The Provincial Grand Officers' Chapter, No. 3747 - 13/10/11


The Royal Arch Bicentenary Celebrations and Appeal 2013


The Royal Arch Banquet - 10th June 2011


UGLE and Supreme Grand Chapter Investiture Meetings - 30/04/11



Provincial Grand Chapter 17 March 2011



Concord Deane Chapter No 37 Celebrates it's Bi-Centenary


Concord Deane Chapter No. 37 celebrated receiving it’s Bi-Centenary Charter, dated 21st May 2010, on Wednesday 30th November. Supreme Grand Chapter were represented by

Grand Delegation
EComp George P Francis                                2nd Grand Principal
EComp C Nigel R Brown                                 Grand Scribe E
EComp Phillip J Purves                                    PDepGDC

And a

Provincial Deputation
EComp William J Porter PGSwdB       Deputy Grand Superintendent in Charge
EComp Wes Marchant, PGStB                        Second Provincial Grand Principal
EComp Rev’d Donald Pryce, PGStB    Third Provincial Grand Principal
EComp David Thornton, PGStB                       Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals
EComp Derek N Thornhill, PSGD                    [Deputy Provincial Grand Master In Charge]
EComp Philip Mountford, PProvGSwdB          [Assistant Provincial Grand Master]
EComp John Farrington, PProvGSN    Provincial Grand Scribe E
EComp Henri Lyons                             Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies
EComp Gerry Hodson                         Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies
EComp Stephen Watson                                 Acting Provincial Grand Organist
EComp Ian Ronson, PProvGSN                        Provincial Grand Janitor

Over 100 Companions enjoyed the celebration with a moving Oration by EComp Rev’d Donald Pryce. During the ceremony Comp. I Roberts appointed as PProvGStB by EComp William J Porter PGSwdB (Deputy Grand Superintendent in Charge) , a fitting tribute to a Companion who has contributed magnificently to the Chapter over a considerable number of years. All the Companions were grateful for such a honour. A history of the Chapter is available through the ScribeE on request.









EComp David Thornton, PGStB, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals congratulates Comp. Irvin Roberts, PProvGStB




First Exaltation at Unitas Fratrum Chapter No 7958

Unitas Fratrum Chapter No. 7958 held their first meeting after the Installation in March at Rawtenstall Masonic Hall, on the 20th of May 2011.
W.Bro Alan Vale a PM in the Duke of Lancaster Lodge No. 4207 was exalted to the supreme degree of Royal Arch Masonry. He is seen on the photograph being congratulated by E.Comp David Russell.
E.Comp Russell welcomed Alan as the first Companion to be exalted into the Chapter since it moved from Audenshaw to its new home in Rawtenstall.
In addition Companion David Bannister was welcomed into the Chapter as a joining member.
The Chapter now has a number of candidates to exalt along with more joining members coming in.
E.Comp Russell commented that, as expected, the Chapter in its new home and lunchtime format is going from strength to strength. Any Companion or Brother wishing to have more information should contact Robert Slattery on 01253 865881


E.Comps Robert Slattery, Scribe E. Len Pike, PS. John Radford, H. Dave Russell, Z. Comp. Alan Vale. E.Comp Roy Cunliffe, J.




Derby Chapter Welcomes It's First Officer of Supreme Grand Chapter

The appointment of EComp Brian F Sigsworth to PGStdB at Supreme Grand Chapter on April 28th was especially significant to Derby Chapter 1055. Since it's consecration in September 1866 the Chapter had not had the honour of having an Officer of Supreme Grand Chapter as one of it's members. At the meeting of the Chapter on Wednesday 11th May at Radcliffe Masonic Hall the companions were extremely pleased to greet EComp Sigsworth on his entry.

During the meeting WBro Terence A Hunt was exalted into the Chapter by the Principals and Officers of the Chapter. It was particularly significant that his proposer and seconder, EComps John Griffin and Mike Gibbons, took the offices of 1st and 2nd Asst Sojrs and thus guided him through his exaltation.


From the Left: EComp Brian Sigsworth; EComp Timothy Ashwin, H; EComp Christopher Graham, Z; EComp Fred Nicholson, Acting J; and Comp Terence Hunt.



