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Find out about the freemasons
VISITORS to an attraction featuring the mysterious freemasons will not need a secret handshake to gain access, as the organisation aims to banish the secretive reputation.
Worcester Freemasons hopes to show it is a force for good when it takes part in National Heritage Weekend next Saturday and Sunday, September 14 and 15.
Visitors will be shown around the lodge rooms at Rainbow Hill and also the prestigious museum, which contains a treasury of Masonic artefacts, some dating back hundreds of years.
Deputy curator Bob James said the open days were part of a drive by freemasons to erase the image of it being a secret, mysterious organisation riddled with plots and sub-plots and generally being up to no good.
Mr James said: “It’s all nonsensical but I suppose we brought it on ourselves by going underground during the Second World War to protect ourselves from the Nazis – and failing to lift the veil afterwards.”
The aims and objectives, as well as the objects, of freemasonry will be explained to visitors who will be shown around the lodge, where Masons meet regularly to go through a ritual which has changed little for over 300 years.
John Tapson, the museum’s curator, said: “We also want to emphasise that we are a force for good and are the country’s second biggest charity outside the National Lottery.
“We are very much part of the community and support many worthy such as Macmillan Nurses, the Midlands Air Ambulance and the Acorns Children’s Hospice.
“We have a particular link with Worcester Cathedral with financial support going back 160 years.
“At present we are sponsoring an apprentice stonemason at the cathedral to the tune of £50,000.
“We look forward to giving visitors a warm welcome and hope that afterwards they will see us in a different – and truer light.”
The Masonic Hall will be open between 10am and 4pm on both days. For more information, visit worcspgl.org.uk.
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