The Grand Court of the Masonic Order of Athelstan in England, Wales and its Provinces Overseas
The Masonic Order of Athelstan tells the story of a Master Mason being called to York in 926 AD to receive the Ancient Charges from King Athelstan, the grandson of King Alfred, and the first King of England to be referred to as “The King of All the English”. Throughout its ceremony the ritual contains a great deal of symbolism that is still seen in some Lodges today and a great deal that is not currently worked. It culminates in an historical oration which takes the candidate through the development of the various Grand Lodges, from the appointment of Sir Thomas Gresham in 1567 as the first Speculative Grand Master ending at 1813 with the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England.
The aim of the Order of Athelstan is to encourage further study and research. Membership is by invitation only. Each candidate (who must be an active member of both the Craft and the Holy Royal Arch) is expected to have a wide and committed interest in all aspects of freemasonry and is carefully chosen for his interest in Masonic history and is ‘Instructed’ into the Order.
The Order is unique in Masonic circles, as in addition to existing members each new Court requires a minimum of 15 Founders who are not already members before a Petition will be granted. These Founders are brought into the Order immediately before the new Court is Consecrated.
Mindful of the demands upon the member’s time and pocket, midweek meetings generally commence at around 6.30 pm and conclude, after a modest meal, at around 9.30pm. Potential candidates can be invited to the Festive Board.
In England, the Order is structured so that its Provinces reflect and represent the original Kingdoms and Gilds as they were set up by King Athelstan, so that they are not therefore necessarily co-terminus with the modern counties. Hence, the Province of Kent includes Kent and East Surrey.
Regalia is very similar to that of the Craft except that the aprons are red.
There are four Courts meeting within the area of the Masonic Province of East Kent:-
St. Justus No 13, meeting at Gillingham (Franklin Rd) on the 1st Wednesday in June, 1st Tuesday in August and 4th Friday in November .
King Ethelbert No 56, meeting at Canterbury on the 3rd Tuesday in February, May and December.
King Eadbald No 72, meeting at Dover on the 3rd Wednesday in February, October and December.
The Court of St. Honorious No 89, meeting at Paddock Wood on the 2nd Saturday in January, 2nd Monday in July and October.
There are two other Courts in the Kent Province, meeting at Dartford and Bromley.
Provincial Secretary: Raymond W. Hudson
Telephone: 01322 551969