Unitas Fratrum Chapter No 7958, First Meeting, March 18th 2011

Unitas Fratrum Chapter No, 7958 held their first meeting at Ashday Lea, Rawtenstall Masonic Hall on the 18th of March 2011. The chapter having moved from Audenshaw to Rawtenstall to become a lunchtime Chapter, tyling at 11.30am on the 3rd Friday of March, May October and January.
The March meeting was the installation when EComp David Russell was installed First Principal, EComp John Radford Second Principal and EComp Clifford Roy Cunliffe Third Principal.
EComp Russell said that “ We are looking forward to this Chapter being a great success, we have at least two candidates waiting to be exalted this year and a number of joining members waiting to be welcomed into the Chapter. We feel the lunchtime format is exactly what masonry in Rossendale has been waiting for, and, with the continued support and enthusiasm of the Companions from Audenshaw we are assured of success.”
Rawtenstall now has The Duke of Lancaster Lodge No, 4207 meeting at lunchtime as well as this Chapter. 
Any companion who would like further information about this Chapter should contact EComp Bob Slattery on 01253 865881.



The companions in the chapter after the installation of the new principals; EComp David Russell, Z EComp John Radford, H, and EComp Clifford Roy Cunliffe J.


At the social board where the Principals are joined by EComp Ed Cheadle, the Representative of the ME Grand Superintendant and EComp Norman Clarke, both of whom are Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals with the installing officers and officers of the chapter.




Celebration of Fifty Years in Royal Arch Freemasonry
Charles Geoffrey Cowling PProvGSwdB

EComp Geoffrey Cowling of Acorn and Rose Chapter No. 5677, celebrated 50 years in Royal Arch Freemasonry on Monday 21st March 2011.
EComp Stuart Hughes PGStB Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals for Manchester accompanied by a Deputation from the Province and the District was in attendance and led the celebrations.  Also present was, EComp Mike Birks the Deputy District Chairman for City Sykes District.
EComp Stuart Hughes welcomed everyone and invited EComp Colin Taylor Scribe E of the Chapter and a friend of Geoffrey for 40 years to lead the tributes. 
In 1941 Geoffrey was called to serve as an Airframe fitter in the RAF.  After being released from the RAF in October 1946 Geoffrey returned to his home village of Heckmondwike, in Yorkshire with his wife Barbara whom he married in September 1945 to continue his career as carpet manufacturer.  In 1948 he became a salesman for a Dewsbury firm of wool blanket manufacturers covering many parts of the UK and Ireland. 
In 1956 he transferred to Manchester where he brought a house in Handforth, and met his proposer into Freemasonry WBro Frank Wilde, being initiated into Acorn and Rose Lodge in April 1959 and exalted into the Chapter on the 20th March 1961.     
Geoffrey left the carpet manufacturing business and moved out of the area to Lincolnshire.  There he purchased a village store in the Roman village of Ancaster.  He joined Granta Lodge No. 4950 in January 1972, becoming Secretary of the Lodge in 1989 and continues in that office today.  He became a joining member of the Chapter and in due time became 1st Principal. 
Geoffrey continues to live in Ancaster with his second wife Cath who he married in November 1990, after his first wife Barbara sadly passed away.
Presenting Geoffrey with his illuminated Certificate of fifty years in Royal Arch Masonry and reading out a congratulatory letter from the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent,
EComp Stuart Hughes spoke warmly of Geoffrey achievements in Freemasonry not only in East Lancashire, but also in the Province Lincolnshire.  On behalf of City Sykes District, EComp Mike Birks made a small presentation of a 50th lapel badge.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies EComp Andrew Sinclair perambulated Geoffrey round the Chapter room to spontaneous applause from everyone present.
Finally, with the Chapter closed everyone retired to a very enjoyable Festive Board which ended a splendid way to celebrate 50 years in Royal Arch Freemasonry.
The toast to Geoffrey at the Festive Board was given by EComp Colin Taylor.  Colin said that “Geoffrey was a perfect example of a Freemason, always obliging and that nothing was too much trouble for him.”  Since moving to Ancaster in 1970 Geoffrey continues to travel to Chapter meetings.  To date the Chapter has met forty seven times from September 1999, during this period Geoffrey has missed only three meetings!  In January 2012 Geoffrey will celebrate his 90th Birthday!
A special mention of thanks must be made to the Chapter Scribe E, EComp Colin Taylor and the District Officer, EComp Ken Edwards for organising the evening’s event. 
This was EComp Edward’s last official function as a District Officer after six years.  EComp Stuart Hughes thanked Ken for his commitment and the time he had given to the office of DORA, a roll which he had carried out with great dignity.



Presentation of Illuminated Certificate by EComp Stuart Hughes


Acorn and Rose Chapter Members with EComp Stuart Hughes

Provincial and District Deputation

Toast at the Festive Board - Acorn and Rose Chapter

EComp Mike Birks and EComp Stuart Hughes



Manchester District Joint Convocation
Renaissance Chapter No. 1219

A large turnout of Royal Arch Masons attended the Joint Convocation hosted by Renaissance Chapter No. 1219 on behalf of the Manchester Districts which was held at Freemasons’ Hall, Bridge Street on, Wednesday 16th February 2011.

