Jersey Freemasons anniversary church service request rejected

Jersey Lodge in St Helier
Image caption The Freemason lodge in Jersey marked 200 years on the island in 2012

Freemasons in Jersey have had their request to host a 300th anniversary service at Town Church rejected.

Next year Freemasons will celebrate the founding of the first lodge in 1717 with services set to take place in major religious buildings worldwide.

Reverend Chris Jervis said granting the request would have been "problematic" due to an "inconsistency between Christianity and freemasonry".

Jersey provincial grand master Ken Rondel, said he was disappointed.

Next year more than 20 cathedrals will host services across England to mark the event

Mr Rondel said: "I wrote to the Dean of Jersey, The Very Reverend Bob Key in 2013 and he deliberated over it and responded saying he didn't think it would be appropriate.

Image caption Freemasons around the world will celebrate 300 years in 2017

"The only reason he gave was that he didn't feel his church wardens would accept us attending."

Mr Jervis said it was due to the purpose of the building and he was "standing firm on this one".

"Within the context of the building, which is set aside for Christian Worship, it would be problematic to have something that is multi-faith," he said.

"I know of others and I accept that but I can't tie that up. Yes they are disappointed, good and honourable people, that is not the issue."

Former grand master, David Rosser, said they had applied to use other churches but needed a space suitable for more than 300 people.

He said: "We could hold it anywhere, even in the town hall, but I don't expect it would give us the same verve I'm expecting a church will give us."

The Catholic and Methodist churches also rejected requests to host services.

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