KENT FREEMASONRY & CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL – DECEMBER 2015
This latest in our series of temporary exhibitions celebrates the historical cooperation between Canterbury Cathedral and the county’s Masons.
The questions of when, how, why and where Freemasonry originated are still the subject of intense speculation. The general consensus amongst Masonic scholars is that it is believed to have originated in England in the late 16th or early 17th centuries, descending directly or indirectly from the organisation of operative stone masons who built the great cathedrals and castles of the Middle Ages.
At the opening of the exhibition, Museum Curator, Tony Periton said “Through a variety of displays, this exhibition showcases the connections between the Cathedral’s operative stonemasons and our fraternity. Many people visit Canterbury Cathedral and admire its craftsmanship not realising the masonic connections in the two resplendent windows in the Chapter House and the Martyrdom dating from 1896 and 1954.”
Head of Conservation at Canterbury Cathedral, Heather Newton, seen here with our Curator Tony Periton cutting the ribbon to officially open the exhibition commented: “The Cathedral Stonemasonry and Conservation team is grateful to the Freemasons for their generous support for apprentice training and stone fabric repair over many years.The exhibition allows us the opportunity to celebrate this and to give the public an insight into our craft.”
The Masonic Province of East Kent’s Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Roger Odd, seen above with some of the Cathedral’s stonemasons and their contributions to the exhibition added “Our connections with the Cathedral are not just local, with the national Freemasons’ Charity recently donating £22,000 to the Canterbury Cathedral Trust to fund an apprentice stonemason; and to celebrate the organisation’s forthcoming tercentenary in 2017, the Freemasons of Kent, Surrey and Sussex have come together and pledged to raise £200,000 towards the restoration needed to the North West Transept and its Pinnacles.”