My Name is Bro Matthew Wainwright, I had taken an interest into freemasonry for some considerable amount of time. But was unaware of any Masons I knew to talk to. How little did I know I had been around them most of my life.
My wife Hayley and myself volunteered at Scropton RDA horse riding stables, where we became friends with Mrs June Wright, who had known my wife from a child. Through June I met her son, Worshipful Brother Steven Wright, who I personally thank for starting me on my journey to becoming a Freemason. I was invited to meet WB Steven at his mother lodge Fons Vitae 8744 in the province of Derbyshire. After this meeting I was in no doubt freemasonry was indeed for me.
After further talks it came to that I knew Worshipful Brothers Ian Cunningham, Peter Featherby and Ted Harrison. From St Werburga lodge 4147, now my mother lodge I am proud to say. On advice from all the brothers, and some enjoyable meetings with the brethren at St Werburga function evenings, I knew I had made a good decision. However, I stayed close to my new brother in Fons Vitae. The story does not end there, my close friend and my neighbor for many a year WB Andrew Fletcher from Mentor lodge 7064, then got to hear about my upcoming initiation and got involved with supporting me and made my initiation special by attending and enjoying the evenings events.
Yes, you guessed it it’s not over yet, I am a keen clay pigeon shooter and shoot with a group of friends in Staffordshire. Yes, would you believe it many of them are freemasons in the province of Staffordshire. After many a talk over coffee and a bacon butty at the shooting ground, and many introductions to my Derbyshire Masonic friends. I have to say I had never felt as cared for and part of something before in my whole life.
Although I am close to all my Staffordshire Brethren. I need to mention Worshipful Brother David Watt of Foresters lodge 456, for a very moving reply to the visitor’s toast and bringing my daughter Felicity a Masonic teddy bear, as she had been in Hospital following the crash. Also, Bro Steven Watts of St Bartholomew lodge 696. They have been exceptionally supportive and attended my initiation for the province of Staffordshire and as my close personal friends. As well as collecting me and making sure I got home safe. As myself and my daughter have recently been involved in a serious road traffic accident. During a dark stage of my life I have been shown the light. My proposer worshipful Brother Ian Cunningham was very supportive after my accident spending hours on the telephone helping me work through things. So, to see WB Ian in the chair in front of me as I entered into the light was a very fitting moment, and to see and feel all my friends around me. To have my charge delivered by my seconder Worshipful Brother Peter Featherby in a heartfelt performance further added to the occasion.
The replies to the toasts were very moving and as was the whole ceremony, I would like to thank all the Brethren who made my night so special and to every Brother who took part in the ceremony and looked after me in the temple. It will stay with me for the rest of my life, as a treasured memory.
“We meet upon the level, and we part upon the square”
Sincerely & Fraternally
Bro Matthew Wainwright St Werburga 4147.