Royal Arch News 




Helping families in need....


The Provincial Charity Steward, E Comp. Andrew Tiffin recently made donations totalling £500 to food bank charities across the Province.

As we start to emerge from lockdown it may be easy to forget that there are many families, many with young, children who are struggling to put food on the table on a regular basis. The food banks that received help were:

• Salisbury Foodbank 
• Devizes & District Foodbank 
• Marlborough Foodbank 
• Doorway of Chippenham 
• Swindon Food Collective 

Food parcels supplied by food banks in contain at least three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced meals for individuals and families. These emergency food parcels are not designed to meet long-term need – that’s why food banks also offer additional support like debt advice where possible.

A typical food parcel includes:

Cereal, Soup, Pasta, Rice, Tinned tomatoes/ pasta sauce, Lentils, beans and pulses, Tinned meat, Tinned vegetables, Tea/coffee, Tinned fruit, Biscuits, UHT milk & Fruit juice.

Food banks will also provide essential non-food items like toiletries and hygiene products where they can.

Well done Companions – it is a result of your generosity that we can continue to support such deserving causes throughout the Province. 


Supreme Grand Chapter Promotions and Appointments




Laurence Martin BALDRY                               PGStB        Methuen Chapter No 1533

Vincent Arthur James DELDERFIELD   PGStB      Chapter Elias de Derham No 586

Mark Bryan FULLER             PGStB                    St Edmund Chapter No 4714

Rodney James GLENN                                    PGStB                    Chapter of Rectitude No 335




Philip Stewart Arthur BULLOCK        PDepGSwdB   Chapter of Concord N0 632

Stephen Brian DINGVEAN                             PAGSoj       Chapter of Rectitude No 335




Rev Dr John Robert Henry RAILTON   GSN        Wiltshire Chapter No 355



ImageChildren at Christmas


The Provincial Charity Steward, Andrew Tiffin recently organised the latest donation to be made from the Children at Christmas initiative that has been so generously supported by Companions throughout the Province over the last few years.  Even though many Chapters have not been able to meet on a regular basis this year, we have been able to continue the tradition of making a donation of equipment to a deserving cause.                                                                                                         

The Devizes & District Opportunity Centre is a small independent charity based in Devizes which works with any child aged 0-4 years old who has an additional need.  The needs of the child can range from developmental delay, speech delay, through to complex life limiting health conditions, physical disabilities or genetic conditions, and the Centre covers the whole of the East of Wiltshire from Melksham down to Tidworth and Marlborough. They provide specialist speech and language therapies, physiotherapy therapies and many other strategies such as picture exchange communication systems, visual cards, attention and listening strategies which aim to encourage the child to reach their full potential and work closely with community paediatricians, speech and language therapist, local mainstream nurseries, health visitors and other health professionals who advise and support on how to provide those therapies.


The centre currently have a waiting list and there is always a high demand for the services provided. They need to raise approx. £30,000 each year just to keep the  doors open and are very grateful for support with donations, resources, equipment or fundraising events. They have recently started an outreach service to local mainstream nurseries as Covid 19 has impacted their service. The aim is to  ensure that every child has the opportunity to be supported in order to reach their potential regardless of whether they are able to attend the Centre or not.


Debbie Lambert, Manager at the Centre said: 


‘Thank you so much for the lovely wooden play tunnel that was safely delivered yesterday. We have now set it up in the back playground and I have attached photos of the children enjoying using it! They absolutely loved exploring and climbing it and will give the children excellent opportunities to further develop their physical skills!’   


Thank you Companions, for your continued support of the Children at Christmas Fund.  It is through your generous contributions we can continue to make a difference to the lives of children in our local communities. If you want to know more about the centre, check out the website:


Annual Provincial Convocation 2020. 


As you are well aware as a result of the suspension, owing to the Coronavirus pandemic, by the MW The Grand Master of all meetings from 17 March 2020 our Annual Convocation due on 9 May 2020 was cancelled.   An ‘alternative’ Annual Provincial Convocation will take place in conjunction with the Wiltshire Chapter of First Principals Convocation on Friday 25th September 2020 at Chippenham Masonic Hall.  Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, the number of attendees will be severely limited and will be strictly by invitation only.  This will be disappointing news for many of you including those that were due to be appointed/promoted on 9 May 2020 but cannot be avoided in these unusual times. 


Attendance of Active Provincial Officers at Chapter Installation meetings.


Restricted chapter attendance numbers will probably result in active officers being unable able to visit chapters; however, MEGS is keen to still have a presiding officer for Installations. Consequently, it is up to Chapters to decide if there are any potential spare places and also if they want to invite active officers (same applies to Grand Officers) but priority should be given to Chapter members.  Again this is disappointing news for many but unavoidable in the circumstances.


Provincial Grand Chapter – 150 Years Young!


The 6th July 1870 was a special day in the history of Freemasonry in Wiltshire.  A goodly number of Companions assembled at 2pm at the Goddard Arms Hotel in Swindon to see E Comp Samuel Wittey Installed as the first Most Excellent Grand Superintendent for Wiltshire.


The Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette carried coverage of the event in its edition of 07 July 1870:


“After the business of the meeting was concluded the Companions adjourned to an excellent banquet . . .The usual toasts, which were duly given and responded to, were interspersed  with some excellent songs by the Companions.  A liberal supply of champagne, port, sherry and other wines was very handsomely contributed at the cost of the Grand Superintendent.”


The current Most Excellent Grand Superintendent E Comp John Reid said:


“150 years is a significant milestone and we must salute the foresight of those Companions who worked so hard to establish the Provincial Grand Chapter of Wiltshire.  All of us who are members today carry on their work and will pass it on to those who will come after us.  As a Province we should be proud of what we have achieved and what we will achieve in the next 150 years.”


To mark the occasion, all members of the Province have received a copy of a brief history of the Province and a list of the senior officers since 1870. The work builds on the excellent paper produced by E Comp Steven Blanchard PSGSoj, and presented on the occasion of the 125th Anniversary in 1995.  A copy of both documents is also being sent to the Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London.



150 Years of the Royal Arch in Wiltshire



Senior Officers of the Royal Arch through the ages


Riding Camp welcomes John Reid



John Reid with a very happy Wendy and Helen from Wylye Valley Disabled Children's Riding Charity


The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp John Reid and the Provincial Almoner E Comp Steve Darlington visited the Wylye Valley Disabled Children’s Riding Charity on 10 March.  On behalf of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Wiltshire they presented charity supporters Wendy and Helen with a cheque for £500 to help with the costs of this years riding camp. 

The Wylye Valley Disabled Children’s Riding Charity was established for the benefit of physically disabled children; primarily to finance an annual horse riding holiday.  Every penny raised, by various means, including raffles, dances, quizzes, auctions of promises, BBQs, music festivals, collection boxes and the 100 Club, goes towards providing a free week-long camping holiday for 16 to 18 children between the ages of 11 and 16. The cost of the camp last year was £18,000.g

Since 1970, the riding camp has been an annual event where children can experience real 'under canvas camping' in Wiltshire.

The camp brings together horses and people to create a unique and fun-orientated environment. Achievements and progress by the children are encouraged, recognised and rewarded, as their confidence grows during the course of the week. The camp is completely self-contained, incorporating dining and sleeping accommodation, under large marquees, and full toilet/washing facilities. A dedicated team of on-site qualified cooks cater for upwards of ninety mouths, providing three sit-down meals per day.

For more information on the charity -



Playtime for The Grand Superintendent




It was an inspirational morning when The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E. Comp. John Reid, the Provincial Charity Steward, E. Comp. Andrew Tiffin and the Communications Officer, E. Comp Mark Fuller visited the Springboard Pre-School in Chippenham just before Christmas.


Springboard is an independent charity based in Chippenham working for children aged 0-5 with a special educational need and/or disability (SEN/D). They are a specialist opportunity group operating as the District Specialist Centre (DSC) for North Wiltshire and into Swindon; working in partnership with Wiltshire Council. It provides a high quality care and learning environment for young children with additional needs and their families.


This is achieved by:

  • Valuing all children as unique
  • Working in partnership with parents and professionals to provide timely and appropriate support
  • Ensuring that the children access enriched and individualised learning experiences through play
  • Developing a professionally committed workforce that continues to meet the needs of the children and families
  • Creating a sustainable and cost –effective approach to service delivery


The Provincial Grand Chapter, as part of its Children at Christmas initiative donated £1150.00 worth of resources to the centre; all of which will be used directly to benefit the children and their families. The resources donated included:

  • iPads – used by playroom staff to take photos of the children and complete observations using an online Learning Journal; it enables parents to see what their child has been doing later the same day. 
  • Special playroom mirrors – giving the children the opportunity to see themselves and learn about themselves. 
  • Wobble boards – to help the children improve co-ordination and balance
  • Rocker boards – used by the children to help improve co-ordination and balance.
  • Finger Mini Wobble Boards – to help the children improve their finger dexterity.


