Why join the Royal Arch
The Royal Arch is a very special order in Freemasonry, one which we hope all Freemasons will wish to join.
Craft masonry gives us a sound and moral and spiritual framework which exhorts us to improve our relationships with those around us and to practice our three grand principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. The Craft Degrees use the temple building, its architecture and aspects of operative masonry as the framework for the teaching of this moral code and to encourage us to commence building a spiritual temple in our hearts. Finally, we are exhorted to discover more about ourselves. The Royal Arch takes this further and makes all that has been presented in the craft complete and perfect in a beautiful and inspiring ceremony. The language, symbolism and teachings of the Exaltation ceremony, (the admission of a new Royal Arch mason), are profound, colourful and spiritual and considerably enrich all that has gone before in the craft. There is a very different, mystical atmosphere in a Royal Arch Chapter.
The Royal Arch is very closely aligned with the Craft and is the “next step” for Master Masons and the culmination of pure and ancient masonry. Progress through the Royal Arch completes an individual's journey through Freemasonry. It also opens the doors to becoming a member of a number of additional degrees and orders.
Master Masons are, therefore, actively encouraged to become members of the Royal Arch in order to further develop and enrich their understanding of Freemasonry
The Royal Arch is more commonly known as 'Chapter'. Whereas Craft Masons meet in a Lodge, Royal Arch Masons meet in a Chapter and are known as “Companions.” Some Chapters are attached to a Craft Lodge and the name and number is taken from that Lodge. Members are distinguished by the Jewel that they wear on the left breast, the colour of the ribbon varying in accordance with their rank.
The Chapter breast Jewel is the only Jewel which is permitted to be worn together with Craft Jewels in a Craft Lodge. HRH The Duke of Kent heads both the Craft and the Royal Arch; being the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England and the First Grand Principal of the Supreme Grand Chapter. In our Province our Provençal Grand Master RW Bro. Jonathan Davis is also head of the Bristol Province of Royal Arch Masons with the title Most Excellent Grand Superintendent.
Who can join?
Any Master Mason in good standing, one month and upwards following his Third Degree ceremony.
Does it cost much?
Significantly less than the Craft. There also is a one-off Exaltation fee.
What is the regalia?
Apron, sash and breast jewel.
Is it really worth it?
Undoubtedly, yes. Craft masons who join the Royal Arch never fail to be impressed by the beauty and profound nature of their Exaltation. The Royal Arch represents the best means to extend your enjoyment of and engagement with Freemasonry.
Which Chapter should I join?
There are fourteen Royal Arch Chapters in the Province, the details of which are available in the Province of Bristol Year Book and on the Provincial website. You are free to join any of the Chapters listed with the exception of Bristol Installed First Principals which is open to those Companions who have gone ‘through the chair’ in chapter. Many choose to join the Chapter attached to their lodge. Others may join another Chapter for a variety of reasons e.g. the meeting night suits their work or family life, they may have a friend or friends in that Chapter or they are simply seeking to expand their circle of masonic friends.
If you are considering joining a Royal Arch Chapter, simply talk to your Lodge Royal Arch Representative or to Excellent Companion Steve Hawkins who is Provincial Royal Arch Membership Officer. They will able to provide you with more information and answer any questions you may have.
A New Companion says.........
A recently Exalted candidate in our Province said....
"The Royal Arch had been suggested to me by many brethren and I eagerly put my name forward. Once the evening arrived I was excited and slightly nervous but in a good way and I was greeted with nothing but assurance from my soon-to-be Companions. The Exaltation ceremony was a truly unique experience. The Chapter Room was stunning and the ritual was performed to a very high standard. It washed over me in a spiritual and uplifting way.
I would say to any Brother who is thinking about joining the Royal Arch, “don't think; just put your name forward!” Believe me; it’s that good! "
Ex. Comp. The Revd. Steve Hawkins Prov. Grand Royal Arch Membership Officer
If you would more information about joing a Holy Royal Arch Chapter please get in touch using the form below.