© 2008 Provincial Grand Court of Wessex
BISHOP LEOFRIC COURT No.58: Meeting at Mount Edgcumbe Masonic Hall, 237 - 241 Citadel Roar East, Plymouth, Devon. PL1 2NG4 Regular meetings of the Court are held on the 1st Tuesday in March, the 2nd Tuesday in June and the last Tuesday in Novembernd. Tuesday in February, June and November (Installation). CONTACT SECRETARY: Bro. Colin Adams   e-mail: colin@adamsuk.net ADDRESS: 17 Meadow Breeze, Lostwithiel, Cornwall. PL22 0BJ Phone: 01208 87 3665 /// Mob: 07798 74 8570
ORATION : BISHOP LEOFRIC COURT No. 58, 15th. August 2009  by W.& Em.Bro. George E.R. Gardner, Provincial Eminent Grand Prior of Wessex What an absolute delight it proves to be for me to welcome each and every one of you to this pleasant, attractive and ancient Township of Okehampton, situated as it is in the very heart of this interesting and truly lovely County of Devon. We are gathered together for the Consecration of this, the latest Court in the Province of Wessex. It is my considered opinion that many of you dear Brethren present today would be keen to know why, or for what reason, was the name of Bishop Leofric chosen as the title for the newest of the Courts, actually No: 58, in the Masonic Order of Athelstan, the first Court to be consecrated in the South Western Counties. To find the answer to that question, dear Brethren, we must travel together, you and me, hand in hand, down through the seemingly never-ending long passage of time, to the now, long extinct, Kingdom of Lotharingia.
Lotharingia was a Kingdom situated upon, and covering a great deal, of what we know to-day as North Western Europe, it was extensive as it  stretched over much of France, Northern Italy, the Netherlands and the Low Country, large parts of Germany and as far Eastwards as the Ural  Mountains. All that remains of it today is that part known as Alsace Lorraine. It was to that ancient Kingdom of Lotharingia that Leofric, a Briton  of Devonian origin born quite close to here circa 1016 AD, merely 50 years before William the Conqueror had subjected our Britain to Normanic rule, went to study and train, at the age of 23, for a new life as a member of the Priesthood. Leofric soon met up, and became friendly with, in 1039 AD, the future King Edward the Confessor. And it was just two short years later in  1041, that they both returned together to England, Edward to continue his duties within the Royal Household and Leofric, first as a Scribe to  the Royal Court and then, not very long afterwards, to become the Secretary of the Lord Chancellor of England.  Leofrics' skills and attributes were worthy of note, so much so, that a mere 6 years later in 1047, he was promoted to become the Bishop of  Devon and Cornwall, the Seat of which Bishopric was nearby to here in Crediton. In the year 1060, the warring and vicious attacking raids  between the various local Tribes; plus the invaders from Ireland and also from what are now the Scandinavian Countries, made this part of  Devon a dangerous area in which to be domiciled. So much so that Leofric moved his Bishopric to a new base at Exeter. Our King Athelstan  had built a Monastery in Exeter round about the year 928 AD; in addition, with its walled defences the town of Exeter was far easier to defend  and withstand the attacks of the vicious marauders. And so it was that in the newly built St. Peters Exeter Cathedral, the monastery itself having been burnt down, that with the King of England on  his right hand and that most noble of Queens, Edith, on his left, Leofric was installed and enthroned with great pomp and splendour as the first  Bishop of Exeter. Bishop Leofric had a Ministry and See that was lacking in many things, the number of poor people was prolific, the countryside around was  run down and in need of much refurbishment To overcome these failings was of prime importance to Bishop Leofric and he strove long and  hard to bring a better standard of life to all who lived within his See of Devon and Cornwall. He increased the wealth and value of the Exeter Cathedral Library by adding many notable volumes to it's collection, evidence of this can be  seen today in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Another cause he fought courageously for was to bolster the riches of the Ministry's and its  wealth considerably, for the benefit of all under his domain. From what I have related to you up this point, it is plain for all to see that both our King Athelstan, the first King of all England and the Bishop  Leofric shared much in common. They shared the desire to be of service to all and attempted to bring cultural effects and better standards of living to the many. Bishop Leofric  from whence you derive the name of your Court Number 58, in this growing and such a vibrant and prominent Province of Wessex. In an  Order and in a Province under the sublime guidance and leadership of our Grand Master and his Deputy and Assistant Grand Masters, one of  whom, Right Worshipful Brother David Buxton, has honoured