The Companions were given a tour of the centre by Jane Boulton (Manager and Designated Safeguarding Lead) and handed over the resources to Anne Farrell (Business Support/ Company Secretary) who thanked the Companions of Wiltshire for their support.




Not wanting to miss the opportunity being offered, the MEGS was soon to be found outside with the children and got them to try out some of the equipment being provided – it wasn’t that obvious who was having the most fun!


Travelling Quaich arrives in Warminster


A splendid evening at Thynne Chapter No 1478 on Thursday where Bro Glenn Bowden was Exalted into Royal Arch Freemasonry in an exemplary style by the Chapter Companions witnessed by visitors from near and far including the Grand Superintendent, 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals and numerous Grand Officers and Provincial Grand Officers.


In addition to the Exaltation, the Travelling Quaich was passed on by the Companions of Stonehenge No 6114 on its continuing journey round this wonderful Province.  A number of Companions travelled up the A36 from Salisbury to assist the MEZ EComp Michael Barratt in delivering the Quaich into the care of Thynne Chapter in exemplary fashion.


As is now traditional, at the festive board, the Quaich was filled with single malt whisky and passed around the supper table for the companions to share the benefit of Scotland’s greatest export.


The next stop on the Travelling Quaich’s tour of the Province is the Highworth Chapter No 9009 at Swindon on 24 January.




Pictures attached show Comp Glenn Bowden with the Principals of Thynne Chapter and EComp James Lowe sharing the Quaich with EComp Michael Barratt.


A Royal Arch adventure


If there is one thing I hate more than getting up at the crack of dawn, it’s getting up at the crack of dawn when I don’t have to. So when my alarm went off at 6am, on the morning of The Supreme Grand Chapter meeting. After a couple of cups of tea I was ready for the train.


The arrival into Waterloo is always a joy for me, the view of Battersea power station is always a reminder that we have now landed in our glorious capital city.


The walk over the Golden Jubilee bridge, and on up to Covent Garden was very scenic if uneventful. It was when I reached Covent Garden that I realised I had lost my glasses and I would spend the rest of the day half blind. Walking out of Covent Garden, and turning right, “The Big House” came into view. It is a view of which I will never grow tired.


Standing outside Freemasons’ Hall I spotted a friendly face, from the glorious Province of Wiltshire, and, after a while, one grew to eight. We robed and then walked to the ante room. I went to my allotted check in and was very proud to be able to sign in as MEZ and receive my token allowing me to be admitted to The Grand Temple.


The Companions were soon called to order and the various processions entered to loud applause.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was very surprised when Supreme Grand Chapter opened in the same way as Chapter of Concord No.632. 


The meeting started with some business but was soon elevated with an entertaining, and very informative, talk about the history of Royal Arch Masonry in Scotland by the Most Excellent 1st Grand Principal of Scotland, Rev. Joseph Morrow. The Pro 1st Grand Principal mentioned that his talk had been too quick, and that had probably never been said about him.   


In no time, or so it seemed, Supreme Grand Chapter was closed and the queue for our regalia cases began. It’s always recommended to put your regalia in a bag you can wrap up and put in your pocket but I had too many electronics so I paid the price, albeit a small one, 10 minutes or so.


Outside we gathered and followed the 1st Grand Principal, trusting his navigation skills, often misguidedly, to our lunch venue. Companion Andrew Tiffin had done a fantastic job in choosing, and booking, the Civil Service Club on New Scotland Yard. The welcome was warm and the venue was very nice. Our esteemed leader, very generously, treated us all to a drink and it went down well.


In the dining room, the Companionship came into its element. I was seated next to two Companions I previously knew, but also three who were new to me. The conversations were a joy and, as the Pro 1st Grand Principal Said earlier, they were over too quick.


We all then went our separate ways and it was back home we travelled.


To be in London is always a joy, the meeting was an extreme Royal Arch experience and the lunch was filled with Companionship and friendship. Not only am I definitely going again but I would recommend the day to any Royal Arch Mason.



Chapter Elias de Derham


There was a full Agenda for the September Convocation of Chapter Elias de Derham No 586 at Salisbury on Wednesday evening.  Bro Ian Phillips of Stonehenge Lodge No 6114 was Exalted in an exemplary fashion with contributions from a number of the Companions of the Chapter and, especially, the three Sojourners who shared the work between them.


Following on from the Exaltation, the Chapter’s new Altar was dedicated by the Provincial Executive led by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, EComp John Reid.  The Altar had been constructed by EComp Geoff Grant of Chapter of Harmony who was present to see it dedicated and was thanked by the Companions for his exceptional craftsmanship.  Thanks were also given to Shelagh Lound, wife of EComp Maurice Lound, who had made the new Altar cloth.





EComp Colin Cheshire, Deputy Grand Superintendent, then gave an explanation of the Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate which provided a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge to a number of the Companions.


The picture shows the three Principals of the Chapter with the Provincial Executive and the new Altar and cloth. 


Words by EComp Simon Ellingham Pr2ndGPrin

Pictures by Comp Harmeet Singh Brar


Chapter of Harmony No. 663 - 150 years and still going strong!


On 15 September, 150 years ago the Chapter of Harmony 663 was consecrated. The fantastic milestone was celebrated with a lunch at the Town Hall and present members of the Chapter presented a ceremonial tantalus. The crystal decanters have been engraved with the chapter banner and the casing has a brass plate with all current members of the chapter engraved on it.




The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Excellent Companion John Reid and numerous Provincial Officers joined members of the Chapter and enjoyed a lovely three course roast lunch.





After lunch those attending then headed to the Masonic Hall in Morris Lane. On Saturday 14 September the Hall was open to the public and all the displays were available to view. These included some old Chapter minute books and various historical curiosities. The Tantalus with filled with port and accompanied by stilton, the heath of the Chapter was toasted. The tantalus will be used at all future Installation meetings where port and cheese will be served!


Words & Photos by E Comp K Baxter


Support Tour to South Africa


At a recent meeting of Highworth Chapter No. 9009 The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, John Reid has made a donation on behalf of the Provincial Grand Chapter to support the England Deaf Rugby Tour to South Africa in 2020.  The donation of £100 was received by E Comp Mark Fuller on behalf of his son Sam, a member of the England Deaf Squad. 




Next year both the men’s and women’s Deaf England squads will undertake a three test match tour of South Africa.  As well as playing the Deaf Springboks the sides will undertake a number of exhibition matches (against deaf and hearing sides) and community programmes to promote deaf sport in South Africa.  Sam has been selected to be part of the touring party and has been tasked with raising £1500 to help fund some of the costs associated with the tour.  Sam, who has been severely deaf since birth, won his first cap for England last year in an international against the full Bulgarian international side.  He has also played twice for the Home Nations (the deaf equivalent of the British Lions).  He is currently studying Sports Coaching at Hartpury University, is a fully qualified L2 RFU coach and coaches a local junior rugby side.


Sam said “I am very excited to be part of the touring party. T he opportunity to represent my country and play rugby in South Africa is a once in a lifetime experience. I’m looking forward to learning more about deaf culture in the country as well as hoping to inspire other deaf youngsters to take part in sport, especially rugby.  The donation will be put towards the costs associated with the tour and the various programmes and I am very thankful to the Companions of the Provincial Grand Chapter for their very kind donation.”


Fraternal Visit to Fitzroy Chapter


The Provincial Grand Principals, Deputy Grand Superintendent and a number of other Wiltshire Companions visitors Fitzroy Chapter No. 569 on Monday 20 May. The Chapter meets at the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) in London and the visit was arranged by our own E Comp. Colin Cheshire  who was a member of the HAC and has been a member of the HAC Association for over 50 years. 




A very enjoyable meeting followed by excellent fine dining and all washed down with wine and generous amounts of Port. The dining table was something to behold as it was decorated with many items of mess silverware. Toasts were accompanied by the Fitzroy Chapter fire which was very different and something not seen before by the Wiltshire Visitors!



Pictures by Steve Darlington.  Words by Andrew Tiffin


Annual Provincial Grand Chapter Convocation


It was an early start for the team as they assembled at 7.00am to start the process of turning the Melksham Assembly Hall into the venue for the Provincial Grand Chapter meeting. Following a quick refuel of bacon rolls and coffee everything was ready for the Companions.




At 11am the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies brought the hall to order and the Convocation was opened by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent John Reid. A highlight of the morning was the appointment of E Companion Mark Lovell as Provincial Grand Principal.


The MEGS also paid tribute to those Companions who had served the Province so well in recent years and reported on the continuing growth of the Royal Arch in Wiltshire. He also encouraged Chapters to continue sharing the ritual and urged all members of the Province to help promote the Royal Arch in their Craft Lodges.




After the formal part of the day was over the Companions enjoyed a fantastic meal. Thanks must go to the caterers, stewards and staff at the Assembly Hall for all their help in making the day so successful.


