Im now a Companion

Comp Mark Davis

So October the 9th has been and gone and I am now a Companion of the Holy Royal Arch of Jerusalem or Chapter as it is known.

Joining a Chapter (Exaltation)  is an extension of your Master Mason degree, some consider it the natural progression for Master Masons.

I joined Old Sunning Chapter No 5987 in Berkshire. The Chapter is attached to my Mother Lodge, Old Sunning Lodge (The first lodge I joined) . It was great to join this Chapter as it meant I would already know a few of its members. I also got to meet new people.

As with most things Masonic you don’t really know what is going to happen when you join. I will now tell you a bit about my experience but of course I wont be giving away details of the ceremony as it would spoil it for other people.

I arrived at Sindlesham for 5pm. It was a weird feeling, as normally I turn up at Sindlesham as a Master Mason attending my lodge or visiting another, I then know what I’m doing and feel comfortable. This night I had the same feelings as when I was Initiated. I was the new boy again!!

I made my way to the lounge to grab a coffee and met up with members of the Chapter. I already knew a few of the members so sat down and had a chat. It was great, they were all wishing me well with the ceremony and were very encouraging. I did relax a bit after that! I met up with the Secretary of the Chapter, there was a bit of paperwork to do. The time came for the members to go in to the Lodge, I then had a few minutes on my own finishing my coffee. This is the moment when the excitement/nerves set in a bit. A little while later the Janitor (A member of the Chapter for prepares new members) came out to see me and took me to the lodge room. He had received confirmation all was well and the ceremony could begin. I put on my Master Mason regalia and was then greeted by another member of the Chapter.

I had to prove that I was a Master Mason, it is a requirement that you are a Master Mason before you can join. The ceremony started. The ceremony was very different from the ceremony of Initiation when you join. It is more of a story/play. I was told by many people that the ceremony was Colourful, I didn’t quite understand this. All I can say without spoiling it is that the meaning of Colourful will be understood when you join. It was a beautiful ceremony and a memory/picture that will stay with me for a long time. Many members took part in the ceremony and it was very obvious that they had put a lot of work into preparing for the evening. I absolutely loved it!! It was a really special evening that I will always remember. The atmosphere in the Chapter was incredible. I am so glad I joined.

When I became a Mason my proposer said to me “you will always remember your initiation”. I would totally agree with this! My Exaltation (Joining the Chapter) feels as special to me for various reasons as my initiation. Knowing that many of my friends who had come to visit and watch me joining, were as excited about my joining as I was made the evening even more special.

I would encourage any Mason to join a Chapter. I would also repeat the advice I received and that was not to join until you feel you are ready and understand your Craft work first. My Chapter is very happy to let me progress slowly through the Chapter. I requested this as I want to concentrate on my work in my craft lodges first. Once I have been through the Masters Chair of my Craft Loge I will then look to progress through Chapter. Trying to learn too much can get very confusing.

So all in all I’m really glad I joined. I’m looking forward to visiting other Chapters and meeting lots of Companions I have not had chance to meet yet. As always with Freemasonry, lots of good times ahead!!……


My next Masonic step


October 9th I will be joining a new order of Freemasonry called The Holy Royal Arch (or Chapter as it is also known). As soon as you have been a Master Mason for 4 weeks you are able to join The HRA. I will be joining The Old Sunning Chapter, this is attached to my Mother Lodge.

Im really looking forward to joining the Chapter and learning more about this degree. I will certainly be doing quite a bit of visiting of other Chapters.

