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!!……

Windsor Freemasons’ Throw Open Their Doors

Windsor Lodge Open Day Poster

Open-Day-Windsor-Poster

Freemasonry – What’s It All About?

On Saturday 31st January 2015 Windsor Freemasons’ will be throwing open their doors at:

The Windsor Masonic Hall, Church Lane, Windsor SL4 1PA from 11am – 4pm

Entry Is Free and Refreshments Will Be Provided

The Freemasons of Berkshire are throwing open their doors to the local community in Windsor at an Open Day on 31st January 2015. We want to give the public an opportunity find out what the Freemasons’ really do as opposed to the myths.

We are offering the opportunity to tour this superb, spectacular, historical building right next door to Windsor Castle, and much, much more.

Come and find out about what Freemasonry has to offer :

• A great place to make new friends
• Opportunity for Individual Development
• Thriving social scene
• Charitable works in the Community
• Ceremonial symbolism (yes we will really tell you what this all means!)

We are extending a warm welcome to all to come and meet us – what have you got to lose? Just pop in anytime between 11am and 4pm on Saturday 31st January 2015. We are The Red Door at the top of Church St, Windsor, SL4 1PA.

Welcome to my Masonic Blog

This is me as the Junior Deacon of my lodge.
This is me as the Junior Deacon of my lodge.

Hi to all and welcome to my blog. As you know I am a freemason, this blog is all about my “Masonic Career”. I hope you find it interesting and I hope by reading  this you will join me in learning more about Freemasonry. Throughout my blog I will keep you up to date with what I am doing and what its like to be a Mason. I am not going to mention anything that may spoil the experience of people wanting to become a Freemason but I will certainly tell you as much as I can about it.

I have always been very curious about Freemasonry and wanted to find out more. For some reason it was something that I felt I wanted to join but like most people didn’t really know why. Lots of people had said it was a secret society and I have heard lots of rumors about secret handshakes, passwords and ceremonies. This all seemed a bit strange to me but I was curious to find out more. I studied many websites and was very impressed with the donations made to charity by various lodges, I also liked the social aspect of Freemasonry. So my enthusiasm to find out more grew! It was after this during a shift on an Ambulance response car (my day job!) I got talking to a colleague who I was working with for the first time. During the conversation he mentioned to me that he was a Freemason, what an opportunity!! We were together for 12hrs and now I had plenty of time to find out more and ask questions. At the end of the shift I was sure it was something I wanted to do, my colleague and new friend invited me to look around his lodge and meet a few other Masons. I went for the visit and filled out the application form.

What struck me was how friendly and welcoming everyone was. I was shown around the various lodge rooms and had a look around the archives. The various lodges were very impressive, full of symbols, pictures, banners and lots of things that obviously meant something. I got a sense of how “complex” freemasonry is  and that there would be lots to learn and understand. I have to say some of the explanation to the meaning of objects in the lodge seemed a bit strange, now that I understand what they mean it all makes sense. My first visit was great, I spoke to lots of people who were very encouraging and I went home excited about the prospect of joining.

A while later I returned to the lodge to have an official meeting with members of the lodge I was going to join. They told me about the lodge and what was involved. One of the comments that really impressed me was the fact that Family and work must always come before Freemasonry. They also wanted to make sure I had the support of my Wife and family. A little while later I received a letter inviting me to attend my first meeting or my “initiation”. This is where I started to wonder what was going to happen, the term “initiation” is not a term you use every day. Again it did seem a bit weird because no one tells you what happens when you are initiated. I have to say I had a mixed feeling of curiosity and nerves about the whole thing. So eventually the evening arrived of my initiation. Everyone I had spoken to said it was going to be a brilliant evening and night I would never forget. I can honestly say I can remember it as if it happened yesterday. As a candidate you are made to feel as though you are the star of the show. During the ceremony you are told about Freemasonry and what you are joining. Different people tell you about the history and the origins of Freemasonry. Its was a great experience and I’m glad no one told me what was going to happen because it would definitely spoil the surprise. I went through the ceremony and all of a sudden I was a Freemason and yes I was wearing an apron.

I was taken to a seat and sat down in the meeting as a Mason, it was a strange feeling. The meeting continued just like any other committee type meeting. The meeting ended and we went down to the bar and had a drink. I had a constant flow of people shaking my hand and congratulating me. We then had a meal together. Following every lodge meeting you sit down and have a meal, it is called the Festive Board. As I was the new initiate I got to sit on the top table with the Master of the lodge. It was a great night of speeches and welcoming messages. I will always remember the date at it was November 5th, I walked out of the lodge surrounded by fireworks going off. I know they were not for me but they did add to the experience.

It was a brilliant night, I had only known these people for a few hours, when I left it was if I had known them for years. I had never been made to feel as welcome anywhere as I did that night, I knew there were many good times to come.

Here is the official Youtube clip giving you more info of Freemasonry.