Camden Place Lodge No. 3402

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Freemasons in the Province of West Kent

Camden Place is not only the home of Chislehurst Golf Club, for 119 years it has also been the home of Camden Place Lodge which was consecrated on Monday 27th June 1904 by the then Provincial Grand Master Earl Amhurst in the dining room at Camden Place where the Lodge still meets.

Today Camden Place is one of 180 Lodges in West Kent but it is unique in that for over 100 years we have met in the same building save for two meetings in 1944 after the building was damaged by enemy action and also unfortunately during the recent pandemic where our activities were restricted due to Government legislation.

The Lodge was originally formed for the benefit of members of the club, of our first 22 members, most were golfers including the then Captain, his immediate predecessor, and successor. Our original by-laws provided that 50% of our members should come from the club. This ruling has been relaxed over the years but we are still keen to bolster our ranks among club members, not least to strengthen our team in the annual golf match against the club each July. Many of our members have taken on the role of Club Captain and we have also had many members involved in various club committees, some of whom also became directors of the club and included from 1904 -1912, a certain Mr. William Willett of daylight saving and British summertime fame.

Freemasonry is a fraternal, secular, charitable society, open to all men who have a belief in a Supreme Being. However, the discussion of religion and politics, which can so often cause division is strictly prohibited in our meetings.

You may have seen the dining room being prepared for our meetings and you may have noticed the black and white chequered carpet laid out, this is to remind us of our joys and sorrows, the light and the dark of our chequered existence on Earth.

We meet 4 times a year in October, December, February, and March. This would normally be on a Thursday. We would usually commence proceedings at !7:00 in order to complete the business of the Lodge which would then give us sufficient time to look forward to dining at around 19:30, we also enjoy social events such as Ladies’ nights, supper evenings, and various other social get-togethers.

A typical Masonic meeting consists of a business element such as minutes, accounts, proposals for charity, and reports on absent members together with a ceremony of ritual. This takes the form of a play during which a candidate becomes a Freemason and starts on the great journey of self-discovery that lies at the heart of Freemasonry.

Today our 40+ members make up a small part of the Province of West Kent. There are around 4000+ members overall in the Province, which is roughly the area of Kentish Men, to the West of the Medway, however, we are proud that Camden Place is regarded as one of the most eminent Lodges in the Province, as indeed our much-loved club is so highly regarded in our local area. 

If you would like to know more about what we do or indeed if you’re interested in joining us please feel free to contact our Lodge Secretary, Bob Gaywood 3042sec@gmail.com or me, Lodge Membership Officer Vince Lethbridge at 07958 592877 or vince.awg@google mail.com.