Knights Templar

The Great Priory of the United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders
of the Temple and of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta
of England and Wales and its Provinces Overseas


KT Clement 300According to legend, the Knights Templar was founded in 1118 AD to protect pilgrims heading for Jerusalem and the Christian Holy places, where the small band of warrior monks established a headquarters. In the year 1118 AD King Baldwin II granted the Templars quarters on the Temple Mount and this forms the link to the Royal Arch.

Many men, of noble birth, joined the ranks of the Templar Order. Those who were unable to join often gifted the Templars with land and other valuables.
Modern Masonic association with these medieval defenders of the Christian Holy places is linked by the ceremony of Installation in which the Candidate takes the part of a Pilgrim who, by symbolically embarking on a Crusade, is elevated to Knighthood.

The earliest reference to modern Masonic Knight Templar activity in England can be found in the minutes of the Chapter of Friendship (Royal Arch) in Portsmouth, dated 1778, where it was worked as an Appendant Degree. In 1791 a Grand Conclave was formed comprising seven ‘Encampments’ with Thomas Dunckerley as Grand Master. By 1873 ‘Grand Conclave’ was now known as ‘Great Priory’, and ‘Encampments’ were now known as ‘Preceptories’.

The ceremony is very realistic and the regalia spectacular, based upon that worn by the Medieval Knights.

Prospective Candidates must be a Master Mason, a Royal Arch Mason and Christian.

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Knights Templar

The Provincial Priory of Durham social evening

Durham Social Evening

The Provincial Priory of Durham social evening for 2024 was held on 27 January, where members, their partners, families and guests gathered in the bar area of Darlington Masonic Hall. The Provincial Marshal E.Kt. Andrew Peter Fall Foster invited everyone to take their seats in the dining hall. After grace, given in Latin, with an English translation, by the Provincial Chancellor E.Kt. Peter A Smith, those present enjoyed Spiced Butternut soup, Braised beef with Bourguinon Sauce and Seasonal Vegetables, Lemon Posset, Cheese and Biscuits and Tea or Coffee.
After dining, the Provincial Prior Rt.E.Kt. Richard Scott welcomed those present to the Knight Templar social evening for 2024. He gave a special welcome to the Provincial Grand Master of the Craft John Thompson and his wife Andrea.
The Provincial Prior then told his guests about his recent trip to the eye hospital in Jerusalem, where he had witnessed the amazing advancements in eye surgery, being able to watch the unobtrusive removal of a cataract by a Phaco Emulsification machine, in little over three minutes.
The Provincial Prior then went on to inform those present that July of 2025 sees the fifty year anniversary of the Priory of Durham in its own right.
To celebrate there will be a service held in Durham Cathedral, with dining and entertainment held afterwards at Ramside Hall, where it is hoped that the total given to the Eye Hospital in Jerusalem by the province will be £100,000. The Grand Master. M.E. & S.Kt. Paul R. Clement, G.C.T and his team will be in attendance, along with the heads of St John Ambulance service, the CEO of the eye hospital in Jerusalem and other local dignitaries. Details of this event will be released after the AGM in April but early booking is recommended to those wishing to attend.
To conclude his address, the Provincial Prior drew the lucky winning ticket belonging to E.Kt. Ken Short for the Knight Templar chess set which was the idea of E.Kt. Stewart Bell, and had raised the magnificent sum of £1025.

Entertainment followed by Colin Lynch, a Neil Diamond tribute act which soon had those present singing and dancing along. The raffle was then drawn at the end of the night, which thanks to the generosity of those present raised £975.


M.E. & S.Kt. Paul R. Clement, G.C.T.
Grand Master

V.H. & R.E.Kt. Andrew C. Rainbow, G.C.T.
Great Seneschal