The Province has completed its support for Hereford Cathedral’s refurbishment of the Booth Chapel with a final donation towards an altar and benches as a permanent memorial to our Past Provincial Grand Master, the late RW Bro The Rev’d David Bowen. The refurbishment is to mark the 700th anniversary of the canonisation of St Thomas Cantilupe, Bishop of Hereford from 1275 to 1282. This brings the total donation from the members of the Province to a total of £7,000.
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Holland, accompanied by his Deputy, VW Bro Graham King, the Provincial Grand Almoner, W Bro Malcolm Davies and the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, W Bro Nick Swan, visited the Cathedral to see the Chapel and to hear about the planned refurbishment from the Dean, the Very Rev’d Michael Tavinor. The Dean thanked the Freemasons of Herefordshire for the donation and their support of the refurbishment project, and spoke of the close and friendly relationship which has continued between the Cathedral and the Province for many years.
The Booth Chapel is above the North Porch. It is accessed through a door just inside the North entrance to the Cathedral, but we were let in ‘the difficult way’, through a door in the porch that not many people realise is a door, and up a narrow spiral staircase. We were assured that those attending services, which will be held regularly when the refurbishment is complete, will be allowed in the easier way!
The chapel is named after Bishop Charles Booth, Bishop of Hereford from 1516 to 1535, who built the porch and whose tomb is just on the left as you enter through the North Door.
The refurbishment is scheduled for completion by summer 2020, when the altar will be blessed by the new Bishop of Hereford, Richard Jackson, who will take up the post in March 2020.