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On Friday 30th November 2018, VWBro Paul Leo Saunders PGSwdB along with the Provincial Secretary for South Rheged, WBro Colin Lewis attending a presentation evening at Cheshire View Masonic Hall, Christleton near Chester.

They were invited, along with a number of other "side orders" to give a presentation to interested Craft Masons and later talk with them on an informal basis whilst providing an information point in relation to the other.

The presentations were attended by over 80 brethren and a very interesting insight was given by the presenters about the Orders involved. VWBro Saunders delivering a short and succient description of the origins of our Order and its development. A display of various items of interest that are utilised within the Order where put on show and attracted individuals who expressed an interest. They were all given a leaflet which described the history of the masonic order of Athelstan.

The evening was enlightening and an excellent forum to showcase our Order.

 

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Hearty congratulations to our new Assistant Grand Master, RW Bro Derek Broderick, on reaching the memorable milestone of 50 years as a freemason.

Our photograph shows RWBro Derek (4th from right) and other Athelstan brethren at the presentation of his certificate at a recent meeting of Kingston Lodge No 1010 (Hull). The Craft PGM of Yorkshire N&E Ridings officiated this memorable event.

We wish Derek all good health for the next 50 years!

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The relevance of the ancient Charges to freemasonry and to this Order will be clear to all members. In celebration and commemoration of the events of 926 at York as described in the Regius Manuscript and elsewhere, the Grand Master has entrusted the Court of Eoforwic No 1, meeting at York, with the custodianship of the Charges of the Order and has authorised a new ritual to be performed there annually. The new ritual recalls in allegorical fashion the labours of our ancient brethren in agreeing charges for approval by the king. A highly successful 'first run' took place at the Installation meeting of Court No 1 on Friday 19 October 2018.

The ritual features a short culmination at Grand Court (witnessed there on 27 October 2018), where the charges of the Order are presented by brethen of Court No 1 to the MW Grand Master for ratification.

The unique York ritual is open to all members of the Order to witness and the next annual performance will be in October 2019. It is intended that the new ceremony will only ever be worked at York, with culmination at Grand Court..

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Brethren now I have the honour to address Grand Court.

I would like to start on a personal note by thanking you for the trust you have placed in me by my re-election as your Grand Master.

This Order has been part of my daily life for 12 years now and I will continue the good works we have started together knowing that your fullest confidence is behind me. Brethren, as always we have some exciting times ahead of us over the next few years.

We have had a busy morning, certainly. Today has in many ways provided a splendid culmination to a momentous year for our Order, and in my formal address to you all, I would like to summarise and comment on some of our key achievements this year.

I don’t have enough time to mention so many of the individual initiatives and successes that our Order has achieved over the year, and the contributions that our members continually make to Athelstan freemasonry and indeed our community.

Perhaps the most significant is surely the successful implementation of the programme to realign our domestic Provincial boundaries.

Announced last year after close scrutiny and long discussion, these changes to some of our Provinces have involved a measure of disruption for some of you: some new Provinces have been established and with that some Courts have been migrated between Provinces.

I am now pleased to report that the process is now complete, and we are beginning to reap the benefits of all your efforts and hard work as these new structures ‘bed in’ Indeed new Courts have been formed as a result bringing Athelstan masonry to those who may not have previously had the opportunity.

I would also stress that no further changes to the domestic structure are planned at this time.
We must also celebrate the successful inauguration of the Province of Greece this year, and the enthusiasm of its members, a great many of whom have ‘crossed the wine-dark sea’ as Homer stated; to join us today.

It is most important to acknowledge the great support that we have enjoyed from the rulers of the Craft in Greece in establishing Athelstan masonry there.

This also serves to remind us of the importance of securing and maintaining our relationship with the Craft and Holy Royal Arch more generally, as well as the wider Masonic world.

Another jewel in our crown this year has been the formal ‘transfer of sovereignty’ of our former Provinces in India to a new, independent Masonic body, self-governing in its own right.

Today’s formation of the new Grand Court of India, and the concordat signed between us, proves that although our Order is young, it is well capable of mature judgement, and we are proud to see the ground prepared in our early years bear such fine fruit.

Echoing this theme, I can confirm that a similar route is being taken in Australia, and we expect that this will come to pass in April next year.

That is not all the news from overseas: our Order continues to expand in Spain, three new courts are in the process of formation there. We are also exploring potential developments elsewhere in Europe as our Order continues to shine.

Similarly, our brethren in North America continue to expand at an impressive rate due to the amazing enthusiasm of its members and the impeccable leadership that they are blessed with. A Court in Florida will be consecrated in the first week of January thus brining our unique light to the ‘Sunshine State’.

But growth is not always the paramount issue, there must be substance to underpin our Order, not just mere numbers.
You have just heard a splendid and inspirational address from Barbara Pollard as to the efforts that her community in Malmesbury are making to set up a fitting memorial to King Athelstan, our Glorious founder.

