The Lodge of Hope and Charity No. 377

The Master and his Wardens

MEET THE  Hope & Charity TEAM


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New challenge for Andrew.

 There were times in the past when Staff Sgt. Andrew Hinton would use the utmost concentration when disposing of landmines. Nowadays,  WBro Andrew applies that same intense dedication in learning Masonic ritual. OK, error is of no great consequence, but our new Worshipful Master is a man who sets himself very high standards.

 “ I don’t find learning ritual easy,” he says, “but I like to get it right. Some brothers find it easy but I don’t so I have to work harder at it and so far, I hope, so good!”

 He was in the Army for six years and, as a bomb disposal expert he was called on to carry out one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. In fact, although he had left the Army, he was one of 200 men who answered a request for volunteers to clear up after the 1991-2 Gulf War

 Now, his Army days behind him, as a Chartered health and safety professional, he follows more gentle pursuits working for a large housing association.

 His grandfather was a Mason and Andrew was attracted to the Craft by the promise of cameraderie similar to the friendships he enjoyed in the Army. He was Initiated into Hope & Charity in 2012 and is the first of the newish members to reach the Master’s chair.

 He has embraced Masonry and has joined other Orders, including Royal Arch, Mark, Royal Ark Mariners, and Rose Croix.

 He lived his early life in Southampton and an Army posting brought him to the Midlands.

 Of his new responsibilities, he says: “It’s a challenge but it’s a great honour to be Master of this wonderful ancient lodge and I will always do my best,” he pledged.”

THE SENIOR WARDEN : W.Bro Allan Bretherton :

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 A high flier - and a diver!

 For 20 years Allan Bretherton, our Senior Warden, lived a hectic life setting up factories all over the Middle and Far East. As Head of Business for a large engineering company he worked in such diverse places as India, South Korea, Pakistan, Indonesia, and China.

 “Flying became a way of life for me,” he says. “In my best (or worst) year, I had 30 days at 30,000ft and only 34 days at home.”

 The jet-set craziness came to an abrupt end in 2003 when Allan had two heart attacks which led to a triple heart by-pass and he now lives a less pressurised retired life in rural Worcestershire.

 Despite the demands of his job in those heady days, he also found time to  indulge a great passion for - wait or it – scuba diving!

 “I learned it during my time in Singapore,” said Allan, “and after many years reached the highest qualification of British Sub Aqua Club: National Instructor. Less than 200 divers in the world  have this qualification. I also served as Vice Chairman of the BSAC from 2000 to 2004.

 “I have dived all round the world and have been fortunate enough to run diving courses and instructor courses for the Joint Services and pseudo military organisations in Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA and, of course, the UK.”

 He brought an extensive Masonic knowledge with him when he joined Hope & Charity in 2016. He was initiated by his father into an East Lancashire lodge in 1976. Both Wardens were uncles so, as he says, “it was quite a family affair!”

 Having arrived in Worcestershire, he joined Chaddesley Corbett Lodge in 2011, and has been Master of it twice. He joined Hope & Charity because, he says, “you can’t get too much of a good thing.”

 Pursuing that line of thought, he is also MEZ in Royal Arch and 1st General in Rose Croix.

 He married Maria in 1973 and they have a son who lives in Aberdeen and works for Siemens, and a daughter, Simone, who lives in Twickenham with her husband Martyn and three children. She works as Group Marketing Director for an American cosmetics multinational. Martyn is Welsh and, says Allan, “we have been known to have the odd disagreement over rugby. He thinks the Welsh can play!”


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Bro Mike Lewis :

Masonic career : with a 20-year gap.

Mike Lewis’s Masonic record is unusual to say the least. Having been a member of Hope & Charity Lodge for 13 years and reaching the office of Junior Warden, business commitments and health problems led him reluctantly to resign. That was in 1989 and now, after a 20-year gap, he is back and once again in the chair he left all those years ago!

“I missed the friendships I made in Hope & Charity,” he said, “and am delighted to be back in the lodge and taking up where I left off. At 74 I’m not finding it easy to learn ritual; it won’t stick like it used to, but I’ll do my very best.

There was more masonic joy for Mike when at our April meeting, his son, Mark, was Initiated into the lodge and dad presented the Working Tools.

“I felt very proud and very emotional and it was an occasion I will never forget,” said Mike.

The finer points of engineering have always been Mike’s strength and for many years as a one-man business based in Hartlebury he specialised in adding modifications to Land Rovers.

Now, in retirement, he uses his engineering skills to indulge his hobby of restoring miniature trains. “I buy faulty stuff on e-Bay and mend it,” he said. “I’ve got a shedful of Hornby products to work on.”

He takes train lay-outs to children’s homes and anywhere else where youngsters can enjoy playing with the models.