Metropolitan Grand Chapter Royal Arch Investiture and Annual Convocation 29th March 2023

As March began with the annual meeting of Metropolitan Grand Lodge, it closed with the annual Convocation of Metropolitan Grand Chapter. 
The Metropolitan Grand Superintendent, accompanied by the Principals and Officers of Metropolitan Grand Chapter, entered to acclamation and opened the Chapter.

ME Comp Gareth Jones, Third Grand Principal, accompanied by several Provincial Grand Superintendents and officers of Supreme Grand Chapter, entered in procession and were welcomed with applause. After returning the Sceptre to the Metropolitan Grand Superintendent, the 3rd Grand Principal took his seat.

The Metropolitan Grand Superintendent then proceeded to the investiture of those receiving Chapter honours, taking the time to speak with each investee. He then appointed and invested his officers for the year and presented collarettes to the retiring Inspectors and the Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master.

As he addressed the Convocation, Sir Michael remarked how wonderful it was to see everyone present to celebrate the achievements of so many London Royal Arch Masons who give so much to their own Chapters, to the Metropolitan Grand Chapter and to the Royal Arch as a whole. He then extended his welcome to all our visitors but particularly the 3rd Grand Principal and the visiting Grand Superintendents, and other SGC officers.

Sir Michael paid tribute to his deputy, the Reverend Timothy L’Estrange, who juggles raising a young family, running a busy parish in West London as well as doing an immense amount of work for the Royal Arch in London. He also praised the great support given by the Metropolitan Principals, Assistant Metropolitan Grand Masters and Metropolitan Inspectors. 

Those honoured have earned their new collar jewel and apron for their hard work and must carry on being the ambassadors for the Royal Arch and make sure it is seen very much as a part of the whole Metropolitan family. 
London’s Royal Arch Masons have been very active in exporting the Royal Arch to Russia and Monaco. There is a current project to establish the Grand Chapter of Bulgaria. The Order is thriving in London with fine exemplars such as the Grecia Chapter No 1105 working the ‘Perfect Ceremonies’, probably the first ritual published after the 1813 Union, and the Savage Club Chapter No 2190 demonstrating the exciting Shortened Ritual. The Royal Arch awareness evenings have restarted, and a new playlet, ‘Revive and Thrive’, is available together with many other resources through the Metropolitan office.

E Comp Ian Clark, Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master, is leading the ‘Welcome Project’, which gives new exaltees an opportunity to witness the ceremony shortly after their own. Companions can also look forward to the launch of Archway that will complement the Craft Members’ Pathway.

After paying tribute to the work of the Metropolitan Grand Scribe Ezra and Director of Ceremonies and their teams for their vast efforts in ensuring the smooth running of the Convocation, Sir Michael mentioned the appeal he launched at the annual Craft meeting to raise £3 million to help London’s Air Ambulance replace two of their retiring helicopters. Companions and Chapters are invited to dig deep to support this worthy cause. 

Sir Michael concluded by thanking everyone for attending, and the Chapter was closed in due form. 

Metropolitan Grand Chapter is nearly twenty years old, and a celebratory gala dinner in London’s Guildhall will be held on 4th October to celebrate (booking arrangements will be announced in due course.)

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 51 December 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 51 here.