Calderley Chapter 2nd March 2020

This was the first meeting of Calderley at Clevedon since it’s Consecration. The three Principals entered the Chapter, E comps Keith Fisher as Z, Ray Beckingham as H and John Bennett as J, standing in for Matt Wesley who was in hospital.

When the Chapter was opened E Comp Ray Conneely, PrDepDC, announced that the Chapter was to be honoured by the presence of E Comp Barry Woodside, MEGS.

Following a Notice of Motion given by E Comp John Bennett the Past Prov Grand Masters, Rulers of other degrees were balloted for Honorary Membership. The ballot proved clear and those companions were made Honorary Members. E Comp Ray Johnstone-Smith, Inspector General of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, thanked the companions for that honour.

Next item was to Induct the three Principals, E Comp Ray Beckingham as MEZ, Matt Westley, could not be inducted, E Comp Richard Ellis acted in his absence as H, and E Comp Chris Summers as J. The Principals then reappointed many of the Officers and those others taking Officers were presented with their collars. MEGS gave the Address to the Principals.

MEGS then took the chair of Z and proceeded to advise that needed to be increased and charged the CLOs to try and get those unattached Companions to rejoin. There are some 558 unattached in Somerset. Of course there are many reasons why they wish to be unattached: age; ability; financial plus many other. A working group has been set up to look into this headed by yE Comps Chris Moore and Clive Lambert. Chris is looking into the status of these companions, where they live, why they resigned and how to approach them, then the Project can get started, Interesting point made by E Comp John Bennett was that though you may resign from a Chapter one is still a Companion, to resign fully you must return your Chapter Certificate to Supreme Grand Chapter. Also you have to be a subscribing member of the Craft to be a Companion in the HRA. The aim is for Retrieval and recovery. Though it is not wholly the CLOs to undertake this task but on every companion to assist.

MEGS then returned the Sceptre to MEZ and the chapter was closed with companions heading for a very convivial Festive Board.

The Principals: ER Comps Chris Summers, J, Ray Beckingham, MEZ and Richard Ellis, acting H

Apologies for the lateness of this report but I have been away.

Adrian Halliwell
Provincial Liaison Officer

Calderley at Wedmore for September Meeting

Calderley returned to Wedmore for its Annual Visit and was reasonably well attended, however, there was a substitute in the ranks, namely E Comp Richard Ellis standing in for Ray Beckingham as H. MEZ E Comp Keith Fisher welcomed all and in particular E Comp Barry Woodside, MEGS, who was not offered the Sceptre, that comes later.

Those officers not present at the Installation were duly Invested, but because of the resignation of E Comp Alan Holton, for personal reasons, five Officers were shuffled around to form the team.

Following the Notice of Motion at the last meeting Comp David Medlock, PGM, and E Comp David Dixon, 3rd PrGPrincipal, were elected as Honorary  and Joining Members respectively.

The Three Principals for next year were declared: E Comp Ray Beckingham, MEZ; E Comp Matt Westley, H; and  E Comp Chris Summers as J. E Comp Chris Moore was also declared as Treasurer.

Scribe E and AssScribe E, E Comps Julian May and John Bennett

The Sceptre was then taken by MEGS who started by complimenting Scribe E and AssScribe E, E Comps Julian May and John Bennett, for their work in producing the Chapter’s Members Handbook. He then got on to the main discussion topic for the evening which was closer cooperation between the Craft and HRA.

E Comp Neil Hurcum, extreme right giving his talk

He introduced E Comp Neil Hurcum who would be undertaking this role.
Neil explained his role which was to: coordinate the HRA Reps, give them guidance, help and support; Fraternal visits by Supreme Grand Chapter Officers and members of the Executive.  Neil is acting with E Comp Martin Slocombe, AssPGM, to visit about 21 Lodges each year and have return visits approximately every 3 to 4 years. It was suggested that on the Second Rising the HRA Rep could give a Nugget from Solomon referencing the HRA, which is after all the completion of the Third Degree. The HRA Reps will be contacted to give details of the Chapter members in their Lodge.
Neil stated that the four “Es” are required:
Engage – with the Non Companions
Enthuse – that HRA is the completion of the Third Degree
Encourage – brethren to join
Enjoy – the HRA is a really happy and spectacular group
The HRA Toolkit will be ready soon with a revised letter to Master Masons when they receive their Grand Lodge Certificate. A letter to any MM that is not in HRA. A trifold leaflet which will be a useful tool to give out.