In attendance was, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp Allan Bennion PGSwdB, accompanied by the Second Provincial Grand Principal EComp William Porter PGStB, the Third Provincial Grand Principal EComp Revd Donald Pryce PGStB. 

Accompanying the Deputy Grand Superintendent was the host APGP for Manchester, EComp Stuart Hughes, together with EComp Martin Caller the APGM for Manchester.  A further three APGP’s EComp Norman Clarke, EComp Michael Landriau, EComp Ed Cheadle, PAPGP EComp Ian Hancox and EComp David Basger District Chairman for City Derby, completed the Deputation.  They were all ably supported by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies EComp Wesley Marchant and EComp Jack Levene and EComp Rick Kenyon both Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.

Provincial Deputation with the Principals of the Chapter

The MEZ EComp Mike Whittaker welcomed everyone to the Chapter and invited the Deputy Grand Superintendent and the Provincial Grand Principals to occupy the chairs of Z, H & J.  On taking the chair the Deputy Grand Superintendent introduced his Deputation and said “he was looking forward to an enjoyable and relaxing evening”

EComp Denny Stevens introduced the lecture, giving special reference and thanks to the original author EComp Revd Neville Cryer. 
Those Companions in attendance were treated to a splendid lecture entitled ‘Commentary on the Holy Royal Ceremony’ by Companions from the Royal Arch Chapters within the Manchester District.  On completion EComp Roger Bower introduced those who had taken part in the lecture, these were;

Peter Ashcroft

Renaissance Chapter

No. 1219

Jonathan Berg  

Ark & Menorah Chapte

No. 6594

Mike Brown

Virtue Chapter

No. 152

Derreck Cockcroft 

Service Chapter

No. 5412

David Dean

Lord Stanley Chapter 

No. 2891

Ashley Hayman 

Ark & Menorah Chapter

No. 6594

Steve Mayers  

Duke of Connaught Chapter 

No. 3264

Mike Naylor   

Renaissance Chapter

No. 1219

John Wilkinson 

Acorn and Rose

No. 5677

The Provincial Grand Principals, APGP and APGM for Manchester with the Companions who presented the lectures

On completion The Deputy Grand Superintendent said it was a “delightful lecture and that it was pleasing to see, that the majority taking part were Companions of the Order”

Before retiring the Deputy Grand Superintendent was presented with a cheque for £1,200 on behalf of the Chapter towards the 2015 RMBI Festival by, The MEZ EComp Mike Whittaker.  The Deputy Grand Superintendent replied with gratifying appreciation.

The Chapter closed everyone retired to an excellent and lively Social Board. Before the final toast of the evening, The Second Provincial Grand Principal EComp William Porter addressed the Companions, informing them, this was EComp Allan Bennion’s last official outing as The Deputy Grand Superintendent, saying “it had been a privilege and pleasure for himself and EComp Revd Donald Pryce to serve with Allan”

The Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp Allan Bennion and EComp Mike Whittaker 1st Principal

The evening would also see the last official visit for EComp Wesley Marchant, as The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, after eight years in the role.  EComp Marchant will be invested as The Second Provincial Grand Principal in March, replacing EComp William Porter who becomes The Deputy Grand Superintendent.  EComp Henri Lyons will also be invested as The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies.

The Provincial Grand Principals with EComp Wesley Marchant and EComp Henri Lyons

We wish them all well in their new roles and a well deserved rest for EComp Bennion who said, “it was time to give something back to his dear wife Olive who had supported him well over the year’s”  MEZ EComp Mike Whittaker presented The Deputy Grand Superintendent with flowers for his wife.

Presentation of flowers by the Chapters 1st Principal Mike Whittaker

The evening’s event had been co-ordinated by the District Officers for Manchester, EComp Denny Stevens, EComp Roger Watts, EComp Roger Bower together with the Chapter Scribe E, EComp Ron Buckley and the Chapter Treasurer EComp Jack Preston. 

EComp Martin Caller and EComp Stuart Hughes

EComp Wesley Marchant, EComp Rick Kenyon and EComp Jack Levene DC's on the night

The Manchester District wishes to place on record a special thank you to the members of Renaissance Chapter for hosting the meeting.


Bury and Radcliffe District Joint Convocation

On Tuesday, 8th February 2011, A Joint Convocation of Bury and Radcliffe Districts was held at the Bury Masonic Hall under the banner of the Papyrean Chapter No.5771.  Some 83 Companions attended the Convocation.

