Once you have become a Master Mason, after one month you are entitled to join Royal Arch. The term for joining is Exaltation. It is generally considered that membership of the Royal Arch is an important step in your journey through Masonry, and Craft and Royal Arch have very close ties. Indeed, they are said to be “indissolubly linked”, so much so that in Scotland (which has its own Grand Lodge which is independent of the United Grand Lodge of England) you must become a member of Royal Arch, which you do in your Craft Lodge, before you are fully fledged.
In Worcestershire all Lodges should have a Royal Arch representative and, if you want to join, he is a good port of call. You can also download the leaflet on this website (Downloads/Master Mason Pack). As in all Masonic Orders you will need a proposer and seconder who are members of the Chapter you wish to join.
White Ensign Chapter meets three times during the year, on the first Tuesday in September, December (Installation Meeting) and June. At your first meeting you will take part in an Exaltation ceremony. Once you are Exalted, whilst at a Chapter meeting, you will be addressed as “Companion” in the same way as you are “Brother” in a Craft Lodge.
As a Mason you will already be familiar with Masonic ceremonies and many Masons consider the Exaltation ceremony to be particularly interesting, colourful and thought provoking.
The apron retains its basic white centre but has a red and blue border, these colours being repeated on a sash which is also worn. These two colours are normally found on the border of the Masonic Pavement; the carpet in the Lodge room. Companions also wear a Royal Arch jewel which they should wear when they attend both Chapter and Craft meetings. The wearing of this jewel in Craft serves to reinforce the special tie between the two orders which has already been referred to.
The ritual of Royal Arch, in common with that of all Masonic degrees takes the form of an allegory. In the Craft this allegory guides you to find your true self. Royal Arch is designed to prompt each Companion to consider his relationship with and dependence on a Supreme Being.
In a Craft Lodge members usually progress through a number of Offices before ultimately attaining the position of Worshipful Master. Likewise in Royal Arch there are a number of Offices which ultimately lead to the Office of Principal. However, in Royal Arch each Chapter has three Principals who are appointed and Installed each year, each having different responsibilities within the Chapter. It is usual for a Companion to progress through the three Principals’ Offices or “Chairs” in consecutive years.
In Worcestershire all Chapters come under the administration of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Worcestershire, the head of which is the Grand Superintendent. In turn all Provinces operate under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England. Both Provinces and Supreme Grand Chapter have Officers who are usually appointed annually.
On Saturday 30th November the Members of the Society and their Ladies gathered at Stratford Oaks Golf Club for our Annual Presentation Evening hosted by the Society Captain Derek Richards.
The Trophy Table had its usual excellent array of Trophies for all our Matches, including our French Tour and the Golfer of the Year Award.
As always it was an excellent evening and we now look forward to the start of the new, our 21st, season which begins with our AGM and 1st Game at Ombersley Golf Club on Tuesday 10th March.
Visitors are always welcome, please contact our Secretary Martyn Davies : firstname.lastname@example.org
Yet another White Ensign Lodge success when the Lodge once again celebrated in its usual unique fashion the Great Victory at Trafalgar.
This year however as well as celebrating the courage and leadership of Admiral Viscount Nelson we also honoured a hero of our own, a former Honorary Member of the Lodge, PO Cox'n Tommy Gould, VC. W. Bro. Les Leek very kindly presented to the Lodge a framed copy of the London Gazette and Tommy's Medals to be retained by the Lodge and a smaller set which was auctioned by our "Tame" Auctioneer and raised £617.00. This has now been presented by the Purchaser to the Submarine Musueum at HMS Dolphin, Gosport.
Once again an excellent evening with a very good Initiation Ceremony and the usual fine entertainment on the Mess Deck.
On Saturday 6th December 2019 W. Bro. Sgt (S) Ian Fothergill, PPrSGW, LGR returned to the Chair of the Lodge having last been Installed into that Chair in December 1999 as the Millenium Master.
Following an excellent Ceremony, performed by W. Bro. RO1 Mike Harbon, the Officers were Invested and this was followed by the newly Installed WM presenting a cheque for £1,000, as a further contribution by the Lodge to the 2022 Festival Fund, to the Presiding Officer, W. Bro. Michael Dykes, Prov AGM, following which the Ships Company and those Taking Passage retired for the usual Tot prior to entering the Mess Deck for an excellent meal.
This year rather than presenting each Member present with a set of Lodge Cuff Links the WM provided all present with a Pen incorporating a Light. (Ideal for the 3rd Degree).
Tuesday 3rd December once again provided a night of sheer enjoyment with a strong nautical flavour both in the Temple and on the Mess Deck on completion.
Some 26 Companions were on board, including 18 Members of the Crew, and 8 Taking Passage, to celebrate the 20th Installation Convocation. Those on board included the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E. Comp. John M Phenix,(an Honorary Member), Acting 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, E. Comp. Ian M Fothergill, PGStB, PPrGJ, LGCR, and the 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, E. Comp. Barry J Griffin, PGStB, all very ably escorted by E. Comp. Tim L Jones, PGStB the Provincial DC.
Unfortunately the MEZ Designate had just been discharged from Sick Bay following an emergency operation and will therefore not assume command until our June 2020 Convocation (04/06/2020). This left E. Comp. Frank Walters, PPrAGDC, on the bridge assisted by the Installation of E. Comp. Martin Green as H and the Induction of E. Comp. Len Venables, ProvGSwdB, as J.
Following the Convocation the ships company retired to the Mess Deck for an excellent meal and where the ships Welfare Officer managed to extract a total, including Gift Aid, of £136.25