A note to all to try and bring brethren into the HRA as at present there are 65% who are not members, so that joining the HRA should not be the exception but the norm!

Remember the new Exaltee who on being restored to light just said “WOW”.

E Comps John Smith and Julian May receiving their Grand Superintendents Awards

MEGS thanked Neil and Martin for their delivery of the new initiate. He then called for E Comps John Smith and Julian May to be presented to him when he gave them the Grand Superintendent’s Award lapel pins, which replace the collarets that Grand Chapter had banned.

The next meeting of Calderley will be the Installation of E  Comp Ray Beckingham in March and will be at the Clevedon Masonic Hall.

On the Forth Rising E Comp John Bennett gave Notice of Motion that he will propose that two Past PGMs, E Comps Stanley Hopkins and David Jenkins be made Honorary Members.

The meeting then closed and companions headed downstairs to the Festive Board, where a superb meal was had.

Top Table with from L to R: E Comps Barry Woodside, MEGS, Richard Ellis, Acting H, Keith Fisher, MEZ, Matt Westley, J, and Clive Hennessy, DC
Happy bunch of companions, from L to R: E Comps Neil Hurcum, Tony Cooper, John Hawkins (head down eating), Martin Slocombe, Comp Bill Wilson, E Comps Geof Lester and David Parslow

Calderley Chapter Installation 2019

The Calderley Chapter was attended by E Comp Barry Woodside, MEGS, who was attended by E Comps Tony Cooper, PrDGDC, and E Comp Alan McMurray, PrGStwd, acting as Standard Bearer. E Comp Barry was welcomed by MEZ, E Comp Richard Ellis, who presented him with the Sceptre which was returned with thanks. The Minutes of the last convocation having been circulated were approved and there were no matters arising.

A ballot was taken for Joining Members, E Comps Neil Hurcum,3rd Prov G Principal and Roger Reina, Prov G Registrar. The Ballot proved clear and they were welcomed into the Chapter.

The Three Principals for 2019/20: E Comps Ray Beckingham, H, Keith Fisher, Z , Matt Westley, J

The main event was announced and E Comp Richard Ellis Inducted his successor E Comp Keith Fisher,  who then did likewise for E Comp Ray Beckingham as H, who then Inducted E Comp Matt Westley as J. E Comp Keith then Appointed and Invested His Officers for the coming year.

Next item on the Agenda was to proffer the Sceptre again to E Comp Barry Woodside who this time retained it and took the chair. Their several discussions in this period, a few are listed herein:

  • MEGS was disappointed that there were not more CLOs attending as only 9 CLOs were present which somewhat defeated the object of CLO’s duties to attend as Honorary Members.
  • Solomon was discussed and it was suggested that if the Chapters in the Province didn’t have a ceremony they may wish to give a presentation form Solomon’s website. Either contact E Comp Ray Beckingham or E Comp Maldwyn Davies. If there are good speakers in the Chapter’s they could do it. E Comp Neil Hurcum suggested that it would be nice if a couple of CLOs could give a nugget each from Solomon
  • Conversion from the Craft to HRA is not good as the rate is about 27% and HRA reps in the craft lodges are to be asked to encourage Brethren to complete the masonic journey by joining the Royal Arch.
  • E Comp Martin Slocombe gave a brief resume on the Grand Officers’ Mess which has fallen by the wayside. He stated that he had undertaken a questionnaire in the northern part of the Province and had received favourable comments for it to be resurrected under the new name of Somerset Grand Officers’ Forum. This would be open to all Craft and Chapter Grand Officers.

E Comp Barry then thanked all those who contributed to the lively debate and returned the Sceptre to E  Comp Keith to conduct AOB, when the MEGS rose to give a Notice of Motion that at the next meeting he would be proposing Comp. David Medlock, the Provincial Grand Master Designate, as an Honorary member of the Chapter. This was followed by E Comp John Bennett who rose to give a Notice of Motion to propose E Comp David Dixon, 3rd Provincial Grand Principal Designate as a member of the Chapter.

The Chapter was closed and the companions proceeded down stairs to enjoy the Festive Board.

