Tuesday the 13th of February 2024 saw the Ark & Menorah Chapter meeting in which the Ceremony was to be an exaltation. The evening was enriched by, the presence of, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Robert Ian Frankl together with Manchester Area East District Chairperson, EComp Ed Beaman.

The ceremony of Exaltation is one of the most colourful and mystical ceremonies in Freemasonry. This is the natural follow-up from the first three degrees in Craft, but most importantly, this ceremony can inspire the Candidate if well executed.

For Ark & Menorah Chapter, this meeting was an extraordinary event. It was not just a normal exaltation, but the first time that one newly exalted companion was seconded by his Husband.

Stuart Peter Mackenzie was taken through the ceremony by the Principal Sojourner David Jaffa, and conducted by Excellent Companion Jonathan Jacobs, and Stuarts’ husband, the 2nd Assistant. Sojourner, Companion Francesco Toto, who later in the ceremony demonstrated the Signs, giving to Stuart, a night to remember.

Francesco joined Royal Arch on the 11th of February 2020 and proposed WBro Russell Conn, the experience was so nice that when he spoke about how incredible and mystical the Exaltation was. Stuart, after becoming a Master Mason, decided to become a member of the same Chapter.

Stuart said. “I was impressed and felt that when the time was right, I decided to join. It was a special evening because Francesco was undertaking part of the ritual. He undertook the Signs. I saw the passion, vibrant like magnetic waves in his eyes. I felt so proud, so happy for my husband for what he was doing and to see him happy as ever.”

Stuart and Francesco’s message for everyone joining or willing to join Freemasonry is simple “You will not be disappointed. The environment of mysteries, is veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. A living sentiment which ferments in time, strengthening its strong flavour through moments.”

Brotherhood as well as love, two companions of Maccabee Lodge 8947 who are currently members of the same Chapter as well as being married to each other.

Story by Companion Francesco Toto