Provincial Officer Lunch - 2019


The Masonic Hall at Calne was busy on Sunday 17 March as members of the Provincial Grand Chapter gathered with partners and friends to celebrate the last year.  The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent E. Comp John Reid thanked everyone for the support he had received over the last twelve months and looked forward to the annual Provincial Convocation on 11 May in Melksham.


After a delicious lunch, the Grand Superintendent invited Companion Ian Lever to address those present re

It was an early start for the team as they assembled at 7am to start the process of turning the Melksham Assembly Hall into the venue for the Provincial Grand Chapter meeting. Following a quick refuel of bacon rolls and coffee everything was ready for the Companions.


At 11am the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies brought the hall to order and the Convocation was opened by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent John Reid. A highlight of the morning was the appointment of E Companion Mark Lovell as Provincial Grand Principal.


The MEGS also paid tribute to those Companions who had served the Province so well in recent years and reported on the continuing growth of the Royal Arch in Wiltshire. He also encouraged Chapters to continue sharing the ritual and urged all members of the Province to help promote the Royal Arch in their Craft Lodges.


After the formal part of the day was over the Companions enjoyed a fantastic meal. Thanks must go to the caterers, stewards and staff at the Assembly Hall for all their help in making the day so successful.

garding the work of the Masonic Salmon & Trout Fishing Charity and their activities in Wiltshire.  Ian outlined the work of the charity from its establishment in 1998 and the impact it has had on the young people and vulnerable adults it works with.


Young people and vulnerable adults with a disability, additional needs or from a disadvantaged background spend the day fishing and are supported throughout the day on a one to one basis by a volunteer.  At the end of the day all the participants receive certificates, medals and a goody bag to celebrate their achievements.


The day allows those taking part to build confidence, communicate and enjoy themselves in a safe environment. Every penny donated is spent on the participants.  The charity has been active in Wiltshire since 2016 and has organised four events at South Cerney through the support of both Masonic and non-Masonic volunteers.  There are two events planned for 2019.


At the end of the presentation Companion Ian was presented with a cheque for £500 by the Grand Superintendent. Ian thanked the Companions present and explained how the donation would allow the charity to continue planning events for the next two years.

Words and pictures courtesy of E Comp Mark Fuller - Provincial Communication Officer



Children at Christmas 




Chippenham Masonic Hall was full of Christmas cheer on Sunday 29 November as members of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Wiltshire gathered for the Children at Christmas Fundraising Lunch.


In 2015 the Provincial Grand Chapter launched its first Children at Christmas appeal.  Since which the Grand Superintendent, John Reid, on behalf of the Companions of the Province has donated gifts to children’s charities throughout Wiltshire.  This year saw the return of the popular fundraising lunch, with the emphasis on FUN! (just view the picture of Companion Ian Dunbar)


A number of competitions, raffles and prize draws took place, including the Grand Superintendent’s Prize Draw, the £50 Lucky Key Draw and a' guess who' competition featuring childhood pictures of members of the Provincial Team.  (not for display as we didn't want to frighten our readers)


Throughout the fun, the Companions and their partners enjoyed a fantastic Sunday lunch prepared by the caterers at the Chippenham Masonic Hall, to whom we must make a special mention as they kindly donated some of their costs to the the fundraising. The management committee of Chippenham Masonic Hall provided the excellent bar staff and made no charge for the hire of the Hall.


At the end of lunch, John Reid thanked everyone for attending and announced the lunch had raised over £2,000. In addition another £2500 had been raised previously and several Chapters in the Province had made pledges of donations.  In total this would bring the amount raised this year close to £5000 - a fantastic achievement and one the Companions of the Province can be proud of.



Kevin Keeps On Running


Companion Kevin McCarthy of St Edmund Chapter has certainly been busy so far this year. Since February he has been running half-marathons once a month, and a full marathon in Brighton in April.



Kevin set himself the target of completing twelve half-marathons and one full marathon during 2018 in order to raise £5000 for two charities that are close to his heart - The Army Benevolent Fund and Great Ormond Street Children’s hospital. This month, when the rest of the Province are enjoying lunch at the Children at Christmas Fundraiser, Kevin will be leading a team of twenty around the Wiltshire half-marathon (when he hopes to raise an additional £500) for the REME Charity.


Travelling Quaich arrives at Chapter of Concord


The Travelling Quaich was on its travels around the Province of Wiltshire again this month. On the 22 October the Quaich arrived at The Chapter of Concord accompanied by a goodly number of Companions from the Wiltshire Chapter of First Principals. 


After the formal part of the evening the enjoyment carried on at the Festive Board. The custom of the visiting Companions supplying a bottle of whiskey to ensure the Quaich was filled was carried on and appreciated by the Companions of The Chapter of Concord who received it.




Picture by E Comp Brian Amos


Wiltshire Chapter Donations........


Wiltshire Chapter of Royal Arch Masons No.355 donated a total of £3000 to various charities at their Installation Convocation at Swindon Masonic Centre on Wednesday 10th October.

Included in the donations was £1000.00 towards the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent's "Children at Christmas" fundraising appeal. 

The cheque was  presented by the newly installed MEZ E Comp. Brian Winyard to the Deputy Grand Superintendent E Comp. Colin Cheshire OBE.

Story provided by Communication Officer Mark Fuller

Photograph supplied by E Comp Alan Lester

Please remember 'A picture paints ten thousand words' and if it's  high resolution, it's even better.


Methuen Chapter - Exaltation


On Tuesday 9th October,  Methuen Chapter No. 1533, who meet in Marlborough welcomed a new member.  The ceremony of Exaltation was excellently performed by members of the Chapter.


At the Festive Board the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent John Reid welcomed Comp Craig Wall to the Royal Arch, and presented him with his Provincial lapel pin and an information booklet explaining the ceremony of Exaltation and associated Royal Arch terms and practices. 


A great evening of fun and Companionship was enjoyed by all.



Photo and story provided by Communication Officer Mark Fuller 


Royal Arch Reps ePack Launched


In every Craft Lodge in Wiltshire there is a Royal Arch Representative whose role is to promote the Royal Arch.


Earlier this year a seminar was held in Calne for all Royal Arch Representatives to discuss the roles and responsibilities associated with this important position. 


Over the intervening months members of the Provincial Team have been working on developing a number of resources to support the role and provide guidance.  Subsequently all Royal Arch Representatives have received a resources package in their email inbox in the form of an ePack (an electronic resource folder). 


The Provincial Communications & Information Officer for the Royal Arch, E Comp Mark Fuller said "I would like to thank all those involved in producing the various resources for the ePack. The material contained in the ePacks is really informative and should be an excellent resource to help promote The Royal Arch in Wiltshire."


If you have not received your ePack please contact by clicking on E Comp Mark Fuller


Photos and story provided by Communication Officer Mark Fuller 

St Edmund Chapter Installation


On Thursday 6 September, E Comp Richard Wright was installed as the MEZ of St Edmund Chapter No. 4714 in Calne.  Richard was supported by over forty Companions who travelled from all corners of the Province to witness a first class ceremony. 


E Comp Lee Fuller was presented with his Past Zerubbabel Jewel by his 'big brother' E Comp Mark Fuller.  Lee was soon back in action, as he took the Chair of Haggai for the ensuing year. Richard and Lee were joined by E Comp Tom Gerken who was Installed as Joshua.


A great evening was topped off at the Festive Board with the toast to the Founders. To the delight of all present one of the founder members, E Comp Ian Jacobs gave a brief response outlining the formation of the Chapter.




News article and picture supplied by E Comp Mark Fuller


Children at Christmas


The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, John Reid, invites you and your partner to the 2018 Children at Christmas Fundraising lunch on Sunday 25 November .


The lunch will take place at Chippenham Masonic Hall and is a great opportunity for Companions and their partners to get together, enjoy a fantastic meal and raise some money to support this fantastic cause. The last fundraising lunch was held in 2016 and was a great success.


The cost of the lunch is £20.00 per person and this will include free entry into the Grand Superintendent’s Prize Draw, Lucky Key Draw and Table Competition.  There will also be a Fundraising Prize Raffle on the day.


Apologies (which should always be given) with a donation will also gain entry to the Grand Superintendent’s Prize Draw.


More information will be distributed by your Scribe E, along with details of how to book your place.


News article supplied by E Comp Mark Fuller


Royal Arch Representatives Meeting


Tuesday 5 June saw Calne Masonic Hall busy with the Craft Lodges Royal Arch Representatives Meeting.  Hosted by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent  John Reid the seminar featured presentations by the Provincial Grand Master Phillip Bullock and a number of other speakers.


The seminar examined closely the following topics:


  • The link between the Craft and the Royal Arch
  • The Role of the Royal Arch Representative
  • The Ideal Royal Arch Rep . . . does he exist?
  • Membership of the Royal Arch: when & how?


