Welcome to the Stuart Lodge No. 540; the oldest Lodge of Freemasons in Bedford.
We are part of the oldest social and charitable organisations across the world. Our roots lie in the societies formed by the ancient stonemasons who built the magnificent structures across the UK. Castles, Cathedrals and many other mighty buildings which have stood the test of time and remain for our pleasure; and to provide a link to our past.
Much like those buildings, Freemasonry provides a link to the past whilst remaining as relevant today as it was so many years ago. As a society, there are many reasons why you might want to join. Companionship. Charity. Curiosity. As a society Freemasonry is founded on four important guiding principles. Integrity, Friendship, Respect and Charity. These principles guide all Freemasons in their path through life.
Membership of our Lodge is open to people of all backgrounds with the aim of making good men better. We strive to empower individuals through our stories, in enabling each of us to be the best that we can be. And to support each other in making a positive contribution throughout our lives to our families, friends, communities and each other.
As a whole Freemasonry is one of the largest charitable foundations in the UK and Globally. Each year the society donates millions of pounds to worthy causes. In 2018 this total was more than £48 Million covering areas from Freemasons in need, The Royal College of Surgeons and disaster relief in the UK and overseas. This is further supported by local contributions, with members of Stuart Lodge supporting charities which deal with Homelessness in the borough, supporting low-income families through food banks, and local hospitals and hospices for children and adults alike. The support is not always monetary, with no individual asked to contribute more than they can afford, or at all given their personal circumstances. The time which is provided by our members can provide much-needed guidance and help to all, in addition to time spent through volunteering and guidance to those who need it most.
Within our Lodge there are a great variety of backgrounds and professions. We count Business Owners, Civil Servants, Paramedics, Aircraft Engineers, Retirees and many others from all walks of life. All of us come together both formally during our meetings, and informally throughout the year as we hold curry nights, family BBQ’s and black-tie events to celebrate our friendship. And to thank our partners for letting us go out so often!
Should you wish to know more we would love to hear from you. There are a number of additional resources that you can research to look more deeply into us including a recent documentary series from Sky One entitled “Inside the Freemasons”. This series provides a view into Freemasonry at an unprecedented level of access and discusses a number of areas which provide an understanding into our society. There are also several references to the Province of Bedfordshire which I hope further spark interest. We can be reached via this website by filling out our contact form.
Thank you for taking the time to visit us, we hope you will find it answers any questions you have. If you have more, please take the time to contact us. If not and what you have seen is of interest, we look forward to speaking to you and hopefully welcoming you to our society in the future.
Banner of the Stuart Lodge, consecrated in November 1847.