Red Cross of Constantine

The Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine
and the Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and of St John the Evangelist


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Constantine, a Roman, was destined for the college of Emperors but following the death of his father, he was hailed by the Legions in York as Augustus and became the Governor of Britain and Gaul. After several successful battles across the Alps and Italy he eventually established himself as the lawful Emperor of both the East and West and transferred the capital of the empire from Rome to Byzantium, later to be named after him.

It is said that his conversion to Christianity began one evening after a long day’s march with his army. He believed he saw a sign from heaven; a pillar of light in the form of a special cross. A standard bearing a cross was ordered to be carried before him in the wars. Several Christians in his army came forward and avowed their faith, following which Constantine directed that they should wear on their armour a red cross. Having been successful in battle it is said that Constantine with the help of his chief bishop, Eusebius, opened a Conclave of the Knights of the Order whose members became the bodyguard of their Sovereign.

It seems likely that the Order of the Red Cross of Constantine was being worked in England by 1780. After a number of changes to the organisation, the earliest documented date of the Order in its present form is 1865.

This Christian Order is in two parts. The first ceremony consists of the Candidate’s admission, obligation, and then the Installation as a Knight-Companion of the Red Cross of Constantine, in which the historical basis of the Order is also detailed.

In separate ceremonies the Knight-Companion builds on what he has already been taught and in the ceremony of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and St. John the Evangelist this knowledge is further expanded and the ultimate aims of Freemasonry are revealed. These, together with the two Installation ceremonies leading to the principal Chairs in the Red Cross of Constantine, are undoubtedly among the most impressive ceremonies in the whole of Freemasonry.

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Address by The Most Illustrious Grand Sovereign
Graham Leslie Flight, G.C.C.
to the Annual Assembly of Grand Imperial Conclave
Tuesday, 3 July 2018

RCC Flight 800Worthy Knights, Item 16 on our Agenda for today is an address by the Grand Sovereign but I promise not to keep you from refreshment for too long on yet another hot day. As always, my thanks to you for your attendance today and I hope you have enjoyed the proceedings in Grand Conclave thus far. The Grand Team has not been so busy during the last year with the appointment and enthronement of two new Intendents General rather than seven the year before. I would like to introduce them to you and I would ask them to stand when I call their names so that they can be recognised. On 17th February 2018, John Tristram as Intendent General for West Midlands, following the retirement of Colin Young after ten years of loyal service. On 24th February 2018, Terence Deakin as Intendent General for Hertfordshire following the retirement of Simon Pine. There has been one new Conclave consecrated in the last year, the John, Baron Von Hoff Conclave number 527 in Uxbridge on 4th June 2018. Anyone who knew John would agree that he was a stickler for things to be done correctly and in particular during his time on the Grand Sepulchre Guard he was instrumental in the introduction of the Guard cloaks as we now see them and other Guard traditions still maintained today. It is a pleasure for me to be able to perpetuate his name in this new Concalve. For those of you who were paying attention last year there is also still the prospect of a Consecration in St. Lucia next year and a list of volunteers is already forming. I do hope that there will be another in the UK if possible.

During the last year I have visited at home and abroad including visits to Rome, Paris, Stockholm and Sofia, the last to dedicate the banner for Serdika Conclave consecrated in 2014 by my predecessor. Closer to home, in addition to Conclave and Divisional visits, it has been my great pleasure to visit and present two 50 year jewels and certificates. Right Illustrious Knight Keith Jackson in Devon and Cornwall and Ill Kt Desmond Jones in West Midlands. These are tremendous achievements and show a great devotion to our order over many decades, indeed both of the Worthy Knights received their first Grand Conclave appointment before I joined the Order. We also had a knight, who regularly attends his Conclave, celebrate his 100th birthday last month with of course a suitable cake and celebrations. As always, it is a pleasure for me to now welcome our overseas and distinguished visitors and as usual Worthy Knights, could I ask you to hold your applause until I have completed the list:

From Scotland, we have M.Ill.Kt. Joseph S Wood, G.C.C. – Grand Sovereign; M.E.Kt. Kenneth Kennedy, P.G.Viceroy & R.Ill.Kt. A Mike McGregor, Grand Recorder.

From South Australia and Northern Territory of Australia we have R.Ill. & Em.Kt. Allan David Henderson, Grand Viceroy.

