Dedication of furnishings for the Booth Chapel, Hereford Cathedral
A special service was held at Hereford Cathedral on Friday 2nd October to dedicate some new furnishings for the Booth Chapel above the north porch, following its recent refurbishment. Herefordshire Freemasons with donations from other Provinces and Orders supported the Cathedral in this refurbishment, by providing an altar and two benches in memory of our late Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, The Rev’d David Bowen
The Cathedral had chosen the Booth Chapel as a refurbishment project to celebrate the 700th Anniversary of the Canonisation of St Thomas Cantilupe. Our present Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Holland, saw an opportunity to provide a permanent memorial for David, in a setting which meant so much to him. For many years a parish priest in the Diocese of Hereford, David had done a great deal during his tenure as PGM to maintain and develop the excellent relations we enjoy with the Cathedral.
The proceedings began with a socially-distanced Eucharist service in the body of the Cathedral, followed by a service of dedication in the chapel itself. As the chapel is small only six were able to climb the narrow winding staircase in the north porch for the dedication, including the Bishop, The Rt Rev Richard Jackson and the Dean, The Very Revd Michael Tavinor. The Province was represented by the Provincial Grand Master and W Bro Mike Hopkins, who had worked very closely with David as his Provincial Grand Secretary throughout David’s period as PGM. Also present in the chapel were David’s two daughters, Naomi and Caroline. David’s widow Jill and son Daniel were present for the Eucharist, along with W Bro Mark Bennett, representing David’s Lodge, Vitruvian, and the Provincial Grand Almoner, W Bro Malcolm Davies.
It was unfortunate that because of the current restrictions not more people were able to be present, but it was a very special occasion for David’s family and for all of us. We now have a small but permanent spot in the Cathedral dedicated to our former PGM’s memory, which we hope many of us will be able to visit once circumstances allow.