“I wish I had joined the Mark Degree years ago!”
How many times have Mark Master Masons heard this expression? It is usually said by a seasoned Craft Mason, who decided to take his fourth regular step later in his masonic journey.
Here are some brethren who said just that and they explain just why!
Peter Low (Mark of Industry, Upminister)
“I joined Freemasonry in 1998 not really knowing what to expect, but since then, I have thrown myself in to any role that I have been asked to do, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every second of my journey so far.
There are a number of reasons why I really enjoy the Mark Degree, the main reasons being:
The familiarity of Craft Masonry and Royal Arch Masonry- everyone is a Craft Mason first and Mark develops the theme and starts to bridge the gap to the Royal Arch.
It gives some answers to questions not addressed in Craft (particularly when you are Installed as Master in the Craft) or the Royal Arch (think about what the Sojourners remove in the Ceremony) and, honestly, it has a relaxed (but still serious) approach and has enjoyable meetings that leave me looking forward to the next meeting, and of course, visiting other Lodges, it really is “The Friendly Degree”.
I have been fortunate enough to be appointed to Provincial Grand Steward and Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in both Craft Masonry and Royal Arch Masonry, and if you ever get the opportunity, I would strongly recommend you grasp it with both hands and maximise your journey.
I am currently the Deputy Provincial Communications Officer, the editor of the Provincial Team Brief Plus and I am part of the Essex Mason Editorial team, but with all the enjoyment this brings, I do have one regret, "I wish I had joined the Mark degree years ago!”
Dave Todd (Aurelius Lodge, Clacton)
“I joined Freemasonry in 2009 in Essex United Service Lodge in Harwich; my father was already a member and was Junior Deacon at my Initiation. In 2014 I became Master, and received Provincial Honours in 2015. I became a member of Essex Provincial Communication Team in 2014.
I subsequently moved my Masonry to Clacton and became a member of Colvin Lodge. It was there that I was asked why I hadn’t joined Mark before as my Father was a member of St. Nicholas in Harwich. I explained that it was due to my job as an HGV driver which took me away all week and it made regular attendance difficult.
I was then informed that Aurelius Lodge met on a Friday and “here’s a joining form!” I have never regretted filling the form in and I was Advanced in February 2018.
I can honestly say that since I have joined the Mark degree my outlook on Freemasonry has changed for the better. I have found everybody in the Degree to be incredibly welcoming and extremely friendly; I am currently secretary of Aurelius Lodge and progressing towards the chair in the Royal Ark Mariner.
I would highly recommend joining the Mark Degree as soon as possible and don’t put it off. I wish I had joined the “Friendly Degree" when my Father first approached me!”
Terence Brown (Naze Tower Lodge, Frinton)
I was first introduced to Freemasonry in London and, sadly, I can say I don’t recall Mark Masonry ever being mentioned during my 35 years as a London Mason.
I decided to join to support my brothers at the Frinton & Walton Masonic Association. The Naze Tower Lodge of Mark Master Masons was, at the time, low on numbers. All the members expressed how enjoyable the Degree is and assured me I would I would also find it so.
There I found that my friends and members of my Essex Craft Lodge, Frituna No.2949, who had encouraged me to join, were right. I found the Ceremony more relaxed than Craft, and the workings most interesting. I shall, most certainly, recommend any person I meet in Masonry to consider becoming a Mark member. I only wish I had been encouraged earlier!”
Master Masons of Essex, don't be the next ones who say "I wish I had joined the Mark Degree years ago! If this entry and our website have interested you in Mark Masonry, please contact the Provincial Secretary, W.Bro. Paul Busby, who will be pleased to speak to you further and provide you contact details for Mark Lodges that meet in your area.