From Germany, M.lll.Kt. John MacKinnon, GCC, Grand Sovereign; R.lll. & Ven.Kt. Michael Cooper, GCC, Grand Eusebius, R.Ill.Kt. Markus Winter, KCC, Grand Recorder & Ill.Kt. Allan Morecroft, Captain of the Holy Sepulchre Guard.

From France, M.Ill.Kt. Jean Claude Borie, P.G.Sov. & R.Ill.Kt. Guy Braundet, G.Viceroy

From Finland, M.lll.Kt. Lasse Vikgrén, GCC, Grand Sovereign & R.Ill.Kt. Eero Nousiainen, GCC, Deputy Grand Sovereign.

From Sweden, M.W Bro. Ingmar Borjesson, Pro G.M., Knight and Commander.

From Cyprus, R.Ill.Kt. George C. Roditis, GCC, Grand Chancellor & Grand Sovereign Elect

From Greece, M.Ill.Kt. Aristides Samios, KBE, GCC, Grand Sovereign & R.Ill.Kt. Anastassios Albanis, GCC, Grand Chancellor.

From Croatia, M.Ill.Kt. Goran Kniewald, GCC, Grand Sovereign, & M.Ill.Kt. Bojan Sober, GCC, Past Grand Sovereign.

From our own constitution we have from Benelux, R.Ill.Kt. Alasdair Antony Kenneth White, Intendant-General, V.Ill.Kt. Werner Maria Schwab, P.G.H.Chan, Deputy I-G, Ill.Kt. Cornelis Van Putten, Div.G.St.B.(C.), Ill.Kt. Roger Albert Ottaway, P.Div.G.Chamb., Wy.Kt. Graham Anthony Sandford Jones, Wy.Kt. Marc Luc Robert Bauwens.

I now turn to Heads of Orders and from the Mark we have V.Ill.Kt. Raymond John Smith, G.S.Gen.,Pro Grand Master.

V.Ill.Kt. Paul Raymond Clement, P.G.S.Gen., Grand Master KT.

V.Ill.Kt. Kessick John Jones, P.G.S.Gen. Grand Master RSM

V.Ill.Kt. Andrew Christopher Sweeney, P.G.S.Gen., Grand Supreme Ruler OSM

V.Ill.Kt. Ian Stanley Currans, P.G.H.Chan., Grand Summus SC

Ill.Kt. Nigel Alan Willows, P.G.St.B.(C), Grand Master Operatives.

Ill.Kt. Christopher Gavin Maiden, P.G.Swd.B., Grand High Priest KTP

R.Ill.Kt. Michael Edward Herbert, GCC, Grand Master KBHC

V.Ill.Kt. John Roger Paternoster, P.G.J.Gen., Supreme Magus SRIA


The Grand Sovereign’s Care for Children Fund continues to be active under the management of my Deputy Grand Sovereign.  This includes a further £16000 received last year and after paying out over £30000 still has a healthy balance of some £62000 available. Please do apply for a grant if you believe you have a suitable case as the money should not be static in our account but should be put to good use. Worthy Knights, please continue to consider this Fund in your Conclaves and Divisions as there can surely be no better use of our charitable donations than the support we can give to organisations that care for children with life threatening or terminal illnesses as well as support for their families. I congratulate all those Worth Knights that I have appointed or promoted today in Grand Conclave.  These ranks are all well-deserved and act as a reward for past service and an incentive to continue that service in the future in your Conclaves and Divisions. I have again reappointed my Deputy and my Grand Eusebius and I thank them both for their support, advice and encouragement during the last year and their attendance and individual visits on my behalf. Worthy Knights they are allowed out without me and I am sure will be only too pleased to receive invitations to come and see you. I would also like to thank my Grand Officers of the last year for their support and to my Grand Sepulchre Guard for being with me on all official occasions and adding their special contribution to our proceedings. I must also thank the Grand Recorder and his staff and the Grand Marshal and his team for their help today and throughout the last year. Our Order, Worthy Knights, is faced with some of the same problems as Masonry generally in calls on members’ time, money and attendance and for some advancing years. We must all be vigilant and active in recruiting and retaining new members to join and stay with us and share our beautiful Christian Order. God bless you all Worthy Knights and let us now move efficiently on to refreshment and to each others’ company at lunch in Fraternal Harmony.


M.Ill.Kt. Graham L. Flight, G.C.C.
Grand Sovereign

R.Ill. & Em.Kt. Christopher John Macdonald, G.C.C.
Deputy Grand Sovereign

R.Ill. & Ven.Kt. The Revd Timothy J. N. L'Estrange, G.C.C.
Grand Eusebius


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