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

To all Companions of the Order

Most Illustrious Companion Kessick John Jones, Grand Master, has asked that the following note from the Grand Chaplain be circulated to you, along with his own blessings and best wishes.

A Thought of Hope

I am sure that most of us are familiar with the Biblical story of the Exodus, when the Children of Israel were able to escape from their Egyptian bondage, led by that wonderfully heroic character, Moses. It must have taken an enormous amount of faith in that one man, coupled with the deep-felt hope that indeed they were going to be led to new and better future, to enable them simply to forego everything around them and set off on their perilous journey.

I am equally sure that there is not one of us who has not been affected in some way or another during the very difficult times that we have endured these past months. And, just as we thought that the tidal wave of infection was receding, so we have witnessed a resurgence that once again threatens our freedom and well-being.

But Moses did not succumb to the threats of the Pharaoh. The destructive effects of the pestilence and plague passed over the Israelites, and, we are told, forty years later they were able to enjoy their promised reward. Whether they were still following the same Moses, is, of course, a matter of considerable doubt, but that must be another story. The essence of the drama and the untold difficulties they encountered resulted in their eventual arrival at the Promised land.

We have no desire to struggle for 40 years and there is every expectation that we shall be able, with both care and fortitude, to overcome our present affliction. Sadly, we shall, invariably, lose some of our loved ones on our unpredictable journey, and we shall remember them always in our thoughts and prayers. But, although we know that on that journey, we do walk on the ashes of those who have gone before us, there still lies ahead that glimmering ray of hope that “these things shall be, a loftier race than e’er the world hath known shall rise”.

Let us not lose sight of that hope, that, in due time and in due place, we shall indeed meet again.

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


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

R.Ill.Comp. Paul A. Norman, IX
Deputy Grand Master

R.Ill.Comp. Norman D Milburn, IX
Grand Principal Conductor of the Work


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