Royal Cumberland pledge to Square Meals Appeal

There follows a letter sent out to all members of Royal Cumberland Chapter, can your Chapter do similarly? What a great act of charity.

I trust you are all keeping well physically and continuing to exercise your minds with the Grand Superintendent’s weekly quiz. Some of the questions are even more taxing than Royal Cumberland Ritual.

There can be no doubt that these circumstances in which we all find ourselves may correctly be defined as an emergency. Whilst I doubt Supreme Grand Chapter had the coronavirus in mind when compiling draft bylaws. E.Comp. David Medlock, MEZ of Royal Cumberland Chapter No.41, recently agreed to release £500 from the Chapter’s charity fund as our first pledge towards the Square Meals Appeal being organised at Bath Masonic Hall. He did so using the authority contained in our Bylaws governing emergency expenditure and requested that I appraise you of the action taken in the hope that it may encourage others to act even when we are unable to meet together in our Chapters.

Once we are back to normal, in whatever guise that may be, the decision will be formally reported to the Companions of our Chapter to ensure compliance with our Bylaws.

Jeff Penfold

Scribe E

Royal Cumberland Chapter No.41

Please let me know if your Chapter or any member of your Chapter has been doing anything interesting during this lockdown, so we can include on the website – send to:

Royal Cumberland No. 41, October Meeting

At the Royal Cumberland No. 41 Chapter meeting held on Tuesday the 15th of October, we undertook an Exaltation ceremony where Companion Paul Russell, a Master Mason of St Alphege Lodge No 4095 was exalted into the Holy Royal Arch. The four Companions in the photograph are Ex Comp David Hogg (H) Ex Comp Roger Karn (Acting Z) Comp Paul Russell and Ex Comp Malcolm Toogood (J).

Royal Cumberland RAC No.41 – April 2018 Convocation

Provincial Grand Principals with the Chapter Principals

Our well attended April meeting was an auspicious occasion when following the opening of the convocation, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset, E. Comp. D. John Bennett, accompanied by the Deputy Grand Superintendent, the Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals, and a number of other Officers of the Province were admitted.

E. Comp. Frank Silver (centre) with the Principals of both Royal Cumberland and the Province

Having been warmly welcomed, the MEGS assumed the chair of Z to conduct the main business of the evening, to dedicate the Chapters new Sceptres, which was carried out magnificently to a ceremonial never before seen, and which left a lasting impression in the minds of many companions present. The Sceptres were made and donated by E. Comp. Frank Silver.

Comp. Bob Cole receiving his “lifetime” achievement certificate from the MEGS

He was also able to take the opportunity to present a “lifetime” achievement certificate to Companion Bob Cole to commemorate his 50-years as a Royal Arch Mason.

MEGS D. John Bennett receiving commemorative glassware from E. Comp. Roger Karn (Z)

The MEZ of Royal Cumberland Chapter E.Comp Roger Karn graciously thanked the MEGS for the magnificent manner in which he had conducted the ceremonial, and presented to him, on this his final official visit to the Chapter, a piece of commemorative glassware, not only for him to reflect on his evening with the members of Royal Cumberland but also for the unstinting contribution he has made to Royal Arch Chapters in Somerset during his time as Grand Superintendent for the Province of Somerset.

Comp. Tony Gay receiving his Royal Arch Chapter Certificate from E. Comp. Chris Moore Prov.G.DC

E. Comp. Chris Moore, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, concluded an impressive meeting by explaining and presenting the Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate to Companion Tony Gay, our newest member.

The Chapter being closed, the Companions retired to a festive board where the atmosphere was full of brotherly love, harmony, and concord, concluding with the appropriate toasts.


Royal Cumberland RAC No.41 – March 2018 Convocation

The Principals – E Comps J. Penfold (H), R. Karn (Z), D. Hogg (J) with Sarah Williams-Martin

At our regular Convocation in March this year, the Companions received a talk entitled “Dementia, building a Dementia Friendly Bath and North East Somerset”, given by Sarah Williams-Martin from the Bath and North East Somerset Dementia Action Alliance. This charity was selected as deserving of our support last year when E Comp R. T. Cooper was First Principal of the Chapter and who arranged this evenings visit and talk.

After being warmly welcomed by our present First Principal, E Comp R. Karn, our guest enlightened us on facts surrounding Dementia, the purpose of  the local Dementia Action Alliance (DAA), Building a dementia-friendly community and society, and the challenges that exist for the charity.

A number of interesting realities arose, including:

  • That Dementia is not part of the aging process, it is a disease.
  • It affects 1 in 14 people in the UK, mostly those over 60.
  • There are currently around 4500 people living with dementia in BANES, with an estimated 10000 family and friends acting as carers.

    Sarah Williams-Martin receiving a cheque from IPZ E Comp R. T. Cooper
  • Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are only two of the hundred or so illnesses associated with Dementia
  • 28% of those living with dementia say they have to give up activities such as shopping, exercise and using transport and living in a dementia friendly environment would be a nicer place for everyone to live.
  • Work by this charity does not receive grants, is run by volunteers and relies solely on donations.