E Comp Barry Woodside, MEGS, with E Comp Tony Cooper, PrDGDC, and MEZ E Comp Keith Fisher listening to the MEGS’s response to his toast.

 

Calderley Dedicate new Honours Board

E Comp Roger Seaton presents the Somerset Sceptre to MEZ with E Comp Ray Beckingham, J, watching intently

At the September meeting held at Wedmore the three Principals opened the Convocation. Companions of Taunton Deane Chapter, no 5221, lead by E Comp Roger Seaton, Z, presented the Somerset Sceptre to E Comp Richard Ellis for onward transport to Royal Sussex Chapter on 15th October. This will mean that Richard has to give it to himself!

The changes to the Bye-laws for the change of venue was approved and will be forwarded to Province for confirmation.

MEGS E Comp D John Bennett was welcomed and proffered the Sceptre by MEZ, E Comp Richard Ellis,. On this occasion MEGS took the Sceptre and the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals were placed in their respective chairs.

MEZ requesting the Dedication of the Honours Board

MEZ then informed MEGS that he wished that a new Honours Board be Dedicated by the team. A deputation of the three Principals of Calderley Chapter, with E Comp Maldwyn Davies standing in for E Comp Keith Fisher, asked for the Board to be dedicated. PrGJ then gave The Dedication Prayer and MEGS gave a brief history of Calderley Chapter. This was followed by the Dedication by MEGS and presentation back to MEZ.

There followed the discussion led by MEGS as this was why the Calderley Chapter was formed. E Comp John was disappointed by the low number of CLOs present and E Comp Adrian Halliwell, Provincial Liaison Officer, explained that he felt partly to blame as he didn’t forward the Summons as he was away. This will change in the future and Summonses will be sent from E Comp Julian May, Secretary.

  • MEGS also was unhappy with the lack of reports and updates to the web pages by CLOs and asked for an improvement and if CLOs were unable to do this that the Chapters should appoint a suitable replacement.
  • Chapters were reminded that Summonses should be sent to Province 21 days prior to their meeting. One Chapter stated that the Summons wasn’t sent because of the Data Protection Rules. This is incorrect as all Masons agree to their names appearing, if not they will have stated their preference.
  • Calderley Chapter requires a replacement DC as Barry Woodside will be busy for the next five years, any volunteers?
  • Membership to Calderley Chapter is open to any Companion to join, the more the merrier, it is a good discussion group.
  • Scribe Es are asked to advertise the Provincial Web on Summonses and correspondence ie www.somersetroyalarch.org
  • Comp Robert Colins gave a brief report on the Masonic Fishing Charity, see www.mtsfc.org.uk, and asked any keen anglers who would like to help in giving help to disabled, both mentally and physically, interact with others on a one-to-one basis, by  taking them out of their usual environment and learning new skills. See Brochure click here and here and letter here.

MEGS then asked the PrGDC to return MEZ to his rightful chair and the other Principals were also returned to theirs.

E Comp Neil Hurcum, PrGJ, ready for the washing up!

After the usual risings the Chapter was closed and Companions headed for the Festive Board where they had an excellent meal prepared by Zenas Catering with E Comp Neil Hurcum, PrGJ helping out.

We Three do meet and agree!

 

Calderley Chapter of Union, No 906, March 2018 Meeting

The Meeting was held at the Clevedon Masonic Hall on Monday 5th March. There was a good attendance of members, visitors and 2/3rds of the Calderley Liaison Officers.

The meeting commenced with the agreement of the Minutes of the previous meeting and E Comp Julian May had no matters arising. E Comp Stuart Hadler then thanked the Members for being made an Honorary Members at this meeting.

A ballot then took place for two Joining Members which proved clear and E Comps David Parslow and Geof Lester were given the Chapter Bylaws.

The Three Principals with Two Grand Superintendents: E Comps Keith Fisher, H, John Bennett, MEGS, Richard Ellis, MEZ, Denis Calderley, PMEGS, and Ray Beckingham, J.

The next Item on the Agenda was the Induction of the three Principals. E Comps John Bennett and Denis Calderley were placed in H and J Chairs respectively and E Comp Mike Scaggs Inducted E Comp Richard Ellis as MEZ. Richard then Inducted E Comp Keith Fisher as H, who then Inducted E Comp Ray Beckingham as J. MEGS John Bennett then gave the Charge. The Principals then appointed their Officers.

