Celebrating 300 years

Pro First Grand Principal's address - April 2007

Thursday, 26 April 2007

ROYAL ARCH ANNUAL INVESTITURE

26 APRIL 2006

An address by the ME Pro First Grand Principal the Most Hon the Marquess of Northampton, DL

Companions,
I welcome you all here today for this special meeting and congratulate all those Companions I have invested with their new ranks. Whether you have been promoted or appointed this morning your new rank brings with it certain responsibilities. 

Chief among these is to promote the Order to Master Masons and encourage new Companions to understand and enjoy this new dimension to their Masonry. You can see from the paper of business that the number of Grand Chapter certificates issued last year has fallen by twelve and a half per cent in the past ten years.

At our last Convocation I announced that I was setting up a working party under the chairmanship of the Second GrandPrincipal to look into the question of recruitment and retention and report back in time for this meeting. I have now received an interim report and have agreed that their final report will be ready in time for the next Convocation in November. 

Their initial thoughts are based on the indissoluble link between the Craft and the Royal Arch and a suggestion that there should be a formal Royal Arch representative in each Lodge, possibly as a Lodge officer, who would be responsible for promoting the Order to Master Masons. 

Proper mentoring of new members is also high on their list of priorities together with a range of other practical measures which they hope will encourage an influx of candidates. 

The full report will be sent to Grand Superintendents for their views before being made widely available thereafter. I need hardly stress the importance of this report, as doing nothing is not an option if we are to reverse the fortunes of the Royal Arch. 

In the meantime, Companions, we should continue to enjoy ourselves in this very special Order as nothing will attract candidates more than a happy and enthusiastic membership.

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