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Monday, October 1st, 2018
Shown in the photograph: Centre – RWBro Stephen Blank, Provincial Grand Master of Cheshire with, on his right, the WM of Concord – WBro Mike Keightley PProvJGW and APGP. The ELRAPT Team are (From top, clockwise) EComps Russell Pike, David Clayton, Greg Casson, Richard Johnson, John Cavanagh (ELRAPT Bookings Clerk and Administrator), Grahame Rawlinson, Ray Degg, A couple of hangers – on, Dennis Hesketh (Team Leader) and Tony Freemont, Terry Bailey, Another hanger on and Chris Cunliffe (Deputy Team Leader)
Yet again the Companions of the East Lancashire Royal Arch Presentation Team were invited to travel to Foreign Parts, taking our own brand of enlightened Royal Arch Trivia and Merry Making with us. On this occasion we went south, leaving the safety and security of the Province of East Lancashire behind us, we sojourned into the deep South, far from civilisation. (Well, okay, we went visiting to Stockport, but it sounds much more exciting the other way.)
On Wednesday 26thSeptember a dozen Companions of ELRAPT, together with one or two hangers on) visited the Lodge of Concord No 323 at its base of operations in the Stockport Masonic Guildhall. Concord is over 200 years old, starting its life as a normal Masonic Lodge, in recent years, following an amalgamation with another Cheshire Lodge it has become a Lodge of Installed Masters.
On the night there were more than 60 brethren present to see what ELRAPT could do. The principal guest of honour was another East Lancs Mason, in the person of VWBro Stephen M Blank, the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Cheshire. He was accompanied by a full Provincial Delegation as it was only days before Provincial Grand Lodge would meet and terms of office would come to an end. But it all made for a jolly fine company.
If you haven’t seen ELRAPT perform “Crafty Companions” then all I can say is, “Shame on You”. As usual, the Team attend, regaled as RA Masons, and stay outside the Lodge. The main business is concluded and the Lodge is Called Off before the performance begins. Crafty Companions tells the stories of several characters of whom we know little more than their names, but who all have solid back stories if you take the time to research them. There are heroes, villains, jokers and one solid lunatic. ELRAPT was set up to share the joy of Royal Arch Masonry and to spread the message that Masonry is FUN! Wednesday’s audience was most receptive and joined in with the cheering, booing, and general mayhem of the evening.
A great time was had by all.
Text and Photographs are by, and © Kevin Hall (Comms Officer).
Individual photographs are available for download from the EL Cloud PhotoGallery at the following address: Lodge of Concord 323 Gallery
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.