Tilley takes the tiller

Over 100 members and guests of Antient Briton Lodge No 1675 filled the magnificent Corinthian Temple at Liverpool Masonic Hall for the installation into the WM’s chair of Stephen Tilley. He was initiated into the lodge in 2005 and has served in all of the progressive offices. Stephen is also a keen supporter of Royal Arch Freemasonry and is a member of Abercromby Chapter No 3699, where he holds the office of principal sojourner.

Stephen Tilley (left) is congratulated by Roy Cowley.

Stephen Tilley (left) is congratulated by Roy Cowley.

Stephen hails from Preston and he is a strong family man. Married to Susan they have five children. With a busy career as a self-employed heating and ventilation engineer, as well as a large family to take care of, Stephen shows real commitment to the Craft and Royal Arch. and can look forward to a busy year in office at the tiller of this flagship lodge.

Not only is Antient Briton Lodge one of the biggest lodges in membership in the Liverpool Group, they were also honoured on this occasion with the presence of Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. The installation ceremony got under way with the entrance into the lodge room of the Provincial Grand Master who was escorted by a magnificent procession of Grand Officers and his acting Provincial officers. He was accompanied by Assistant Provincial Grand Master Mark Dimelow and Liverpool Group Chairman Sam Robinson.

Tony Harrison (left) congratulates Stephen Tilley.

Tony Harrison (left) congratulates Stephen Tilley.

Amongst the grand officers in the procession were Paul Shepherd, Alan Bamber, John Wilcock and Roy Ashley. The acting Provincial officers included Provincial Senior Grand Warden Peter Pemberton, Provincial Junior Grand Warden Martin Lockyer, Provincial Grand Sword Bearer Robert Paterson and Provincial Assistant Grand Sword Bearer Bernard Moran, Provincial Grand Charity Steward Glynn Wrennall and Provincial Grand Stewards Stephen Foster and Ken Wilson. Their entrance was heralded by Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Keith Kemp who was assisted throughout by Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Robert Wright.

Master elect Stephen Tilley was presented by his proposer John Roberts and by Roy Ashley. Having assented to the antient charges which were duly read by secretary Alex Halford, Stephen was brought before installing master Roy Cowley who duly obligated and installed him in a most dignified and sincere manner. Roy was assisted by DC John Roberts and acting ADC Andrew Beddeson.

Pictured from left to right are: Mark Dimelow, Roy Cowley, Tony Harrison and Stephen Tilley.

Pictured from left to right are: Mark Dimelow, Roy Cowley, Tony Harrison and Stephen Tilley.

The explanations of the working tools of the third, second and first degrees were rendered by lodge members Paul Doran, Patrick Smith and Andrew Beddeson respectively. The peerless explanation of the second degree tools by Patrick Smith was rewarded with spontaneous applause from the assembly. Flawless addresses were given to the new master by Roy Cowley, to the wardens by Peter Pemberton and to the brethren of Antient Briton Lodge by Tony Harrison.

At the conclusion, Tony Harrison rose and congratulated Stephen Tilley on his accession and also installing master Roy Cowley on his conduct of the ceremony. Tony gave his best wishes to all of the assembled brethren. In response, Stephen presented him with a number of cheques which were donations to charity from the brethren of Antient Briton Lodge. The beneficiaries are; Liverpool Masonic Hall in the sum of £350, West Lancashire Freemason’s Charity in the sum of £100 and Woodlands Hospice in the sum of £100. Tony thanked the lodge on behalf of all who will benefit.

The procedure complete, Tony Harrison and his entourage processed out of the lodge room in a most colourful and dignified manner. The brethren then adjourned to a well-earned festive board.

Tony Harrison and Stephen Tilley (centre), with grand and acting Provincial grand officers.

Tony Harrison and Stephen Tilley (centre), with grand and acting Provincial grand officers.