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Tuesday, March 27th, 2018
On Thursday 22nd March the Rochdale Chapter of First Principals No 9211 hosted a Royal Arch Workshop which was presented by EComp Peter Mason PGSwdB Dep GSupt of Cumberland and Westmorland. The members were delighted to be supported on the evening by a large number of Officers from Supreme Grand Chapter including EComp Paul Rose PGSwdB Deputy Grand Superintendent, EComp Harvey Basger PAGSoj 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, EComp David Halford PGStB 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, EComp Peter Hewitt PGStB APGM and also Rochdale District Chairman EComp Peter Rhodes PProvDepGSwdB together with a District Delegation.
EComp Mason began his presentation by referring to the Bible and taking the Chapter through the history of the rebuilding of King Solomon’s Temple. He then explained how this section of the Bible has been represented in Royal Arch Chapter Ritual.
He continued by describing features of the Chapter, their significance and location. In particular, he said the pavement, unlike that in the craft, should be considered a depiction of an underground vault. He explained that the candles should traditionally be set out around the pedestal in the form of 2 equilateral triangles rather than, as seems to be common at the moment, of setting them out together at the south east of the pedestal. He went on to point out that the banners should be arranged around the pedestal as this represented the position of the encampment of the 12 tribes of Israel when guarding the Arc of the Covenant.
EComp Mason was congratulated on a very interesting presentation which raised questions as to our understanding of the layout of a Chapter. He suggested that in most cases companions adopt a particular layout because “we’ve always done it that way” or “because somebody said that was the correct way”. He encouraged those present to be prepared to question their knowledge and understanding with a view to establishing why we do what we do.
The 61 companions present at the social board all agreed that the meal was an excellent conclusion to a very informative evening of Masonic fellowship.
Report by Ken Rowlatt
I joined Prince Edwin’s Chapter as I was keen to learn about the Royal Arch. I have found the history and tradition of the order absolutely captivating, my exaltation was incredible, so much colour, drama and historical ritual, which has left me feeling utterly privileged to be a part of something very special.
At the age of 28 and just over a month of becoming a master mason, I was exalted into the Royal Arch. That is something I haven’t regretted. Having gone through my craft ceremonies, I felt a piece of the jigsaw was missing, and wanted to complete my final step to becoming a “complete Freemason”.
Chapter has brought with it new experiences, new insights and new Companions, all of which add to our pleasure and enjoyment of Freemasonry.
I planned to pass through the chair before joining Chapter but newly exalted companions from my lodge recommended that I join because it would complete my masonic journey. After 4 years in craft I decided to join chapter and have enjoyed the experience ever since.
Andrew Matvi Korolczuk
As I spent more time in my lodge I was keen to further my Masonic journey. Everyone suggested the Royal Arch to complete the Third Degree. The new appearance of a chapter was a surprise. The story was enlightening and put a new perspective on my Masonic understanding.
Christopher Noel Hegarty
I became a member of the Chapter following in the steps of my brother Warren who died at 39. I really enjoy the diversity between the Craft and Royal Arch the banners, candles, and robes etc,. I would recommend all Brethren to join the Royal Arch.
I decided to expand my Masonic knowledge. By joining a chapter where a number of my lodge brethren were members. My Exaltation was a wonderful experience for me being full of colour. I would recommend the Royal Arch to any Master Mason.