This Team Visit was taken to help celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Consecration of Abbey Chapter back in 1992. The team undertook the Ceremony of The Veils as part of this celebration, which was the fifth time it has been undertaken in Somerset. All the five Chapters were Consecrated by E Comp Tom Hughes during his time as Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset.

The veils laid out before the ceremony began
Deep discussions
Do you think they would notice if we swapped places?

The Chapter was taken over by the Team from 5:00pm so that they could do a couple of run-throughs of the ceremony with E Comp Chris Moore (PrGDC), and others, getting the timing and actions correct. Though several of the Team arrived late because of traffic it was handy that several run-throughs were had!

The Chapter opened at 6:30pm and E Comp Chris announced that MEGS E Comp D John Bennett was without accompanied by the Provincial Team and demanded admission. The Team entered in procession and MEGS was greeted by E Comp Jason Jordan, First Principal of Abbey Chapter, who proffered him the Sceptre which MEGS returned stating that he would be taking it over later in the evening.

E Comp Phil Mattingley, 3rd left, presenting the Somerset Sceptre

Item 3 on the Agenda was the sad announcement of three passings of E Companions of Abbey and a Eulogy was given by E Comp Graham Clack, DC. Companions stood to order for departed merit. After the next item the Somerset Sceptre was delivered to MEZ by E Comp Phil Mattingley, MEZ of St Lukes Chapter, No 6540, accompanied by a goodly number of his Chapter which was received with thanks.

Comp Robert Ross receiving his Certificate from E Comp Clive Lambert

E Comp Clive Lambert presented a Grand Chapter Certificate to Comp Robert Ross, who had just received his collar as 1st Ass Sojourner! Promotion is rapid in Abbey Chapter! After this the Charity Steward, E Comp Brian Hook, proposed that two donations of £400 to be given to MEGS’s Charity and the First Principal’s chosen charity (Keynsham Mencap). With the speed of light a cheque was presented to MEGS who thanked the Chapter for its kind donation.

After the Risings the chapter was closed and MEGS was placed in the 1st Principal’s Chair and the PrGDC was asked to place the Provincial Team in their respective chairs to perform The Ceremony of the Veils. Abbey’s E Comp Ray Sheppard acted as the candidate and retired to re-clothe himself as a MM. The knocks being given E Comp John Griffin, Prov Janitor announced Ray’s return to E Comp David Lyons, Prov Scribe N, who then escorted E Comp Ray through the Ceremony of The Veils. This ceremony was narrated by E Comp Barry Woodside, DepGS, and gave a full description of what was happening and how it related historically to the ceremony carried out by many Chapters in the 1800s.

Ceremony of the Passing of the Veils

Once the Team had finished the demonstration the companions retired from the Chapter for the Festive Board which was a delightful meal of Garlic Mushrooms, Lasagna and Chips then Strawberry Trifle finished off with coffee. Each companion dining received a special celebratory bottle of either Chilean Merlot or Sauvignon Blanc as a souvenir of the 25th Anniversary.

Festive board
All enjoying the Festive Board

The Abbey Chapter Installation

Abbey Chapter held their Installation Convocation on Friday, 8th November 2013, when they were honoured by the presence of E Comp Clive Hennessy, 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, accompanied by E Comp Terry Hayes, Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.

Pictured are E Comps Richard Snelgrove (H), Clive Hennessy, 3rdProvGP, Paul Giblin (Z), & Brian Saunders (J).

The Chapter Director of Ceremonies was taken ill on the day of the Convocation, which caused more than slight concern, especially as the Chapter do not have an ADC. All was saved, however, when the 3rd ProvGP pointed out that he was accompanied by a very proficient ProvAGDC, Terry Hayes. E Comp Terry immediately “volunteered” to stand in as the Chapter DC, despite not being familiar with Metropolitan working. He did an excellent job. (If you want a job as ADC Terry, you know where we are!) Apart from the Installation, part of the ceremony was to receive the Somerset Sceptre from Royal Sussex Chapter. Abbey Chapter held the Somerset Sceptre until 12th November, when they travelled to Midsomer Norton, to present it to Connaught Chapter.