black shoes", I said, "do not despair,
Our Chain is firm and strong
Our flag of love remains unfurled
We'll sing again our song.
And though our Brethren may have passed
To Grander Lodge Above,
We'll look upon their memories
With everlasting Love;
And in their name, we'll offer help
And soothe the burdened heart;
We'll comfort those who are distressed,
Thus Masons play their part.
And when this crisis is resolved
We'll sing the old refrain:"
"Happy to Meet, Sorry to Part,
Happy to meet again."


Mark Lodge Meeting Dates

Installation Dates are displayed in bold italic.

University Lodge No. 55Sat, 12
Abbey Lodge No. 225Thu, 24Thu, 28
Alfred Lodge No. 247Wed, 20
Cherwell Lodge No. 847Tue, 25Tue, 29
Marlborough Lodge No. 980Tue, 8
Thames Lodge No. 1183Fri, 21Fri, 29
St. Mary's Lodge No. 1242Fri, 4
Windrush C & M Lodge No. 1386Fri, 1
Wychwood Lodge No. 1443Thu, 10
Godstow Lodge No. 1546Wed, 2
Bowyer Lodge No. 1655Mon, 14
Menatschim Lodge No. 1838Mon, 28


RAM Lodge Meeting Dates

Installation Dates are displayed in bold italic.

Abbey Lodge No. 225Fri, 4
Alfred Lodge No. 247Tue, 20
Marlborough Lodge No. 980Wed, 16
Thames Lodge No. 1183Fri, 25
St. Mary's Lodge No. 1242Fri, 4
Windrush Lodge No. 1386Thu, 17
Bowyer Lodge No. 1655Thu, 7

The Name is Bond ... Festival Bond

The MBF 2025 Festival weekend is taking place on 4th-6th July 2025 at the beautiful Oxford University Examination Schools.
In order to secure the venue, it was necessary to pay an initial 25% deposit. This has been funded by ten Brethren in the Province each 'purchasing' a Festival Bond for £1,000. This will be repaid once tickets are sold; each purchaser will benefit from a 10% reduction on the price of a ticket.
In 2023, a further interim payment of £25,000 is due.
The intention is to issue further Festival Bonds to fund this.
It is appreciated that £1,000 is a lot to ask, so these Bonds will be available to Brethren for £500 each; the value of the Bond will be repaid when tickets are sold, and each purchaser will benefit from a 5% reduction on the price of a ticket.
Please contact Barry Prior, Festival Chairman 'chairman(at)' or David Cumming, Festival Secretary 'secretary(at)' to express your interest.
Replace '(at)' with '@' in the email address.


Provincial Festival Events

At the time of writing, we may once again be looking down the barrel of Covid and all the restrictions it brings.
However, plans are afoot for a Thames boat trip in May, our Golf day again in September, a visit to a brewery (with tasting 😊), cricket at Lord's and possibly a group visit to Henley Regatta.
All of these events are intended to give Brethren opportunities to meet other members of the Mark Province and their friends, have some fun, and raise some money for the Festival as a welcome by-product.
In addition, we have already used some 4-ball golf vouchers, kindly donated by golf clubs throughout the Province, to achieve the aims of socialising, having fun and raising money. We have more of these vouchers and this is a relatively easy event to organise. You just need to find three friends, Masonic or otherwise, get them to pay £25 each, play a round of golf and you have raised £100. If you are interested in using one of the vouchers, which are absolutely free, get in touch with your area Festival Representative or the Festival Secretary, David Cumming at 'secretary(at)'
Replace '(at)' with '@' in the email address.


The Marketing Team have been Busy!

The Marketing Team made up of Mocky Khan, Steven Purnell and Phil Harley have changed the way Mark Masonry is communicated and promoted in Oxfordshire over the last 12 months.
The Team’s role has been to keep you informed and updated on what The Festival Committee and the Province is doing in a creative, engaging and fun way.
Below is a list with examples of our work and communications over the last year:

Relaunch of the Festival – Held multiple zoom presentations to let Brethren know about the Festival.


Freemasonry@86 News – We have had articles printed and social media posts shared to promote Mark Masonry in Oxfordshire.

Revamped and Launched the Festival website:


Redesigned, updated and turned the Festival newsletter into a digital one! After a while, it also become the Provincial e-newsletter too. Now you can find all your information and news around Oxfordshire Mark Masonry in one place.

Oxfordshire Mark Masonic Provincial AGM. We held a virtual AGM. The Marketing Team produced the event and over 115 Brethren from Province and distinguished guests attended.

Redesigned the Oxfordshire Mark Mason website:
Our marketing and communications can only be good as the content we have or receive. Please feel free to email us your photos, news, stories or updates to marketing(at) You never know, your article could end up in our e-newsletter or website or both!
Replace '(at)' with '@' in the email address.


Royal Ark Mariner Provincial Annual Assembly

Oxford University Lodge No. 55

This year's Annual Assembly of Royal Ark Mariners of the Province of Oxfordshire was held on Saturday 6th November under the banner of Oxford University Lodge, No. 55, at Cardinal House. The Oxford University Lodge installed their new Worshipful Commander and Elevated a new brother into our wonderful order in a beautifully executed ceremony.

Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Ian Wright with the newly Installed Commander of Oxford University RAM, W.Bro. Paul Engeham


The PrGM & DepPrGM with W.Bro. Tony Taylor and W.Bro, John Reeve who received RAM Provincial Grand Rank

After the business of the Oxford University Lodge was completed, the Provincial Grand Master took the chair and opened the 27th Annual Assembly of Royal Ark Mariners in the Province of Oxfordshire. After a solemn obituary roll by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, the Provincial Grand Secretary gave his report before the Provincial Grand Master invested four worthy Brethren with Royal Ark Mariner Provincial Grand Rank.
The Brethren then retired and shared an exemplary festive board, enjoying the brotherly love and fellowship that characterises Royal Ark Mariners.

Provincial Team for Oxfordshire Mark Master Masons in attendance at the wonderful Festive Board


2025 Festival Stewards

We have received the fantastic news that so far the Festival Steward's Jewel has raised a total of £6,037.50 for the Mark Benevolent Fund Annual Festival 2025, Oxfordshire.
This is an incredible total and the Provincial Executive extend their great appreciation to all those who have already supported the Festival in this way. If you are interested in becoming a Festival Steward then click here to open/ download the application form.


March 2022 Mark Ladies Weekend

The Mercure Bournemouth Queens Hotel and Spa

18th - 20th March 2022

The Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Ian W. Wright and his Lady, Wendy, wish to extend a warm and cordial invitation to you, your families and friends, to join them for a weekend full of enjoyment, convivial company and relaxation at the new and fully refurbished Mercure Bournemouth Queens Hotel and Spa.
Please click on the pages below for further information and booking form:


Fun and Games

Film, Xmas Quiz plus Crossword

Email your answers to us on marketing(at) We will provide the answers to the quiz and announce the winners!
Replace '(at)' with '@' in the email address.

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