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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Address by The Most Distinguished Grand Summus
Andrew Christopher Sweeney
to the Annual Convocation of Grand Senatus
Thursday 4 May 2017

SC Sweeney 800Distinguished Companions, Eminent Companions and Companions. Firstly, may I welcome you all here today in such good numbers and congratulate all those Companions who I have appointed or promoted in Grand Senatus today. The reward you have received is recognition for the dedicated service that you have given to the Order over a number of years will hopefully stimulate you to further promote and develop your Consistories and encourage members of your Secret Monitor Conclaves to join this wonderful Order.
As always, I am grateful for the enthusiastic support which the Rulers of other Orders provide and also for their attendance today.

The Installation of Provincial Grand Summi have continued during the last 12 months with a further 4 Companions being Installed. They are Right Distinguished Companions:

Raymond Clare – Essex – 11th July
Christopher Barker – North & East Yorkshire 3rd September
John Safford Stevens – Midlands – 12th October
Peter Rollin – Norfolk and Suffolk – 21st November

The last of which took place subsequent to the Constitution of the new Province of Norfolk and Suffolk.

I congratulate you all on your promotion and I am sure that you will all develop the Scarlet Cord in your respective Provinces. I would also take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Provincial Grand Summi for all their hard work, in some cases for nearly ten years.

Companions, this year has not been quite as busy as the last few years; although we have had 1 Constitution, 4 Installations, 3 Consecrations, and we have performed a 6th and 5th grade ceremony and in addition, yesterday another 5th and a 4th grade ceremony. I extend my grateful thanks to all the Grand Officers who have assisted in all these ceremonies over this last year. As usual they have all been of the highest standard.

In February a team from Mark Masons’ Hall were privileged to go to Malaysia where R.Dist.Comp. Paul Clement Constituted the new Grand Conclave of South East Asia in the Secret Monitor and V.Dist.Comp. Tom Jackson Constituted a new Grand Council of South East Asia in the Allied Masonic Degrees. This was an opportunity not to be missed for the Scarlet Cord and whilst we were there we Consecrated the Walled City Consistory No. 118 which is to meet in Hong Kong. We are very grateful to the companions who supported those proceedings from India, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, the Caribbean, Hong Kong and of course the Companions of South East Asia. Special thanks must be given to Dist.Comp. Khoo Boo Khean for his extraordinary level of hospitality.

On the 20th April I visited Guernsey for the Channel Islands Provincial meeting in the Order of the Secret Monitor. By coincidence, I’m sure, Le Couperon Consistory held their meeting the evening before and I could not resist attending an excellent ceremony where 9 Candidates from Guernsey were admitted into the Order.

In June, as I am sure you are all aware, R.Dist.Comp. Angus Hannagan will retire as Grand Secretary. Angus has been intimately involved in all the workings of this order since the beginnings within the Secret Monitor where he sacrificed his opportunity to become the first Assistant Grand Summus in favour of becoming Deputy Grand Secretary at Mark Masons’ Hall. Throughout his tenure as Deputy, and then as Grand Secretary, he has always fully supported the Scarlet Cord in any way he could and I thank him on behalf of all of us for the very dedicated work he has done on our behalf in furthering this Order both at home as well as abroad. Angus we all thank you and wish you well for the future.

This has again been a very successful year for the Tzaddikim who bring a heightened level of occasion and dignity to our ceremonies and have supported, and protected me, on every occasion during the year for which I thank them.

Companions the Order is now approaching a more mature stage in its development. Following the inauguration, we set off with 64 Consistories and over the last seven years we have increased that to almost 120. It has been a steep learning curve for many Companions – becoming familiar with the ritual and rubric of 5 different ceremonies, and in addition the ceremonies conducted by Grand Senatus, for which we should all congratulate ourselves. We must however, not rest on our laurels but strive to continually improve the quality of our ceremonies, to promote the Order wherever possible and most importantly – enjoy our Scarlet Cord Masonry.

Thank you, Companions.


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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