To find out more visit their web-site via the following link

In conclusion a cheque for £600 was presented to assist in their work, which equated to approximately 6% of their annual income.


Royal Cumberland RAC NO. 41 – February 2018 Convocation

The February 2018 Convocation took place in the presence of thirty-seven Companions, including the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset E. Comp. D. John Bennett, and the Deputy Grand Superintendent of Wiltshire E. Comp. Colin C.C.Cheshire, when our new member, Companion Tony Gay, was exalted into Royal Arch Masonry in a most inspiring ceremony led by E. Comp. Roger Karn (Z); both of whom had been long term friends and neighbours.

The Mystical Lecture was delivered splendidly by E. Comp. Alan Morsley and E. Comp. Darren Lobb, and  Comp. John Townsend must be especially congratulated on his talented performance as Principal Sojourner enthralling the convocation and keeping his charge captivated and at ease throughout.

It was also a pleasure to welcome six Companions from the Perpetual Friendship Chapter No. 135 bearing The Somerset Sceptre, in its journey around the Province.

E. Comp. John Knight splendidly presented and entrusted the Sceptre, an emblem of the companionship that exists within the Holy Royal Arch, into the  safe keeping of Royal Cumberland Chapter and charged them to deliver it to the St. Keyna Chapter No. 1833 on 8th March next.

A rewarding and happy evening concluded  in companionship, harmony and concord at the Festive Board.



Royal Cumberland RAC No.41 – March 2017 Convocation

At our March convocation E.Comp. Clive A F Lambert the Provincial 3rd Grand Principal, accompanied by three Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter, was warmly welcomed by the Principals of the Chapter on this his first formal visit to Royal Cumberland Chapter.

Comp. Luke O’Connell receiving his Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate from E.Comp. Clive Lambert, 3rd Provincial  Grand Principal


Although there was no candidate for exaltation, the opportunity was taken to demonstrate the Cumberland Workings by enlisting the services of our new Joining Member Comp. Robert Cole as candidate. E.Comp. Richard Cooper (Z) conducted the ceremony splendidly, and the Symbolical Lecture was delivered superbly and in full by E.Comp. Roger Karn (H).

Having been invited to do so, E.Comp. Clive A F Lambert gave an impressive explanation of the Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate and once endorsed presented the Certificate to Comp. Luke A O’Connell.

The Companions then retired in harmony to enjoy a happy and convivial evening together.



RCRAC No.41 – Installation Meeting 2016

Once the Board of Installed Principals had been opened, the Companions admitted and the Chapter opened for business, E.Comp. D. John Bennett the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset was admitted, escorted by Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter and Officers of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset.

Delegation from the Royal Cyrus Chapter No.285 bearing the Somerset Sceptre which E.Comp. Grahame Baker their 1st Principal (center) presented

A delegation from the Royal Cyrus Chapter No.285 led by the first Principal E.Comp.Grahame Baker then presented the Somerset Sceptre, in a most splendid manner, and delivered it into the hands of the First Principal of The Royal Cumberland Chapter No.41 for safe keeping. Also, charging him on behalf of the Chapter to deliver the Sceptre to The Dungarvan Chapter No.973 on the 24th November this year on the next stage of its journey around the Province.

The 3 [new] Principals with E.Comp. D. John Bennett the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent

The [new] Principals of the Chapter were then duly installed:

E.Comp. Richard T. Cooper was inducted as 1st Principal

E.Comp.Roger Karn was installed as 2nd Principal, and

E.Comp. Jeff Penfold was installed as 3rd Principal;

after which Officers of the Chapter were appointed and invested for the ensuing year.

The MEGS and the 3 Principals with E.Comp. Ken Ellis (Scribe E), Comp. Malcolm Toogood (Prin. Soj.), Comp. David Hogg (Scribe N) and Comp. Brian Hardesty (Sen. Soj.)

The address to the Principals was given by Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, the Address to the Officers by E.Comp. Ray Honey and the address to the Companions by E.Comp. Ken Ellis. 

E.Comp. D. John Bennett then presented E.Comp. Derek Tadman with a collarette and jewel as the Calderley Chapter Liaison Officer. This jewel is to be worn only at this Chapters meetings to signify that he is their representative for liaising with the Calderley Chapter of Union No.906 where matters requiring the Provinces attention can be formerly brought.

As the Calderley Chapter of Union had been named after his predecessor, and who was also a member of Royal Cumberland, E.Comp. D. John Bennett thought it appropriate that E.Comp. Denis Corderley should also have a similar Jewel, and presented him with one.



Denis Calderleys 50th

E Comp Denis Calderley Past Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset was presented with his 50 year Veteran Certificate by the ME Grand Superintendent D John Bennett at a meeting of the Royal Cumberland Chapter No. 41 Bath on Tuesday 19th April.

