The Commemorative Order of St Thomas of Acon
The Order was founded in the twelfth century during the Third Crusade and dissolved by Henry VIII. In about 1973 Brother John Walker revived the Order, he having come across it during researches in the City of London. Being impressed by its specifically English origins and its aims (embracing the twin principles of Humility and Kindness) he revived it as a Masonic Order and became its first Grand Master.
The St. Thomas referred to in the title was St. Thomas a Becket and the Order is named after him because the first Prior built a church which he dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket. That church was built in Acre, (anglicised to Acon) the scene of a terrible siege in the twelfth century.
The Order developed rapidly. In 1998 there was only one Chapel in the United Kingdom, located at Blackheath. By 2007 this had increased to 68, with Chapels in the UK, Spain, USA Canada, Australia and New Zealand and the Order continues to expand.
Membership is open to any Master Mason, being a Royal Arch Companion and a member of Knights Templar. The regalia is similar to that of a Knight Templar and Knights are admitted to the order in the regalia of a Knight Templar.
In November the Order makes an Annual Pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral where a service is held in the Crypt at 2pm and over 100 members attend. The designated charity of the Order is Canterbury Cathedral to which the Order makes substantial annual donations.
There are two Chapels meeting within the area of the Masonic Province of East Kent.
Canterbury Chapel No 7, meeting at Canterbury on the first Saturday in April and the third Saturday in November
Geoffrey Chaucer Chapel No 63, meeting at Gillingham (Franklin Rd) on the second Friday in January and the third Thursday in July.
Other Chapels in the Province of London and the South Eastern Counties meet in London, Chichester, Eastbourne, Kenton, Nutfield and Wokingham.
Provincial Grand Secretary, Province of South Eastern Counties: Reg Smith
Telephone: 01227 794704