Dare to be Different: St Nicholas Lodge No 1676

22nd December 2023

The Provincial Grand Master, R W Bro Ian Craigs, said at the Northumberland Provincial Annual meeting that: ‘St Nicholas Lodge 1676 has left its base in Corbridge Road and returned to Gosforth to meet in the Gosforth Hotel and branded itself as a Craft Real Ale Lodge. This Lodge has returned to its roots by meeting in a pub. Innovative certainly, which I strongly support, and we will see how it goes.

To date, the Lodge has had two meetings, both in formal dress. One well attended, one not so much. But change is not easy or undertaken lightly.  The Lodge decided as a Lodge that they wanted to continue to be a Lodge first and foremost.  To do this, they recognised the need to change.

The dress code for the Lodge is smart casual, similar perhaps to a Golf Club; of course, if anyone feels more comfortable in our regular dark suit attire, that is fine too.  However you feel most comfortable:

  • Shirt with collar, tucked in, no jacket required.
  • No Blue denim jeans
  • No trainers
  • Normal regalia

Meetings will be Masonic, though it may be that the Lodge has lectures after the meeting rather than during.  This would allow for non-masonic presenters and possibilities for Guests to attend after the meeting has concluded.  The Lodge will hold 6 regular meetings per year, but may request additional meetings on occasional Saturdays.

Festive board food is available via the Gosforth Hotel Menu, with a wide choice available to be ordered before the meeting starts.  The Lodge will organise regular socials, open to Masons, their friends and families, and they will be held at local breweries such as the Big Lam, Brinkburn, Flying Gang or Firebrick, to name a few.

The Lodge has developed a clear set of aims:

  1. To grow as a Lodge, to bring brothers forward to join old and new.
  2. To foster a strong sense of brotherhood among Masonic members with a shared interest in real (and craft ale) appreciation and brewing.
  3. To promote responsible consumption and appreciation of real (and craft ale), sponsoring culture of education and moderation within the Masonic community.
  4. To support local breweries and small businesses by promoting and showcasing their craft and real ale products at lodge events and gatherings.
  5. Organise regular real ale tasting events with the lodge, providing members and future members (guests) with the opportunity to sample a variety of locally sourced and speciality brews.
  6. Collaboration with other Masonic lodges and real ale-focused organisations to exchange ideas and best practices, further strengthening the bonds within the broader community.
  7. To promote Masonry and the benefits of the same

St Nicholas Lodge are daring to be different, and we would encourage you to visit and support the Lodge- one of the oldest in our Province – and help them on their journey to make their Lodge a success.  If you would like to be added to the Secretary’s Summons List, please email: trevor.mcbean@btinternet.com.