E. Comp john Reid summarised the various aspects of the evening and focussed on looking towards the future and the growth of the Royal Arch in Wiltshire.  A vibrant and lively question and answer session followed and a number of ideas were discussed and accepted as possible avenues for further exploration.


After the formal part of the evening, all those present then enjoyed a meal together and continued the various discussions.




(photo shows E Comp Andrew Tiffin speaking to the Royal Arch Reps)

Photos and story provided by Communication Officer Mark Fuller 



Double Exaltation at St. Edmund


On Thursday 7 June St. Edmund Chapter No. 4714 meeting in Calne undertook its first double Exaltation.  The evening was made more special by the fact the candidates were both from St. Edmund Craft Lodge.


The MEZ, E. Comp. Lee Fuller presided over a near faultless ceremony of which the highlight was the work done by the Principal and the First Assistant Sojourner (E. Comp . Keith McEvoy and Comp. Kevin McCarthy).  The sharing of the work and the dramatic telling of the story certainly reinforced the meaning behind the ritual for the candidates and all those present.


After the Convocation had closed the newly Exalted Companions, Comp. Wickens and Evans joined the Provincial Team to enjoy the festive board and in no time at all got to grips with Royal Arch Fire.




(photo LtoR - E Comp Richard Wright, Comp Tony Evans, E Comp Lee Fuller, Comp Steve Wickens, E Comp Barry Cooper, E Comp Andrew Tiffin)

Photos and story provided by Communication Officer Mark Fuller 

Provincial Grand Chapter Convocation 2018. 


Members of the Royal Arch in Wiltshire came together at a packed Assembly Hall in Melksham on 12 May 2018 for the Annual Convocation.


A dedicated team arrived at 0700hrs to prepare the hall and ensure it was ready for the rehearsal at 0900hrs.  Following 90 minutes of hard work, with coffee and a bacon roll as a reward the venue was ready to receive Companions from far and wide.




E Comp Colin Cheshire.  E Comp Simon Ellingham.  E Comp John Reid (Grand Superintendent).  E Comp Andrew Tiffin.


At exactly 1100hrs the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, John Reid entered the meeting to the applause of the Companions present. Highlights of the meeting were numerous, but deserving mention are:


  • the continued growth of the Royal Arch in Wiltshire
  • the appointment of Excellent Companion Simon Ellingham as Second Provincial Grand Principal.


The ME Grand Superintendent made special mention of the outgoing Second Provincial Grand Principal, Excellent Companion Peter Read, and thanked him for the commitment and dedication he had given to the Province.


After the formal part of the morning had ended the Companions present sat down to a fantastic lunch and enjoyed the special bond of friendship that exists between members of the Holy Royal Arch in Wiltshire.


You can read The Most Excellent Grand Superintendents Convocation address click here


Supreme Grand Chapter beckons....


The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent has announced the following promotion and appointments, and in do so offers his heartiest congratulations to:-


E Comp Michael Meade on his promotion to Past Assistant Grand Sojourner (PAGSoj)

E Comp Richard Palmer on his appointment as Past Grand Standard Bearer (PGStB)

E Comp Brian Amos on his appointment as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies (PAGDC)


You're never too old....




On a cold and damp February evening in Marlborough, Companions of Methuen Chapter No.1533 welcomed  Brother Derek Barnes when he was Exalted into the Holy Royal Arch.


Derek was Initiated into the Lodge of Loyalty No.1533 in 2014 following an open day in the Town Hall.  The Communciation Team set up a display in the town centre and the Masonic Hall in the town was opened to the public.


Derek at the time was 77 years young and after having all his questions answered he was very keen to start his Masonic journey.  Derek has since become a very dedicated Freemason and when approached to join the Royal Arch he was eager to complete his final step in Pure Ancient Masonry.


Thirty Companions from Methuen Chapter No.1533 and their guests witnessed an excellent ceremony by the Principals and when Companion Derek addressed the Companions at the supper table he commented what a beautiful and moving experience the evening had been. 


Derek now 81 years, goes to show “You are never too old to join the Holy Royal Arch”


Photo: Companion Derek Barnes with the Three Principals of Methuen Chapter No.1533

13th February 2018



From Lodge to Chapter without having to move.

On Wednesday 17 January the Chapter of Friendship and Unity No. 1271  which meets at Bradford on Avon enjoyed a pleasant evening when Andy Potter, Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Friendship and Unity No.1271, was Exalted into Holy Royal Arch Masonry.


The photo shows Andy Potter with the three Principals,  Excellent Companions Michael Sharp MEZ, Gordon Swanson acting H, and Stan Holley J. who carried out the ceremony in conjuction with other members of the Chapter.


The Province was represented by Excellent Companions Colin Cheshire, Deputy Grand Superintendent and Paul Vogwell, Provincial Grand Sribe Ezra.






New chairs are needed - says Grand Superintendent.


John Reid and Andrew Tiifin were welcome guest at the John McNeill Opportunity Centre in Salisbury when they presented three new chairs to be used by the very youngest of the children cared for by the wonderful team at the Centre.  The specialist chairs, which cost £370 each were provided as a result of the kindness and generosity of Companions throughout the Province. 


As you can see, it didn't take long for the children to occupy the chairs - three new Principals perhaps?




Supreme Grand Chapter appointment and promotion.


The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent John Reid is delighted to confirm that The First Grand Principal HRH The Duke of Kent has been pleased to honour the Province with Tercentenary  Honours.


Michael Mossman is appointed Past Grand Standard Bearer (PGStB)


Tony Oke is promoted to Past Assistant Grand Sojourner (PAGSoj)


Michael and John will be invested at the Surpeme Grand Chapter meeting in November.



Longleat Quartet in Fine Form at Thynne Chapter Installation.


Companions of Thynne Chapter No.1478 and their visitors witnessed an excellent Installation Convocation last night in Warminster which received very high praise from the Deputy Grand Superintendent EComp Colin Cheshire who was the Presiding officer. 

Many congratulations to the Installing Principal Rob Evans who installed his successor Lindsay Young in a flawless manner.  In turn the new MEZ EComp Lindsay Young and his co-principals: Haggai John Caple and Joshua James Lowe carried out their parts of the ceremony in an exemplary fashion.

This was an all “1478” affair with all four Companions not only belonging to Thynne Chapter No.1478 by also member of Longleat Lodge No.1478.



Report by: EComp Michael Mossman Scribe E (Chapter No.1478)


Andrew Tiffin appointed 3rd Principal at Provincial Chapter Convocation 


At the annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter held at Melksham on Saturday 13th May 2017 the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent appointed and invested E Comp Andrew Tiffin to the office of 3rd Provincial Grand Principal.


In appointing Andrew the Grand Superintendent addressed a capacity audience and said "I express my grateful thanks to the Executive and outgoing Provincial Officers for their support and commitment over the last twelve months, here I make special mention of Excellent Companion Simon Ellingham the Past 3rd Provincial Grand Principal for his continued support and commitment over numerous years occupying all of the Director of Ceremonies Offices whilst just completing his second year as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, likewise Excellent Companion Russell Evans for his service and patience as Assistant Director of Ceremonies, and although Excellent Companion Tiffin has today been invested as 3rd Provincial Grand Provincial, the Province owes him a great debt of gratitude for the diligent manner in which he has administered our accounts.


In his spare time (I know that's a difficult concept to consider) Andrew is the Vice-Chairman of the Masonic Samaritan Fund 2017 Wiltshire Festival.  I'm not quite sure how he is going to find time to walk the dog following his new appointment.


E Comp John Reid also presented a cheque for £1,000 to E Comp Francis Wakem who accepted it on behalf of Victim Support (Wiltshire).




News and picture supplied by E Comp Alan Colman

Chapter of Agriculture receives Travelling Quaich


A splendid evening at Chapter of Agriculture No 9090 on Monday where Bro Alan Macrae was Exalted into Royal Arch Freemasonry in an exemplary style by the Chapter Companions witnessed by visitors from near and far including two Past Grand Superintendents.


In addition to the Exaltation, the Travelling Quaich was passed on by the Companions of Highworth Chapter No 9009 on its continuing journey round this wonderful Province.  EComps Jason Edwards, Simon Butler and Harvey Groves travelled from the North of the Province and, after a lengthy detour around Corsham, found the Masonic Hall where EComp Jason passed the Quaich into the care of Chapter of Agriculture in exemplary fashion.


As is now traditional, at the festive board, the Quaich was filled with single malt whisky and passed around the supper table for the companions to share the benefit of Scotland’s greatest export.


The next stop on the Travelling Quaich’s tour of the Province is the Provincial Convocation at Melksham on 13 May.




Pictures shows EComp Ian Johnstone sharing the Quaich with EComps Simon Butler and Harvey Groves.


