Group Chairman



Christopher C.G. Blackwell

Chris was initiated into Cuerden Lodge No 6018, meeting at the old Masonic Hall in Towngate, Leyland in November 1970.

After steady progress through the offices of the lodge he became Worshipful Master in October 1982.

He was the lodge’s Charity Steward for 1982 and 1983, relinquishing that office to embark on a part-time Master of Arts degree at Lancaster University which he successfully completed in 1988.

Whilst holding the office of Assistant Director of Ceremonies in Cuerden, Chris received his first appointment to Provincial Grand Lodge as Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon in May 1993.  As the ADC he helped with the celebrations of the Lodge’s Golden Jubilee in December 1994 and wrote the commemorative volume of the history of the lodge from its origins in 1943 to that date.

From 1995 to 2001 Chris held to office of Director of Ceremonies, receiving promotion in Provincial Grand Lodge to the rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in October 2000.

In the Craft Chris has been a member of Setantia Lodge of Installed Masters No 7755 since 1983 and of Phoenix Lodge of Installed Masters No 9206 since 2011.

Interest in the Supreme Order of Holy Royal Arch has figured prominently in Chris’s masonic life since his exaltation into Cuerden Chapter No 6018 in Preston in March 1977, his late father EComp James Allenby Blackwell conducting the ceremony.  He became First Principal in September 1993. 

A first appointment to Provincial Grand Steward in the Provincial Grand Chapter came in 1997 when he was able to enjoy his first experience of holding an acting rank at that level.  Promotion to the rank of Past Provincial Principal Grand Sojourner followed in May 2001.   Concurrently, Chris held the office of Scribe E in both Cuerden and its sister chapter, Withy No 7733, for several years having been the founding Assistant Scribe E of the latter in 1993.

In 2008 he was appointed to his second acting rank in Provincial Grand Chapter, that of Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah, having already been promoted to Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah the previous year.  The year he spent travelling around the Province from Ulverston, to Urmston, to Liverpool and all points in between, proved to be a wonderful experience and has left Chris with many, many enduring and happy memories.

Chris is a member of the Provincial Grand Stewards’ Chapter of West Lancashire No 8516 and Setantia Chapter of Installed First Principals No 7755 as well as maintaining his enthusiastic interest in the now amalgamated, Cuerden with Withy Chapter No 7733 in Leyland.

In 2013, Chris was appointed to the rank of Past Grand Standard Bearer in Supreme Grand Chapter and had the pleasure of being invested by the First Grand Principal, EComp HRH The Duke of Kent, in London.

In 2011, appointment to Group Office in Leyland ensued and Chris became the Vice-Chairman to WBro Stewart Seddon, following appointment to that office by the RWProv Grand Master Bro Peter Hosker.  This has been followed on Stewart’s promotion to Assistant Provincial Grand Master by Chris’s appointment to the post of the Group Chairman at Blackpool in May 2016.  Chris looks forward to meeting the challenges of position positively and cheerfully, ably supported and assisted by the strong team of his fellow Group Officers.  He was promoted and invested to the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden on the same occasion.

Chris’s other masonic interests include membership of other orders:  he is a Past Sovereign of Bellisama Chapter Rose Croix No 405, and Past Preceptor of Prince of Peace Preceptory of Knights Templar No.97, which both meet in Preston.  He is also the secretary of Preston Masonic Study Circle.

Retired from the world of secondary education, Chris lives with his wife, Jane and Jane’s two children, Hannah a trainee accountant and James, a trainee investment analyst.  His eldest son, Simon, is married to Becky, a nurse, and with their daughter Millie they live in Buckshaw.  Simon  is a secondary school teacher working in Blackpool.  Richard, his younger son, is married to Becca, also a nurse, and they live in Whittle le Woods with their two sons, Rupert and Ralph.  Richard is a pharmacist based in Manchester.

Away from freemasonry, Chris enjoys British and international history, fly-fishing, watching league cricket (himself a former player in the leagues) at Fulwood and Broughton CC and non-league football at Bamber Bridge FC; and with Jane (a keen tennis player) their house, gardens, country walking and reading.