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The Universities Scheme

Tradition and continuity are two of the values which characterise the relationship between Freemasonry and universities. It was nearly 200 years ago that the first university Lodge, Apollo University Lodge, was founded at Oxford, with Isaac Newton University Lodge following soon afterwards at Cambridge. Since then many thousands of young men have been introduced to Freemasonry through these two Lodges, and they provided the inspiration for the Universities Scheme. This was set up at the beginning of 2005 with the objective: ‘To establish and/or enhance arrangements and opportunities for undergraduates and other university members to enjoy Freemasonry’.

There are now 90 other Lodges pursuing a similar, yet distinct, course. Their membership consists of undergraduates, postgraduates, senior members of the university and alumni, ranging in age from 18 upwards. All under-25s benefit from the recent decision by Grand Lodge to halve their dues in order to make Freemasonry as accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

University of Chester Lodge 4477

University Lodge of Chester is a Craft Masonic Lodge located at Freemasons' Hall, 2 Queen Street, Chester in the Province of Cheshire and Constituted under the United Grand Lodge of England.


The Lodge was formed in 2011 taking the number from Temple Lodge No. 4477. The lodge welcomes undergraduates and postgraduates and is a thriving member of the Universities Scheme, which was set up under the direction of the Past Assistant Grand Master David Williamson to make it easier for undergraduates and graduates to enter craft masonry whilst at university. 

RW Bro Stephen Martin Blank
Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Cheshire
RW Bro Sir David Hugh Wootton
President of the Universities Scheme

"The Province of Cheshire has been delighted to support the Universities Scheme starting with the University Lodge of Chester 4477 which I am delighted to see going from strength to strength. We have now followed up with the admission of St Mary's Chapter 8098 to the scheme and both are helping us to welcome large numbers of fine young men into Freemasonry. It was an easy decision for us to offer to host the 2019 Scheme Conference at Christleton, which was an enormous success, welcoming the Scheme President and his predecessor together with many delegates from all over the Constitution."

"It is a great privilege to be President of the Universities Scheme. I am delighted by the success we have achieved in our first ten years, and I am excited by the opportunities that are now opening up across England and Wales as a result."

WBro Philip Wright 
Worshipful Master

University Lodge of Chester 4477  2023-2024

“It was a great honour and privilege to be Worshipful Master of the University Lodge of Chester and I thank the brethren of the lodge for the confidence and trust placed in me to perform my duties to the best of my abilities. Since joining ULoC in 2019 it was to help progress the lodge with my many years of experience, which I hope to pass on to the younger Brethren.

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