The Blue Table – Attracting new members to Freemasonry

The last meeting of the Polytechnic Lodge No 2847 was another first in the history of our Lodge. Following on from the success of a White Table event held previously at the Old Charterhouse, the Lodge held its first Blue Table Festive Board immediately after its last regular meeting at Mark Masons’ Hall.

Some ten non-masonic friends of members, who were viewed as potential candidates, were invited to meet up at 5.00pm in the reception area of Mark Masons’ Hall and were quickly escorted to the bar via the impressive grand staircase.

The staircase, with its majestic and imposing paintings of Rulers from various Orders, quickly awakened the interest of our non-masonic guests. Reaching the top of the winding staircase they were warmly welcomed into the bar by members of the Lodge.

After an hour of getting to know our non-masonic guests in the bar, it was time for us to enjoy their company at dinner. We ate a most enjoyable carvery meal together. We were able to keep to some of our formalities with wine takings and some toasts. Our guests seemed equally happy and intrigued with the formalities we were able to share with them.

In addition, the Lodge had decided to host a visiting speaker at the Festive Board. At the end of our dinner, Professor Chris Booth, Clinical Director of the Men’s Health Charity CHAPS spoke to us about men’s health issues, especially prostate cancer. Professor Chris delivered his message in a very factful, jovial – and sometimes terrifying – manner, especially when he handed round some ‘props’ to reinforce his most serious message. Professor Chris’s speech was widely applauded by all those present.

Like many masonic Lodges, prostate cancer is no stranger to our members. W Bro Jim Fleming LGR had personal experience of the work of CHAPS and on behalf of the Lodge presented Professor Chris with a cheque for £500 as a donation to support this most important work.

Of the 10 non-masons present, three contacted the Lodge Secretary a few days after the dinner and asked for application forms for membership. A further three have expressed a serious interest in joining to their hosts and we warmly await their applications.

Because of this success, the Lodge is due to repeat the Blue Table Festive Board event after its regular meeting in February next year. Arrangements are in hand for Fr. Alan Walker, a retired Priest and Chaplain to the Polytechnic Institute, to speak to us regarding his long association with and research of the London Regent Street Polytechnic. Our daughter Lodges, who also originate from the Regent Street Polytechnic, are also most warmly invited to attend.

For more information on the Polytechnic Lodge, please visit our website at

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 52 August 2023 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 52 here.