Brough Church: Masons' Marks

At the Parish Church of St Michael at Brough, Cumbria, many stones bear upon them a mason’s mark. This is a stylised motif or symbol carved onto a stone by which the particular mason could be identified. If the church was built by the one, he may be leaving his professional signature, much like an artist might expect to sign her work. If a church was built by several masons or companies of mason, they might have wanted to determine who was responsible for which bits of wall. Few of these marks allow us to trace a builder’s name or residence, but it is still a genuine communication from the past to the present.

So many of St Michael’s blocks are ‘signed’ that the masons here clearly wished the world to know the part they played in the structure’s erection. Assuming their motives were proper and not borne from excessive competition or pride, these marks may inspire us. What we do for the Lord, what we do in His church, what we do in secret for His glory, He marks and notes that one day He shall recompense. Our service to Him should be anonymous and discreet, but only to humans; what we do for Him and His glory is well marked in heaven.

...knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:24

...and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. Matthew 6:4