Next item on the Agenda was dealt with by MEGS who took the Sceptre.
MEGS then welcomed the PGM, APGM.

He then spoke of the sad loss of Christine Biggs and stated that  E Comp Bob would be pleased to receive phone calls.

The Calderley Honours Board was now in Wedmore and a Dedication Ceremony will be done at the next Meeting.   Avalon Chapter’s Honours Board would also be Dedicated at a suitable date.

The Provincial Book is nearing completion of the editing stage and will be published in about eight weeks.
MEGS then pointed out the new Chapter carpet noting the Signs of the Zodiac, which was unique in Somerset.

The next part was related to the CLOs and how they were dealing with the updating of the website. There were concerns over the method of putting things on the website and those being non computer literate having volunteered for this post in coping with the situation. Quite a lively discussion was had with many Comps taking part. Once again if CLOs have problems please contact E Comp Adrian Halliwell.

MEGS then announced the following appointments and promotions in the Province:

E Comp Alan Holton to remain as Deputy Grand Superintendent
E Comp Clive Lambert to remain as 2nd Provincial Grand Principal
E Comp Neil Hurcum appointed as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal.

E Comp Neil Hurcum, 3rd Provincial Grand Principal (designate)

Neil is a member of Wrington Vale, No 1199, and Somerset 1st Principals Chapters, No 3746, and was Provincial Grand Steward in 2009, Past Provincial Assistant Grand Sojourner in 2010 and Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah in 2015.

In Supreme Grand Chapter:

E Comp Alan Holton (Deputy Grand Superintendent) will be promoted to Past Grand Sword Bearer
E Comp Terry Hayes (Provincial Treasurer) appointed to Past Grand Standard Bearer.

Megs also discussed his “retirement” which Supreme Grand Chapter said was the “cessation of his 10 years Patent”. John also said that the Past 2nd Grand Principal would be in attendance at the Webbington Convocation in May.

The Next Meeting will be held on Thursday 20th September at Wedmore Masonic Hall and the meeting was closed with Companions retiring downstairs to the Festive Board where a delightful meal and discussions ensued.

The Principals of Calderley Chapter of Union 2018 – 2019
The Three Principals with E Comp Neil Hurcum

Appointments and Promotions in Somerset

At The Calderley Chapter of Union, no 906, meeting held at Clevedon Masonic Hall on Monday 5th March, MEGS D John Bennett announced the following appointments and promotions in the Province:

E Comp Alan Holton to remain as Deputy Grand Superintendent
E Comp Clive Lambert to remain as 2nd Provincial Grand Principal
E Comp Neil Hurcum appointed as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal.

E Comp Neil Hurcum, 3rd Provincial Grand Principal (designate)

Neil is a member of Wrington Vale, No 1199, and Somerset 1st Principals Chapters, No 3746, and was Provincial Grand Steward in 2009, Past Provincial Assistant Grand Sojourner in 2010 and Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah in 2015.

In Supreme Grand Chapter:

E Comp Alan Holton (Deputy Grand Superintendent) will be promoted to Past Grand Sword Bearer
E Comp Terry Hayes (Provincial Treasurer) appointed to Past Grand Standard Bearer.

We congratulate all of these members and wish them well

Calderley Banner Dedication

At the September meeting of the Calderley Chapter of Union No 906 the Provincial Team dedicated the new Banner for the Chapter so kindly donated by E Comp Denis Calderley, Past Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Somerset.

The meeting was held in the new home for Calderley Chapter at Wedmore and was well attended with 11 CLOs to pass back their reports to their own Chapters. The Principals opened the Chapter and E Comp Chris Moore, PrGDC, announced that E Comp D John Bennett, MEGS, was without and was accompanied by E Comp Denis Calderley and the Provincial Team. They duly processed in and were greeted by the 1st Principal E Comp Mike Scaggs who proffered the Sceptre which on this occasion was taken by MEGS. The Provincial Team then took their stations and the Ceremony commenced. E Comp Denis with the Principals of Calderley Chapter then retired and were readmitted with E Comp Denis carrying the new Banner with hymn being sung.

E Comp Denis Calderley, Past Grand Superintendent

The Banner was presented to MEGS for Dedication. The Banner was uncovered and paraded around the Chapter again with another hymn. Once back in the East the Provincial Grand Joshua, E Comp David Parslow, gave the Dedication Prayer which was followed by MEGS Dedicating it. The Banner was then passed to the 1st Principal of Calderley and placed behind his chair.

