The Welcome Project
Three Chapters hosted Royal Arch Welcome Project events during the spring.
On 9th April at Freemasons’ Hall, the Companions of Prudentia Chapter No 5536 exalted Bro Ajit Battu in the presence of its Metropolitan Grand Inspector, E Comp Ian Burgess, GstB. They were joined by the Chapter’s Visiting Officer, E Comp Sanjay Gohil, SLGCR and by members of Chapter of Equity No 3692, who had met earlier in the day but decided to stay and observe the high-quality Exaltation.
Companion Ajit recounted at the Festive Board how much he had enjoyed the ceremony, especially an amazing ‘wow’ moment he lived during the ceremony. With four more candidates in the pipeline, Prudentia Chapter has a prosperous future ahead.
This is remarkable given that, until recently, Prudentia Chapter was contemplating surrendering its Charter. That was until an introduction to the members of the Lodge of Eastern Bon Accord No 7071. This event has helped rejuvenate the Chapter and will ensure its successful future both in this, its 75th year, and beyond.
At Chingford Masonic Hall, London E4, on 14th April, Clarence and Avondale Chapter No 6790 received a visit from the Metropolitan Grand Stewards Chapter Demonstration Team as part of the Welcome Project. Led by Metropolitan Grand Inspector E Comp Nick Critchlow, PGSoj, the team gave a first-class demonstration of the ‘Exaltation ceremony with Added Theatre’, much to the enjoyment of a packed Main Temple. Following the impressive ceremony, the Companions retired to slake their thirst at the Chingford bar, after which they engaged in a lively Festive Board that lasted long into the evening.
On 6th May, at Mark Masons’ Hall, Metropolitan Grand Inspector E Comp David Ellis, PAGSoj, visited Temple Chapter at Jerusalem No 4611 for the first time to witness the Exaltation of Belgian mason Bro Philippe Roose. This visit was organised as part of the Welcome Project, and it brought along three very new companions. It was a great opportunity for them to relive the ceremony and relive their own experiences when going through it. All then retired to a sumptuous Festive Board within Mark Masons’ Hall, where newly Exalted Comp Philippe personally ‘broke bread’ with every Companion present – a tradition very popular in Belgian – a fraternal and sincere gesture that was greatly appreciated and enjoyed by everyone, and particularly by the three newly exalted visiting Companions as well as by the Metropolitan Grand Inspector himself.
The Object of The Welcome Project is twofold:
1. To provide all Initiates (Craft) and Exaltees (Royal Arch) with an opportunity to observe a high-quality ceremony, soon after their own, at a specially selected meeting.
2. Equally importantly, to facilitate the extension and growth of their circle of Masonic friends and contacts at all levels of the organisation across London. Engagement is at the heart of the Project’s aspirations.
Attendance at a meeting participating in the Welcome Project can be booked in advance through a dedicated website. Look out for dates of future exaltations (or initiations) on: https://www.thewelcomeproject.co.uk
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 49 August 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 49 here.