us with his presence at this Meeting today, also our Provincial Grand Master, the  Right Worshipful Brother, Malcolm J. Burns. All of those distinguished Brethren that I have just mentioned have a tremendous amount in  common. The uppermost aim in their lives being to further the interests and welfare of the multitude sheltering, and learning, beneath their mantle. Those important facets are still such a commonly held element of those worthy persons. Those benign Brothers whose names I have referred  to in the previous paragraph and whose aims and ideals are tireless as they continually strive for the betterment of their fellow man. Foremost  amongst their endeavours being the sincere wish to be of service to the community at large. Another is the desire to bring knowledge and  learning to those who seek advancement in those attributes so necessary for all of us in this rapidly changing way of life of this 21st Century.  And yet another, and one that should, and I am certain will be, the personal urges within breast and minds of each and every one of you; that  is to learn more of the underlying and very important aspects that are the basis of, and form the unquestionable substance, of that certain and  indefinable "je na sais quois" belonging to this Masonic Order of Athelstan. Our fast growing Masonic Order of Athelstan whose Court's are mushrooming in all places wherever there is a burning desire for knowledge,  and furthermore, not just in Freemasonry, but likewise of humankind in its many and varied shapes and formats. The growth of our Order in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres is quite remarkable and outstanding, making it true to say that Masonic Order of Athelstan of which many of you have today become valued members, is an Order upon which the Sun never sets. Being as it is, so undoubtedly, an Order that offers so much to those Brethren, Freemasons just like yourselves, good men who are all eager to learn and to advance along a road that virtually has no foreseeable ending, a journey that I would like to remind some of you of, and also to inform the many who will not know, of the Christmas Radio Broadcast made by King George the VI to his nation in 1939. What King George said in his Broadcast of Christmas greetings way back in those dark days of that Christmas 70 years ago when this Nation had become embroiled in a War that was to end all Wars. A conflict was to cost countless millions of lives, both Service personnel and Civilians alike, men and women, young and old, a conflict that virtually embraced all of the lands around the world. We were told in his message by our Monarch the words that had been penned some 70 years previous to that Christmas Day, words that were written as part of a Poem long ago, in 1907 to be exact, they were as follows: -   "I said to the Man at the Gate of the year; give me a light that I may tread safely in to the unknown. And he replied, go out in to the darkness and put your hand in to the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way"  As you depart this day from Okehampton on your homewards journey, reflect upon those words, think deeply about them, because you, my very dear and well - beloved Brethren, are also stepping off in to the unknown, but there is a huge difference between those citizens of 70 years ago and your good selves. The most important difference being that you are bolstered and nurtured by, and truly favoured in having, the teachings of King Athelstan and his countless followers. Plus, the much valued and appreciated support of our fine and learned Leaders from our Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Michael H. Roalfe, downwards. Likewise, you are also further blessed with the faith that lies within your staunch breasts and those teachings and beliefs that have been bestowed and entrusted to your safe keeping, for your future guidance, this very day. As you go forth from this beautiful, serene heart of Devon, across the rolling Moors or to the North, or the South, to the coastal regions or heading north eastwards towards the larger conurbations in Somerset and beyond, do travel safely. Think about all that has happened since you left the comfort of your fireside to be a part of what has transpired here in Okehampton on this 14th day of August 2009. You are now active members of an idealism that has many aims and ideals, some of them you have learnt about today. Others of those fine precepts will soon become well - known to you as you progress in rank within this Order, all of them are important, all are attainable, and they will become your way of life as you adhere to those worthwhile precepts. Carry your Banner high, practice what you preach, care for each other, then yours will be the earth and everything that is in it, and - what is more, you will be forever a valued member of the Masonic Order of Athelstan, my Brethren.  May the Supreme Ruler of all humankind have you in his Holy Keeping until time with us all shall be no more.
