The biennial Universities Scheme Conference was held at Cheshire View, Christleton on 16th November and was attended by over 170 delegates from some 80 Scheme Lodges. The University Lodge of Chester 4477 played a pivotal role in the day not only through the organisation of the event but with an active involvement in the “Ritual Workshop” breakout session.
The Conference was opened by Stephen Martin Blank, the Provincial Grand Master of Cheshire and Sir David Hugh Wooton, the Assistant Grand Master of England & Wales. During the day delegates were able to listen to presentations on: Social Media, Student Engagement, Finance, Solomon and the New & Young Masons Clubs, but the most popular breakout session was the Ritual Workshop presented by the brethren of the University Lodge of Chester.
The workshop was a "How to" on multiple ceremonies, in this case a triple 3rd Degree Ceremony, and one of the most difficult to work. Royston Jones a Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, and Past Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies used his vast knowledge, as he narrated the whole ceremony with explanations of the movements needed to demonstrate the perambulations and the colloquy between the Candidates at the pedestals as they moved through the ceremony.
University Lodge of Chester brethren included Alex Campbell, who occupied the Junior Warden’s Chair, Kieran Gleave who acted as Senior Deacon and Toby Hills who was the Inner Guard, all of whom are aged 22 or younger! Senior brethren from the Lodge occupied the other offices with the Lodge Mentor and Provincial Membership Officer Tony Carss taking the Master’s Chair.
The prime objective of the workshop was to alleviate fears for Scheme Lodges and to demonstrate that multiple ceremonies could be carried out smoothly and with dignity, giving the candidates an experience that they can share together and providing a close bond between them as they progress through their Masonic careers.