Fidelity Lodge 6487

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Our History

                                     A SHORT HISTORY OF FIDELITY LODGE

Formation of the Lodge

Documentation prior to the Consecration of the Lodge has not come to light. Our sponsoring, or Mother, Lodge was Ockenden Lodge No. 1465. At that time Ockenden was a lodge for professional men and anecdotal evidence has it that Fidelity was founded as a lodge for non-professionals. It was intended to be an affordable lodge to bring Freemasonry within the grasp of the ordinary man. It is reliably reported that one reaction to the foundation of Fidelity was “My God!, they’ve formed a working man’s lodge.” It can only be a source of gratification that the exclusivity of half a century ago has virtually disappeared.

It is to be hoped that documents outlining the aims of the Lodge and the Petition eventually presented to the Provincial Grand Lodge will be found. These should shed light on the events leading up to the formation of Fidelity Lodge.

Name and Crest

Fidelity is a word inextricably associated with Freemasonry and there are no less than 20 Fidelity Lodges listed in the United Grand Lodge of England. Why the Founders chose the name for this Lodge is unclear but it is unique among Mid Sussex lodges, all others being named after places or persons associated with Mid Sussex.

The origin of the crest has not been discovered. We continue to seek an extant account of the symbolism of this evocative crest. It cannot be denied that it is entirely appropriate to the area, depicting as it does the railway viaduct over the River Ouse. Fidelity was formed as a Haywards Heath lodge. Haywards Heath owes its current prominence in the area to the coming of the railway when a station was built there, following the refusal of Cuckfield to allow a station to be built on the new
London to Brighton line. Various theories on the symbolism of the crest have been propounded but there appears to be no solid contemporary evidence to support any.

The Consecration

June 9th, 1947 saw the consecration of the Lodge at the Masonic Temple in Queen’s Road, Brighton. In the days of continuing austerity following World War II this must surely have been a joyous occasion.

Meeting Places

Originally Fidelity Lodge met at the Hayworthe Hotel in Haywards Heath but has lead a somewhat nomadic existence over the years. Meeting places have been:

                        13.10.47 - 14.11.66   Hayworthe Hotel, Haywards Heath with one meeting held at the Tiger in Lindfield on
                                                               8th- February 1960 whilst building work was undertaken at the Hayworthe.

    09.01.67 - 25.03.68   Ockley Lodge Hotel, Keymer.
        23.09.68 - 29.11.71 
 Elfinsward Diocesan Conference House, Haywards Heath.
        24.01.72 - 28.03.77   Masonic Temple, Uckfield.
                        26.09.77 - 23.11.82   Mid Sussex Masonic Premises, Ockley Lodge, Hassocks.
        25.01.82 - present     Masonic Temple, Uckfield.

Of these venues only the Masonic Temple continues as it was. The Hayworthe Hotel has been converted into an office block, Elfinsward was demolished to make way for the local police HQ and Ockley Lodge disappeared under the bulldozers in a housing development.

As a shareholder in the permanent Masonic roof now over our heads in Uckfield, our wandering days are finally over.


Freemasonry, above all, is a charitable organisation. Traditionally it does not shout about its charitable achievements from the house-tops but the charitable works of Fidelity Lodge should not be forgotten.

Our charity is not restricted to Masonic causes. Many local charities benefit directly from Fidelity. For instance

                                St Catherine’s Hospice

                                St Peter and St James Hospice 
Princess Royal Hospital League of Friends
                                Sussex Air Ambulance

This continues a pattern of many years, something in which the Lodge takes pride.

Founded in the austere, though optimistic, immediate post-War years, the Lodge has flourished to mirror the development of our country. As in the happiest of families we have had the occasional problem but eventually these have been resolved amicably and the family strengthened.

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