Posts Tagged ‘Swansea University’

Seven Candidates, Two Ceremonies, One Lodge Meeting…


Monday, 18th January 2016 saw the Passing of two candidates to the 2nd Degree and the Initiation of an impressive FIVE candidates into Freemasonry. The candidates were a mixture of local gentlemen, and students who approached the Lodge through the UGLE Universities Scheme. It would be tempting to describe such an occasion as unique but it is becoming increasingly commonplace for Singleton Lodge which has been regularly carrying out multiple ceremonies with multiple candidates since joining the Universities Scheme back in 2008. (more…)

University Scheme contact

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Freemason through the Universities Scheme, please complete the form below:


What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is the largest secular, fraternal and charitable organisation in the United Kingdom. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry.

What happens at a lodge meeting?
The meeting, which like those of other groups, are open only to members, is normally in two parts.

First, there are normal administrative procedures such as:

• Minutes of the previous meeting
• Proposing and balloting for new members
• Discussing and voting on the annual accounts
• Masonic news and correspondence
• News about charitable work

Second, there are the ceremonies for:

• Admitting new members
• The annual installation of the Master of the Lodge and his officers

Why do Freemasons take oaths?
New members make solemn promises concerning their behaviour both in the Lodge and in society. Members also promise to keep confidential the way they recognise each other when visiting another Lodge. Freemasons also promise to support others in time of need but only so far as it does not conflict with their family and public obligations.

Are Freemasons expected to give preference to fellow members?
Certainly not. This would be unacceptable and may lead to action being taken against those involved. On joining, each new member states that he expects no material gain from membership.

Who do the Masonic charities donate to?
Whilst there are Masonic charities that cater specifically, but not exclusively, for Masons or their dependants, others make significant grants to non-Masonic organisations.

What is Freemasonry’s relationship with religion?
All Freemasons are expected to have a religious belief, but Freemasonry does not seek to replace a Mason’s religion or provide a substitute for it. It deals in a man’s relationship with his fellow man not in a man’s relationship with his God.

Why do some churches not like Freemasonry?
There are elements within churches who misunderstand Freemasonry and its objectives. They confuse secular rituals with religious liturgy. There are many Masons in churches where their leaders have been openly critical of the organisation. Masonry has always actively encouraged its members to be active in their own religion.

Does Freemasonry accept Roman Catholics?
Yes. Four Grand Masters of English Freemasonry have been Roman Catholics. Today there are many Roman Catholic Freemasons.

What is Freemasonry’s relationship with politics?
Freemasonry, as a body, will never express a view on politics or state policy. The discussion of politics at Masonic meetings has always been prohibited.

Is Freemasonry an international order?
Freemasonry exists throughout the world. However, each Grand Lodge is sovereign and independent. There is no international governing body for Freemasonry.

Are there women Freemasons?
Yes. Whilst UGLE, following the example of medieval stonemasons, is, and has always been, restricted to men, women Freemasons have two separate Grand Lodges, which are restricted to women.

Why do you wear regalia?
Wearing regalia is historic and symbolic. Like a uniform, the regalia indicates the rank of the wearer in the organisation.

How many Freemasons are there?
Under the United Grand Lodge of England, there are over a quarter of a million Freemasons.

There are Grand Lodges in Ireland, which covers both Northern Ireland and Eire, and Scotland which have a combined total of approximately 150,000 members.

Worldwide, there are approximately six million Freemasons.

How many degrees are there in Freemasonry?
Basic Freemasonry consists of three degrees:

• Entered Apprentice
• Fellow Craft
• Master Mason

How much does it cost to be a Freemason?
It varies from Lodge to Lodge. Anyone wishing to join will find a Lodge to suit his pocket. There is an initiation fee on entry and in due course regalia will have to be bought. The meeting is normally followed by a dinner, the cost depending on the venue. There is, in addition, an annual subscription.

Members are invited to give to charity but this should always be within their means and it is entirely up to the individual how much they wish to contribute.

