Veils Demonstration earns £1,800 for the 2019 Festival

Surrey Chapters were invited to bid for the opportunity of hosting the fifth demonstration of the Ceremony of Passing the Veils. This was performed in 2017 by an Executive Team in place of the usual Team who kindly stood aside to allow senior members of the Province to perform – the main aim being, of course, to raise funds for the Festival.

Veils Demonstration earns £1,800 for the 2019 Festival

In order to maximise the opportunity for attendance an extraordinary Convocation of the winning bidder, Surrey Arts and Sciences Chapter, was held under dispensation at Croydon Masonic Hall on 9th November 2017. After the Chapter was opened a short paper was delivered by the IPZ E.Comp. Will Fry and the demonstration then conducted.

The basis of the current Royal Arch ceremonies worked in England was established and agreed by Supreme Grand Chapter in 1834. There is evidence that before the 1834 changes the ceremony of Passing the Veils was practised as a preliminary to the Exaltation ceremony. This was particularly true under the former Antients Grand Lodge which worked the Royal Arch within the Lodge, but there is little evidence of it being worked in Chapters under the original Excellent Grand and Royal Chapter. Today in England the ceremony is solely authorised for use in Chapters in Bristol but it is still very much part of the Royal Arch system in Ireland, the USA and in Scotland - where it is known as the Excellent Master Degree.

When the time came for the demonstration, the MEZ invited the Provincial Grand Scribe E., E.Comp. Mark Winchester, PAGSoj, to deliver the preamble to the demonstration and to introduce the members of the Demonstration Team:

MEZ E.Comp. Alan Bayliss, PGSwdB, DepGSupt as King
‘H’ E.Comp. Stephen Dingvean, PGStB, ProvH as Scribe
‘J’ E.Comp. Eugene Regan, PAGDC, ProvJ as High Priest
Scribe ‘N’ E.Comp. Steve Wigmore, PGStB, AProvGP as Conductor of the Candidate
PS E.Comp. Rob Shephard, PAGDC, AProvGP as Guardian of the Scarlet Veil
1st A Soj E.Comp. Ian Smith, PAGDC, AProvGP as Guardian of the Purple Veil
2nd A Soj E.Comp. Alan Cain, PGStB, AProvGP as Guardian of the Blue Veil
Candidate E.Comp. Ian Chandler, MEGSupt as a Master of Arts and Sciences
Jamitor E.Comp. Bruce Perry PGStB, DepProvGSE as Janitor

After the demonstration the MEZ, E.Comp. Paul Greenfield, of Surrey Arts and Sciences Chapter presented the ME Grand Superintendent with a cheque to the value of their winning bid which qualified them for a Festival Gold Award. Ever prepared, the Grand Superintendent promptly presented the Chapter with its Gold Award affixed to the Charity Steward’s Collar.

At the close of this special convocation more than 100 Companions dined together in peace and harmony. The event was great fun and enjoyed by all who attended. Altogether the evening raised a magnificent £1,800 for the 2019 festival.

Article by Steve Wigmore

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