Royal Arch Provincial News

Provincial Grand Convocation May 2024

This year’s Annual Convocation took place at the Webbington Hotel on Thursday 16th May,
by and large, the weather Gods were in a good mood, though the rain came in torrents
just as we closed Chapter, so no drinks on the terrace this year.

Over 180 companionsfrom this and other Provinces attended. We were pleased to receive many of the Heads of Orders in Somerset and the Grand Superintendents or their representatives from 10
neighbouring Provinces. We also received the Assistant PGMs and other senior members
from the Craft and representatives from Chapters outside, but associated with, the

After processions, Convocation was opened in due form at 11:00 by the Grand
Superintendent with the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals, and then the
business of the day got underway.

The roll of Chapters was called and PGScE was then able to report to MEGS that all
Chapters were present. The Minutes of the previous Convocation were approved
and all present next came to Order to pay respect to those Companions who had
passed to Grand Chapter Above since the previous Convocation.

You may recall that last year, Province received a brand new Somerset Sceptre. By
pure coincidence, it is presently in the care of the host Chapter, Fidelity and Sincerity
1966 from Wellington. So it was that their First Principal aka our Provincial Grand
Director of Ceremonies, was able to present it to our Grand Superintendent to use
during the Convocation.

The accounts for 2023 were approved – though there was a good-humoured murmur
or two when it was revealed that our Treasurer was away on a cruise…! Scribe Ezra’s
report (See Below) was also approved.

E Comp Neil Hurcum was reappointed as Deputy Grand Superintendent and then
MEGS called for E Comp Graham Puddy to be presented. E Comp Graham was
installed as our new 2nd Provincial Grand Principal vice E Comp Martin Slocombe,
who was thanked sincerely for the work he has done for the Province over many
years, both in Craft and Royal Arch. I’m sure I heard our Grand Superintendent say
“… and will continue to do”… “! E Comp David Maddern was then reappointed as 3rd
Provincial Grand Principal.

There followed the reappointment of several of the 23-24 team, immediately followed
by the investiture of the newly appointed and promoted Provincial Officers. Amid
the happy hubbub, almost 40 Companions stepped up to receive their new collars
from the Grand Superintendent. Click here for the list of this year’s appointments
and promotions.

In his address to the Companions (see below) MEGS thanked those Provincial Officers
who were standing down for all their hard work in the past few years – not so few in some
cases! He commented upon headway being made in The Membership Challenge – the
number of Companions in the Province grew in 2023, the first growth in 15 years. He
reminded all Companions about ARCHWAY, the toolkit designed to help Chapters grow
and to make Chapters an enjoyable place to be. Click here to access the site. He
commented upon the great level of interest shown in the new Provincial exaltation ritual,
“Savage”, and that several Chapters had already adopted it. He again pressed the aim
that every Chapter should appoint a Chapter Mentor.

He congratulated Chapters for their work so far in supporting the Food Bank programme
for a second year and announced that there would be a new initiative announced in

Under AOB, the PGScE reminded all present that the 2025 Annual Convocation
would be held on Thursday 15 th May 2025. E Comp Bob Moore then rose to invite
MEGS to hold that Convocation under the banner of the yet-to-be-consecrated Sir
Isaac Newton Chapter No 9801 – he added that with any luck, they would have a
banner by then ! MEGS was confident they would have one and graciously accepted
the invitation.

Provincial Grand Chapter was then closed in due form and Companions retired to
spend a pleasant time with friends before 151 Companions took a convivial lunch

Article by E Comp Charlie Barker
Photos by Comp Chris James

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