News and picture supplied by E Comp Simon Ellingham

Chapter host a Quadripartite Convocation




At a special meeting of Lansdowne Chapter of Unity No.626 on Wednesday 29th March 2017, the Chapter hosted a Quadripartite Convocation on behalf of Provincial Grand Chapter. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendents EComp John Reid, had much pleasure in welcoming the MEGS and Executives from the Provincial Grand Chapters of Somerset, Hampshire and Isle of Wight and Dorset to Wiltshire. The Quadripartite Convocation is always a special occasion on the masonic calendar and a wonderful opportunity to meet up with our good friends from across the border.


The evening was also a very special night for WBro Ian Dunbar of Vale of Avon Lodge No.8432 who was exalted in the Holy Royal Arch. Many congratulations must go to the MEZ of the Chapter EComp Richard Wallis and all his Officers for performing an excellent Exaltation Ceremony. When you say the “pressure is on” well, on a night like this it was certainly “on” and the Chapter rose to the challenge and were not only a credit to themselves but also to the Province.

Following the ceremony the Companions were treated to a superb meal by the new caterers at Chippenham Masonic Centre and certainly no one went home hungry!  The MEGS John Reid in response to his toast paid tribute to the Past Grand Superintendents who first developed the idea of a Quadripartite Convocation and the current Grand Superintendents who keep the tradition going today.  The MEGS also thanked the Chapter Scribe Ezra, EComp Owen Flint of all his hard work in arranging the evening.


The MEGS John Reid took this opportunity to welcome Companion Ian Dunbar into the Royal Arch Chapter and presented him with a Provincial Tie and Napkin to mark his exaltation on this special evening.




The next Quadripartite Convocation will be hosted in 2018 by Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset and is something we are already looking forward to attending.


Words and picture submiited by EComp Andrew Tiffin assisted by EComp John Reid


Royal Arch Chapter Annual Luncheon for Grand Officers and Active Provincial Officers


The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, EComp John Reid and his wife Carole were pleased to host the informal annual Sunday Luncheon held at the Masonic Hall, Calne on 19 March 2017 when 68 Companions welcomed the PrGM EComp Phillip Bullock and his wife Sally, the Inspector General of the Anicent and Accepted Rite (Rose Croix) EComp Francis Wakem and his wife Dorothy, the Provincial Prior E Comp John Cave, the PrGM of the Mark Master Masons EComp Andy Beaumont and his wife Diana and the Provincial Communications Officer W Bro Des Morgan.


The 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, EComp Simon Ellingham addressed the gathering thanking the Grand Superintendent and his Executive for all their support to the Province over the year.  He said "It has been a very enjoyable and busy year, with two banner dedications, the Wiltshire Chapter of Agriculture and The Chapter of Harmony, and a team visit to the Methuen Chapter where the Provincial team performed a double exaltation ceremony."


Simon also mentioned the numerous inter Provincial visits and the fact that a member of the Executive had attended every meeting of the Chapters in Wiltshire.  In conclusion he thanked Carole Reid for all her support to John and as a small token of the Companions gratitude she was presented with a bouquet of flowers. The Grand Superintendent was also presented with a jar of sweets to keep up his sugar levels on his long journeys home. 


The Grand Superintendent, in response, thanked the Province for the support they had shown him during the last year.  E Comp John went on to describe the charities that the Province had supported during the year.  The Masonic Samaritan Fund and the Wiltshire 2017 Festival, Warminster Food Bank, Victim Support Wiltshire, Women’s Refuge Salisbury and Teddies for Loving Care.


Importantly he thanked all the wives and loved ones of all Freemasons in the Province who supported the work of their partners. He said that if it was not for their love, encouragement and understanding the Province would not be in such a strong position.


Events such as the luncheion do not 'just happen' and thanks were extended to the Provincial Scribe Paul Vogwell, and in particular his wife Sue for  the support she has given him over the past year.  E Comp Brian Amos for his hard work and that of his wife Yvonne in organising the lunch and for the table decorations.  Finally, thanks  to EComp Barry Cooper for setting up the hall, the bar staff and of course Andrew and Francis Evans for the meal which was enjoyed by everyone.


Words and picture submiited by EComp Brian Amos

It's a 'family fest' at St Aldhelm Chapter 




Front row left to right:

Stefan Reynolds (uncle), Peter Reed (grandfather), Nigel Reed PPrGSwdB (Father), Edward Reed (19 years) and Dr David Reed PPrGSoj (uncle).


Edward was Initiated on the 17th October 2015, by dispensation into the Whitson Lodge No 2943 in the Province of Bristol at the age of eighteen, by his father who was invited to take the Chair for such a memorable evening.  Edward is already the Inner Guard of the Lodge.


The First Principal Excellent Companion Tom Sheppard invited Excellent Companion Nigel Reed to take the Chair for the Exaltation ceremony.  Excellent Companion Nigel stated that it was a great pleasure for him to be able to Exalt Edward who is one of four sons, and that in 2006 he had Exalted his father, Peter Reed into the Chapter, and in due course he would like to see his other sons be Exalted into the Chapter.


To make the evening a family event Stefan Reynolds (uncle), Peter Reed (grandfather), Nigel Reed PPrGSwdB (Father), Edward Reed (19 years) and Dr David Reed PPrGSoj (uncle) all attended this very happy occasion.


Supplied by Excellent Companion Nigel Reed JP Scribe Ezra

St Edmund Chapter enjoys a very special moment 


E.Comp Keith McEvoy stood in as P Soj and conducted his father Bro Ken McEvoy around the Chapter during his Exaltation.  This was carried out in a most caring manner in mind of his father’s limited mobility.  Nevertheless, the ceremony proved to be a moving experience for all assembled, and the newly exalted Companion expressed his thanks for the kindness shown to him both before, during and after the ceremony.


With the Grand Superintendent and his Deputy present,  the Chapter was pleased to present  them with a cheque for £300 in support of the Province's Christmas 2017 chocolate appeal.




Photo by E Comp John Reid MEGS and words by E Comp Barry Cooper  (a dynamic duo)

Vale of White Horse Chapter No. 1770 presents cheque for Festival


On Wednesday 8th February 2017 EComp Philip Bullock (Provincial Grand Master of Wiltshire) and EComp Andrew Tiffin Provincial Treasurer were invited as guests of the MEZ EComp Ray Pipe, to visit the Vale of White Horse Royal Arch Chapter No.1770.   Although the Chapter meets in Faringdon, Oxfordshire they come under the banner of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Berkshire.  A delightful form of triangulation between three Provinces.


Following an excellent Exaltation Ceremony, MEZ Ray Pipe presented the Provincial Grand Master with a cheque for £500.00 towards the Masonic Samaritan Fund Wiltshire 2017Festival.  The PrGM warmly thanked the Companions of the Chapter for their very kind and generous donation and mentioned what a pleasant surprise it was to see so many Wiltshire Freemasons who are members of the Chapter and also the number visiting on the evening.  


The evening was rounded off with a lovely meal in the company of many good friends from both the Vale of White Horse Royal Arch Chapter and the Province of Wiltshire.




Photo: MEZ EComp Ray Pipe presenting the cheque to PrGM EComp Philip Bullock with the MEGS of Berkshire EComp Ian Hopgood

Highworth Chapter No. 9009 – Visit by Provincial Grand Chapter of Buckinghamshire.


On Friday 27th January 2017 Highworth Chapter No. 9009 hosted a fraternal visit to Wiltshire by the Provincial Grand Chapter of Buckinghamshire.  The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent of Wiltshire welcomed his Buckinghamshire counterpart John Keeble who was accopmanied by members of his Provincial Executive and Provincial Team.  In total 22 Companions from Buckinghamshire visited Wiltshire.  


The Companions were treated to an excellent Exaltation Ceremony by the MEZ and Chapter Officers.  Later, at the supper table, John Reid welcomed the Chapter's newest member Companion David Plotkin and wished him many happy years in the Royal Arch.  Everyone was agreed the Companions of Highworth Chapter had provided an enjoyable evening.



 MEZ and Chapter Officers with Companion David Plotkin                                          a 'wee dram' for the Quaich



 MEGS of Wiltshire and Buckinghamshire with their Executive

Friday 13th 'lucky' for Chapter of Harmony No.663

ImageA very enjoyable task awaited the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent EComp John Reid and the Provincial Team when they visited Devizes and the January Regular Convocation of Chapter of Harmony No.663 to dedicate a new Chapter banner.  It didn't escape anyones notice that the meeting was being held on Friday 13th; thankfully no one was in the least superstitious and all went well.  

Immediately prior to the Banner dedication the Chapter carried out a very enjoyable Exaltation Ceremony and  welcomed Companion Geoffrey Brewer as the latest member of the Wiltshire Royal Arch family. The Chapter also balloted for another three Candidates for Exaltation.

The MEZ offered the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent the sceptre of the Chapter,  who having accepted it proceeded to dedicate the Chapter’s new banner ably assisted by members of the Provincial Executive and Provincial Team.

Pic (LtoR) showsE Comp John Cave,  Comp Ryan Hartley and the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent E Comp John Reid presenting E Comp Ryan with his Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate.