About Singleton Lodge

Singleton Lodge No. 8399, Swansea

Date of Warrant: 8th September 1971

Meeting at: Masonic Hall, St Helens Road, Swansea, SA1 4DF


  • 3rd Monday in September
  • 3rd Monday in November
  • 3rd Monday in January
  • 3rd Monday in March


  • 3rd Monday in September

As dispensation may not have been sought or given as yet, please note that meeting dates falling on Bank holidays or Sundays are subject to change. Contact the respective Lodge Secretary for further information.

Mother Lodge: 5378 Glantawe Lodge

The History of Singleton Lodge No. 8399

It was in 1971 that The Grand Lodge granted a warrant for the establishment of a new lodge in Swansea to serve the various academic establishments of the city. It had originally been suggested that it be called the “Colleges Lodge”. However, this was felt by those in authority to be rather similar to the name “Universities Lodge” which was already being used by a lodge in Cardiff. The university at Swansea is on a campus on the sea-shore built around Singleton Abbey, which at one time was the home of the Vivian family, the Lords Swansea, until they left the estate in 1919.

John Hussey Hamilton Vivian, the 4th Lord Swansea, had recently become the Provincial Grand Master (1966) in South Wales, and it seems that he expressed a wish that the new lodge should be named the “Singleton” Lodge, thereby combining references to the university and to his own family’s connection with the area. The Singleton Lodge No. 8399 was consecrated by Lord Swansea on Monday, 15th November 1971. After the ceremony, the Brethren attended a six-course banquet, complete with sherry, wines and coffee – at a cost of £3.50 per head! It seems that up to that time His Lordship had never set foot in his family’s ancestral home at Singleton, but our Worshipful Master was able to arrange for him to pay a visit there and to be shown around the old house. Lord Swansea found it a very interesting and nostalgic experience, but he expressed his great delight and relief that he was no longer responsible for the upkeep of that great roof!

After much discussion in the early days, the Lodge Committee decided upon a badge for the lodge, which was duly submitted to, and approved by, the Provincial authorities. It consisted of an oval shape, divided horizontally into two. The upper half has a light blue background on which is placed the usual square-and-compasses motif in gold. The lower half is taken from the arms of University College Swansea. It has a green background on which are shown a pick-axe and an anchor in saltire, together with a vertical sledge-hammer. These represent, coal-mining, the sea and the metal industries which historically are characteristic of the area. Over them is laid an open book. This is a charge often found on the arms of universities and, of course, symbolises learning. The motto which was adopted was “AD UNAM OMNES” which translates as “ONE FOR ALL”, a sentiment very appropriate for an organisation which promotes the idea of fraternity and unity.

At first, various items of the lodge furniture required for the ceremonies were borrowed from our Mother Lodge, the Glantawe Lodge No. 5378 – (that is to say, the lodge under whose sponsorship the petition for the formation of the new lodge had been prepared and presented). Officers’ collars were donated by the Brethren who served in the various offices of the new lodge during the first year. A beautiful set of gavels (which are used during the course of the ceremonies) made out of brass and mahogany, with inset masonic symbols had been made and presented to the lodge by one of our founder members.

In November 1973 the decision was taken to purchase a full set of the required items – this decision being spurred on by the imminent arrival of a new form of taxation, VAT, and the fear that a considerable price rise would ensue if matters were delayed! The lodge was thus now fully equipped, save for the fact that as yet we had no board on which to display the names of Past Masters and no lodge banner – both rather expensive items for a new small lodge to acquire. Fortunately, we were provided with a Masters’ Board in the late 1970s through the much appreciated generosity of two of our Brethren who were partners in a local firm of builders. They undertook the construction of the board at their own premises, and presented it to us.

The banner took rather longer. During the late 1970s earnest discussions took place as to the prospect of acquiring one, but nothing happened, banners being very expensive items. However in 1989 the lodge was extremely fortunate in being presented with a banner by the wife of one of our members – and moreover, a banner made and embroidered by her own fair hand. This was dedicated by the then Assistant Provincial Grand Master at a special meeting held on 30th October of that year. The banner now hangs above our Worshipful Master’s chair at every meeting, and we record once again our gratitude to the lady concerned for her generosity.

