On Thursday 2 December, a party of five Royal Arch Masons, namely: the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp Wayne Williams, the Provincial Grand Master, E Comp Max Bayes PAGSoj, 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp George Clayton, PGStB, 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp Mark Constant, and E Comp Mike Green, PGStB, visited the Chapter of Charity, Bristol to experience an Exaltation ceremony, Bristol style!
The Bristol Masonic Hall itself is a most impressive building, commanding a most imposing position in the old town. On arrival, the Northampton visitors were warmly welcomed by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Royal Arch Province of Bristol, E Comp Alan Vaughan and his Deputy, E Comp Christopher Williams. Following refreshments after the considerable journey, the party enjoyed an extensive tour of the building which was most impressive. Dating back over two hundred years, the building was almost totally destroyed by enemy bombing in 1940 when, a ‘’few burned out relics were recovered’’. Restoration of this very beautiful and unique building was finally completed in 1957.
The Chapter of Charity No. 187 (formerly No 9 prior to renumbering in the far and distant past) was consecrated in 1769 and is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, continuously working Chapters in existence. The current Bristol Royal Arch workings contain passages very reminiscent of surviving 18th century manuscript rituals, and every Exaltation ceremony includes a ceremony of ‘The Passing of the Veils’. Hence, the Bristol Royal Arch workings are not only very old but therefore unique and substantially different from all other English Chapter Workings.
The visiting companions from Northamptonshire & Huntingdonshire were privileged to witness a truly outstanding Exaltation Ceremony, perfectly executed by the MEZ, E Comp Terence Cole and his team.
An unexpected item was the presentation (pictured below) of a certificate to Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp Wayne Williams, by his very good friend and fellow Grand Superintendent, E Comp Alan Vaughan, to mark his presence on this very special occasion. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp Wayne Williams, was delighted to respond to a very generous Visitors’ Toast, thanking all present, particularly the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp Alan Vaughan, and his Deputy for their welcome, their companionship and splendid hospitality throughout the day. The obvious special relationship that exists between the two Provinces is most apparent and long may it continue.
Above left to right:- Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E Comp Wayne Williams, Provincial Grand Master, E Comp Max Bayes,
Most Excellent Grand Superintendent (Bristol), E Comp Alan Vaughan & Third Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp Mark Constant