A masterful performance by Lincolnshire’s Mark Masons’ PGM Steve Hallberg and his team opened a window on ‘the friendly degree’ when they invited potential members to a meeting of the St Oswald’s Mark Lodge in Scunthorpe.
His presentation about the order, the only one in which members are paid, had been waiting in the wings since April 2020, having been halted by Covid restrictions.
Almost 30 visitors from a dozen lodges were amongst more than 80 Freemasons welcomed to the meeting. The Lodge was founded in 1888, and is part of the third-largest masonic order, with 22 Mark Lodges in Lincolnshire, meeting in all but three of our 21 centres.
Steve said: “The Mark order sits between Craft and the Royal Arch, and is an extension of the Second Degree. It tells, with drama, humour, and moral lessons, the story of the building of the temple completed in the Craft, and rediscovered in the Royal Arch.
“It’s not undeservedly called ‘the friendly degree’ and has much to offer. It enhances our knowledge of the Craft, provides valuable life lessons, and offers a greater appreciation of the Royal Arch. Ignoring it denies Freemasons the opportunity to experience what other Companion Orders have to offer.”
Mark Master Masons are given a coin when they join a Lodge, meaning they are ‘paid’ in a way which explains a phrase in the second degree of Craft Freemasonry, which talks of Fellow Crafts being paid ‘in specie’, which means ‘with coins’.
Steve added that unlike the Royal Arch, there was no compulsory waiting period after being raised to the Third Degree before an application could be made for Mark membership, and that joining presented no barriers about joining the Royal Arch.
The raffle on the evening raised £400, which will be given to the #Lincs2025 Festival.
Phil Spicksley is the Provincial Membership Officer for the Mark degree in Lincolnshire. He said: “To illustrate why we’re called ‘the friendly degree’, it’s said that no Mark Master Mason is properly dressed if he isn’t wearing a smile.”
Further information ia available at this link: markMMlLincs.org.uk