                   © 2008 Provincial Grand Court of Wessex
BISHOP LEOFRIC COURT No.58: Meeting at Mount Edgcumbe Masonic Hall, 237 - 241 Citadel Easr, Plymouth, Devon ,PL1 2NG. Regular meetings of the Court are held on the 2nd. Tuesday in February, June and November (Installation). CONTACT SECRETARY: Bro. Colin Adams   e-mail: colin@adamsuk.net ADDRESS: 17 Meadow Breeze, Lostwithiel, Cornwall. PL22 0BJ Phone: 01208 87 3665 /// Mob: 07798 74 8570
ORATION : BISHOP LEOFRIC COURT No. 58, 15th. August 2009  by W.& Em.Bro. George E.R. Gardner, Provincial Eminent Grand Prior of Wessex What an absolute delight it proves to be for me to welcome each and every one of you to this pleasant, attractive and ancient Township of Okehampton, situated as it is in the very heart of this interesting and truly lovely County of Devon. We are gathered together for the Consecration of this, the latest Court in the Province of Wessex. It is my considered opinion that many of you dear Brethren present today would be keen to know why, or for what reason, was the name of Bishop Leofric chosen as the title for the newest of the Courts, actually No: 58, in the Masonic Order of Athelstan, the first Court to be consecrated in the South Western Counties. To find the answer to that question, dear Brethren, we must travel together, you and me, hand in hand, down through the seemingly never-ending long passage of time, to the now, long extinct, Kingdom of Lotharingia.
Lotharingia   was   a   Kingdom   situated   upon,   and   covering   a   great   deal,   of   what   we   know   to-day   as   North   Western   Europe,   it was extensive as it stretched   over   much   of   France,   Northern   Italy,   the   Netherlands   and   the   Low   Country,   large   parts   of   Germany   and   as   far Eastwards as the Ural Mountains.   All   that   remains   of   it   today   is   that   part   known   as   Alsace   Lorraine.   It   was   to   that   ancient   Kingdom   of   Lotharingia that Leofric, a Briton of   Devonian   origin   born   quite   close   to   here   circa   1016 AD,   merely   50   years   before   William   the   Conqueror   had   subjected   our Britain to Normanic rule, went to study and train, at the age of 23, for a new life as a member of the Priesthood. Leofric   soon   met   up,   and   became   friendly   with,   in   1039 AD,   the   future   King   Edward   the   Confessor. And   it   was   just   two   short years later in 1041,   that   they   both   returned   together   to   England,   Edward   to   continue   his   duties   within   the   Royal   Household   and   Leofric, first as a Scribe to the Royal Court and then, not very long afterwards, to become the Secretary of the Lord Chancellor of England. Leofrics'   skills   and   attributes   were   worthy   of   note,   so   much   so,   that   a   mere   6   years   later   in   1047,   he   was   promoted   to become the Bishop of Devon   and   Cornwall,   the   Seat   of   which   Bishopric   was   nearby   to   here   in   Crediton.   In   the   year   1060,   the   warring   and   vicious attacking   raids   between   the   various   local   Tribes;   plus   the   invaders   from   Ireland   and   also   from   what   are   now   the   Scandinavian Countries,   made   this   part   of   Devon   a   dangerous   area   in   which   to   be   domiciled.   So   much   so   that   Leofric   moved   his   Bishopric   to   a   new base   at   Exeter.   Our   King Athelstan   had   built   a   Monastery   in   Exeter   round   about   the   year   928 AD;   in   addition,   with   its   walled   defences the town of Exeter was far easier to defend and withstand the attacks of the vicious marauders. And   so   it   was   that   in   the   newly   built   St.   