Brethren, what an opportunity this presents for our Order!

We are already part of the ‘real’ King Athelstan story with our support of the Coronation Stone initiative and now we have the chance to create a new future for the glories of our dear old King.

I would now like to follow up her presentation by urging all of us to get behind this admirable project in every way that we can.

And that brethren is not only financial!

We as an Order have already assisted in several ways with our experience and time. Following recent and unanimous approbation by our Provincial Grand Masters we will soon be highlighting our Malmesbury Monument plans.

The Appendant Order of the Scarlet Mantle has traditionally recognised those in the Masonic Order of Athelstan who have demonstrably 'gone the extra mile' in their support for our Order.

Membership is now approaching 200, and has been drawn from members of the Masonic Order of Athelstan at any level, there being no other qualification for nomination than meritorious service.

During our early years, it was comparatively easy to recognise those falling into that category and we trust all such brethren have been and continue to be recognised.

We have recently introduced the Certificate of Merit to recognise the contribution of those members whose input into the Masonic Order of Athelstan will impact for years to come. The launch of that initiative provided a unique opportunity to reconsider the ethos and remit of the Appendant Order and I am pleased to say that the Grand High Chancellor has risen to the challenge!

Over the last year or so at my behest he has been developing proposals for modifications to the nature of the Appendant Order and its qualifications for admission. This included a new series of distinct and restricted rituals for the grades of membership, which focus the ethos of the Appendant Order on the role of Alfred the Great in preparing the way for King Athelstan.

The first such ritual for the KSM ceremonial was worked last year, and repeated yesterday with great success. We intend to complete the process by working the new rituals for the remaining grades in the early part of 2019.

In addition it is our intention to define revised and broadened admission criteria that will allow a clearer and attainable, albeit still merit-based, path for entry into the Appendant Order by suitably qualified members of the Masonic Order of Athelstan.

These changes being so fundamental, we believe it will be appropriate to transition the old "Scarlet Mantle" into a new "Ancient Masonic Order of Alfred the Great", with current Scarlet Mantle members of this constitution transferring to corresponding grades in the new Order. We anticipate a formalisation, consecration and launch of the Ancient Masonic Order of Alfred the Great during 2019.

It is also my intention to combine the roles of Grand Prior (Masonic Order of Athelstan) and Grand High Chancellor (Scarlet Mantle) in one individual; RW Bro. Chris Ansell whose focus will also include the oversight and development of the esoteric aspects of our Anglo-Saxon masonic heritage - part of which you saw in action earlier today.

I am sure you will be eagerly looking forward to the development of these new aspects of the Athelstan experience in the coming months and years and I am sure the Grand High Chancellor will appreciate your feedback and comments.

Brethren, I would like to say more, much more, but the drinks are warming, and the food is cooling. However before we go from Labour to Refreshment there are two further matters that I must bring to your attention.

Brethren during the past 12 months the active Grand Officers of the year have discharged their respective duties with diligence, dignity and aplomb. I thank each and every one of you. I hope that you have enjoyed the last year as much as I have. It has been a Team effort and there is no I in Team. For those Grand Officers who’s tour of duty comes to an end today I know that you will continue to work well and diligently for the Order, your Provinces and your Courts.

We may, of course, work with each other again at some future time; it is something that I would look forward to. To those Grand Officers who today have been Appointed to Grand Rank, Promoted in Grand Rank or have attained a First Appointment I offer you my congratulations. Your awards are for your past services; and I know that you will continue to work diligently for the Order.

Finally Brethren I must pass comment on the support that I have received from the Order not only over the last 12 months but since Monday in particular. Brethren on Monday at an Especial Meeting of Grand Court over 100 Brethren were present; yesterday at our meeting of the Scarlet Mantle over 100 Brethren were present. Today well over 200 Brethren are present. With such support the future bodes well. Never more has that wonderful expression ‘Oh you wonderful Masons’ been more appropriate.

Brethren in conclusion I thank each and every one and now is the time to move speedily from Labour to Refreshment.

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The Annual Assembly of the Grand Court was held on Saturday 27 October 2018 at Leicester, with the Appendant Order of the Scarlet Mantle being held the previous afternoon, at which over 30 brethren were admitted to the grade of KSM. Both events attracted an outstanding attendance - nearly 200 to the Annual Assembly, over 100 to the Scarlet Mantle.

The Annual Assembly addressed a very full agenda which began with respectful tribute to those brethren who had passed to the Grand Court above since the last assembly.

The Grand Master then received a delegation from the Court of Eoforwic No 1, York, who performed the final part of a new ritual celebrating the foundation and preservation of our Charges. Read more here.

