Freemasonry first began to be practised in Leyland when Carnarvon Lodge No 2376 was consecrated on 12 December 1890 at the Infants’ School, Leyland. Now, all lodges within the group, with the exception of Old Huttonian Lodge (the lodge for ex-pupils of Hutton Grammar School) now meet at the new Masonic Hall, Wellington Park.
It is a fact that many eminent members of the public who figured prominently in the day to day events of the local area became members of the Craft. Undoubtedly the most famous and well known were Sir Thomas G Hesketh and Sir Thomas Hargreaves. At one time combined with those lodges meeting in Chorley the Leyland Group developed as a result of the great growth in Freemasonry in the area early in the 20th century and there are now 19 lodges altogether.
The majority of lodges meet once each month between September and June. Each lodge is presided over by a Master and two Wardens and has between 30 to 60 members. All lodges are connected by a regulatory body for the Province of West Lancashire which stretches from Liverpool in the south to Barrow-in-Furness in the north, bounded in the east by the A6. It is the largest Masonic Province in the world under the auspices of the United Grand Lodge of England.
There are many social occasions organised by the group and the 19 lodges within it, at which wives, families and friends enjoy meeting and creating life-long associations in informal surroundings.
In order to help enhance the social life of retired Masons and their wives, as well as Masonic widows, the Leyland Masonic Fellowship was formed in 1983. This fellowship boasts some 200 members and is probably the largest in the whole national Masonic Fellowship movement.
Freemasonry is not a benefit institution for its members or their dependants, but from its earliest days it has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. Its concern for the community as a whole, not just its own members, is expressed in charitable giving and by voluntary endeavour. An extensive list of non-Masonic charities, both local and national, which are supported by Freemasonry, is freely available.
The splendid Masonic Hall at Wellington Park which is both a purpose-built Masonic centre and a hotel venue of the highest quality for social events whether Masonic or not, provides employment for 100 local people and is a facility that can be shared by all the population of the area.