On 16th October, Supreme Grand Chapter celebrated its bicentenary with a day of events built around a special convocation in the Grand Temple.
First was the demonstration of the Permissive form of the Exaltation Ceremony, performed very effectively by members of the Metropolitan Grand Stewards Chapter. It is this version of the Royal Arch ritual that Supreme Grand Chapter is keen to see all private chapters adopt, as it helps to make the Royal Arch story more accessible to newly exalted Companions and easier to comprehend for everyone. Representing Buckinghamshire were the Grand Superintendent, Dr. Richard Neale and Buckinghamshire’s newest Grand Standard Bearer, Richard Reano, who received his first appointment to Supreme a Grand a Chapter at the April SGC convocation. This demonstration was followed by lunch at the New Connaught Rooms.
Returning from lunch, the companions then joined with others just arrived, to attend the celebratory convocation of Supreme Grand Chapter, which on this occasion was presided over by the ME The First Grand Principal, HRH The Duke of Kent. During the convocation it was announced that the 2013 appeal in support of the Royal College of Surgeons had to date raised over £2million. This is a truly remarkable achievement as the original aim was for only £1million to be raised from the national appeal.
Two centrepieces of this very special event were a talk given by John Hammil called “Pure Antient Masonry Triumphant” and an oration by the Revd. Dr. John Railton. The subject of these was the historical events leading to the recognition of the Royal Arch as an essential and necessary part of Pure Ancient Freemasonry; and the importance of becoming a member in order to be able to understand the ‘Masonic Big Picture’ and complete one’s Masonic journey, which for all of us commenced with our Initiation into Craft Freemasonry. No doubt we will be able to read these addresses in full in a future edition of Freemasonry Today or in the minutes of this convocation when eventually they are released. The convocation concluded with addresses by the First Grand Principal of Scotland and the Grand King of Ireland, followed by the ME The First Grand Principal, who once again reiterated the importance of Royal Arch membership.
The convocation was followed by a gala dinner at the Savoy, which was well attended and enjoyed by all who had managed to acquire much sought-after tickets to this ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ event.