“Royal Arch Masonry – The Final Step In Pure Antient Freemasonry”

What is the Royal Arch?

The Royal Arch is a separate Order, which has a special connection to Craft Freemasonry practiced in Lodges. It continues and completes the journey a Freemason begins with Initiation.

The Craft and the Royal Arch together form “pure Antient Masonry”, as defined by the Act of Union of 1813. This combined the then two main Grand Lodges to form the governing body we have today, the United Grand Lodge of England. The Royal Arch is governed by United Grand Lodge’s sister organisation, the Supreme Grand Chapter of England. Members, who are called Companions, rather than Brothers, meet in Chapters, which are themselves connected to Craft Lodges.

What is the ceremony about?

Throughout Craft Freemasonry, and especially in the Master Mason’s degree, there are many references to things which were lost, which we hope to find and which will come to those who are diligent and patient and willing to search. These references form the basis of the Ceremony of Exaltation into the Royal Arch. This ceremony is based on events that took place almost five-hundred years after those of the Master Mason’s degree, and is probably the most colourful, beautiful and enlightening one in Freemasonry.

When is the best time to join?

There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. It will depend on inclination, circumstances and when a member wishes to discover more. The minimum qualification is to have been a Master Mason for at least four weeks. Some brethren join very soon and some wait longer. We encourage brethren to discuss the timing with their personal mentor and their Lodge’s Royal Arch Liaison Officer, and to aim to join within a year of becoming a Master Mason.

What is the commitment involved?

Royal Arch Chapters meet three or four times each year, and so the time involved and fees payable are both lower than Craft Lodges. There is one admission ceremony, and the work is shared between several members.

What is the next step?

Every Craft Lodge has a Royal Arch Liaison Officer who can provide further information, help members find a Chapter suited to them and answer questions.

To find out more, please visit the Derbyshire Royal Arch website at https://derbysroyalarch.co.uk.