Info on HRA taken from

Within the English Constitution, after four weeks as a Master Mason, a Freemason is entitled to join the Holy Royal Arch of Jerusalem, more familiarly known as the Holy Royal Arch.
The Holy Royal Arch whilst being an integral part of Freemasonry is organised as a separate Order. It is variously described as the “essence of Freemasonry”, the “foundation and keystone of the whole Masonic structure”, and as “the root, heart and marrow of freemasonry”. Every Master Mason has, and should take, the opportunity of discovering these qualities for himself by joining the Holy Royal Arch.
As with other Masonic Degrees, the ritual takes the form of allegory but the Holy Royal Arch is concerned with encouraging the spiritual aspects of life without compromising or encroaching on an individual’s belief or religion.
The ceremony in the Holy Royal Arch is colourful, thought provoking and uplifting. It is based on the legend of the rebuilding of King Solomon’s Temple and invokes simultaneously sensations of humility and our dependence on our unseen Creator.
We meet in Chapters and our meetings are known as Convocations. Members are known as Companions. As with Craft Masonry, each Chapter is organised individually and is normally attached to a Craft Lodge.
Whilst the Holy Royal Arch is similar in some respects to Craft Masonry, it is different in many aspects and, indeed, it is most interesting in its differences. For example we wear an apron but of a different design and colours, crimson and dark blue, together with a sash and a jewel. The jewel should be worn by Companions at Craft Meetings to emphasise the connection between the Craft and the Holy Royal Arch. We have three Principals who preside over the Chapter. They, and other Officers, are changed annually at the Installation Convocation.
There is a Holy Royal Arch Representative in each Craft Lodge in Berkshire who is there to give guidance and provide Master Masons with information on the Holy Royal Arch.
Supreme Grand Chapter controls the Holy Royal Arch at the national level and is organised similarly to Grand Lodge. The First Grand Principal is HRH the Duke of Kent. Likewise, Provincial Grand Chapter administers the Province, and is headed by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent.

Past Master takes Chair after 25 years to perform triple Raising


WBro Robert Hutchinson, who was Master of the Wyggeston Lodge in 1990, took the Master’s Chair once again at our meeting held on Friday 17th April 2015 by kind invitation of our current Master who was unable to attend.

Bros. Tom Grant, Ian Player and Jacob-Charles Diegel, who all joined Freemasonry through the United Grand Lodge of England Universities’ Scheme as Leicester University students, were Raised to the degree of a Master Mason in a superb triple ceremony assisted by many Brethren of the Lodge.

We were also delighted to welcome back to the Lodge the Provincial Liaison Officer for the Universities’ Scheme VWBro Peter Kinder who is also the Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Leicestershire and Rutland.

This was our last regular meeting of the Lodge before the summer break and concludes a busy winter session with 8 Initiations, 9 Passings and 9 Raisings.

IMG_1018 Three…

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Berkshire Freemasons Open Day


The Berkshire Freemason HQ is opening its doors to the public on the 25th April. All are welcome to attend and for those interested in joining its a perfect opportunity to have a look around and ask all the questions you want. I will be showing people around the lodge room and explaining what happens in the Lodge. There will also be displays from various lodges and other talks about Freemasonry. See you there!!!

Why Twitter is like Commercial Radio

Hungerford Freemasons

When people first attempt to explain Twitter to the uninitiated, they use the analogy of text messaging but that leads to misunderstandings. The analogy is based on the fact that both SMS text messaging and tweets are limited to roughly the same number of characters and that Twitter was originally designed to allow tweets to be submitted by SMS. Using this analogy leads new users to assume that you can tweet people in the same way as they might text their family members.

Twitter is actually a lot closer to running a commercial radio station than text messaging. Bear with me and I will explain.

Tweeting is a broadcast medium

imageYou put your tweets out there and hope somebody will listen to/read them. You can use Direct Messages (DM) but most people only use this to exchange email addresses before moving the private conversation to email.

To target a particular…

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The Old Sunning Lodge No 5987 & The Constante Fidélité Lodge No 19 Mechelen Belgium

Old Sunning Lodge Guests


By W Bro Irwin C Jewell BEM, PPSGW.

