Are you worthy to receive your Mark?
You will have some knowledge of King Solomon's Temple, but have you considered how it was built and by whom? What of the problems that arose during its construction? Who carried out the Quality Assurance? How these questions are answered is the ceremony of advancement to the Degree of Mark Master Mason.
The Mark Degree is one of encouragement and the Ritual is built on a single verse from Psalm 118 - "The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner". It deals with the building of King Solomon's Temple and the various craftsmen employed. But its real message is one of contemplation of human strengths and weaknesses.
The degree contains many lessons for the discerning mason and illustrates that the wisest of men can be mistaken: that experts are often wrong: that the weakest often display perseverance better than the strongest: and, that we all have a part to play in the building of life. It is for each to put his own interpretation on the message that the degree proclaims, but there is a clear encouragement that no man is beyond redemption and that the possibility of distinction is always within our power.
The Mark Degree can be traced back to the 16th century, and according to some sources, in the 18th century completed a Mason's progress, there being no Master Mason’s Degree as we now know it. Today, the prerequisite for advancement is that a candidate has attained the rank of Master Mason in the Craft.
Perhaps surprising to Master Masons from the Craft, is the fact that a Mark Mason will be involved in Mark ritual at an early stage. He can pass through the offices in a Mark Lodge and even to the Master’s Chair before becoming Worshipful Master in the Craft. In Scotland, Ireland, the United States of America and parts of Europe, Mark Masonry is a part of either the Craft or Royal Arch. In England and Wales, other parts of Europe and the Antipodean countries, Mark Masonry is a sovereign degree in its own right.
The Mark Mason's Charity is the Mark Fund of Benevolence. It was formed in 1868, is affectionately referred to as the MBF, and is genuinely close to a Mark Mason's heart. It works in parallel with the Grand Charity, and prides itself on its speed of response. The majority of its funds are for the benefit of distressed Mark Masons and their dependents, but like all good charities, it keeps a small separate element for other Masonic and non-Masonic purposes.
In 1994 every Mark Lodge was invited to nominate a Hospice. The Mark Fund of Benevolence then sent a cheque for £1000 to each Lodge for members to present to the Hospice of their choice, a total sum of £1.5 million. In 2000 the Mark Fund of Benevolence agreed to provide each division of the St. John Ambulance Brigade with a new 'state of the art' ambulance, costing approximately £40,000 each, a total amount of £2 million. The Durham ambulance was handed over in August 2000 in a ceremony at Auckland Castle. In 2003 £2,000,000 was distributed to hospitals specializing in the early detection and treatment of Prostate Cancer. More recently money has been made available for research into and support for those with Osteoporosis. Current activity is centred on a project to support the charity ”Hope for Tomorrow” with a £2.6m grant to provide ten mobile chemotherapy units at a cost of £260.000 each which will culminate in the Sesqui-Centenary of the fund in 2018.
Durham became a Keystone Province in 2002 and in 2003 all the Mark Lodges received their Grand Patrons’ collarettes from the Mark Fund of Benevolence. Within the Mark Province of Durham there are 43 Mark Lodges with a membership of 1,700. Separate from the Grand Mark Fund of Benevolence, the Province of Durham has its own Mark Benevolent Fund. It administers funds donated by both Mark and Royal Ark Mariner Lodges, it is able to respond quickly to any case of a Brother in distress pending the arrangement of more permanent assistance as well as supporting appropriate local charities and an increasing number of brethren are wearing the collar and jewel of a patron of the Mark Fund of Benevolence following substantial personal donations.
The Durham Fund is a registered Charity and at the last balance sheet date, 31st December 2013, total funds were £53,000.
DO YOU WANT TO INCREASE YOUR LODGE MEMBERSHIP - Yes of Course
The Durham Lodge of Installed Mark Masters No. 1492
Is Here to Help
We Invite Mark Master Mason Lodges to request a presentation of
“THE FOURTH STEP TO THE MARK”
An open recruitment evening presented by
Workmen from the DLIMM Quarries.
All enquiries to be directed to the Provincial Grand Secretary:
W.Bro. Trevor Lynn
Tel: 01388 766 288 email; email@example.com
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