Welcome to Rose Croix
in Bedfordshire and
Hertfordshire

Inspector General of Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire
V.ILL. Bro. Nick Edwards, 33°

Welcome to the Home Page of the Ancient and Accepted Rite for the District of Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire which I hope will be of interest to both members of the Order in the District and Freemasons who are interested in joining.

Freemasonry is a secular fraternal association that has evolved worldwide, particularly over the last two or three centuries. In England and Wales, entry and progression by a series of three degrees is now via Lodges that are grouped into Provinces and administered by the United Grand Lodge of England and Wales (UGLE), which is also responsible for certain Districts and Lodges overseas. Its precepts promote moral values and self-knowledge, and are embodied in allegorical rituals, typically related to the ancient craft of stonemasonry and its tools.

As the craft degrees have evolved, so too have independent Orders of Freemasonry and rituals peculiar to them. Prominent among them in England and Wales is the Ancient and Accepted Rite, whose Chapters are grouped into Districts and administered by a Supreme Council, which is also responsible for certain Districts and Chapters overseas. It chooses to accept the three craft degrees of UGLE as a qualification for entry into a Chapter, rather than administering entry degrees of its own. Progression to further degrees is then within Chapters, and in ceremonies generally conducted by the Supreme Council itself. The Rite is frequently referred to as the 'Rose Croix', although this is only one of its degrees.

HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

The Ancient and Accepted Rite derives from the Rite of Perfection, which developed in France mainly in the quarter-century before September 1762. Its constitution, and the rituals for its twenty-five degrees, were formalised by Francken in a manuscript bearing that date, though probably written somewhat later. It was followed by The Grand Constitutions of 1786, dated May 1786, which describe the Ancient and Accepted Rite, consisting of thirty-three degrees, largely as it exists today. This document was presented as the product of a Council meeting under the titular direction of Frederick the Great. The original has not been found, and the copies seem to date from nearer to 1800.

In May 1801, in Charleston, the first Supreme Council following the Grand Constitutions was opened (now known as The Southern Jurisdiction of the USA). It was followed by France (1804), Spain (1811) and the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the USA (1813). Ireland (1826) was the sixth, England and Wales (1845) - receiving its Patent from the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction - was the eleventh and Scotland (1846) the twelfth. There are now independent Supreme Councils in over 60 countries.

The Supreme Council 33°

The sovereign power of the Ancient and Accepted Rite in England and Wales is committed to a Supreme Council consisting of nine Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, as prescribed for every country by the Grand Constitutions. It has the responsibility of managing the affairs and promoting the wellbeing of the Order, including the consecration of new Chapters, and of maintaining fruitful relationships with other Masonic bodies, both nationally and internationally. It is in amity with Supreme Councils in many foreign jurisdictions.

Each member of the Supreme Council holds the highest degree of the Order, the 33°, as do some 50 Inspectors General in England and Wales and 20 in Districts overseas, to whom authority is delegated to manage their appointed Districts, and a few others who contribute very significant services to the Order, or to Freemasonry in general. These include the Grand Patron, His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent.

Authority is further delegated to Chapters to confer degrees from 4° to 18°. The higher degrees are generally conferred by the Supreme Council at regular ceremonies, and recognise substantial services to the Order: 30° (including 19° to 29°), 31°, 32° and 33°.

THE SUPREME COUNCIL 33°
10 DUKE STREET, ST JAMES'S
LONDON SW1Y 6BS
TEL: 020 7930 1606
EMAIL: info@sc33.org.uk

The Ceremony

In the ceremony, the Candidate is taken through several rooms, which figuratively represent his spiritual and Masonic life from Craft Masonry, through despair, to a Rose Croix Chapter and the discovery of the Lost Word.

At the start, he is taken from a Master Mason (3°) to a 17° Mason, a Knight of the East and West, of symbolic age, coming - as the ritual explains - at a time of dire calamity with but incomplete pre-Christian knowledge.

The ceremony of the 18° seeks the Perfection of Christian Virtues in Faith, Hope and Charity.

It is an immensely thought provoking, impressive and beautiful ceremony which instils an even greater warmth of the Brotherly love, on which the whole Masonic movement is founded.

Following perfection, the ensuing "feast of fraternal affection" is a wonderful moment of shared Freemasonry all too often lost in other degrees.

The Rose Croix, like Freemasonry as a whole, is not a religion. It does, however, serve to point the way.

It is this which makes Rose Croix so important, encompassing all we seek, while pointing us clearly to the Trinitarian Christian Faith.

Candidate Qualifications

All candidates for membership of the Ancient and Accepted Rite under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council for England and Wales must profess the Trinitarian Christian Faith, and have been Master Masons for at least one year in UGLE, or have joined a lodge under UGLE from a recognised Grand Lodge.Affiliation of candidates owing allegiance to other Supreme Councils is permitted only in exceptional circumstances (subject to prior enquiry to the Grand Secretary General).