I was Initiated into The Old Sunning Lodge on the first Monday in November 1975, where I soon learnt of the affiliation between the two Lodges which had already been in existence for many years.
It was started by one our members WBro Cyril Johnson who lived at Caversham, his work took him all over Europe and apparently he had to visit Brussels University, where he met Dr Maurice Verbist and they soon discovered they both had one thing in common- Freemasonry! From that meeting Cyril arranged his visits to coincide with a visit to the Lodge in Mechelen and other Lodges and Chapters in the area.
It wasn’t very long before Cyril started to take members of Old Sunning Lodge to the Belgium Lodge  and
The Brethren from Belgium were regular visitors to Sindlesham.
After I was raised in March 1976, I soon was invited to make my first visit to Mechelen
In I977 the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium was excluded from the United Grand Lodge of England and as a protest against their own Grand Lodge about six of their members joined Old Sunning Lodge and made even more visits to us, after a while the Grand Lodge of Belgium was reunited with the United Grand Lodge of England and all of the Belgium Masons rejoined their old Lodge except WBro Dr Maurice Verbist who stayed a member of Old Sunning!
When I was installed into the Chair of Old Sunning in October 1985 many members from Belgium came over to the Ceremony,  I took a party over to their Lodge during my year of office and our affiliation continued for many years
until WBro Cyril Johnson moved away and I  became the coordinator of the visits between our two Lodges. Unfortunately a year or so later WBro Dr Maurice Verbist passed away and it wasn’t until I went into the Chair of Old Sunning Lodge again in 2001 I decided we should make another visit to Belgium. However, by then our Lodge was getting much smaller and I sought other Masons in Berkshire to see if they were interested in the visit which resulted in me taking a Coach over to Belgium, I have done this annually ever since. WBro Dr Maurice Verbist’s widow, Angela is still included in the list of Old Sunning widows and receives an annual cheque and Christmas card from the Lodge.
This year we have something really special happening, firstly 1st of May the Worshipful Master and the Brethren of The Constante Fidelite Lodge are coming over to Sindlesham to give a demonstration of their Spring Equinox Ceremony, which will be followed by a White Table Dinner together with the Belgium brethren and our Ladies, and we extend a very hearty welcome to any Brother and his Lady who would like to see this very different Ceremony to come and join us.
We have had a offer from Greta Palmer who will give a Illustrated talk to the Ladies entitled “Dressed to Impress” whilst the Masons are in the Ceremony in the Berkshire Temple. The interest shown already indicates this will be very well attended.
Secondly on June 18Th to the 22ND I am running our visit to Mechelen, we stay in the Novotel Hotel in the Centre of the City for 4 nights and apart from our visit to their Lodge to witness The Summer Equinox Ceremony we are going to Waterloo on the Saturday to celebrate the 200Th Anniversary of The Battle of Waterloo where they are having a re-enactment of the Battle with 5000 troops taking part!! We still have 4 spaces available, If you are interested in joining us please email:
My deepest wish is that in my 87th year I cannot continue to be  the coordinator of the affiliation of our two Lodges and someone else will take it over! If anyone is interested in taking this role on please feel free to talk to me.

A Triple Raising Ceremony is conducted by the Wyggeston Lodge


The three new Master Masons of Wyggeston Lodge along with the Master (left) The three new Master Masons of Wyggeston Lodge along with the Master (left)

Congratulations to our three newest Master Masons who were Raised at our meeting on Friday 16th January 2915 at Freemasons Hall, Leicester.

Once again, the Wyggeston Lodge has continued to rewrite their history by conducting their first ever Triple Raising Ceremony in their 104 years of existence. The Candidates, Bros Tartacuta, Radoja and Carter, were all excellent and were part of a superb Ceremony performed by all the Brethren who took part. Bro Peter Clarke, who is also a member of the Royal Yorkshire Lodge No.265, treated the Brethren to the ‘Yorkshire’ version of the Working Tools in his own inimitable and entertaining style.

The meeting concluded with a wonderful Festive Board where the Brethren and visitors enjoyed the social side of Freemasonry and were additionally entertained by WBro Kelvin Johnson who acted as a very…

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Becoming a Freemason

I couldn’t agree more with this Blog from Hungerford Lodge.

Hungerford Freemasons

Turning the key

Most people think you become a Freemason by going through an initiation ceremony and to some extent they are correct. However, long before a man is initiated, he will need to have become a Freemason in his heart. The ceremony of initiation simply confirms that transition.

Candidates for Freemasonry are typically looking to make themselves better men by being more useful to society in general and are already volunteering or involved in charitable activities. For example, there is a strong association between the Scouting movement and Freemasonry. The values instilled into young people during their time in the Scouts mirror those valued by Freemasons. There are several Lodges, such as the Be Prepared Lodge no 9845, for whom this bond is part of the reason they exist.

Freemasonry nurtures an inherent desire to be more than an individual, to serve the community and to grow as a person. Scouts learn…

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Timing is everything – Tweet when your audience is listening

Hungerford Freemasons

Turning the key Turning the key

Twitter and Facebook are like a rolling news service that never stops. They are sometimes likened to a river or waterfall, referring to the cascade of tweets/posts flowing down your screen. As a reader, it can sometimes feel like you are trying to drink from a fire hose, so few people try to read every tweet or post. As a result, anyone posting to achieve an outcome, needs to find ways to increase the likelihood of their tweet/post being read. This author has a clear intention to encourage more people (men and women) to better understand Freemasonry in the hope that others will wish to join.

As it is going to become tedious reading “tweet/post” every time let’s assume that the term “content” refers to either.

There are several challenges involved in getting the timing correct:

  1. Finding a way to deliver content at the best time
  2. Solving…

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