An excellent Oration was  given by E.Comp. Michael Barratt the Provincial Grand Almoner, who had clearly spent some considerable time researching the Chapter’s history.  A copy of the Oration can be read on the Provincial website on the Royal Arch Lectures Page.


The evening ended with the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent John Reid congratulating the Chapter of Harmony on the design of their new banner.



New Banner for Chapter of Agriculture.


On Tuesday 10th January at  the Masonic Hall, Corsham, the Chapter of Agriculture No.9090 had their new banner dedicated. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent EComp John Reid, was offered and accepted the sceptre of the Chapter and carried out the banner dedication with the assistance of members of the Provincial Executive and Provincial Team. 


This was the first banner dedication by the MEGS and the ceremony was conducted with sincerity and passion; coupled with a measured amount of light humour. The dedication was rounded off with an absolutely superb oration by the EComp Rev John Hughes.


After the Chapter was closed  the Companions of the Chapter joined with the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent for a photograph with their new banner.



Provincial Grand Chapter donates 200 Christmas Selection Boxes 


The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent John Reid accompanied by Tony Channing the Provincial Grand Chapter Charity Steward, presented 200 Christmas Selection Boxes to Warminster & District Foodbank.  


In presenting the Selection Boxes to Kay Kronenberg one of the Foodbank volunteers, John Reid, said “The donation is part of our Support Children at Christmas initiative and the donation is made on behalf of all Wiltshire Royal Arch Freemasons and their families. Provincial Grand Chapter always try to remain responsive to the needs of others within our Wiltshire community, especially at this time of the year, and hope this small gift will help brighten a young child’s Christmas”. 




Photo: John Reid presenting a Selection Box to Kay Kronenberg with Tony Channing and the other foodbank volunteers.

Royal Arch Chapter donate £300 to Victim Support (Wiltshire)

Royal Arch Freemasons have presented a £300 cheque to Katie Maclean, Senior Service Delivery Manager, Victim Support (Wiltshire) to help support young children who have either been a victim of crime or been affected by crime.


In presenting the cheque  the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent John Reid, said “We believe it is essential to support charities such as Victim Support (Wiltshire) as they offer vital help to young children across the county”


The money will be used to purchase items to meet the specific needs of a young  person such as: personal alarms,  books about anxiety to help worried children; night lights to help children sleep following a burglary; stress balls, notebooks/diaries to capture thoughts and anxieties; worry eaters and tangles.


Tony Channing, the Provincial Grand Chapter Charity Steward, accompanied the Grand Superintendent.


Photo 1. John Reid MEGS, Katie Maclean and Tony Channing        Photo 2. John Reid MEGS, with the Victim Support Team


The Victim Support team gave a very eye-opening presentation on the work they carry out in Wiltshire.

The Travelling Silver Quaich finds a new home in Salisbury


A delegation from St Edmund Chapter No. 4714 journeyed to the South of the Province and Salisbury where they effected the first handover between Chapters as the Travelling Silver Quaich starts it's journey around the Province.  


The Companions were then treated to an Exaltation ceremony conducted in an exemplary manner when Bro James Stirland was exalted into Stonehenge Chapter No.6114.


Four of the Chapter's visitors were from the Province of Somerset and, having noted the agenda included the Travelling Quaich handover, surprised the MEZ E Comp. Paul Turner by presenting a bottle of Glen Moray Malt Whisky to celebrate the occasion.  This was most graciously (and very quickly) accepted which ensured that it would be available to be shared by all in the celebration during the Festive Board.  Paul had also independently purchased a Malt Whisky for the occasion which by sheer coincidence happened also to be Glen Moray.  The significance was not lost on E Comp John Reid the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent  who commented on the fact that this was the same Brand as used when the Travelling Silver Quaich was presented to St Edmund Chapter No 4714.


Perhaps there is a subliminal message which is suggesting we may have to change the name "Travelling Quaich" to the "Glen Moray Cup"



Provincial Grand Chapter take the reins at Methuen Chapter


Tuesday 11th October saw a special evening at the MethuenChapter meeting in Marlborough, where 19 active officers from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Wiltshire performed a double Exaltation in front of a packed temple in Marlborough.

The evening started normally with a smooth opening from the three Methuen principles, however when the provincial DC entered the temple you couldn’t fail to notice he didn’t have his normal mourning trousers on, having come to the meeting directly from work he had neglected to pack the correct attire so conducted the ceremony with his usual command and authority wearing paint splattered work trousers!


The Sceptre was handed over to the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Excellent Companion John Reid by the Methuen MEZ, Andrew Smith and the MEGS then asked the provincial team to take the offices in the Chapter. The Ceremony was then continued until the Provincial DC pointed out that he had not changed over the second and third principals, this caused a mild panic with the current Methuen second principal!


With the provincial team hailing from all over the province and indeed originally the country it was not surprising that there were, by my count, 5 different workings used during the ceremony, these were however delivered flawlessly (I think!) and with a feeling that only comes from a deep knowledge and experience of the ceremony.


Companion David Vines and Companion Ashley Croft were exalted into the chapter in a manner fitting with the traditions of Methuen chapter in giving a very personal and warm welcome during the ceremony.



As time was moving on there was a Grand Chapter certificate presentation to Companion Robert Smith that was skilfully attended to by Excellent Companion Paul Vogwell the Provincial Scribe E in an uncondensed manner causing some companions to wonder if the caterers would lay on breakfast instead of dinner that evening!

The MEGS also presented a cheque for £200 to Kevin Logan from the Loganberry trust to help with their continuing work in the screening of men for prostate cancer.




All in all and entertaining, heartfelt ceremony performed by the provincial team in front of 57 companions and some attendees remarked that it would be nice this happening each year from the team at a different chapter in the province, perhaps even the provincial DC could wear his bespoke exaltation trousers again!

St Edmund Chapter receives Travelling Silver Quaich


Colin Cheshire, Deputy Grand Superintendent presided at the Installation Meeting of St Edmund Chapter No 4714 when E Comp Barry Cooper was installed as MEZ


John Reid - Most Excellent Grand Superintendent was also present and presented Barry with the 'travelling silver Quaich' in so doing he reminded the Companions of how much he had enjoyed the privilege and pleasure of visiting many Chapters, and in a desire to encourage visiting to one another’s Chapters introduced a travelling silver Quaich to be transferred from Chapter to Chapter. To see where the Quaich will be click here




E Comp John explained "A Quaich, is a drinking vessel  used to offer a welcome drink at a gathering between friends and strangers which incorporates trust between the giver and receiver,  in offering it to my friend  Barry Cooper and the St Edmund Chapter I am sure you will agree it is a fitting representation of the Companionship of our Order"


Having offered Barry the Quaich all that was required from Barry was for him to fill it with his favourite tipple, which just had to be a good Scottish Malt, and in fine tradition he managed to avoid wasting a drop. The Quaich was then passed around the assembled for all to admire and sample.  The Quaich will be transferred in November to the next Chapter in line


Many congratulations to Barry on being Installed as MEZ of this very fine Chapter and long may the tradition of passing the Quaich be maintained in the Province.  Below shows E Comp Lee Fuller, E Comp Richard Wright, and E comp Mark Fuller, IPZ watching the presentation


The Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter - May 2016


A May day bathed in glorious sunshine greeted the Royal Arch Companions of Wiltshire and their visitors as they assembled in Melksham for the annual convocation of The Provincial Grand Chapter of Wiltshire.  Under the watchful eye of the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, E Comp Richard M Palmer the rehearsal and the ceremony went without a hitch,  surely a good sign for the day ahead, and so it proved to be.  The Grand Superintendent, E Comp John Reid gave a warm Wiltshire welcome to the visitors many of whom had travelled a considerable distance for this wonderful occasion, their presence was certainly appreciated and the companions from the Province of Wiltshire confirmed this with a warm round of applause.




This year saw a new Second Grand Principal installed. Excellent Companion Peter John Read, PGStB replacing Excellent Companion A (Tony) J Oke, PGStB.  The Grand Superintendent paid tribute to Tony’s tireless work for the Province not just during time in office but throughout his Royal Arch Chapter career.  At the provincial lunch following the convocation a presentation was made to Tony for his unstinting service to the Province.  The good news is that Tony will not be retiring just yet and will continue to manage the successful Talking Heads programme which has been so well received throughout the Province.  We all wish Tony and his team 'all the very best for the next year'.




A full transcript of the Grand Superintendent's 2016 Annual Convocation address can be found on the Provincial website by clicking on the following link:  .

The Grand Superintendent reflects on how 'time flies'


ImageAs we enter the second quarter of 2016 I am minded to ask where has the last three months gone? as they do seem to have vanished so very quickly.

Yet should I be so surprised, after all I can often be heard telling newly Installed Zs how their year in office will pass by as a heartbeat, a breath of wind or in a twinkle of an eye, all expressions which remind us of the transitory nature of life.

