Castle of Leicester Lodge is the assigned masonic Lodge for students, staff and and alumni of De Montfort University, within the Universities Scheme of the United Grand Lodge of England.
Tradition and continuity are two of the values which characterise the relationship between Freemasonry and universities. It was nearly 200 years ago that the first university Lodge, Apollo University Lodge, was founded at Oxford, with Isaac Newton University Lodge following soon afterwards at Cambridge.
Since then many thousands of young men have been introduced to Freemasonry through these two Lodges, and they provided the inspiration for the Universities Scheme.
This was set up at the beginning of 2005 with the objective: ‘To establish and/or enhance arrangements and opportunities for undergraduates and other university members to enjoy Freemasonry’.
There are now over 75 other Lodges pursuing a similar, yet distinct, course at universities across the country.
From Leicester to Leeds, London to Lincoln, nearly every major University now has a masonic lodge attached.
Their membership consists of undergraduates, postgraduates, senior members of the university and alumni, ranging in age from 18 upwards. All under-25s benefit from the recent decision by Grand Lodge to halve their dues in order to make Freemasonry as accessible to as wide an audience as possible.
The Scheme is headed by the Assistant Grand Master, Sir David Wootton, who states:
""It is a great privilege to be President of the Universities Scheme. I am delighted by the success we have achieved in our first ten years, and I am excited by the opportunities that are now opening up across England and Wales as a result."
We know from the long-established university lodges that students - whether undergraduates or postgraduates - enjoy freemasonry to the full. Through the Universities Scheme, we hope that university members from all over the country will be able to gain a similar sense of inspiration, fulfilment and enjoyment.
The spirit of the Universities Scheme was summed up by the Grand Master, HRH the Duke of Kent, who said at the 2010 Annual Investiture of Grand Lodge “A real benefit the Scheme confers is having young intelligent men joining us who will, we hope, contribute greatly to the future of the Craft, as potential leaders and sources of inspiration.”