May 15, 2017, by Emma Rayner
Cancer scientist features in SKY documentary on Freemasonry
When he is not carrying out pioneering work in the University’s breast cancer research laboratory, Assistant Professor Andy Green is helping to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding the world’s largest fraternal organisation, the Freemasons.
He’s on a mission to help boost recruitment to this ancient and traditionally mysterious charitable men’s club on the University of Nottingham’s campuses and beyond. As part of this drive, Andy is featuring in the final episode of the Sky documentary series ‘Inside the Freemasons’ tonight at 8pm on Sky One.
The documentary coincides with the 300th anniversary of the Freemasons and was filmed over several months in 2016, including at the University within the Division of Cancer and Stem Cells. The series follows individual Freemasons who give an insight into the organization and argue for its relevance to modern society.
Andy became a Freemason 17 years ago at the age of 27 via a recommendation from a university friend. He is now Vice-Chairman of the Freemasons’ Universities Scheme, which encourages students to become Freemasons whilst at university. In Nottingham, the Universities Scheme Lodge is called Daybrook Lodge and meets at Freemasons’ Hall on Goldsmith Street, which welcomes new members from both universities in the city. In total the Universities Scheme has 75 lodges in university towns and cities across England, Wales, South Africa and the West Indies.
“It was a wonderful experience in being part of the filming for the documentary and I had cameras taking a snap shot of my life. The programme makers were very keen to see the kind of work I do and how Freemasonry plays its part day to day and spent a few hours in the department filming me.”
“Freemasonry has given me an enormous amount of pleasure” said Andy, “but more importantly it has given me confidence and skills that are transferred into the workplace. Without Freemasonry, which has given me the opportunity to practice public speaking and lead Masonic ceremonies, I don’t think I would have ever had the confidence to lecture to 250 students or to speak at a conference with over 500 attendees. Being a Freemason has also taught me to be much more compassionate and understanding which certainly helps with mentoring and advising students through difficulties that may arise during their studies.”
Andy continued: “Charity is a cornerstone of Freemasonry and being a member has also developed my desire to help others in need and have in the past few years raised over £3,000 by completing a 36-mile MoonWalk, the Great North Run and the University’s own Life Cycle 6 last year where I cycled 50 miles for breast cancer research.”
“I’m incredibly passionate and enthusiastic about Masonry and have relished the opportunity to be part of a unique TV documentary series helping to dispel the myths that have surrounded Freemasonry for many years. I also very much care about the future of Freemasonry and helping to ensure that generations to come, particularly university students, are able to enjoy it as much as I do.”
FACTS ABOUT FREEMASONRY
- Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations which is based on the principles of kindness, honesty, fairness, tolerance and integrity.
- Freemasons make a major contribution to society through their own charities, as well as donations to most UK charities and worldwide disaster relief funds, with members playing an active role in their communities.
- Freemasonry provides a unique environment for people from all backgrounds to learn skills, make lasting friendships, and achieve their potential.
- Freemasonry is more relevant and important to society today than ever, as it encompasses and embraces all the fundamental principles of good citizenship.
- In June 2017, Freemasons will be celebrating 300 years marking the formation of the first Grand Lodge of Freemasons in the world.
- On 24th June 1717 four London Lodges, which had already existed for some time, came together at the Goose and Gridiron Tavern in St Paul’s Churchyard and declared themselves the Grand Lodge of England.
- The United Grand Lodge of England has 200,000 members across England, Wales and overseas.
- The Province of Leicestershire and Rutland has just under 3,000 members and will be holding several events during 2017 to celebrate the Tercentenary of Grand Lodge alongside national events.