Change of Provincial Scribe E

The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent announced this week the retirement of Patrick Haxell as Provincial Scribe E.  He would like to publicly record his thanks to E.Comp. Patrick. With high pressure jobs like this it is never easy to know what is involved until you actually do the job. Patrick has recognised it is not for him and he retires with all our thanks and best wishes.

With immediate effect the new Provincial Scribe E is E.Comp. Tony Beaumont, a member of Taunton Deane Chapter and Scribe E of Somerset First Principals’ Chapter. Tony takes on the new official email address for the Provincial Scribe E which is and this is the address which should be used for all official Chapter business.

Latest Information

March 17th – Tony Harvey Presentation “The Narrative and Symbolic Links between Craft, Mark and Royal Arch” 

March 16th  – Ray Beckingham Presentation “The Priests” 

21st May 2021 – Provincial Annual Convocation, Postponed, new date is  Friday 22nd October 2021

22nd December 2021 – Proposed date set for Annual Carol Service at Wells Cathedral

4th to 6th February 2022 – The Provincial Chapter Weekend at Bideford has been booked, make a note in your diary.

New Provincial Stewards’ Badges

stewardbadgeSince 2008 the Provincial Grand Stewards appointed in the Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset have on their appointment been presented with a Lapel Pin. It is hoped that this Lapel Pin would be a permanent reminder to all Companions that the wearer had held the very important office of Provincial Grand Steward. Several Senior Officers within Provincial Grand Chapter wear their Stewards Lapel Pin with pride.

The supply of Lapel Pins that we had have now all been used up and due to the fact that they were of a Triangular Shade the enamel on some have cracked. It was therefore decided to re-design these Lapel Pins and by using a circular shape it gives them more strength. Attached is the new design and all of those Lapel Pins that have been previously presented to Provincial Grand Stewards will be replaced during the next few months’.

Vale of Jehoshaphat Chapter Charity Steward hard at work

Bro. Tony Saunter, Tynte Lodge, Bridgwater and Vale of Jehoshaphat Chapter Burnham-on-Sea, held a summer evening barbeque in his garden in July in aid of 3 charities. Lots of hard work by all the family ensured the success of this day. Tony, who works in the butchery trade was able to obtain the meat at a reasonable price! After the food the guests were entertained by a live group. The evening realised the grand total of £1,700 which will be divided equally between, St Margaret’s Hospice, Children’s Hospice SW and the Princes Trust Bridgwater. Thank you the Saunters for all your hard work, a job well done.

Here are the family ready for action.

St Luke’s Chapter do a Double

This year, St Luke’s Chapter in Bath, have been conferred the honour of having the Especial Convocation –
celebrating two hundred and fifty years of autonomous Royal Arch Masonry in Somerset – held under their banner on March 18th. This means that we will be holding a very brief opening and closing and moving on to the celebratory meal which has been organised by our Provincial Third Principal, E Comp Ray Beckingham, at the Bath Hilton. The down side means that we will have to forego a meeting and unusually we have had two candidates to Exalt.

The obvious answer was to carry out a double Exaltation which took place on Wednesday February 18th. The candidates were independently invited into the Chapter to be questioned and Obligated and then joined forces with the Principal Sojourner for the remainder of the ceremony. This was the first time in the history of the Chapter that a double ceremony had taken place and the workings were carried out most precisely by our Principals, Z Malcolm Brown, H (and Malcolm’s Father in Law) David George and J Phil Mattingley, who was particularly fluent with his ritual. The two candidates, Tim Baker and Peter Swain clearly enjoyed the experience and we wish them many happy years as Royal Arch Masons.

In the picture we see, left to right E Comp David George, Comp Tim Baker, E Comp Malcolm Brown, Comp Peter Swain, E Comp Phil Mattingley and E Comp Ian Cox DC.

50 Year Certificate in Royal Sussex

Victor John Henry Oliver was Exalted into Royal Sussex Chapter on the 16th April 1962. He had been made 1st Principal of the Chapter in 1975. In 1978 he was appointed Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. From 1988 to 2004 he served as the Chapter’s Treasurer also from 1998 to 2008 he covered the post of Almoner. Province promoted him to Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 1990. In 2006 he had served another year as Treasurer. Mervyn Small and I visited him to present his 50 year certificate as is shown in this picture.