Over the years, in addition to our normal regular meetings, many social functions, such as Sunday lunches and Ladies’ Evenings, have been held at various venues. Popular features of lodge activities in the early days were the weekend hotel breaks taken at locations in west Wales, including Saundersfoot, St. David’s and Aberystwyth – although for various reasons no such trips have been organised in recent years. Perhaps the time has come for them to be revived? Christmas Parties have also been arranged for the children and grand-children of the Brethren – functions at which Father Christmas has never failed to put in an appearance! Other memorable events have been the Church Services held from time to time during the summer recesses.

Singleton Lodge is, as stated previously, a daughter Lodge of Glantawe No. 5379. They also have an elder daughter, The Old Goreans Lodge No. 7193, founded in 1952. The three Lodges have kept in close contact over the years, and a notable feature has been our annual ‘official’ visits to one another. As mentioned earlier, the original intention was that Singleton Lodge should be associated with the educational establishments of the city – although it should be stressed that it was never a “closed” or restricted Lodge in any formal way. Our early initiates reflected this academic connection but as time went by, experience showed that this early intention could no longer be fulfilled. Nowadays our members and initiates are drawn from all walks of life. However we have recently joined the ‘Universities Scheme’ launched by Grand Lodge and we hope once more to increase our recruitment from the academic community.

During the period of our existence three of our Brethren have achieved the distinction of having been Freemasons for fifty years and four of our founders are still subscribing members of the lodge. The lodge celebrated its first 25 years in 1996. We are hopeful for the future as we carry on into our second 25 years, and we trust that the golden jubilee celebration, when it comes, will find Singleton Lodge in good heart.


Universities Scheme

Tradition and continuity are two of the values which characterise the relationship between Freemasonry and universities. It was nearly 200 years ago that the first university Lodge, Apollo University Lodge, was founded at Oxford, with Isaac Newton University Lodge following soon afterwards at Cambridge. Since then many thousands of young men have been introduced to Freemasonry through these two Lodges, and they provided the inspiration for the Universities Scheme. This was set up at the beginning of 2005 with the objective: ‘To establish and/or enhance arrangements and opportunities for undergraduates and other university members to enjoy Freemasonry’.

There are now 29 other Lodges pursuing a similar, yet distinct, course. Their membership consists of undergraduates, postgraduates, senior members of the university and alumni, ranging in age from 18 upwards. All under-25s benefit from the recent decision by Grand Lodge to halve their dues in order to make Freemasonry as accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

Singleton Lodge No. 8399 is one of two University Lodges in Wales, the other being Universities Lodge, Cardiff No. 5461, Cardiff

The Scheme is headed by the Assistant Grand Master, David Williamson, who explains: “We know from these long-established university lodges that students – whether undergraduates or postgraduates – enjoy Freemasonry to the full. Through the Universities Scheme, we hope that university members from all over the country will be able to gain the same inspiration, fulfilment and enjoyment.”

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Freemason through the Universities Scheme, please contact us for further information or visit the United Grand Lodge of England’s University Scheme website.

Download the Singleton Lodge University Scheme leaflet here

Becoming a Mason

Are you thinking of becoming a Freemason?

Our fraternity has a wonderful history, which dates back more than three centuries. It is one of the world’s oldest secular fraternities, a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Founded on the three great principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, it aims to bring together men of goodwill, regardless of background and differences.

People might think that to become a Freemason is quite difficult. It’s actually straightforward.

The essential qualifications for admission is that you have a belief in a Supreme Being. It is usual for candidates to be “mature men of 21 years and over”, but through the Universities Scheme candidates from the age of 18 can be admitted.

If you live in Swansea or the South Wales area and are interested in finding out more about becoming a Freemason, or joining Singleton Lodge No. 8399 please contact us for further information.