Consecrated on the 29th January, 1938, the Lodge was traditionally comprised of officers of the National Provincial Bank of England, and later those of the National Westminster Bank. In 2003, it became a Founder Lodge of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London. In recent years, membership has diversified to include London-based professionals, outside the Bank, in financial and legal sectors.
Porta Episcopi is Latin for Bishop’s Gate, one of eight original gates of the city wall, supposedly named for St. Earconwald, who was the Bishop of London for nearly eighteen years in the late seventh century (A.D. 675-93). Earconwald remains a patron saint of London.
The Lodge’s connexion with the place is derived from the location of the Headquarters of the National Provincial Bank on Bishopsgate, at the thoroughfare’s junction with Threadneedle Street, the home of the Bank of England and the heart of the City of London’s financial district.
The name is not, as it might first appear, a grandiose exercise in Latinization: the gate was called Porta Episcopi in the Domesday Book, and it was only later Anglicized as Bishopsgate by the twelfth century. Given the age of the Lodge, its Founders, and present Members, have always referred to it according to the traditional English pronunciation of Latin; Episcopi should therefore rhyme with “beatify”, a process which, incidentally, was within the powers of a bishop until 1634.
The Lodge meets on Saturdays, four times per annum. Meetings are held in February, May, September, and December at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street. The Installation Meeting takes place in December.
Should you wish to visit the Lodge, when we are next receiving visitors, please contact the Secretary.