Scarlet Cord

The Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord


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The current Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord is based on an earlier Order, The Royal Order of Knights of the Scarlet Cord, developed in the British Isles in 1889, which was itself derived from 18th Century documents from the Amsterdam Masonic archives.

The rituals and ceremonies were rewritten and enriched by His Honour Judge Fredrick Adolphus Philbrick, KC, and were performed as appendant grades to the Order of the Secret Monitor. The rituals of the Order are taken from Old Testament times, commencing at the period of Joshua, the fall of Jericho and the story of Rahab. The main purpose was to raise considerable sums of money for the Secret Monitor Benevolent Fund, which still plays a significant role in Masonic welfare provision today. The Order ceased working in 1929.

A paper on the original Order written and delivered in 2001 by Peter Glyn Williams, the then Grand Supreme Ruler of the Secret Monitor, stimulated interest in the long-forgotten rituals. In 2006 a Secret Monitor Conclave was Consecrated with the sole purpose of reviving the old Order and conferring updated versions of the original six grades, some of which only remained in fragmented form. A huge appetite for the grades among Secret Monitors led to the Order being inaugurated as a separate Sovereign body in a magnificent ceremony in the Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall on 21 July 2010.

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Grand Senatus 2024

The Grand Temple was filled to capacity with representatives from across the Constitution worldwide. The Grand Summus, M.Dist.Comp. Ian Stanley Currans, VI, presided over the meeting, ably assisted by a full team of Grand Officers.

Following the initial items of business, the Deputy Grand Summus, R.Dist.Comp. Francis Charles Spencer, proposed the re-election of Ian Stanley Currans as Grand Summus. The proposition was confirmed with acclamation from the Companions present and the Grand Summus was duly Proclaimed by the Grand Director of Ceremonies, Phillip Purves.

The Grand Summus then announced he would be re-appointing R.Dist.Comp. Francis Charles Spencer as Deputy Grand Summus, and R.Dist.Comp. Howard Saul Markham as Assistant Grand Summus. These re-appointments having been announced and Proclaimed, it was time to appoint and invest the other active Grand Officers of the year, followed by those receiving promotion in, or appointment to, Grand Rank.

Following further items of business, the Grand Summus took the opportunity to address Grand Senatus. He welcomed everyone to Grand Senatus, which this year saw the highest ever attendance. Membership growth over the past year has been the highest ever and he reminded everyone of the importance of our Companions also continuing their activity in the Order of the Secret Monitor as our recruiting ground.

He congratulated all those he had appointed or promoted today, as well as those who received their 5th and 4th Grades yesterday. He especially welcomed R.Dist.Comp. Terry Shearn, Provincial Grand Summus for Essex, on his first meeting of Grand Senatus following his installation. He gave thanks to Dist.Comp. Ray Clare on all he has done for the Province of Essex over many years. He spoke about the many Consecrations he and his team have attended over much of the world, and there are more to come.

He went on to greet all our overseas visitors as well as Heads of the Orders. He then said he had a special appointment to make, to someone who has contributed much to the Order. He asked the Grand Director of Ceremonies to escort R.Dist.Comp. Mik Barnes, Past Provincial Grand Summus of Surrey, to him. He then had much pleasure in investing R.Dist.Comp. Mik with his Chain of Office as Grand Regent Vicarious.

Finally, there were thanks to the Grand Director of Ceremonies and his ceremonial team, and the Grand Recorder and ‘Tribe of Dan’ at Mark Masons’ Hall for all their hard work and support.

There being no further business, Grand Senatus was closed and the Grand Summus greeted everyone on leaving the Temple. We then retired for refreshment. After three very successful meetings, the Grand Summus and his team were finally able to relax and reflect on a job well done.

You can read our Grand Summus’s address here.


M.Dist.Comp. Ian S. Currans
Grand Summus

R.Dist.Comp. Francis C. Spencer
Deputy Grand Summus

R.Dist.Comp. Howard S. Markham
Assistant Grand Summus


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