Royal & Select Masters

The Grand Council of the Order of Royal and Select Masters of England and Wales
and its Districts and Councils Overseas


RSM Jones 300The Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of England and Wales and its Districts and Councils Overseas was formally constituted on 29 July 1873 by four Councils chartered just two years earlier by the Grand Council of New York.

They organised themselves into a Sovereign body under the Patronage of the Rev. Canon G.R. Portal, a Past Grand Master of Mark Master Masons, who was Installed as the Grand Master of the Order. By the turn of the century there were twenty seven Councils and a similar number Consecrated by the end of the second world war. The Order then grew rapidly with the number on the Roll at the end of 2013 being over 250 Councils.

The Degrees in the Order - four in total - are often referred to as the 'Cryptic Degrees', and the Order sometimes as 'Cryptic'. The ceremonies complete the Solomonic legend as they prove the essential link between the Degrees of Mark Mason, the Raising in Craft, and The Royal Arch.

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To all Companions of the Order

Greetings to our members who are not able to attend any Church services. I was asked to conduct a service for a local group of Lodges and, because of the present crisis, this not being possible, I was asked if I could present instead a short address.

One of the hymns I had chosen was that stalwart of the Boys’ Brigade, “Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?” which you can listen to here

Well, we might not have been at sea (unless you were stuck on a cruise) but we have certainly seen some turmoil in our lives these past couple of months. One verse does say “on the rising tide you can never fail, while your anchor holds within the veil”. None of us could forecast how the future was going to affect us when we first heard that dreaded word “Coronavirus” and there is little doubt that our lives have all been affected in so many different ways.

The main lesson for my service was to be Luke Chapter 10, verses 29-37, copied below, which tells the so familiar tale of The Good Samaritan.Over the most recent few weeks, we have heard so many wonderful reports of how communities have come together to help those in need, so much exemplifying all those virtues we admire in our Freemasonry.

We may not come across anyone lying in the road - and even if we did, we may not necessarily have a donkey with us - but we do continually have the opportunity to be Good Samaritans. Our ancient and honourable institution is a fraternity committed to uphold the ideals of society, of whatever creed or belief. Freemasonry is not a church, but neither is it an enemy of any church. Rather, it is a fellowship seeking to bring together people of every faith, whether Levite or Priest or Samaritan - that we may love one another and seek the common good of all.

“What an incentive is this to an industrious use of our faculties, that we should labour diligently to complete that inner temple for God’s eternal praise” as we learn in that wonderful address within the Royal perambulation.Let us then follow the command Jesus gave at the end of this parable “Go and do thou likewise”.May the Supreme Master of the Universe have you in His keeping, until we meet again on some distant shore.

V.Ill.Comp. Dr Vivian Thomas, JP, Grand Chaplain.

Luke 10:29-37 King James Version (KJV)

29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho,and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, anddeparted, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he sawhim, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, andpassed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when hesaw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and sethim on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them tothe host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendestmore, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fellamong the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, anddo thou likewise.


M.Ill.Comp. Kessick J. Jones
Grand Master

R.Ill.Comp. His Hon Ian D. G. Alexander, KC
Deputy Grand Master

R.Ill.Comp. Paul A. Norman
Grand Principal Conductor of the Work


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