The Provincial Grand Royal Arch

The Holy Royal Arch - commonly known as ‘The Chapter’ - is an inclusive part of Craft Freemasonry, but neither superior nor inferior to it. All Master Masons are eligible for membership as Freemasonry is a journey from Initiation to Exaltation.

The origins of the Chapter go back to at least the first half of the eighteenth century but in its modern form emerged with the formation of the first Grand Chapter in 1817, following upon the merger of the then two Grand Lodges in 1813.

Articles of Union

The Articles of Union of the two Grand Lodges

For full information upon the Supreme Grand Chapter please visit their website.

Records exist of only four Chapters in existence in the County of Kent in the C18th, the oldest of which was probably the Holy Mount Mariah Chapter, which met in Chatham, (warranted 1783). However there were various Military Lodges which held ambulatory Warrants, which at various times were stationed in the County and practised Royal Arch Masonry.

The first Grand Superintendent, Captain George Smith, was appointed in 1778, but the Provincial Grand Chapter was not formed until 1877, when William Archer, Viscount Holmesdale / Earl Amherst was appointed Grand Superintendent. At that time there were 11 chapters.

By 1973 there were some 90 Chapters (and 300 Lodges) and the decision was taken to divide both the Craft and Chapter provinces of Kent between East and West with an approximate division of the number of Lodges and Chapters, since when the Chapter in East Kent has gone from strength to strength, so that today there are some 68 Chapters.

All members of the Craft are encouraged to join the Chapter at an early stage in their Masonic career. For an explanation see The Next Step in Freemasonry’.

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