Frequently Asked Questions
What is Holy Royal Arch Freemasonry ?
In the Book of Constitutions given to every Craft Mason under the English Constitution it states by way of a Preliminary
Declaration that, on the Act of Union between the two Grand Lodges in December 1813,
"Pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, ie: those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the
Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch."
With only one or two very minor amendments in more recent years, this Declaration has stood the test of time for almost 200 years.
However, following a strategic review of the Holy Royal Arch during 2007, it was recommended that a clearer emphasis was needed to
establish beyond doubt the inseparable bond between the Craft and the Royal Arch. To this end, a re-positioning statement was
approved to support the earlier Preliminary Declaration to read:
"The Order of the Holy Royal Arch is an integral part of Pure Ancient Masonry, being the completion of Craft Masonry, and the
essential next step in Freemasonry for all Master Masons"
The Holy Royal Arch therefore provides the vehicle by which the last part of the journey through Pure Ancient Masonry is completed. It is
not an optional extra but the means by which a Master Mason completes his basic Masonic knowledge and experience.
What is the difference between Holy Royal Arch and Chapter ?
The Holy Royal Arch is perhaps better recognised by its generic name of Chapter. As Craft Masons meet in a Lodge and address themselves
as Brother, then members of the Holy Royal Arch meet in Chapters and refer to themselves as Companions.
In the first degree of Craft, the candidate is initiated into the Order. Thereafter, he is passed and raised. When he is admitted
into the Supreme Degree of the Holy Royal Arch, he is exalted.
How is a member of Royal Arch recognised ?
A member of the Royal Arch is immediately recognised by his distinctive Royal Arch breast jewel and which is the only jewel
permitted to be worn both in Chapters and Craft Lodges.
The jewels are of different colours ?
The breast jewel ribbon varies according to the rank of the Companion:
Grand Officers and Provincial Grand Officers - a striped ribbon of dark blue, crimson and light blue
Principals or Past Principals of a Chapter - a ribbon of plain crimson
All other Companions - a plain white ribbon
Why do a lot of your Chapters have the same name and number of a Lodge ?
More often than not, a Chapter is closely allied to a specific Craft Lodge and from which it takes both its name and number.
In the three degrees of Craft, a candidate is taught to address his worldly attributes - the moral code by which we conduct
ourselves, our relationship with our fellow man and society at large, the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves and a
code of conduct throughout life based on the five points of fellowship and the three great principals by which we live -
Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
What is Chapter about ?
In the Royal Arch, we are invited to reflect and contemplate on our own spiritual well being - our individual relationship with God
in whatever form our Supreme Being presents himself to us. In the Craft degrees, we illustrate our teachings through the re-enactment
of the building of King Solomon's Temple. In the Royal Arch, we adorn that magnificent edifice with spiritual awareness and meaning.
How do I become a Royal Arch Mason ?
A simple introduction to the Royal Arch is set out in a leaflet intended for every Master Mason immediately after his Raising
with an invitation to consider exaltation into a Chapter when the importance and the implications of the three Degrees in Craft are
The invitation will again be extended on raising to the Third Degree in the form of a joint letter signed by both the Provincial Grand Master and
the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent explaining how the Royal Arch should be considered the logical progression towards the
completion of Masonic advancement.
Which Chapter do I join ?
There are 73 Chapters in the Province of South Wales, most being attached to a Craft Lodge where both share the same Lodge/Chapter number.
Some Brethren prefer to join a Chapter where they are well known whilst others have a preference to join at a different Centre altogether.
Whichever you choose, you will make new friends as more than just one Lodge supports each Chapter.
You will find that the companionship of the Holy Royal Arch will enrich your Masonic experience.