© 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. (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.