The assembly then witnessed and welcomed the re-election of the MW Grand Master and the re-appointments of RWBro Roy Leavers as Deputy Grand Master, RWBro Derek Broderick as Assistant Grand Master, both having been formally installed at a special meeting of Grand Court held at Surbiton on the previous Monday. RWBros DA Surratt, AR Macken and JG Mendoza were reappointed to their positions as Assistant Grand Masters for the Americas, Australia and Latin America respectively.

RWBro Dr CWG Ansell PAGM, was confirmed as Grand High Chancellor of the Order of the Scarlet Mantle. The MW Grand Master then awarded RWBro Ansell a Grand Masters Certificate of Merit, in recognition of service, which came as something of a surprise to the recipient!

The meeting was witness to the historic landmark inauguration of the Grand Court of the Masonic Order of Athelstan in India, and the installation of MWBro Bharat Epur as first Grand Master. A formal concordat between the sovereign Gand Courts was then signed by MWBro Epur and MWBro Johnston. RWBro R Leavers was appointed as our Grand Master's Representative to the Grand Court of India.

Following the investiture of the Grand Officers for the year, the assembly was then delighted to receive Mrs Barbara Pollard, who gave a presentation describing her plans and very significant progress in erecting a statue of King Athelstan at Malmesbury, concept models of which were available to view and which well  capture the spirit and ethos of the king. The MW Grand Master then presented her with the 2018 Chevalier Ramsay Lecture collarette and a cheque for £5000 from the Order to support this very worthwhile project, which has relevance not only to this Order, but to freemasonry in general. Mrs Pollard then left Grand Court to warm and very appreciative applause. The Order was delighted to have her company at dinner after the meeting.

The Grand Master then addressed the assembly - read the text here.

The final business was the approval of a donation of £500 to All Saints Church, Kingston, to support those in need at Christmas.

 

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In keeping with our responsibilities under Data Protection Legislation, for site security management and as part of website "housekeeping" behind the scenes, all member login accounts to this website that have not been accessed in the last 24 months (i.e. since 1 September 2016) will be suspended on 1 September 2018 and deleted on 1 October 2018. If you have not logged in for the last two years, to preserve your account simply log in to the members area before 1st September 2018.

Between 1/9/18 and 1/10/18 members affected can apply for reactivation of their account This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., quoting their Grand Court Certificate Number.

After 1/10/18 affected brethren must apply for a fresh account if they subsequently want to access the members area.

Please be aware that any new account created in response to bona fide user request that has not been accessed within 3 months after activation is automatically subject to deletion without notice.

Bloody Run Court

Congratulations to all the brethren of the newest Court in the Province of the USA - Bloody Run Court No 127 was consecrated in Everett, Pennsylvania on 16 June by a team from the Provincial Grand Court of the USA.

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Our Grand Court Team have concluded their duties in Athens where they have been assisting the Most Worshipful Grand Master Paul W Johnston consecrate 2 further Courts, constitute the Province of Greece and install the Primus PGM and DepPGM.

The team consisted of:-

  • As Grand Prior W&EBro Louis Keats DepGPrior
  • As SGW RWBro John D Watts GReg
  • As JGW VWBro Ian H Scott PGSwdB
  • GSec VWBro Barry Chalkley
  • As GMar WBro Peter Ronan DepGMar
  • GSwdB VWBro Derek Dunn
  • As DepGMar WBro Ian Dixon PJGD
  • As SGD WBro Nigel Harding DepPresDAC
  • As JGD WBro Gerald Spencer PDepGSec
  • As GOrganist Bro Christos Pouris, JD Court125
  • GBB WBro John Broughton
  • As GCofGuards W&EBro Alan Hume PPrGPrior Northumbria
  • GGuard WBro Stephen Kearns

The final day, Sunday 17th June commenced with the Consecration of the 3rd Court to meet in Athens, Euclidean Court No129 which will be Greek speaking (the other 2 Athens Courts to be English speaking).

It was a particular delight that the current Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Greece was a founder of Euclidean Court and he graced us with his presence at all Athelstan meetings over the 2 days accompanied by his immediate predecessor Grand Master.

After the Primus Master WBro Andreas Papagannis and his Officers were Installed a presentation was made to the MWBro Paul Johnston, Grand Master, of an enamelled tile as a memento of the occasion.

Following a short break all resumed in the Apollo Temple of the Athens Archenon Street masonic hall where the Province of Greece was Constituted and RWBro Constantin Stephanides Installed as Primus PGM for Greece who in turn appointed and invested WBro Maximos Kanetis as DepPGM.

A splendid lunch followed in the refectory of the masonic hall after which all the brethren visiting from England were presented with a commemorative Jewel and a book about the Acropolis which many had made tome to visit between their Masonic duty.

Tomorrow the Greek hosts have arranged a full day excursion to the historic temple of Apollo at Delphi for those who do not have to return to England immediately and it is hoped the storms which brought a deluge to Athens whilst they were inside the Masonic Hall will have cleared so they can enjoy a well deserved day in the Hellenic summer.

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