The Founding of the Felpham Lodge
Felpham Lodge can trace its ancestry back through its Mother Lodge, the Gordon Lodge, to the Lodge of Union that was formed in 1828 with the consolidation of the two previous warranted Lodges, ‘Friendship’ and ‘Harmony and St Rocques Hill’ and continuation of the latter named Antients Lodge. But the Lodge of Union takes its true commencement from one of those Lodges, the Lodge of Harmony formed in 1812 (there have actually been Lodges in Chichester since 1724). The Lodge of Union celebrated its bi-centenary in April 2012 at an impressive ceremony at Goodwood House.
The founding of a new Lodge needs careful thought and the realisation that the work would influence the lives of Brethren yet unborn. It is a heavy responsibility, but our Founders were experienced Freemasons who had confidence that they were building for an age when Time with them should be no more.
The Gordon Lodge No. 1726 was asked to sponsor the new Lodge because many of the Founders were prominent in it.
On the 5th April 1933, W.Bro. A. Marshall moved that the Gordon Lodge approve the Petition for the new Lodge which was to be named the Felpham Lodge. W.Bro. F.B.J. Stephens, the Master of the Gordon Lodge, seconded the proposal which was wholeheartedly approved. The name Felpham was chosen as many of the Founders lived in that village, as it then was. The Lodge was consecrated by the R.W.Prov. Grand Master, Major R. Lawrence Thornton, CBE, DL, P.G.D., on Friday June 2nd 1933 at St John’s Parochial Rooms, that were located in London Road, Bognor Regis.
There were 22 Founders, three of whom had sons who became Past Masters of the Lodge, thus demonstrating the continuity for which they had hoped.
On the 24th May 1934 a Banner was purchased, the principal feature of which is the depiction of St Mary’s Church, Felpham. The Banner was subsequently unveiled by the R.W. Prov. Grand Master and dedicated by the Prov. Grand Chaplain, the Rev. Canon Godfrey Bell, at a Masonic service held at Aldwick Parish Church on Sunday 27th May 1934. It was carried in a public procession by three sons of a Founder, all Lewises, with the Founders arrayed in bowler hats and full regalia.
The Felpham Lodge celebrated its 80th anniversary at the regular meeting held on the 13th May 2013, during which the Lodge was presented with a new Working Tools box to mark the occasion.
The Lodge continues to thrive with a strong and supportive membership currently numbering around 48 Brethren and a very active Lodge of Instruction.