The occasion was supported by the Provincial Team, nearly 70 Companions including 14 Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter and Heads of Orders. It was a splendid evening full of history and humour with Denis enjoying the moment in his light-hearted yet thoughtful customary manner.

It is a milestone in any Masonic career but in this case the history speaks for itself:
• In Royal Cumberland he was Installed as 1st Principal on 1st November 1979. In Somerset First Principals No. 3746 he was 1st Principal on 25th August 2004.
• In Provincial Grand Chapter he was Scribe N in 1982, 3rd Provincial Grand Principal in 1987, Scribe E in 1989. 2nd Provincial Grand Principal 1994. Grand Superintendent 1998-2008.
• In Supreme Grand Chapter before becoming Grand Superintendent he was appointed Past Grand Standard Bearer in 1988, Past Assistant Grand Sojourner 1996.

To use Denis’s own words “I look forward to the next 50 years” and so say all of us.

Pictures: Derek Tadman
Story: Julian May

Cumberland Robes

The photo shows Excellent Companions from Left to Right: Richard Cooper (Haggai), Barry Woodside (2nd Provincial Grand Principal), R Granville Mason (Zerubbabel), D John Bennett (Grand Superintendent), Roger Karn (Joshua), Chris Moore (3rd Provincial Grand Principal)

Tuesday 19th April at the Masonic Hall, Bath the Royal Cumberland Chapter No. 41 were presented with new replacement Principals robes by D John Bennett MEGS. The evening was enhanced with members of the Provincial Team and a dedication ceremony was performed with ritual and dignity, fitting of a grand occasion.

The previous robes were in excess of 60 years old, records show them in use around 1935 pre war years and they had become deteriorated and shabby with use over that period. Repairs had taken place on at least two occasions, in 1955 at a cost of £3.19s.6d (just under £4.00) and again in 1964 costing £1.1s.0d (just over £1.00). Yes times and values have changed!

The Chapter decided last September to fund new robes and an appeal to members received some donations, other finance came from the Chapter funds and raffles at meetings to raise the £615.00 required. Warminster Regalia were commissioned to manufacture in November last year and the superb result was witnessed on the 19th.

The style of robe will never be repeated by the makers and will remain unique to Royal Cumberland Chapter as the oldest in the Province of Somerset.

During the ceremony E Comp Chris Moore, 3rd Provincial Grand Principal gave a wonderful thoughtful and historical oration on Robes and Robe wearing detailing not only in Masonic circles but as an official vestment worn on ceremonial occasions by peers, judges, mayors, academics and clergy and of course by Monarchs throughout the ages. The Robe worn by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 at her coronation for example took 8 months of research, design and workmanship with intricate embroidery to emphasise its regal elegance. 6 Maids of Honour carried its 6 yard train behind the Queen.

No such grandeur for the Royal Cumberland robes but nevertheless equal in importance for the long
established history of the Chapter and the anticipated long life ahead.

The jollity and enjoyment of the occasion spilled over into the festive board which was reflected on the faces of those present, one can only guess at the comment made to amuse the 1st and 2nd Principals of the Chapter.

RCRAC No.41 and the Somerset Provincial Founding Chapters Fraternal Meeting – 2016

The Founding Chapters of the Province of Somerset met at the Inkerman Chapter No.1222 in Weston-super-Mare on 25th  April, however only 7 of the 8 were present:

  • P1020948
    Representatives of the Somerset Founding Chapters with Banners presented to them by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent at the commemorative meeting in 2015

    Royal Cumberland No.41, formed 1782 and meet in Bath,

  • Vale of Jehoshaphat Chapter No.291, formed 1793 and meet in Burnham,

  • Royal Sussex No.53, formed 1818 and meet in Bath,

  • Chapter of Brotherly Love No.329, formed 1822 and meet in Yeovil,

  • Royal Cyrus Chapter No.285, formed 1849 and meet in Bruton,

  • Inkerman Chapter No1222, formed 1869 and meet in Weston-super-Mare,

  • Avalon Chapter No.446, formed, 1876 and meet in Wells.

The absentee was the Chapter of Sincerity No.261, formed 1818 and who meet in Taunton; 

Following the arrival of a delegation from Marine Chapter bearing the Somerset Sceptre, the convocation was treated to a splendid lecture titled “Who Are You?” The lecture focused upon 26 characters who hold office in our Chapters and/or are mentioned in the Royal Arch Ritual, and was adeptly presented by the representative members from each of the Chapters present. The lecture was extremely interesting and informative, and would be a very worthy Lecture for presentation in our Chapter on some future occasion.

E.Comp. Roger Karn (J)
E.Comp. Roger Karn (J)


E.Comp. Roger Karn and myself represented Royal Cumberland Chapter, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. It is hoped similar Fraternal meetings may become an annual occurrence held at the venue of a different Founding Chapter each year.