Any Brother wishing to visit a Chapter, or receive a visit from a member of a Chapter, in one of those jurisdictions with which the Supreme Council is in amity, other than Scotland, requires prior approval.

Throughout England and Wales and certain Districts and Chapters Overseas the Order is governed by the Supreme Council 33° whose headquarters are located at No. 10, Duke Street, St. James, London.

Regalia

In this Order, the only formal regalia is a collar to which in the 18°, is appended a complex jewel.

In most Masonic Orders, a black tie is worn. In this Order, this is discouraged as this is an Order of vision and resurrection.

A formal suit is usually worn with a smart tie (not too flashy). The collars or sashes, which are embroidered with exceptional beauty and complexity, display the rank from 18° through 30° to 31°, 32° and 33°.

THE CHAPTERS OF THE
BEDFORDSHIRE &
HERTFORDSHIRE DISTRICT


  • OLIVER COCKREM 180

    Halsey Masonic Hall,
    Rickmansworth Road,
    Watford, Herts,
    WD18 0JE

    3rd Fri Feb, 3rd Fri May(E), 3rd Fri Nov

  • BEDFORD CASTLE 251

    The Keep,
    Bedford Road,
    Kempston, Beds,
    MK42 8AJ

    4th Fri Feb(E), 2nd Thurs May, Last Fri Oct

  • AMPTHILL 281

    Ampthill Masonic Centre,
    Old Courthouse,
    Church Street,
    Ampthill, Beds,
    MK45 2PL

    3rd Fri Feb, 2nd Tues May, 1st Fri Oct(E)


    ST ALBAN 336

    Ashwell House,
    167 Verulam Road,
    St Albans, Herts,
    AL3 4DW

    3rd Mon Jun(E), 1st Fri Sept, 1st Fri Dec


    LEA 362

    The Pavilion,
    Bowling Green Lane,
    Luton, Beds,
    LU2 7HR

    2nd Fri Feb, 2nd Fri May, 2nd Fri Nov(E)


    WALTHAM HOLY CROSS 372

    Halsey Masonic Hall,
    Turners' Hill,
    Cheshunt, Herts,
    EN3 8NJ

    2nd Fri Mar, 2nd Fri Jun, 2nd Fri Oct(E)


    RAVENSCROFT 418

    Halsey Masonic Hall,
    Turners' Hill,
    Cheshunt, Herts,
    EN3 8NJ

    2nd Fri Feb, 2nd Fri May, 2nd Fri Nov(E)


    BERKHAMSTED 532

    Halsey Masonic Hall,
    Rickmansworth Road,
    Watford, Herts,
    WD18 0JE

    4th Tue Mar(E), 4th Fri Jun, 3rd Fri Sep


    LEIGHTON 607

    The Gables Hall,
    132 Wing Road,
    Linslade,
    Leighton Buzzard, Beds,
    LU7 2NN

    3rd Fri Jan, 3rd Fri Mar, 3rd Fri Oct (E)


    CLOISTERS 624

    The Cloisters,
    Barrington Road,
    Letchworth, Herts,
    SG6 3TH

    3rd Thurs Jan, 4th Mon Apr(E), 3rd Thurs Oct


    SABRIXTEWORDE 827

    The Masonic Hall,
    Vantorts Road,
    Sawbridgeworth, Herts,
    CM21 9AJ

    3rd Tues Feb, 3rd Tues Sep(E), 2nd Wed Dec


    BIGGLESWADE 833

    St Andrew's Rooms,
    Biggleswade, Herts,
    SG18 8BA

    3rd Mon Jan, 3rd Mon May, 3rd Mon Sep(E)


    ELSTREE & RADLETT 869

    The Masonic Hall,
    The Rose Walk,
    Radlett, Herts,
    WD7 7JS

    4th Fri Jan, 4th Fri May(E), 4th Fri Oct


    ROYSIA CROSS 874

    The Masonic Hall,
    Jepps Lane,
    Royston, Herts,
    SG8 9AP

    1st Wed Apr(E), 1st Wed Jun, 1st Wed Oct


    DUNSTABLE 916

    Dunstable Masonic Centre,
    Cemetery Lane,
    Dunstable, Beds,
    LU6 3JT

    1st Fri Feb, 3rd Fri May, 3rd Fri Oct(E)


    GODFREY KENT 1117

    Mayflower Place,
    Hertingfordbury,
    Herttford, Herts,
    SG14 2LH

    4th Wed Mar(E), 1st Wed Sep, 4th Wed Nov


    BEDS & HERTS 943

    (June) The Pavilion,
    Bowling Green Lane,
    Luton, Beds,
    LU2 7HR

    (Dec) Ashwell House,
    167 Verulam Road,
    St Albans, Herts,
    AL3 4DW

    1st Sat May, 1st Sat Dec(E),


    Contact

    Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire District

    For further details please contact -
    Pins Poullais,
    DISTRICT RECORDER

    e-mail - bedshertsrosecroix@gmail.com


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