Royal Cyrus have a talk on Masonic Words

At the Chapter’s January meeting the esteemed Director of Ceremonies E Comp Paul Davis, accompanied by E Comp Martin Honour, gave a talk on the origins and meaning of the words and phrases used in the Royal Arch Ceremonies. Those attending were all totally enthralled, and learnt so much about the ceremonies we have used for so long without really understanding the full meaning of the “words” etc., used. If any of the Chapters in Somerset are short of a Ceremony or would like to do something different, invite E Comp Paul & E Comp Martin to come and give this talk [lecture], they won’t regret it.

The opportunity was taken of capturing pictures of both the Principals (this picture also appears on the Chapter page) and the Chapter Officers.

Parrett & Axe Chapter No.814 Donations

The Charity Steward of the Parrett & Axe Chapter No.814, who meet at Crewkerne, identified that they had accumulated monies in the Charity account and the Companions decided that they would like to support the Somerset Levels appeal, the Royal College of Surgeons Provincial Chapter appeal and the Musgrove hospital Beacon Cancer Centre. This year Somerset is hosting the 2014 Masonic Annual Charity Event (MACE)

This event is being supported by Nineteen Provinces, from as far afield as Lancashire and Cornwall which will take part in this prestigious bowls competition. Each year the home province nominate a charity and Somerset have chosen the ‘Beacon Cancer Centre’ at Taunton and so it was agreed that 814 would make their donation through this appeal.

Musgrove Park Hospital’s Beacon Centre opened for patients in May 2009. It means that approximately 1200 cancer patients each year will no longer need to travel the long distance to Bristol for their radiotherapy treatment.

The Centre has:
· 3 linear accelerators (machines that deliver radiotherapy treatment)
· a CT simulator (funded by SURE)
· an 14 bed inpatient ward
· a 22 chair/bed day unit delivering chemotherapy and other supportive treatments
· outpatient and complementary therapy facilities
· Café area.

It has made Musgrove Park Hospital, run by Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, a centre of excellence in the delivery of cancer treatments for the people of Somerset.

Until the opening of the Beacon Centre local patients had to travel to Bristol for their radiotherapy and some chemotherapy treatments. This is a return a journey of up to 150 miles for some patients. Radiotherapy is often given on a daily basis for several weeks. These donations will assist them to further equip and improve the equipment within the Centre.

At the Annual Convocation of Somerset Royal Arch the Companions seen presenting the cheque for £500 are the Scribe E, E Comp David Wakely, the First Principal, E Comp Chris Weatherill, the Second Principal, E Comp Norman Sumpter, along with E Comp, Ian Pamplin and E Comp Ivor Pettitt.

Quadripartite Gathering at Inkerman Chapter

Monday 27th January saw Companions from Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire & Isle of Wight, as well as Somerset, heading for Weston-super-Mare, not to get to the beach but to gather at Inkerman Chapter’s meeting. The Provincial Teams from each of these Chapters were gathering for a social evening and were all going to sit back and watch the Chapter Officers perform an Exaltation.

At the appointed hour the Chapter Principals entered the Temple, opened the Chapter and dealt with the initial business. This completed the presence of the Provincial DC outside the door was reported. He was received into the Temple and announced that the Grand Superintendent of Somerset was without and demanded admission. He was accompanied by two other Grand Superintendents and a number of other Provincial Principals. They were warmly received and E Comp John Bennett accepted the Sceptre and took the Chair for a short while. He thanked the Chapter for hosting this quadripartite gathering and after explaining a few other matters had the Chapter MEZ returned to the Chair. Everyone then settled down for the Exaltation of Bro Paul McAdams.

The picture shows at the front E Comps Paul Gould H, Ian Pickett MEZ and Alan Perks J. Behind them are the three Grand Superintendents, E Comps David Blanchard – Wiltshire, John Bennett – Somerset and Derek Mayes – Dorset. Unfortunately the MEGS of Hampshire & the Isle of Wight’s transport overshot and he ended up in Florida. His loss I’m afraid.

Devon & Somersert Farmer’s Chapter

If you ever need to experience the Royal Arch at it’s best you need to make a visit to the Devon & Somerset Farmer’s Chapter that meets at Uffculme in Devon and at the last Convocation of the Chapter the evening was guaranteed to be well supported as the Exaltee on that evening was no less that the son of our Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra. Many Companions had travelled from Somerset to witness the Ceremony including the Grand Superintendent of Somerset, E Comp D. John Bennett.

Alan Holton was in buoyant mood and the Ceremony was carried out in an exemplary matter but in typical Farmers Fashion by the Officers of the Chapter and E Comp Alan Holton was asked to assist with the Mystical Lecture.

Following the Ceremony all the Companions were treated to a wonderful Festive Board and certainly up to the standard for which Uffculme is well known.