In 1909, five school Lodges, meeting in London, decided to form a standing committee and they adopted the title of Public School Lodge’s Council in 1936 and have now expanded to thirty five participating Lodges.
It was not until 1946 that fourteen other school Lodges, mainly not meeting in London, decided to set up a separate grouping to further the ethos held by Lodges formed to pursue the unique character of the member’s schools within their Lodges. They decided to call the organisation the Federation of School Lodges and now comprises over 170 Lodges across the country. Its present President is RW Bro Sir David Wootton DepGM.
The first Annual Festival was held in 1948 and, except for 2020 (the ‘COVID’ year), has held one ever since. Festivals have been hosted by Lodges from as far afield as Truro to Blackpool, from Cardiff to York. In 2022, it was held in Bradford and in 2023 at Southend.
Over recent years, with the increasing costs of travelling and accommodation, as well as the time demands on members generally, attendance to the Festivals has declined. As a result, the Standing Committee has appointed Area Representatives to encourage regional ‘Cluster’ meetings and further closer local links within Federation Lodges.
The Federation offers membership to Craft Lodges, Royal Arch Chapters and Mark Lodges that are closely connected with a school or other academic institution and are intended to further the masonic association of Old Boys, Masters, Tutors & Lecturers, Governors and others actively concerned in the management or supporting of those Schools or academic institutions or are supportive of a school or academic institution.
Within its rules and regulation, Rule 3 states that:
Subject to the Book of Constitutions of the United Grand Lodge of England, the object of the Federation shall be:
a) to promote the interests of Freemasonry amongst members of School Lodges.
b) to promote a closer fraternity among Brethren having similar interests.
c) to encourage Masonic contacts between members of School Lodges.
d) to encourage the formation of School Lodges.
e) to promote the study of matters relating to Freemasonry, including the usages and customs of the Craft.
Membership is not restricted but any Lodge is welcomed if it embraces the above objects.