Welcome to the Home of the Holy Royal Arch
and I hope you find the information you seek in these pages. In June 2009, Grand Lodge stated that "...it is a matter of common ground that the teachings of the Royal Arch enrich those of the Craft and vice versa. Properly considered, therefore, each is inextricably linked with the other, with the result that no Brother's Masonic experience can be considered truly complete unless he has been exalted into the Order of the Holy Royal Arch." So every Craft Mason will at some point wish to complete the experience and join a Royal Arch Chapter and a warm welcome is guaranteed.
Like Craft Masonry, the Royal Arch is open to men of all faiths and a Craft Mason may join a Royal Arch Chapter once he has been a Master Mason for a month. A Brother is free to join any Chapter, although there are often strong associations between Lodges and Chapters; in some cases they share a common name and number. Royal Arch Masons are easily recognisable in a Lodge because they wear a distinctive and colourful jewel – the only non-Craft jewel permitted to be worn in Lodges. In every Craft Lodge there is a nominated representative who is there to offer advice and answer any questions regarding the Royal Arch.
Members of the Royal Arch are called Companions and meet in one of the 37 Chapters in the Province of Nottinghamshire; at least one Chapter meets in every Masonic Hall. The Chapter meeting is very similar to a Lodge and is normally followed by a Festive Board.
The Royal Arch has two ceremonies: the Exaltation Ceremony (to initiate new members) and an Annual Installation Ceremony for the three Principals. The Exaltation Ceremony is a very dramatic and colourful ceremony based on the Old Testament, telling of the return to Jerusalem from Babylonish captivity to rebuild the City and temple. In clearing the ground of the original temple, for the foundations of the second temple, the candidate makes an exciting discovery - the nature and significance of which is then explained in a series of lectures.
Each Chapter is headed by three Principals, who are conjointly equivalent to the Master of a Lodge. There is a progression of officers similar to a Craft Lodge and it is the office of Sojourner who accompanies the new candidate on the journey of discovery.
The Chapters form part of the Provincial Grand Chapter of Nottinghamshire, which in turn is related to Supreme Grand Chapter. Grand Lodge and Supreme Grand Chapter are administered together from Great Queen Street, London.
I hope you enjoy the Royal Arch and I look forward to meeting you around the Province.
Provincial Grand R.A. Chapter of Nottinghamshire