On Thursday 28th March 2024, in the illustrious setting of Warrington Masonic Hall, a momentous occasion unfolded at the regular convocation of Palatine Chapter No 2447. Five Master Masons from three Universities Scheme Lodges in the region, were exalted into Royal Arch Masonry. Palatine Chapter had done the same before, by exalting another five Master Masons into the Royal Arch, at their previous meeting in Warrington. This quintuple ceremony, was another step, reflecting the success of the Chapter, but also showcased the thriving spirit of Freemasonry in the region.

This convocation was made even more remarkable by the attendance of The Most Excellent 3rd Grand Principal, Gareth Jones. His presence, alongside The Most Excellent Grand Superintendents of both East and West Lancashire, Robert Frankl, and Mark Matthews, along with their deputies and the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals; was an honour that underscored the significance of the ceremony. The Most Excellent 3rd Grand Principal expressed his enjoyment of the evening and the Chapter’s embodiment of the spirit of “One Journey, One Organization,” highlighting the profound impact of Palatine Chapter No 2447 and its members on the broader Masonic community.

The ceremony was nothing short of magnificent. Orchestrated with precision and passion by EComp Paul Renton, the event was further elevated by the outstanding and entertaining performance of EComp David Basger as the acting Principal Sojourner, together with the Principals and the other Officers of the Chapter. Their combined efforts ensured that the ceremony was both memorable and meaningful, but also, very enjoyable by nearly 100 in attendance.

Re-dedicated in 2018, Palatine Chapter No 2447 is a peripatetic Universities Scheme Chapter and a unique shared venture between the Provinces of East and West Lancashire. This collaboration has fostered a vibrant community of members from both Provinces. The Chapter’s peripatetic nature allows it to hold meetings in both Manchester and Warrington, bridging the two Provinces and fostering unity and camaraderie within the Royal Arch. The Brethren who are exalted into Palatine Chapter, are all members of the Universities Scheme units in the region. This allows them to progress in Freemasonry together, enjoying and extending their pre-existing friendships and camaraderie into the Royal Arch.

Warrington Masonic Hall, renowned for housing the Museum of Freemasonry, served as the perfect backdrop for this grand event. The museum, a major attraction for the Hall, stands as a testament to the rich history and traditions of Freemasonry. It was within these walls, steeped in history, that the newly exalted Companions took their significant step into Royal Arch Masonry.

This meeting was a testament to the Chapter’s growing influence and appeal. It attracted a multitude of visitors from both East and West Lancashire, all eager to witness the exaltation and partake in the festivities. Palatine Chapter No 2447 stands as a shining example of the success of the Universities Scheme; with its ability to attract and engage members, especially from the academic community.

As the evening drew to a close, the air was thick with anticipation. The success of this meeting has set the stage for future gatherings, as the Chapter prepares itself for its next (extra) convocation at Bolton Masonic Hall on Tuesday 16th April, when the Chapter is aiming to exalt eight further Master Masons into the Royal Arch.

This convocation of Palatine Chapter No 2447 was not just an event; it was a celebration of Freemasonry, unity, and tradition. As the Chapter continues to grow and evolve, one thing is certain: its commitment to the core values of Freemasonry remains unwavering.