Peters   Exeter   Cathedral,   the   monastery   itself   having   been   burnt   down,   that   with   the   King   of England   on   his   right   hand   and   that   most   noble   of   Queens,   Edith,   on   his   left,   Leofric   was   installed   and   enthroned   with   great   pomp   and splendour as the first Bishop of Exeter. Bishop   Leofric   had   a   Ministry   and   See   that   was   lacking   in   many   things,   the   number   of   poor   people   was   prolific,   the   countryside   around was   run   down   and   in   need   of   much   refurbishment   To   overcome   these   failings   was   of   prime   importance   to   Bishop   Leofric   and   he   strove long and hard to bring a better standard of life to all who lived within his See of Devon and Cornwall. He   increased   the   wealth   and   value   of   the   Exeter   Cathedral   Library   by   adding   many   notable   volumes   to   it's   collection,   evidence   of   this can   be   seen   today   in   the   Bodleian   Library   in   Oxford.   Another   cause   he   fought   courageously   for   was   to   bolster   the   riches   of   the Ministry's and its wealth considerably, for the benefit of all under his domain. From   what   I   have   related   to   you   up   this   point,   it   is   plain   for   all   to   see   that   both   our   King Athelstan,   the   first   King   of   all   England   and   the Bishop Leofric shared much in common. They   shared   the   desire   to   be   of   service   to   all   and   attempted   to   bring   cultural   effects   and   better   standards   of   living   to   the   many.   Bishop Leofric   from   whence   you   derive   the   name   of   your   Court   Number   58,   in   this   growing   and   such   a   vibrant   and   prominent   Province   of Wessex.   In   an   Order   and   in   a   Province   under   the   sublime   guidance   and   leadership   of   our   Grand   Master   and   his   Deputy   and   Assistant Grand   Masters,   one   of   whom,   Right   Worshipful   Brother   David   Buxton,   has   honoured   us   with   his   presence   at   this   Meeting   today,   also our   Provincial   Grand   Master,   the   Right   Worshipful   Brother,   Malcolm   J.   Burns.   All   of   those   distinguished   Brethren   that   I   have   just mentioned   have   a   tremendous   amount   in   common.   The   uppermost   aim   in   their   lives   being   to   further   the   interests   and   welfare   of   the multitude sheltering, and learning, beneath their mantle. Those   important   facets   are   still   such   a   commonly   held   element   of   those   worthy   persons.   Those   benign   Brothers   whose   names   I   have referred   to   in   the   previous   paragraph   and   whose   aims   and   ideals   are   tireless   as   they   continually   strive   for   the   betterment   of   their   fellow man.   Foremost   amongst   their   endeavours   being   the   sincere   wish   to   be   of   service   to   the   community   at   large. Another   is   the   desire   to   bring knowledge   and   learning   to   those   who   seek   advancement   in   those   attributes   so   necessary   for   all   of   us   in   this   rapidly   changing   way   of   life of   this   21st   Century. And   yet   another,   and   one   that   should,   and   I   am   certain   will   be,   the   personal   urges   within   breast   and   minds   of   each and    every    one    of    you;    that    is    to    learn    more    of    the    underlying    and    very    important    aspects    that    are    the    basis    of,    and    form    the unquestionable substance, of that certain and indefinable "je na sais quois" belonging to this Masonic Order of Athelstan. Our   fast   growing   Masonic   Order   of   Athelstan   whose   Court's   are   mushrooming   in   all   places   wherever   there   is   a   burning   desire   for knowledge, and furthermore, not just in Freemasonry, but likewise of humankind in its many and varied shapes and formats. The   growth   of   our   Order   in   both   the   Northern   and   Southern   Hemispheres   is   quite   remarkable   and   outstanding,   making   it   true   to   say   that Masonic   Order   of   Athelstan   of   which   many   of   you   have   today   become   valued   members,   is   an   Order   upon   which   the   Sun   