In July 2017 at Felsted School, Lodge of XV was Consecrated by Rodney Lister Bass in the presence of over 300 founders, friends and visitors of the Essex rugby lodge. 1556 days later and some 579 days late, The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Paul Tarrant was pleased to Consecrate the Chapter of XV, the first rugby based Chapter in the history of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England. It was also the first Consecration of a Chapter in Essex for almost 10 years
The Founders of the Chapter have had to tackle many obstacles in the build up to the event. Covid has conspired to postpone the Consecration for some 579 days and it is a testament to the resolve of the petitioners that over 100 Companions gathered from across country to witness this unique event and to enjoy an outstanding Festive Board at Saxon Hall, Southend. Following a faultless Consecration overseen by the Provincial Director of Ceremonies, Joe Shearer, Mike Hall, Dave Hawtin and Michael Fleet were installed as the primus Z, H and J respectively, and a full installation and appointment of officers followed.
In his first act as Z, Mike Hall announced that the Chapter would adopt 3 unattached widows via the Almoners Team which was received well by all present, including the Provincial Grand Almoner. The Festive Board that followed was conducted in good order, although Companions should be aware that future meetings will include a Festive Board similar to that of the Lodge of XV with ‘fines’ payable and the monies donated to local rugby clubs and associated charities.
In his response Paul Tarrant said he was delighted to witness the ‘conversion’ of the Lodge to a Chapter and that with the level of support shown to the whole XV project that they wouldn’t need to ‘try’ too hard to emulate the success of their Craft brothers. Primus Z Mike Hall was overwhelmed by the day and commented: 'It’s been a long time coming but we got there in the end. I can only thank the Province and the founders for their patience and all those who attended under difficult circumstances'.
The first regular meeting of the Chapter is on Friday 21st January 2022 at Howard Hall, Braintree with the first Exaltation waiting in the wings. The next meeting of Lodge of XV is on Friday 26th November 2021 at Howard Hall, Braintree, with a double Raising on the agenda.