E Comp David Parslow then gave an oration on Calderley Chapter, with historical facts and information.

The Provincial Rulers and Principals of Calderley Chapter
E Comps Mike Scaggs, MEZ, Richard Ellis, H, and Keith Fisher, J.

The ceremony was then ended and MEGS remained in the chair to give items of interest to the Companions:

  • An Order of Merit would be given to companions who have done exemplary work within the Province. These Merits will be known as the Grand Superintendent’s Award. The recipient’s name and reasons for them being proposed will be forwarded to the MEGS and he, with the DepGS, will discuss these and decide on who will received them. Please note that it is the companions of all Chapters who are eligible to nominate a fellow companion and it is not the MEGS who will put names forward. The recipients will be entitled to insert “GSA” after their names in any HRA correspondence and on honour boards. The first two recipients are E Comps Ray Guthrie and Alex Carter of Dungarvan Chapter, at Frome. There will be five GSAs awarded this year;
  • There will be a Provincial Book published in the New Year giving the history of this Province and every Chapter within it. The publication will be about 300 pages in similar style to the Craft Provincial book. There will be a discounted price of £25 if you order before publication and £35 after that. Get your orders in to E Comp Clive Lambert, 2nd Proc Grand Principal;
  • Calderley Chapter will have its home at Wedmore and will meet on the 3rd Wednesday or Friday or 4th Thursday in September and March. This seasons the March meeting will be at Clevedon, home of MEZ’s Eldon Chapter;
  • MEGS was then pleased to announce that, as the 1st Grand Principal, HRH Duke of Kent has served 50 years in that office, Supreme Grand Chapter have given an additional Grand Collar and a Promotion in this Province. E Comp Tony Beaumont will receive PGStB and E Comp Ray Beckingham will be promoted to PAsstGSoj. Congratulations to them both;
  • CLOs are encouraged to send a sub to the Calderley meeting if they are unable to attend;
  • Two Chapters celebrate their 200th Anniversary, Royal Sussex and Sincerity, and the Provincial Team will be there to present their Anniversary Charters.

MEGS then returned the Sceptre to MEZ and the Provincial Team retired. The Chapter then dealt with domestic items and was closed, with majority of the companions heading for the Festive Board, where a good three course meal was enjoyed by all. There followed the Toasts where one in particular is worthy of mention: that to E Comp Denis Calderley, given by MEZ, that  gave thorough detail of E Comp Denis’ time in HRA, which was followed by an emotional reply from Denis whereby the companions rose for a standing ovation.

Calderley Chapter of Union No 906 Monday 6th March 2017

Due to E Comp Bob Biggs, MEZ, being unwell E Comp Bob Moore took over the chair. The chapter was opened in due form and Item 2 on the agenda was taken, though E Comp Julian May, Scribe E, was unwell and also E Comp Alan Thompson stood in and the Minutes were duly carried.

Item 3 was to ballot for Joining Members E Comp Anthony J Beaumont PrGScribeE and  E Comp Terry D Hayes, PrGTeasurer, which proved clear and both were welcomed by MEZ and given a copy of the Bylaws. Next item was to ballot for as Honorary Members E Companions Robert E Biggs, Walter R Cole and Terry S Wood, which again proved clear. Next came the Induction Ceremony of the Principals for the ensuing year.

First Principal:           E Comp Michael J Scaggs, PGStB
Second Principal:      E Comp Richard J Ellis, PGStB
Third Principal:        E Comp Keith R Fisher, PAGSoj

IMG_1740
The Three Principals:  E Comps Richard Ellis, H, Mike Scaggs, MEZ, and Keith Fisher

The Principals then appointed and invested their Officers and E Comp D John Bennett, MEGS, delivered the charge to the Principals. E Comp Mike Scaggs then welcomed the MEGS and proffered the Sceptre which he accepted. The Grand Superintendent welcomed all Companions and Calderley Liaison Officers present, he also welcomed the Provincial Grand Master, E Comp Stuart Hadler and stated how sorry he was that E Comp Denis Calderley was unable to be present this evening but he sent everyone his good wishes.

