In this special year of celebrating the Royal Arch bicentenary, the Buckinghamshire Grand Stewards’ Chapter convocation at Beaconsfield held on the 3rd of December 2013, was honoured to receive a visit from the M.E. Second Grand Principal, George Pipon Francis. The members of the Chapter had prepared a demonstration of the Exaltation ceremony, including an explanatory commentary, originally devised by Rev. Neville Barker-Cryer and given on the day by John Keeble. The First Principal, Paul Smallman, assisted by a team of enthusiastic officers performed an excellent ceremony according to the now widely adopted new permissive version of the ritual.
The festive board following the convocation was enjoyed by everyone, and the Grand Superintendent, Dr. Richard Neale, once again welcomed the Second Grand Principal to Buckinghamshire Principal to Buckinghamshire saying how pleased members of the Province were that his visit had coincided with the celebrations during this notable year for the Royal Arch. George Francis responded by thanking the Grand Superintendent and the members of the Stewards Chapter for their warm welcome, superb rendition of the ritual and excellent hospitality. He informed those present that nationally, there were over four thousand exaltations each year and reiterated the importance placed by Supreme Grand Chapter on the need to ensure that newly-exalted members were encouraged to enjoy their Royal Arch membership and were given the opportunity to participate in convocations as much as possible. Finally, he presented Dr. Neale with the gift of a pair of cuff links and a pair of red socks. Dr. Neale was most impressed with the cuff links, and only time will tell how highly he regards the red socks.