Location of Cambridgeshire Masonic Centres
About Royal Arch Masonry
When a Freemason has attained the rank of a Master Mason he is then entitled, after a period of one month, to be exalted into a Royal Arch Chapter in order to complete fully his Master Mason's Degree. He is then in the Royal Arch referred to as a Companion.
Royal Arch Chapters meet independently to Lodges. A Chapter is normally attached to a Lodge and in Cambridgeshire there are 14 Chapters.
The regalia is different to a Craft Lodge. It consists of an Apron with red and blue surround, a red and blue sash and a special Jewel which Royal Arch Masons should also wear in their Craft Lodges in order to show the bond that exists between Craft and Royal Arch.
As in all Masonic degrees, the ritual of the Royal Arch is an allegory. It helps to focus the minds of the Companions, without conflicting with their religious beliefs, to a contemplation of the nature of, and their relationship with their God which will be appropriate to their own religion.
A Royal Arch Chapter has a number of officers with particular titles but, most important, are the three Principals who collectively rule the Chapter for one year. Each year there is an Installation meeting for the new team of officers.
In England, the Royal Arch has four ceremonies: the exaltation ceremony to bring in new members and an installation ceremony for each of the three Principals. The exaltation ceremony is in two parts: a rather dramatic presentation of the principles of the Order followed by three Lectures in which the history, symbolism and principles of the Royal Arch are further explained.
If you are interested in joining a Royal Arch Chapter you should first speak to your Lodge Royal Arch Chapter representative or your Lodge Secretary.
Like Craft Freemasonry, the Royal Arch is open to men of all faiths.
Other Masonic Bodies
Written by United Grand Lodge of England
Freemasonry is practiced under many independent Grand Lodges with standards similar to those set by the United Grand Lodge of England. To be recognised as regular by the United Grand Lodge of England, a Grand Lodge must meet the following standards:
- It must have been lawfully established by a regular Grand Lodge or by three or more private Lodges, each warranted by a regular Grand Lodge
- It must be truly independent and self-governing, with undisputed authority over Craft - or basic - Freemasonry (i.e. the symbolic degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason) within its jurisdiction and not subject in any other way to or sharing power with any other Masonic body
- Freemasons under its jurisdiction must be men, and it and its Lodges must have no Masonic contact with Lodges which admit women to membership
- Freemasons under its jurisdiction must believe in a Supreme Being
- All Freemasons under its jurisdiction must take their Obligations on or in full view of the Volume of the Sacred Law (i.e. the Bible) or the book held sacred by the man concerned
- The three 'Great Lights' of Freemasonry, (i.e. the Volume of the Sacred Law, the square and the Compasses) must be on display when the Grand Lodge or its subordinate Lodges are open
The discussion of religion and politics within its Lodges must be prohibited
- It must adhere to the established principles and tenets (the 'Ancient Landmarks') and customs of the Craft, and insist on their being observed within its Lodges
There are some Grand Lodges and other apparently Masonic bodies that do not meet these standards, e.g. that do not require a belief in a Supreme Being, or that allow or encourage their members to participate as such in political matters. These Grand Lodges and bodies are not recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England as being regular, and Masonic contact with them is forbidden.
Want to re-join Freemasonry?
- Are you thinking of re-joining our fraternity but don’t know any local Freemasons?
- Perhaps you have just moved into the area and wondered where the best Lodge for you is located and when it meets?
- Were you a member of a University Lodge and have returned home but not yet joined a local Lodge?
- Are you a lapsed member in good standing?
If you are interested in re-joining Freemasonry, we advise that you contact the Provincial Office at the following address:
Page 5 of 8