The first item that the Grand Superintendent discussed was the situation of the new Web Site and particularly the Chapter pages. The Grand Superintendent and the Calderley Liaison Officer E Comp Adrian Halliwell had ploughed through each Chapters Web Page and analysed the results. These results were discussed in a general manner as the Grand Superintendent stated that he had no intention of circulating the result. Overall the result were disappointing with only 7 Chapters obtaining and excellent grading with 5 appearing to have had nothing inputted. There followed a discussion, with many Companions having a very varied opinion, with regards to the way forward. The conclusion was that it was felt that at this stage we should adopt a personal approach to individual Chapters and Liaison Officers and the Grand Superintendent agreed that he would implement this. It was also agreed that the Province would organise further training sessions at The Webbington Hotel. This would enable those Liaison Officers who had not received full training and this would also provide an update to those Liaison Officers who are obviously finding difficulties in producing an acceptable Chapter Web Page.

The Grand Superintendent advised the Chapter that there was some feeling about the Chapter continuing to be based at Burnham on Sea and that the preferred option was moving to Wedmore, which was now an acceptable alternative venue, due to the fact that Avalon Chapter have moved there following the closure of Wells Masonic Hall.

The Chapter Scribe Ezra, E Comp Julian May, also recommended that the date of the September Convocation should be moved towards the end of September in the future. After a full discussion it was agreed that the future September Convocations of the Calderley Chapter would be held at Wedmore Masonic Hall, this year on Friday 29th September 2017 and the Chapter will move its registered Masonic base to Wedmore Masonic Hall.

The Chapter 2nd  Principal, E Comp Richard Ellis advised the Chapter that his Installation in March 2018 would probably be held at Clevedon Masonic Hall and the Chapter 3rd Principal, E Comp Keith Fisher advised the Chapter that his Installation in March 2019 would probably be held at Wedmore Masonic Hall.

The Grand Superintendent reminded the Companions that at the next Convocation on Friday 29th September 2018, the Provincial Team would be dedicating the new Chapter Banner and hopefully, if it is completed, the Honours Board.

The Grand Superintendent then advised the Chapter that Supreme Grand Chapter had honoured Companions from the Province with Grand Rank. E Comp Barry Woodside promoted to PGSwdB, E Comp Richard Ellis promoted to PAGSoj. E Comp Maldwyn Davies appointed to PGStB and E Comp Chris Moore to PGStB. Brethren from The Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset has also been honoured with Grand Rank. E Comp Ben Batley promoted to PSGD. E Comp Ray Baines promoted to PJGD. E Comp David Leakey appointed to PAGDC and E Comp Ian Walker appointed to PAGDC.

The Grand Superintendent also announced the Principal appointments within Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset for 2017/2018. E Comp Alan Holton to be Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp Clive lambert as 2nd Provincial Grand Principal and E Comp David Parslow as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal. All these appointments were greeted with acclamation.

IMG_1741
The three Provincial Rulers designate in the front row: E Comps Clive Lambert, 2nd Principal, Alan Holton, Deputy GS, and David Parslow, 3rd Principal

The Grand Superintendent then thanked all the Companions for their input and asked the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies to present the 1st  Principal of the Chapter, E Comp Mike Scaggs, to him. He thanked him for allowing him to preside over the discussion and returned the Sceptre of the Chapter to the 1st Principal and took his seat.

After the Risings and the Closing the Comps retired to the Dining Room for a very tasty Festive Board.

compo3
Good company at the Festive Board

 

Calderley Chapter of Union, September Convocation 2016

  • The chapter was held at its home of Burnham-on-sea on a pleasant evening though a bit warm, with a goodly number of Liaison Officers in attendance. The three Principals opened the Chapter and undertook the routine workings including: balloting for two Honorary and four Joining Members; proclaiming the Principals and Treasurer Elect, who all responded to this, though E Comp Keith Fisher raised a smile among those present, before handing over the sceptre to MEGS John Bennett who greeted four visitors from Hampshire and Isle of Wight and the CLOs.
    john and mike scraggs
    E Comp Mike Scaggs, H, listens to MEGS

    There followed some very interesting announcements starting with the establishing of a Chapter Banner for Calderley which would be dedicated at next September’s meeting. The design and colours using those on Provincial collars were agreed and the order will be placed immediately.

