Grand Lodge of England – Junior Section
The junior movement of the Grand Lodge of England is made up of lodges with children in membership up to the age of 17. Each junior lodge is attached to a Private Adult Lodge, from whom a Junior Superintendent is elected annually.
Currently we have lodges operating in each of the Provinces of the GLOE, and in many towns and cities around the country such as London, Liverpool, Bootle, Birkenhead, Corby, Manchester, Blackpool, Ash, Newcastle, and Plymouth. We also have juniors resident in many other parts of the country such as Sheffield, Leeds, Doncaster, York, Preston, Stafford, and across the border into Wales.
The Grand Lodge Junior Committee is led by The Grand Junior Superintendent of Juniors, currently Bro Steve Kingston HDGM, who represents the juniors interests at Grand Lodge Sessions, and works closely with the leaders of the junior movements in both the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland, and further a field at the Imperial Council Sessions with representatives of the junior sections from Grand Lodges around the world.
The aim of all those who work in the junior movement is to teach our children to be better citizens, to appreciate and support our Protestant Faith and Culture, and to encourage our children to progress into the adult lodges to serve the Institution in the years ahead.
The activities available to our juniors are wide and varied and a brief overview is given below.
An important side to our work with the junior membership is to teach the children the importance of the Christian message of helping and caring for others. As part of this effort, for many years charity appeals have been organised by the Grand Lodge Junior Committee and supported by the children in many varied ways.
Some of the charities we have supported in recent years include,
Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice
Riding for the Disabled
North East Air Ambulance Service
Craniofacial Parent Support
Aged Person’s Homes
Family Support Centres
As an institution based upon Christian beliefs, and Protestant ethics, we are careful to teach the children about the truths contained within the Holy Bible, and religious content forms an important part in our regular lodge meetings, where Prayers, Bible Readings, and Bible Stories, all encourage the children to learn about the Christian way of life.
We also hold regular Scripture Examinations, for children aged 7 and above, where the children are asked to study a portion of scripture, and asked a series of questions, to test their recall and understanding of the message contained in the passage.
The top twelve children from this competition go forward to represent the Grand Lodge of England against their counterparts from the Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland.
For the younger children a drawing / painting competition is held along similar lines.
Lecture and Vows Competition
One of the most important events of the year is the Lecture and Vows competition where each lodge is invited to enter a team.The children are tested upon the regular lessons of history and faith they have been taught at their lodge meetings.
General Knowledge Quiz
A general knowledge quiz is held annually, with all lodges around the country having the opportunity to take part, the quiz takes the form of a number of sections including topical, historical and religious questions, picture quizzes, and puzzles.
Social and Sporting Events
The junior movement is keen to provide a range of activities to entertain the children.
Annual Swimming Gala
Each year a swimming gala is held for children of all ages and abilities, and children from lodges around the country, travel to take part, in this popular event, medals are awarded to the winners of all races, but no one takes part without receiving some recognition as we truly believe taking part is the most important thing, and it is good to see the children supporting each other in the many races.
It’s a Knock-Out
A popular event introduced in recent years in our annual It’s a Knock-Out competition where juniors are placed in teams based upon colours rather than with their friends from their own lodges, and within minutes form a bond, which sees them cheering and supporting their team-mates as they enjoy the races and events in the competition, the inflatable obstacle course being one of the favourites.
Carnival and Fun-day
For many years the juniors have taken part in our annual carnival, where the younger children take part in a fancy dress parade, through the streets, and prizes are awarded for the best fancy dress outfits, for both the children and adults who take part.
Also on the day various other activities are organised including a fashion show, where the juniors show off their parade outfits, a superstars competition, where the children are set a number of challenges for which they receive points to reach an eventual winner, and a number of bouncy castles are provided for those who just wish to have fun.
We are keen to teach the children of our heritage, and trips are organised for small supervised groups to visit lodges in other parts of the country, and to discuss topics which are of interest to the children and to both teach them about important events from history and also to gain their views about the path the institution should take in the future.
A party of juniors travel to Carrickfergus in Ulster to take part in the annual civic pageant to celebrate the landing of William in the town over three hundred years ago. The re-enactment of Williams landing at the quay, and the sight of ranks of ‘soldiers’ in period costume, brings to life, for the children the stories which before this they may have only read or been told about. It also teaches them that they are part of something of historical importance that should be carried on by them in the future.
Every three years a major event takes place where children from each of the home jurisdictions travel to a three day conference, hosted at a suitable adventure camp. The first camp was held on the outskirts of Edinburgh in 2006, in 2009 the second conference took place at Crawfordsburn Scout camp in Ulster. In 2012 the event was hosted by GLOE at a Scout Camp in Lancashire.
The children, take part in a wide range of activities including Archery, Orienteering, climbing and canoeing. A theme is also chosen by the hosts and the juniors complete and present a project on the chosen subject.
A traditional and probably the most recognised aspect of our activities is our annual parading programme, our junior members take part in several parades each year, several taking the form of church parades to take part in specially designed services to both entertain and inform our juniors and most importantly to give praise to our Lord and saviour.
Other parades are held to celebrate or commemorate significant events or dates, the most well known being our 12th July Celebrations, to celebrate William’s victory at the Boyne, in 1690.
Our juniors also take part in parades to celebrate Commonwealth Day, and one of the most important events in the calendar Reformation Sunday.
One feature of our junior parades (particularly) in Merseyside, is the tradition of each lodge having their own ‘King William and Queen Mary’ on parade in full period dress. Many of our juniors are also members of ‘Orange’ bands, and are taught to play a wide range of musical instruments, including, Flutes, Accordion’s, Concertina’s, Bagpipes, and Drums.
The junior committees hopes to provide a wide range of activities which hopefully both inform and entertain our children, and encourage their development into responsible adults with a sense of belonging to a cause with a glorious past and a bright future.
enquiries or further information can be obtained from
The Grand Junior Superintendent
c/o Liverpool Provincial Headquarters