Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:00

The Masonic Family: Knights Templar

With their own terminology and structures, masonic Orders offer new opportunities for growth, development and friendship in Freemasonry. We look at the origins, requirements and beliefs of the Knights Templar

When did it begin?

The earliest records of the masonic Knights Templar can be found in the minutes of the Chapter of Friendship in Portsmouth dated 1778. At that time, the degree was worked under lodges and chapters warranted by the Antient Grand Lodge using a variety of rituals. Lancashire had 10 of the first 40 encampments (now called Preceptories).

When did the Knights Templar become popular? 

In 1791, Templar Masonry entered a new era with the formation of its first Grand Conclave (now Great Priory). Thomas Dunckerley was Grand Master. At that time, there were just seven encampments in existence;  it wasn’t until after 1851 that the Order began to expand in response to the standardisation of the ritual.

Did the masonic Knights Templar fight in the Crusades?

There is no historical connection between the medieval Christian military order and the masonic body known as the United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta of England and Wales and its Provinces overseas – more commonly referred to as the Knights Templar.

What does the Order believe in?

Thomas Dunckerley wanted to promote a concept of chivalry and Christianity within a masonic framework.

So is it open to all faiths now? 

The Order is one of several in masonry in which membership is open only to Freemasons who profess a belief in Christianity.

 How many members are there? 

The Order numbers just under 12,500.

How do I join? 

Membership can be achieved through the recommendation of an existing member.

Is it difficult to progress?  

Having joined the Knights Templar, the next step is to take the Malta Degree, which is a two-stage process: first becoming a Knight of St Paul by taking the Mediterranean Pass, and then becoming a Knight of Malta.

Can anyone from the Craft become a member?

To become part of the Order, a brother must be a Master Mason and a member of the Royal Arch.

Who heads up the Knights Templar? 

The Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master is Paul Raymond Clement, who joined the Order in 1984 and was installed as its Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master in May 2017.

Where is the  nerve centre? 

The headquarters of the Order is Mark Masons’ Hall, St James’s, London, from where all administration activities are conducted.

What causes does it support? 

The Order has a favoured charity that members have supported since 1915 – the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital, which is the main provider of charitable eye care in the West Bank, Gaza and the East Jerusalem area.

Published in More News

Beaconsfield Lodge No. 2849 in Buckinghamshire was proud to celebrate 60 years of dedicated service to the lodge and Freemasonry as a whole, by Stan Brooker PPSGW

Stan was presented with a 60 year certificate by Buckinghamshire's Assistant Provincial Grand Master Tony Robinson at Slough Masonic Temple during the Installation of David Harfield as the lodge's new Worshipful Master.

Stan was born and raised in Shepherds Bush, West London, on the 5th May 1925. He joined the army at the age of 18 on the 6th May 1943. Whilst on active service in Normandy he was seriously wounded in the left arm. Stan was repatriated to the UK and subsequently discharged from the army, as medically unfit for active service, in January 1945.

Stan received a medal from the French Government in recognition of his service in the liberation of France in January 2018. He was made a 'Chevalier' in the Order National de la Legion d’ Honour.

After the war, Stan married Joan and they lived happily for 71 years; although sadly Joan recently passed away after a long illness. Stan and Joan had a son and daughter who in turn gave them grandchildren and great-grandchildren all of whom he is justly proud. In the 1960s, Stan and Joan moved from Shepherds Bush to live in Hayes, Middlesex, and again moved in 1989 to Andover where he still resides. Stan was a toolmaker by trade and in particular, worked for Johnson Matthey making specialist tools for their famous jewellery business in Hatton Garden.

Stan joined Freemasonry by becoming a member of Beaconsfield Lodge on 23rd April 1958, and 12 years later he attained the Mastership of the Lodge in 1970. He also served as the lodge Secretary for 13 years through the late 80s and early 90s where he proved to be a superb administrator, very knowledgeable on the rules and regulations of the order, and the ceremonies and etiquette required within the lodge. He was a regular attendee of the Quarterly Communications of Grand Lodge, as remarked by the former Provincial Grand Master Ray Reed when presenting Stan with his 50th certificate.

For the lodge centenary in 2001, Stan put together the history of the lodge. He then organised the centenary meeting held which was presided over by the then Provincial Grand Master, Lord Burnham.

Stan has been a member of three craft lodges in Buckinghamshire, Middlesex and Hampshire. Along with achieving senior rank in Royal Arch Chapter, Mark, Rose Croix, Great Cross of Constantine, Knights Templar and Knights Templar Priests.

For 60 years Stan, supported by Joan, has devoted a great deal of his time and efforts in supporting the many and varied aspects of Freemasonry. And at 93 years of age, his support continues.

Over 900 Knights attend the ceremony at Freemasons’ Hall

Paul Raymond Clement GCT has been installed as The Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master of The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta of England and Wales and its Provinces Overseas – better known as the Knights Templar

The installation was conducted by the out-going Grand Master, Timothy John Lewis GCT, who had served in the role since 2011.

Over 900 Knights attended the Chapter of Great Priory, which was held under the banner of The Preceptory of St. George No. 6 in the Grand Temple of Freemasons’ Hall. Also present were a large number of visiting dignitaries from other Great Priories along with Provincial Priors and Knights of our own constitution from overseas, all of whom were personally welcomed by the new Grand Master.

Paul Clement is also the Grand Supreme Ruler of the Order of the Secret Monitor and a Past Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Degree.

Published in More News

Masonic gift from 1883

Nearly 800 Hertfordshire masons and their families attended the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban for a service of thanksgiving and the rededication of a pulpit, a gift from English Freemasons in 1883. Most of the original funding for the carved stone pulpit came from the Province of Hertfordshire and three lodges in particular – Watford, No. 404, Gladsmuir, No. 1385, and Halsey, No. 1479.

Its £6,000 restoration, under the guidance of Hertfordshire Provincial Grand Orator and Cathedral Clerk of the Works, George Laverick, was made possible by many lodge donations, as well as three other local orders: Knights Templar, Rose Croix and Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia.

At the service, Provincial Grand Master Colin Harris and Dean the Very Rev Jeffrey John both referred to the relationship between the Abbey and Hertfordshire Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge, No. 8984, which regularly assists at major Abbey events. The restored pulpit is situated in the crossing of the cathedral, under the great Norman Tower.

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