At the Rochdale Joint Convocation hosted by Werneth Chapter N0 6163 held on Thursday the 26th February almost 60 companions witnessed a superb evening. The First Principal EComp Wayne Heywood opened the chapter in due form and carried out the normal business of the Chapter after which there was a report at that the EComp David Bristol PGDC sought admission to the Chapter, on entering he announced that the MEGSupt Sir David Trippier together with a Provincial Deputation demanded admission.  On entering the Chapter Sir David accepted the chair offered by EComp Wayne Heywood (Z). The PGDC EComp Bristol placed EComp David H Thompson, PGStB, Second Provincial Grand Principal and EComp Rev’d Donald Pryce, PGStB, Third Provincial Grand Principal in their respective seats. The Chapter then gave salutations to Sir David Trippier MEGSupt.  Sir David thanked the companions for their salutations He went on the say that there are some 5000 masons in East Lancashire which is the fourth largest province in the country with some 40% being Royal Arch members and he was pleased to attend the meeting and found it an excellent idea to have all the Chapters in the District attend the joint meeting. Sir David then introduced the Provincial Deputation and the Companions gave a warm applause.

EComp Ed Cheadle APGP thanked the Most Excellent for attending and explained that this evening the Royal Arch would give a questions and answers presentation on the Royal Arch, its history and practices by companions of Oldham and Rochdale Chapters.

EComp Aubrey Oldham asked several pertinent questions such as

  • When Did Royal Arch Masonry begin?
  • Is the Royal Arch a fourth Degree?
  • The candidate for exaltation is a master mason, so how many knocks should be given on his arrival at the door of the Chapter room?
  • Whence came the inspiration for the sash worn by Royal Arch Companions?
  • What is sacred about the sash?
  • Why is it described as irradiated and how does that further depict light?
  • Our ritual refers to two principal colours when describing the sash worn by Companions. If this is a reference to the colours of the curtains of the Tabernacle, why there are three colours mentioned in the Bible for those curtains?
  • Why the limit of 72 elders mentioned towards the end of the exaltation ceremony?
  • What is the significance of the custom of holding the glass in the left hand at Social Boards?

Those question were answered by a panel of eight companions John Nesbit (Imperial George); Bernard Percy (Tudor); Roger Guest (Imperial George); Graham Holmes (Ben Brierley); Bill Ramm (Proberty & Freedom); Paul Doran (Tonge Hall); Graham Rawlinson (Installed First Principals);David Mullin (Werneth).

On completion of the presentation Sir David Trippier gave sincere thanks to EComp Aubrey Oldham and his colleagues and asked all the Companions to remember the effort all had put in. His comments were followed by rapturous applause.
EComp Ed Cheadle then presented EComp Wayne Heywood with a Certificate acknowledging that every member of Werneth Chapter had given a personal donation to the Festival and congratulated the Chapter on being the first Chapter in the District to receive such a certificate.  EComp Wayne Heywood presented Sir David with an additional cheque for £600 on behalf of Werneth Chapter which is already a Patron of the 2015 Festival During the social board Sir David Trippier spoke of his recent communication to all brethren and companions within East Lancashire asking all to reconsider their donations to the RMBI festival.

The First, Second, and Third Chapter Principals took the rightful place in the Chapter and Sir David Trippier accompanied by the deputation retired from the Chapter.
EComp Wayne Heywood closed the chapter in due form and all retired to the social board

At the Social Board EComp Stewart Booth and EComp Aubrey Oldham the Oldham and Rochdale, District Officers of Royal Arch took the opportunity to present EComp Ed Cheadle PGStB Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principal a gift for all the hard work he done over the past seven as EComp Cheadle stands down at the Provincial Meeting on the 19th March 2015