The Chapter was opened and the minutes read and approved.

A report was heard and the Acting Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, EComp Henri Lyons, was admitted

He announced that the Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp Allan Bennion, PGSwdB, accompanied by the Second Provincial Grand Principal, EComp William J. Porter, PGStB, the Third Provincial Grand Principal, EComp Rev. Donald E Pryce, PGStB, the host Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, EComp David Thornton, PGStB, the other Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals, together with the host Assistant Provincial Grand Master, EComp Philip Mountford, PSGD, was in attendance without and he demanded admission.
The Provincial Delegation was admitted to the Chapter.
The Deputy Grand Superintendent and the Provincial Grand Principals were placed in the chairs of Z, H & J.



Front row from left: Henri Lyons, Acting ProvGDC; Philip Mountford, APGM; David Thornton, APGP; William Porter, 2nd Prov Grand Principal;
Steve Clark, (H); Allan Bennion, DepGSupt; Roger Bowden, (Z); Rev. Donald Pryce, 3rd Prov Grand Principal;
Steve Smith, (acting J); Edward Cheadle, APGP; Gerry Hodson, ProvDepGDC

Back row from left: Brian Sigsworth, ProvGChStwd; Roy Fairhurst, DORA; Peter Watson, ProvGReg; Mike Landriau, APGP; Andrew Holland, ProvDepGScE;
Norman Clarke, APGP; Andrew Sinclair, ProvDepGDC

The assembled Companions then witnessed a total of 12 Companions of Bury and Radcliffe Districts Chapters presenting ‘More Light on the Holy Royal Arch’, by EComp Harry Carr, PGSwdB. This presentation was first given in London's First Principal's Chapter No 2712 and was chosen for this evening by EComp Roy Fairhurst, DORA.

An exemplary Valedictory Address was then given by Excellent Companion Stuart MacIVOR, DC of Papyrean Chapter.


The Deputy Grand Superintendent, the Provincial Grand Principals, the Chapter Principals, the APGP and the APGM

The evening was completed by an excellent social board, enjoyed by all present.

The Social Board

The Deputy Grand Superindentant, EComp Allan Bennion, with the 1st Principal of the Chapter, EComp Roger Bowden


W Bro Philip Mountford, APGM with EComp David Thornton, APGP


EComp Henri Lyons, Acting ProvGDC with EComp Stuart MacIVOR, The DC of Papyrean Chapter


The DepGSupt takes wine with the Provincial and Chapter 1st and 2nd Principals


Those taking part in "More Light on The Royal Arch" were:

Chapter of Unanimity No 42 - Comp Bernard Fenton & EComp John Grundy

Prince Edwin's Chapter No 128 - Comp Anthony Smith & Comp Fred Blackburn

Chapter of Beauty No 344 - Comp Christopher Smith & EComp Ian Lewis

Derby Chapter No 1055 - Comp Gerry Russell & Comp Stephen Flannigan

Radcliffe Chapter No 2701 - Comp W Humphreys & EComp David Hayes

Papyrean Chapter No 5771 - EComp Roger Bowden & Comp Ken Syddall


The Organisation of the Joint Convocation was by

EComp Roy Fairhurst, DORA, EComp Stuart MacIVOR, the DC of Papyrean Chapter and Comp Paul Sellers, ScribeE

Unitas Fratrum Chapter No. 7958

Unitas Fratrum Chapter No. 7958 was consecrated at Audenshaw on the 4th February 1976 from the Unitas Fratrum Lodge of the same number.   It continued meeting there up until Wednesday 26th January 2011when it held the last meeting in Audenshaw before moving to Ashday Lea in Rawtenstall and becoming a lunchtime Chapter.

The Chapter has 10 subscribing members and two honorary members, but at the final meeting a number of companions from Rossendale were visiting as prospective members.

The photograph was taken at the last Audenshaw meeting where a banquet was also held to mark the occasion.

The Chapter will now meet at Ashday Lea Rawtenstall Masonic Hall on the third Friday in March, May, October and January at 11.30am for each meeting, except the installation on the 18th March 2011 when it will meet at 11.00am.

This is a new beginning for Unitas Fratrum Chapter and the companions are looking forward to the future at Rawtenstall knowing there will be more joining members in March and a candidate for exaltation in May with more to follow.

All companions will be welcome to visit the Chapter and are asked to contact the Scribe E. EComp, Bob Slattery, telephone number 01253 865881 to book in.

Ashday Lea is an excellent Masonic Hall with ample free car parking and well stocked bar and good catering facilities.