Time flies never to be recalled.

As I write these words I am mindful of the sadness which affects a family when a loved one dies; it seems that no words can comfort, no actions can compensate and no amount of understanding can change the way one feels.  However, I am persuaded that life does indeed 'go on' and that eventually the darkness becomes a little less opaque and that with the help and support of friends 'things' become a little easier. To all Companions I would say, you are part of a large family and it behoves each of us to act as a family unit - in particular careing for those who are sick and in distress.

As a family we also experience moments of great joy such as the recent Installation of E Comp Philip Bullock in the Chair of Concord Chapter No.632.  Every Exaltation and Installation is a time to celebrate, one to welcome  a new Companion as he begins his journey of discovery within the Royal Arch, the other to acknowledge the progress a Companion has made in that same journey.

I am delighted to note the number of Exaltations planned for the coming year.  The work of the 'Talking Heads' team who have presented two performances of this very important message in Chippenham and Salisbury has been instrumental in providing a new perspective on the Holy Royal Arch to our Craft Brethren.  Once again I thank the Provincial Grand Master  for his support of the Talking Heads initiative.

The Holy Royal Arch is not immune to the harsh realities of life, especially the tough economic times our country is experiencing. Freemasonry is not the most expensive of 'hobbies' but when coupled with other interests and pastimes the financial impact  can soon become an issue.  It is against such a tough fiscal background that the Royal Arch must compete and i am delighted that new Companions  continue to join the Wiltshire Province.  

Our meetings are good fun, offering not only companionship but also the opportunity to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the whole Masonic journey.

I hope that many of you who view the Royal Arch pages on the website will recognise that we are a very active Province with friendly Chapters meeting across Wiltshire.  You can be assured of a warm welcome from the Companions of Wiltshire should you wish to take the next step in Freemasonry and join the Holy Royal Arch.

My very best wishes to you all


John Reid 


Grand Superintendent

Methuen Chapter Companions enjoy a wonderful family event


ImageThe Companions of Methuen Chapter No. 1533 and their guests witnessed a truly moving event and joyous occasion when E Comp Andrew Smith exalted his father Robert Smith into the Holy Royal Arch.

In a ceremony which was considered perfect in every respect, Andrew demonstrated all the attributes of an accomplished MEZ and was clearly very proud in being given the opportunity to welcome his father into what was described as 'the Premier' Chapter - one feels that comment may have a long run insofar as discussion around the province is concerned!

However there is no doubt that Methuen Chapter is a friendly place to be and the Royal Arch's newest Companion will find himself amongst friends as he continues his masonic journey beyond the Craft.

Companion Robert is currently Senior Warden in Lodge of Good Fellowship No.8388 and will be installed as Master by his son Andrew in October. 


The Grand Superintendent proves a dab hand behind the bar


ImageThe Grand Superintendent, John Reid always takes his duties very seriously whether delivering complex ritual, presenting certificates of just pouring a pint.

The smile on John's face was nothing compared to the look of surprise on the faces of Companions who were served by the 'boss'

Contrary to the comments from some 'wags' the Grand Superintendent's wallet does not have a combination lock - just a padlock!




HRH The Duke of Kent honours John Reid


To complete an amazing and eventful year for the Province, HRH The Duke of Kent has bestowed Craft Grand Rank on ME Comp John Reid.  At the forthcoming Annual Investiture John will become Junior Grand Deacon, an office currently held by Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Stephen Bridge.


It is a great honour for both John and the Province and highly unusual for a Province to be able to claim 'back to back' acting Officers.


John said "I was truly amazed when I opened the letter from Freemasons' Hall esepcially when I read that the honour was to serve as a acting Officer, my second thought was to make a call to Stephen Bridge and get some tips on what I will have to do".

Provincial Chapter Officers' Lunch a great success

Image  Image


The Tom Tom drums must have been busy in Wiltshire on the 20th March when fifty-six Companions and their partners sat down to dine at the annual active Provincial Grand Chapter Officers’ lunch.  What an excellent meal it was, for which thanks must go to the caterers Andrew and Frances Evans.


Excellent Companion Tony Oke, 2ndPrGPrin, proposed the toast to the Province saying that this year as always had been very busy, with the usual large number of visits to other Provinces and for which they were always very grateful for the navigational aids Tom Tom, Garmin or just the Grand Superintendent’s well known sense of direction!


At the end of his speech Tony was handed a plain brown envelope, which contained his P45 (he is standing down as 2ndPrGPrin this year after three hardworking and very successful years). 


In reply John Reid thanked everyone for attending the lunch and for the Officers’ support over the year.  He also thanked Tony Oke for all his support over the years both as PrGSE and 2nd PrGPrin, and that although he was stepping down this year the Province had not finished with him yet, watch this space.

Image  Image

50 Year Certificate and surprise promotion for E Comp Alan Russell

On Saturday 27th February 2016 at a special gathering of members of Methuen Chapter No.1533 in Marlborough, The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent EComp John Reid presented EComp Alan Russell with a certificate to mark his 50 years service in the Royal Arch. 


EComp Alan, a retired RAF Officer, was exalted into Royal Commemoration Chapter No.1585 in 1966 and has also been a member of Chapter Singapore No.7178 and Wrington Vale Chapter No.1199 before joining Methuen Chapter in October 1998.


John thanked  Alan for his dedicated commitment and service and for everything he has done for the Royal Arch in Wiltshire and Methuen Chapter and presented him with an engraved wine glass to mark this special anniversary.


However, there was one further surprise to come for  Alan when the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent promoted him to Past Provincial Grand Sojourner and presented him with his new apron and collar badges.


Photo 1: The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent EComp John  Reid presenting EComp Alan Russell with his Certificate.


Photo 2: The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent EComp John Reid promoting EComp Alan Russell.  Also in picture  with the Scribe E of the Chapter (Left)EComp Hilton Richards and MEZ of the Chapter (right) EComp Andrew Smith.

A wonderful evening for father and son




In an extraordinary sequence of events the tables were turned when Mark and Lee Fuller combined to welcome their father Brian into  the Holy Royal Arch.  


Having  Initiated his two sons into Staple Hill Lodge No. 6043, Mark in 1997 and Lee in 2003 it fell to the two siblings to exalt their father into the  St Edmund Chapter No. 4714.


A moving ceremony witnessed by The Grand Superintendent with his Deputy and the Provincial 2nd Grand Principal supporting, was conducted in an exemplary manner.  Bryan proved to be a popular choice for the Exaltation as five members of his Craft Lodge had also travelled to be in attendance.


Mark and Lee are third generation Freemasons and Grandfather was not excluded from this ceremony as part of his regalia was being put to good use by the candidate.


Both the Ritual and the Festive Board proved to be joyous and sometimes humorous occasions, a memorable evening for all involved.

The Grand Superintendent welcomes the Provincial Grand Master as Z 


Philip Bullock was Installed in the Chair of Concord Chapter No.632 in a ceremony attended by the 'great and good' of the Province including the Grand Superintendent John Reid and his Deputy Colin Cheshire.


A large turn out of Companions filled the Masonic Hall at Trowbridge and made for a wonderful atmosphere which added to the occasion.


E Comp Philip Bullock said "I am so pleased to have made this very important step in Royal Arch Masonry and I will do my very best to fulfil the duties of the office to which this evening I have been given the privilege of occupying".  


So say all of us.


The Chapter 'twitter' site lit up following the closing of the Chapter, a sure sign of keen interest in the events of the evening.

The Grand Superintendent joins in the festive fun


ImageAs we fast approach Christmas the Grand Superintendent has joined in the fun of the festive season and can be found in two guises on pages 8 and 9 of the Winter edition of Across The Plain.

Some Companions have asked the editor to publish a slightly larger image of the small picture on page 9 and we are delighted to reproduce it on the website.

E Comp John joins a host of Freemasons who have agreed to be transformed into 'Santa' look alikes as part of a competition organised by the editor of Across The Plain. 

If you haven't completed and returned your entry, please do so before 31 December 2015.  


There is a bottle of champagne on offer to the Companion who can name all eighteen Brethren who are masquerading as Santa Claus, and whose name is drawn by the Provincial Grand Master.

The Royal Arch welcomes some of its newest Companions

ImageThe month of November has brought together a number of newly Exalted Companions to the Royal Arch in Wiltshire.

Such are the numbers waiting to join two of the older Chapters in Wiltshire, Chapter of Concord N°632 meeting in Trowbridge and Chapter of Harmony N°663 meeting in Devizes, that three double ceremonies were held to welcome new Companions.

Following the Installation Ceremony at Chapter of Harmony, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent was pleased to present Supreme Grand Chapter Certificates to Companions Gerrard Hamilton, Paul Robinson and Roger Hawker (see picture right).

