By the solemn Act of Union between the two Grand Lodges of Freemasons of England in December, 1813, it was declared and pronounced that pure and ancient Masonry consists of three Degrees and no more. Those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch.
Such is the preliminary declaration to be found in the Book of Constitutions of Grand Lodge. It would therefore seem that no Lodge is complete unless it has attached to it a Royal Arch Chapter, and as a corollary no Master Mason has completed his entrance into Freemasonry unless he has been exalted into Royal Arch Masonry. The Ceremony is actually the fulfilment of the Third Degree.
It was in fact some eighteen years after the foundation of the Lodge that Richmond Chapter was inaugurated. On the 9th April, 1902, a team of Officers from Supreme Chapter led by Excellent Companion Sir Edward Letchworth, F.S.A., Grand Scribe E., assembled at the Freemasons Club, Richmond (then the meeting place of the Lodge) to consecrate the Chapter. There were thirty four founders present and in addition some thirty one other Companions. Of the thirty four founders, fourteen were members of Richmond Lodge. They were Bros. S. Abell, A. Aldin, J. Broad, R. Brooking, T. Covell, B. Godbold, C. Grunhold, W. Hatton, H. Hornby, J. Johnstone, E. Partridge, T. Pritchard, F. Robinson and C. Smith. The suggestion to found a Chapter caused the majority of these fourteen to take the necessary steps to qualify, i.e. to become R.A. Masons by being exalted into other Chapters. Most of the founders resided in or around Richmond or had business interests there. The Primus First Principal was E. Companion Thomas Pritchard.
Have you been a Master Mason for 4 weeks and upwards?
The Richmond Chapters members join from across a number of Lodges. Each Lodge has a Holy Royal Arch representative that can provide information and guidance on taking your next step in Freemasonry.
For further information on Holy Royal Arch in general please click the link below.
The Royal Arch is the culmination of “pure ancient masonry”
The Craft gives its members eminently practical rules by which they can live their lives in service of both God, however they worship him, and the community as a whole.
Man , however, is not simply a practical being but has an essential spiritual aspect to his nature. This is taken up in the Royal Arch, in which the candidate, without trespassing on the bounds of religion, is led to contemplate the nature of God and his personal relationship with him.
The Royal Arch leads the candidate from practical to the spiritual and completes “pure ancient masonry”, a fascinating journey of self-knowledge and self-discovery beginning with the Entered Apprentice degree and culminating in the First Principal’s chair of the Chapter.