never   sets. Being   as   it   is,   so   undoubtedly,   an   Order   that   offers   so   much   to   those   Brethren,   Freemasons   just   like   yourselves,   good   men   who   are   all eager   to   learn   and   to   advance   along   a   road   that   virtually   has   no   foreseeable   ending,   a   journey   that   I   would   like   to   remind   some   of   you   of, and also to inform the many who will not know, of the Christmas Radio Broadcast made by King George the VI to his nation in 1939. What   King   George   said   in   his   Broadcast   of   Christmas   greetings   way   back   in   those   dark   days   of   that   Christmas   70   years   ago   when   this Nation   had   become   embroiled   in   a   War   that   was   to   end   all   Wars.   A   conflict   was   to   cost   countless   millions   of   lives,   both   Service personnel   and   Civilians   alike,   men   and   women,   young   and   old,   a   conflict   that   virtually   embraced   all   of   the   lands   around   the   world.   We were   told   in   his   message   by   our   Monarch   the   words   that   had   been   penned   some   70   years   previous   to   that   Christmas   Day,   words   that were written as part of a Poem long ago, in 1907 to be exact, they were as follows: - "I   said   to   the   Man   at   the   Gate   of   the   year;   give   me   a   light   that   I   may   tread   safely   in   to   the   unknown. And   he   replied,   go   out   in   to   the darkness and put your hand in to the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way" As   you   depart   this   day   from   Okehampton   on   your   homewards   journey,   reflect   upon   those   words,   think   deeply   about   them,   because   you, my   very   dear   and   well   -   beloved   Brethren,   are   also   stepping   off   in   to   the   unknown,   but   there   is   a   huge   difference   between   those   citizens of   70   years   ago   and   your   good   selves.   The   most   important   difference   being   that   you   are   bolstered   and   nurtured   by,   and   truly   favoured   in having,   the   teachings   of   King   Athelstan   and   his   countless   followers.   Plus,   the   much   valued   and   appreciated   support   of   our   fine   and learned   Leaders   from   our   Grand   Master,   Most   Worshipful   Brother   Michael   H.   Roalfe,   downwards.   Likewise,   you   are   also   further blessed   with   the   faith   that   lies   within   your   staunch   breasts   and   those   teachings   and   beliefs   that   have   been   bestowed   and   entrusted   to   your safe keeping, for your future guidance, this very day. As   you   go   forth   from   this   beautiful,   serene   heart   of   Devon,   across   the   rolling   Moors   or   to   the   North,   or   the   South,   to   the   coastal   regions or   heading   north   eastwards   towards   the   larger   conurbations   in   Somerset   and   beyond,   do   travel   safely.   Think   about   all   that   has   happened since   you   left   the   comfort   of   your   fireside   to   be   a   part   of   what   has   transpired   here   in   Okehampton   on   this   14th   day   of August   2009. You are   now   active   members   of   an   idealism   that   has   many   aims   and   ideals,   some   of   them   you   have   learnt   about   today.   Others   of   those   fine precepts   will   soon   become   well   -   known   to   you   as   you   progress   in   rank   within   this   Order,   all   of   them   are   important,   all   are   attainable, and they will become your way of life as you adhere to those worthwhile precepts. Carry   your   Banner   high,   practice   what   you   preach,   care   for   each   other,   then   yours   will   be   the   earth   and   everything   that   is   in   it,   and   - what is more, you will be forever a valued member of the Masonic Order of Athelstan, my Brethren. May the Supreme Ruler of all humankind have you in his Holy Keeping until time with us all shall be no more.