collar

  • Next came the presentation of the Provincial Liaison Officer Collaret which has been commissioned with the three coloured ribbon to E Comp Adrian Halliwell, also CLO of Calderley Chapter. The new Calderley Liaison Officer Collaret with plain red ribbon will be presented to Chapter CLOs at their Installation meetings by the Representing Provincial Officer and is to be worn during the meetings and at the festive board of their own Chapters as well as at Calderley Chapter.
  • E Comp Bob Moore then officially announced the new Provincial Website is up and running, giving a general overview of its setting up, use by CLOs to update their own Chapter pages and other information. The new site address is somersetroyalarch.org. The Calderley Liaison Officers will be responsible for their own Chapter’s page and have received a training session to make life easy for them. Companions are asked to have a look and if there are any comments please pass them on to: their own CLOs for their Chapter Pages; E Comp Adrian Halliwell, for other items: and Bob Moore if all else fails.
  • new bookletsMEGS then advised comps that a new Companions Guide has been produced as well as a booklet entitled “An Explanation for the Exaltee”, these will be issued to new Exaltees at that meeting by the Visiting Provincial Principal or otherwise by post.
  • The Provincial Stewards badge has been redesigned and now includes the word “Somerset” on it. All existing Provincial Stewards, past and present will be receiving these in due course.
  • “Talking Heads” was explained and was under the direction of E Comp Ray Beckingham. There are several teams of three who will be giving this playlet at a Craft meeting. One has already been carried out and Hendra Lodge in S Wales has asked the team to give this at their January meeting. There are already three “Talking Heads” being done at Fidelity and Sincerity, Wellington on 12th Sept, Elizabethan, Lodge Bath and Admiral Blake Lodge, Bridgwater.
  • When taking wine with Grand Officers at the festive board Craft Grand Lodge Officers should also stand.
  • In order to update the Provincial Database photographs of all companions are requested. This helps the visiting Provincial Principals to put a name to the face.
    MEGS returned the Sceptre to E Comp Bob Biggs who then closed the convocation after the Risings. Closing hymn was sung, if a bit raggedly [as no one had a song sheet], followed by the National Anthem before retiring to the dining room for an excellent meal.
Calderley top table
Top Table: E Comps Clive Lambert [3rd Prov Principal], Maldwyn Davies [2nd Prov Principal], John Bennett [MEGS], Mike Scaggs [H], Bob Biggs [Z], Richard Ellis [J] and Ray Beckingham [DC]
my table
Plates all stacked
Arthurs seat
Plenty of chatter
Rogues gallery
Tasty soup

THE NATURE AND PRINCIPLES OF ROYAL ARCH MASONRY

E.Comp K Harry Barnes JP, PGSupt for Dorset
____________________________________
Consecration of the Calderley Chapter of Union No. 906
Thursday 7th April 2011

In order to address the nature and principles of Royal Arch Masonry, one first needs to review the degree and its evolution from the early developments of the Hiramic degree. As is the case for all forms, orders and degrees in Freemasonry, the Holy Royal Arch has no specific date of
birth as such.

At times it has been strongly and widely held that the original Third Degree of the Craft was ‘mutilated’ to provide material for the Royal Arch ceremonial. Dr Mackey, the well known American writer stated that, “until the year 1740, the essential element of the Royal Arch constituted a part of the Master’s Degree and was, of course, its concluding portion. The highly esteemed Rev Dr Oliver asserted that the Royal Arch was an element of the second part of the Old Master’s Degree. In fact, Dr Oliver maintained that “the difference between the ‘Antients and the Modern’ systems consisted solely of the mutilation of the Third Degree, and that the Royal Arch was concocted by the Antients to widen yet further the breach and make the line of distinction between them and the Premier Grand Lodge broader and more indelible.

Be that as it may, I have long held the view that far from being a mutilation of the Old Master’s or Third Degree, aspects of the Holy Royal Arch can be found in all three degrees of pure andantient Freemasonry, to which I will both refer and lay evidence later in this short paper.
As a general point, and I speak as one who has served as both Provincial Grand Master for the Craft, as well as Grand Superintendent for the Royal Arch, that there is a constant danger that we will draw a line of demarcation between the Craft and the Royal Arch by making a
distinction between the moral teachings of the Craft and the more spiritual teachings of the Royal Arch. Such distinctions are falsely attributed, for, if we examine the matter carefully we find that the Craft and the Royal are intrinsically interwoven in their philosophies, as well as
their rituals and, in all three degrees, not just that of the Third Degree. The journey begins with our first hesitant steps into the body of the lodge on the evening of our initiation and continue in an unbroken line right the way through to our installation as First Principal in our Chapter. We commence this epic journey by professing a belief in God, a dependence upon God, and a blessing is invoked upon us in his name.

