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Welcome our new arrival

by Brian Page

The Royal Arch Province of Berkshire welcomed a new addition to the family on 1st October 2021, with the consecration of The Berkshire Chapter of Enlightenment No. 9945, at the Berkshire Masonic Centre, Sindlesham. The first such event in the Province of Berkshire for twenty-seven years.

Nearly 100 Royal Arch companions assembled to witness the Consecration Ceremony, performed impeccably, by the three Provincial Grand Principals lead by The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Ian Hopgood. The consecrating Joshua, Colin Townsend Green, gave an inspiring oration describing how the basic principles of freemasonry, brotherly love, relief and truth flow throughout the ceremonies of Craft and Royal Arch freemasonry. The consecration of a new RA chapter is similar to that for a new Craft lodge and involves using corn, wine, oil, salt and incense. The burning of the incense set off the fire alarm and almost caused the evacuation of the building.


The excellent Gregorian plainsong harmonies by the choir, singing from the balcony added an ethereal atmosphere to the proceedings. The Provincial Organist also added much to the ceremonial of the afternoon.


The stage set for the Consecration Ceremony


The Primus Principals and Founding Companions with the Consecration Party

Following the Consecration Ceremony came the induction of the primus principals of the new chapter, E Comp. Antony Howlett-Bolton, (PGM for Berkshire) as MEZ, E Comp. Ian Clark H and E Comp. Steve Heike J. The principals then invested their officers before the convocation was closed in due form.

Following the convocation, there was a Prosecco reception before an excellent Consecration Dinner in the Flavell suite. During the formal after-dinner toasts, the irony of the PGM being MEZ of the BerkshireChapter of Enlightenment while at the same time, the MEGS is WM of The Berkshire Lodge of Enlightenment. and how neatly this demonstrates: “the indissoluble link between Symbolic and Royal Arch Freemasonry”.

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