The Head of East Kent Freemasons, Provincial Grand Master Geoffrey Dearing, recently visited Canterbury Cathedral to present a substantial donation. Handing the cheque to The Dean of Canterbury, Geoffrey said: “It was a pleasure to give the money on behalf of the Freemasons of Kent, Surrey and Sussex, as part of the 300-year celebration of Freemasonry”.
The money was raised from an appeal from Freemasons in the South-East of England which ended on 31st December 2016. Its aim was to help with the cost of repairs to the North-West Transept Tower. The restoration work included new Pinnacles, a roof and a spiral stone staircase. Click here to read more about this appeal.
The Dean of Canterbury, The Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis, replied by saying: “We were very grateful for the donation, and it was wonderful on this sunny afternoon, to stand in front of some of the completed restoration work, showing how beautiful the Cathedral will look once restoration is complete”.
Canterbury Cathedral is currently undergoing the largest restoration project in its history. The origins of the Cathedral date back to 597AD when St Augustine arrived on the coast of Kent as a missionary to England. St Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury. Fire destroyed the Cathedral in 1067, a year after the Norman Conquest. Rebuilding began in 1070 under the first Norman Archbishop, Lanfranc.
Freemasons also provide bursaries to support the training of Apprentice Stonemasons in the Cathedral’s restoration department.
Earlier in the year, The Duke of Kent along with 1500 Freemasons and their families from Kent, Surrey and Sussex packed the Cathedral. At the service, The Dean paid tribute to the long association between the Cathedral and Freemasonry which extended back well over 100 years. Click here to read more about this Service.
Report and photos: Phil Heath