University ties – supporting students in Cambridge


Simon Cooper talking to students at the Freshers FairSimon Cooper talking to students at the Freshers Fair

Representatives of several University of Cambridge college lodges, along with the Oxford & Cambridge University Lodge (O&C), Isaac Newton University Lodge (INUL) & Granta Lodge (Order of Women Freemasons- OWF) met at Bateman Street, Cambridge to discuss improving ties between University and College lodges, ways to support University of Cambridge students interested in Freemasonry and in helping the OWF in establishing a womens’ lodge for students at Cambridge. They also discussed the establishment of a Cambridge University society dedicated to Freemasonry.

The meeting followed a highly successful Freshers’ Fair in October where representatives from both United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE)and the Order of Women Freemasons, coordinated by WBro. Omaid Hiwaizi (O&C University Lodge) chatted to newly arrived students. Around 40 students signed up for more information, including14 for OWF.

WBro. Richard Field (Caius Lodge) observed “from our perspective, this was an excellent initiative, while not something we’ve done before it was great to improve the visibility of Freemasonry. It was fantastic to see so much genuine interest and engagement “

Many of those that had expressed an interest subsequently attended a walk out to Grantchester with several INUL brethren followed by a pub lunch later that week.

“We really wanted to maintain the engagement and give people the opportunity to meet and to find out more from other students, or recent graduates, who are lodge members. Several of those who attended the social have been among the most recent candidates for our lodge” reported WBro. Simon Cooper (INUL).

By establishing closer ties with the other college lodges and the Province of Cambridgeshire, brethren will be able to easily find a masonic home in Cambridge or London after their graduation, in line with the aims of the United Grand Lodge of England Universities Scheme. To this end members of the group – WBros Omaid Hiwaizi (O&C University Lodge), Simon Cooper (INUL), Peter Featherman (Lodge of Trinity) and Bro. Karen Ottewell (Granta) – met at Cambridge Masonic Hall. The UGLE members afterwards attended an INUL meeting, dining at Queens’ College along with WBro. Jonathan Price (Caius Lodge) and the Provincial Grand Membership Officer, WBro. Ed Williams.

Ed Williams, Simon Cooper, Jonathan Price, Peter Featherman and Omaid HiwaiziEd Williams, Simon Cooper, Jonathan Price, Peter Featherman and Omaid Hiwaizi

WBro. Williams added that “Promoting closer ties between all of our Lodges in the Province of Cambridgeshire is of vital importance to both attract new members and to look after our existing ones. To extend our ties further to the wider College Lodges will see the Province of Cambridgeshire continue to thrive. We look forward to cementing these bonds and developing meaningful relationships moving forward”.

Notes to Editors

About Cambridgeshire Freemasonry:
The Masonic Province of Cambridgeshire is relatively small, with Masonic Centres in Cambridge, Ely, Newmarket, March, Chatteris, Whittlesey and Wisbech. There are around 1500 Freemasons and 32 individual lodges. We pride ourselves on our friendliness and inclusivity, with members drawn from all walks of life and professional backgrounds. We welcome enquiries from anyone who is curious about our values and our history. More information is available on our website and enquiries should be directed to our Provincial Office in Cambridge via

United Grand Lodge of England
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest social and charitable organisations in the world. Its roots lie in the traditions of the medieval stonemasons who built our cathedrals and castles. For Freemasons, there are four important values that help define their path through life: Integrity, Friendship, Respect and Charity. In today’s world filled with uncertainty, these principles ring as true as they have at any point in the organisation’s history.

The United Grand Lodge of England Universities Scheme
Tradition and continuity are just two of the values that characterise the relationship between Freemasonry and universities. It was more than 200 years ago that the first university Lodge – Apollo University Lodge – was founded at Oxford in 1818. Isaac Newton University Lodge soon followed at Cambridge in 1861 and since then many thousands of young men have been introduced to Freemasonry through these two Lodges.
These foundations that led to the United Grand Lodge of England establishing the Universities Scheme in 2005 and introducing Freemasonry’s important values to a new generation. There are now 87 Lodges and seven Chapters pursuing a similar, yet distinct, course across England and Wales, where towns and cities have universities. All these Lodges welcome new members and those wishing to become Freemasons, who are undergraduates, postgraduates, senior members of the university and alumni, and any students from Further Education, ranging in age from 18 upwards.

The Order of Women Freemasons
The Order of Women Freemasons is the oldest and largest Masonic organisation for women in this country and works on the lines of regular male Freemasonry.
Women of any race or faith can join the Order and must be 21 years or older, be of good character and believe in a Supreme Being. Being formed in 1908 we have some 4,000 members grouped into over 300 Craft Lodges operating in the UK and overseas. Lodges meet a minimum of four times a year and between meetings they may organise fundraising events for local or national charities, plus informal social events.
Members come from all walks of life – accountants, nurses policewomen self employed, retirees, housewives, teachers, administrators … just to name a few.