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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Lauren Wilkinson, a First Aider for St John Ambulance who has been sponsored by the Durham Knights Templar, spent a valuable week discovering more about the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital and the fantastic work it continues to do in the community.

In July 2019, Lauren visited the Hospital in Jerusalem for eight days to learn about the day-to-day activities of the Hospital and the community it serves, from their Outreach Programme that visits remote villages to screen for eye diseases, to their laser therapy clinic, and even delivered a life support training session to the staff.

"I’m so grateful for this experience
working with the St John Eye Hospital.
The work they do is a huge inspiration
to me. I intend to harness the team’s
passion and commitment to clinical
excellence in my career moving forward."

St John Ambulance First Aider
Lauren Wilkinson

You can read more about her journey and experiences in her article "Peace in Sight" here, or if you would like to read more about the St John Eye Hospital, the latest edition of Jerusalem Scene can be downloaded here.




We wish Lauren all the best and many thanks to Durham Knights Templar for their hard work in supporting worthwhile efforts like this.



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


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