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
Ian Stanley Currans
to the Annual Convocation of Grand Senatus
Thursday 3 May 2018

Companions, my first task tOSC Currans 800his afternoon is to welcome you all once again to Grand Senatus and to thank you for coming in such numbers. This attendance is staggering and reflects a fast-growing enthusiasm for our Order. Can I also thank you for electing me as Grand Summus. Many of you will know that I have been involved, apart from a brief sabbatical, at virtually every stage in the Order’s resuscitation and development. So, to stand here today as Grand Summus in the Grand Temple bursting at the seams is the realisation of a dream.

Can I also express again, now in his absence, our immense gratitude to Most Distinguished Companion Andrew Sweeney for a wonderful term of Office. He will be, as they say, a hard act to follow but as many of you know me personally, you will anticipate the dedication that I will give to the role.

On behalf of the whole Order, I congratulate those appointed to or promoted in, Grand Rank just now. You have all worked hard and your efforts thus far have been rewarded. But it doesn’t end there Companions and there are always opportunities through Grand Rank and our Grades system for further advancement for those who commit themselves to the growth and development of our Order. Your efforts from now on will again be recognized and, I promise you, rewarded. I am the only person invested today who can’t go any further.


In his address, my predecessor reviewed the past year, so it’s appropriate I should look to the future. There is much to be excited about; plans are well advanced for a new Consistory here in London to meet the needs of busy working Masons and those with senior roles in Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Chapter and London Mark.

Another Consistory in the borders to accommodate a growing demand from our Secret Monitors in Scotland. An explosion of interest in India, South-East Asia and preliminary interest from a couple of European countries and New Zealand, as well as further possibilities in other Provinces at home.

But it would be irresponsible to view our prospects through rose-tinted (or perhaps it should be scarlet-tinted?) spectacles. We have to acknowledge that in some Provinces, the Order is not progressing as we would like and during the coming months the senior management team and I will be carefully considering, in conjunction with the relevant Provincial Grand Summi, what the problems are and how best to tackle them.

Companions, we have two challenges. The first is to find appropriate new recruits for the O.S.M. It shouldn’t be that difficult with being a Master Mason the only entry requirement. And then of course the second is to convert Secret Monitors into Scarlet Cord Companions. Hopefully, you will have some help in that regard. The Grand Supreme Ruler is backing a resolution soon to go to the O.S.M. Executive Committee that each Conclave appoints a Scarlet Cord representative, in the same way a Craft Lodge appoints a Royal Arch representative.

But Companions, it’s worth re-iterating a point I constantly make. The responsibility of recruitment into and the health of a Consistory lies with every single member - not just the Recorder or the DC or the person who usually gets the forms signed. We have a comprehensive website, we have a great Facebook page, tweet about the Scarlet Cord and your meetings and for those of you who don’t do social media, then just talk enthusiastically about this Order whenever in masonic company.

Companions, I hope you have all enjoyed a special Grand Senatus this afternoon. That you have clapped and cheered and laughed and shared the joy of those being invested. So much so that you will all want to be back with us next year - force us to find a bigger location. I will be seeing many of you on our travels during the coming year, but until the next Grand Senatus, may the God of our Fathers keep you within the Scarlet Cord of his care.


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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