The working tools teach us the importance of prayer and the need for holiness in life. Still in the First Degree, the tracing board depicts Jacob’s ladder, founded firmly on the floor of a Craft lodge, resting on the Holy Scriptures and stretching with it’s many virtual moral and
philosophical rounds, most especially faith, hope and charity, reaching, no, not to man’s immortal destiny, as depicted and concluded in the Third Degree, but beyond, into an unknown ethereal mansion, at least, unknown as far as the limits of the Craft degree are concerned and, in a spiritual sense almost transcending the workings of the Third Degree.
The fact that there is more, much more beyond the conclusion of the Third Degree experience, is again illustrated, though strangely enough in the First Degree, with such sublime poetry, “For we must all experience that great and awful moment when the soul takes wing to that boundless and unexplored expanse. May we hear the GAOTU say, “It is well  finished”, and may he admit us into the Grand Lodge Above, where the divisions of time shall cease and a glorious eternity burst open to our view”, clearly in my view providing very early hints to thinking Mason, that there is more, much more, beyond the grave and again beyond the finite limitations of the workings of the Third Degree.

However, ironically and almost conversely, we also find in the Third degree the clearest indications of immortality and salvation. It is surely no accident that now, and for the first time we hear the term “Companion”. In this degree we are confronted with our inevitable destiny, mortality, and by the use of ancient and traditional mysteries, sensitive and philosophical allegory, we are advised of the prospect of a reunion with the former “Companions” of our toils. And there Companions, were it not for our illustrious predecessors, the incomplete journey would have ended. For many years the Craft journey was concluded by means of the ceremony of exaltation being an appendage to the Third Degree. Later, the Ancients conferred Exaltation as a fourth degree.

The final and most important part of that journey, IS the Holy Royal Arch. Without Exaltation into the Royal Arch, I would submit that the Craft journey is more than incomplete, it renders the journey meaningless.
I have heard eminent Masonic scholars profess with great self importance, that the lost secrets of the Third Degree were never found in the Holy Royal Arch anyway, so how could the Royal Arch ever be considered a conclusion of anything?

Companions, that saddens me deeply. The lost secrets of the Third Degree, even allegorically entrusted to such as Hiram Abif, Hiram King of Tyre etc., are not some cheap clue in a game of Sudoku designed to exercise and stimulate the grey masses of the human brain. The Third Degree concludes with our realisation of mortality. We began the journey by professing a belief in God, how then could any Mason feel that the end of his Masonic journey is that specific point of mortality in the Third Degree? In my view, the lost secrets referred to in the Third Degree and realised in the Holy Royal Arch, are the beyond, that “glorious eternity that will burst open to our view”, so beautifully summarised in the First Degree, the spiritual conclusion, to that epic Masonic journey. And if those lost secrets are not found, and they can only Masonically speaking be found in the Royal Arch, then our journey in the Craft, nee through life itself, the knowledge of ourselves, is fruitless, pointless, and can never possibly
lead to the exploration and understanding of our relationship with our God.

So, to the thinking Mason, the Royal Arch Mason, the Royal Arch most certainly is the conclusion of the Third Degree. To those that mistakenly feel that they completed their journey in the Third Degree, then their journey was effectively over, before it began, for they failed in the very quest of self knowledge.

In 1752, the Royal Arch was described by Lawrence Dermot, the then Deputy Grand Master of the Ancients, as the “root, heart and Marrow” of Masonry. Nothing has changed. The Holy Royal Arch IS the conclusion of the Craft journey through pure and antient Masonry.

The Holy Royal Arch IS the climax of Freemasonry.
Companion Founders, be ye all of sound heart, and all of one mind, live in peace and harmony, and may the God of all Love and Mercy be delighted to dwell within you, and by His infinite Wisdom and Understanding, please Him to grant each of you the benefit of His eternal blessing, and life immortal for everlasting bliss and spiritual perpetuity of this the Calderley Chapter of Unity No
906.