Whilst at Chapter of Concord the newly Exalted Companions William Hughes and David Hibberson who shared in the double ceremony are shown with Companions Stephen Nuttall and Mark Manning who joined the Chapter earlier in the year. (see picture left)

Swindon Women's Aid - 50 selection boxes 


ImageWarminster & District Foodbank has received 100 Christmas Selection Boxes from Wiltshire Royal Arch Freemasons.

Speaking about the donation, Andrew Tiffin , who first thought of the idea to support the Foodbank said “We believe it is essential to support the work undertaken by the Warminster & District Foodbank.

We live in challenging times and for some Christmas can be a time of even greater need especially if they have recently been made redundant or have fallen on hard times".

Tony Channing (pictured L) with Peter Cowen who organises the annual collection on behalf of Royal Arch Companions and Craft Freemasons.

Royal Arch gifts 100 selection boxes


ImageWarminster & District Foodbank has received 100 Christmas Selection Boxes from Wiltshire Royal Arch Freemasons.

Speaking about the donation, Andrew Tiffin , who first thought of the idea to support the Foodbank said “We believe it is essential to support the work undertaken by the Warminster & District Foodbank.

We live in challenging times and for some Christmas can be a time of even greater need especially if they have recently been made redundant or have fallen on hard times".

Tony Channing (pictured L with John Reid and representatives of the Foodbank).


Talking Heads a Great Success


ImageOn Monday 23rd November 2015 at Lansdowne Chapter of Unity No.626 in Chippenham, the Chapter hosted the first presentation of “Talking heads” in Wiltshire by the Provincial Team.

Talking Heads is a short playlet that seeks to answer questions about the Royal Arch. It depicts an encounter between an experienced Past Master, who is also a Royal Arch Companion, and a relatively new Master Mason eager to learn more. The playlet covers the history of the Order and explains a little about the regalia – especially the jewel that is also worn in lodges – as well as discussing some of the links with the Craft.

The evening was a great success and eleven members of the Craft attended along with two very recently exalted Companions. Although “Talking Heads”  is designed to be performed in a Craft Lodge, for its first outing the Team was invited by Lansdowne Chapter of Unity to do a “Live Rehearsal”. The Chapter was opened, business quickly conducted and then closed and after the  Chapter was dismantled  the visiting Craft Brethren invited into the Temple.

The next performance of “Talking Heads” will take place at The City Lodge No.5955 in Salisbury on Thursday 19th January 2016. 


Further details are available from EComp Tony Oke or the Lodge Secretary.


The photo (above left) show the Chapter Principals, the two very recently exalted Companions and the eleven Craft Brethren who attended the event.

Inter Provincial Meeting 

ImageOn Monday 12th October one of the highlights of our Provincial calendar was to visit another Province and  fourteen Companions from Wiltshire travelled to Slough for the fifth inter-provincial visit between the Province of Wiltshire and Buckinghamshire.

At the Installation meeting of Grenfell Chapter No. 3077 at the Slough Masonic Centre, the ME Grand Superintendent of Buckinghamshire EComp John Keeble and his Provincial Team welcomed the ME Grand Superintendent of Wiltshire EComp John Reid, his executive and other active officers. The Companions of Wiltshire were not only treated to a very enjoyable Installation Convocation but to a most superb meal afterwards. 

When the ME Grand Superintendent of Buckinghamshire John Keeble addressed the forty eight Companions present he complimented the Past Grand Superintendents of Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire EComp Dr Richard Neal and EComp David Blanchard, for arranging these inter-provincial visits some years back.

In replying to the Visitors Toast the ME Grand Superintendent of Wiltshire John Reid thanked the Provincial Grand Chapter of Buckinghamshire for their generous hospitality and the Companions of Grenfell Chapter for a wonderful evening.

Inter-provincial visits are always special evenings and we look forward to when the Provincial Grand Chapter of Buckinghamshire visits Wiltshire again sometime in 2016.

Elias de Derham Chapter No.586 - Installation

ImageThe Deputy Grand Superintendent accompanied by the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals and members of the Provincial Team attended the Installation Convocation at Chapter Elias de Derham No. 586 on Wednesday 18th November. 

E Comp Colin Cheshire, DepGSupt congratulated the Chapter on a very enjoyable evening and how very pleased he was to see that all the appointed Chapter Officers were Companions who with natural progression would move forward to occupy the chair of Zerubbabel. 

He later commented "This just shows how healthy Chapter Elias de Derham is and with dedicated Companions coming through to occupy the Principals’ chairs bodes well for the Chapter’s future".

The newly installed Zerubbabel: E Comp Vincent Delderfield being congratulated by E Comp Colin Cheshire, DepGSupt.

Wiltshire Chapter of First Principals 

On Friday 25thImage September the Masonic Hall in Calne was the place to be, with a special Installation at the Chapter of First Principals.  

What made this event so special was the role of the Past Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Wiltshire E.Comp Blanchard who was installing the Past Provincial Grand Master for Wiltshire E.Comp Wakem.  Two Companions definitely - 'not past it'

The evening was attended by the Provincial team along with the Provincial Grand Master, Philip Bullock and the Grand Superintendent,  John Reid  who were joined by many Grand Chapter and Provincial Chapter Officers.  

Be sure to come along to the next convocation of First Principals to enjoy what we feel sure will be an interesting and enjoyable meeting this Masonic year.

Thynne Chapter Make Donation 

ImageOn Wednesday 3rd June 2015, E.Comp Alan Faver, First Principal of Thynne Chapter No. 1478, presented a cheque for £250 to Salisbury Hospice, in recognition of the special care and attention they provide to terminally ill patients in the region.

Alan is seen in the photograph, presenting the cheque to Staff Nurse Miranda Walker outside the main entrance to the Hospice.  Earlier, in a meeting with Jane Winstanley of the Salisbury Hospice Charity, he said he was so impressed by the way that everybody looked after Barry Hillier, one of our Companions, that he felt the Chapter should show their appreciation by making a donation.

Jane expressed her thanks on behalf of the Hospice and confirmed how grateful they were to local Freemasonry for this and other similar contributions. 

Chapter of Friendship and Unity welcomes the Grand Superintendent


ImageOn Wednesday 29th May, the Chapter of Friendship and Unity welcomed the new Grand Superintendent, E Comp John Reid to their installation convocation at the Masonic Hall in Bradford on Avon.

The Grand Superintendent was accompanied by the Second and Third Provincial Grand Principles and the Deputy Grand Superintendent along with a number of Provincial Officers thus  ensuring the lodge room was full to capacity. The installation was a complete success with each new Principal installed with an ease that reflected the experience and dedication of all the officers performing that night.


When the MEZ, E Comp. Stuart Burrell installed E Comp  Swanson as H the newly installed second principal attempted to sit in the MEZ's chair!  After the excellent installation just performed MEZ was not about to give it up and directed H back to his proper seat. All three Provincial Grand Principals delivered their words flawlessly, a testament to the hard work they have undertaken.. After a fantastic meal is was agreed that the Chapter of Friendship and Unity is in safe hands for another year.

Wiltshire welcomes its new Grand Superintendent - E Comp John Reid


ImageOn Saturday 16th May at the Melksham Assembly Hall, Wiltshire Companions together with guests from other Provinces assembled to welcome E Comp John Reid as he was installed as the Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Wiltshire by the Most Excellent Second Grand Principal, George Pipon Francis.

An early start saw the Provincial team setting up the hall for the 10.00am rehearsal conducted under the ever watchful and expert eye of the Grand Director of Ceremonies, E Comp Oliver Lodge. 

Oliver comforted the escort party with wise words saying “History shows that if you forget anything today you will remember it for the rest of your life… and so will everyone else”, wise words indeed and this advice ensured that indeed nothing was forgotten by either the escort party or indeed any member of team performing that day.

Once the rehearsal had been completed the room was setup for the lunch. Having finished the magnificent lunch, the Second Grand Principal, on behalf of the First Grand Principal, HRH the Duke of Kent, presented The Grand Superintendent designate with a 'Kent Cube', being a paperweight consisting of a gold medallion set in lucite. On one side of the medallion are the arms of the United Grand Lodge of England in low relief, on the obverse, the signature of the Most Excellent First Grand Principal. George Francis also presented John Reid with a pair of Grand Superintendents cuff links. The Grand Superintendent designate reciprocated by presenting the Second Grand Principal and other Grand Officers of the Supreme Grand Chapter party each with an engraved glass from the Companions of Wiltshire thanking them for their attendance and assistance on this special day. 


The installation ceremony went without a hitch with The Rev Malcolm CG Lane, Grand Superintendent of Monmouthshire acting as Second Grand Principal and Excellent Companion Kenneth L Benford, Grand Superintendent of Berkshire acting as Third Grand Principal, the precision on the floor being a testament to the rehearsal and hard work by everyone earlier in the day. The Grand Superintendent Installed E Comp Tony Oke as the Second Provincial Grand Principal and followed by E Comp Simon Ellingham as Third Provincial Grand Principal, finally E Comp Colin CC Cheshire was Installed as Deputy Grand Superintendent.