Welcome

Welcome to the Home Page of the Order of the Allied Masonic Degrees for the District of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire which I hope will be of interest to both members of the Order in the District and Freemasons who are interested in joining this very interesting Order.

It is within the Degree of St. Lawrence the Martyr that all administrative work is carried out and Candidates are admitted. The Installation of the Worshipful Master is also carried out in this Degree. There are 5 Degrees in all and these are described in more detail on the following pages.

The qualification required for membership of this Order is that of a Master Mason, Mark Master Mason and a Companion in a Royal Arch Chapter.

HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

Many of the "additional" degrees worked in England in the early part of the nineteenth century originally came under the patronage of warrants granted by the "Antients", who held that Craft Warrants entitled Lodges to work any Masonic degree to which they had knowledge and members available who could work it. Upon the formation of the United Grand Lodge in December 1813, various groups of degrees were gradually organised into separate Orders each with their own governing body.

Towards the end of that century a large number of unrelated Degrees of no direct interest to any Grand Body were still being worked in different parts of the country. It was agreed by the then Grand Secretaries of the Craft, Mark, and Ancient and Accepted Rite to establish a "Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees in England and Wales and the Colonies and Dependencies of the British Crown". The Headquarters is at Mark Masons' Hall.

It was also agreed that no new body purporting to be a Masonic body could be legally established in England without the consent of the Governing Bodies of the Knights Templar, the Ancient and Accepted Rite, the Mark Masters, the Red Cross of Constantine, the Royal and Select Masters, and the new Grand Council; and that any new body established with such consent should be under the direction of the Grand Council. Thus was born the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of England and Wales and Districts, and Councils Overseas.

Although in earlier times other degrees had been included, (before they established themselves as Sovereign bodies in England & Wales, notably the Knight Templar Priest series, and the Order of the Secret Monitor); the 5 very interesting and historic degrees presently worked in a Council of Allied Masonic Degrees are listed and briefly explained below.

The Degrees of the Order

Candidate Qualifications

The Order is open to Brethren of any faith, who have previously taken both the Mark and Royal Arch Degrees.



Regalia

Although in the past colourful and complicated regalia was at one time prescribed for each of the degrees, members are nowadays only required to purchase a modest composite breast jewel, or if they prefer, a set of 'miniatures' of the jewels, once they have taken all five degrees.


No further regalia is needed unless/until appointment to District/Grand Rank. Just a collar and Jewel at that point.


ST LAWRENCE THE MARTYR

Believed to have originated in Lancashire, more than 200 years ago, taking its workings from Operative Masonry practices there.

The Degree of St Lawrence the Martyr must be taken first and explains how Lawrence gave his life rather than betray his principles; responsibilities, integrity and fortitude are the lessons to be learned here.

Jewel - Gridiron in silver suspended from an orange ribbon with royal blue edging. The other degrees can be taken in any order.


KNIGHT OF CONSTANTINOPLE

Originating most probably with Military Lodges, notably travelling to Malta, and the Mediterranean, the degree is also known to have been worked in the USA since 1831.

This Degree concerns the relationship between the Emperor Constantine and his subjects. The ceremony is entertaining and amusing but at the end, the candidate is left in no doubt of the importance of the virtue of humility.

Jewel - Maltese cross in gold or gilt suspended from a green ribbon on which are 3 poignards in gold or gilt with the points downwards.


GRAND TILERS OF SOLOMON

Known to have been worked in the USA under the 'Rite Of Perfection' since 1790 titled 'Select Mason of Twenty Seven', its origins may in fact come from a date very much earlier in Continental Europe.

This Degree is very dramatic, set in the secret vault beneath the Temple. It reflects on the danger of hasty judgment.

Jewel - triangle with the apex pointing downwards in black enamel edged with gold or gilt. Inscribed with the Hebrew characters 27 and on the obverse the Ineffable Name in Cabalistic Order suspended from a fiery red ribbon with a pale grey edging either side of which is a hand holding a dagger with the point downwards and surmounted by three Crowns, all in gold or gilt.


THE RED CROSS OF BABYLON

A profoundly mystical degree, which dates from the early part of the 18th century under the title "Passing The Bridge".

Known to have been worked in Sunderland in 1755, and in the Council of Clermont, France, under the title "Knight of the Eagle" before that date.

This Degree fills the gap between the Craft and the Holy Royal Arch, and deals with Zerubbabel obtaining permission to commence the rebuilding of the Temple.

The lesson here is of the supreme importance of truth.

Jewel - consisting of a seven pointed star on which are two crossed swords,points upwards, in gold or gilt, on a green enamel circle suspended from a green ribbon.


THE HOLY ORDER OF GRAND HIGH PRIEST

Descending from a rite originating in Germany in the mid 18th century, the Order is thought to be an amalgam of 2 previous priestly degrees worked in Berlin and Ireland. Elements also feature in some old English KT Encampment workings, where several grades were part of the ritual.

Many believe this should be the last Degree taken, the candidate is anointed, consecrated and set apart to the service of God in the High Priesthood.

This is a truly uplifting ceremony which is rather special.

Jewel - consisting of a mitre superimposed on a triangle, apex pointing upwards, in gold and gilt, suspended from a red ribbon.

News


Upcoming meetings

14th July 2017
Millennium Council No: 159 (Cheshunt)

22nd July 2017
Brian Blanchard Council Installation (Royston)

24th July 2017
St Lawrence Council No: 205 Installation (Bedford)

1st September 2017
Millennium Council No: 159 Installation (Cheshunt)

14th September 2017
Salem Council No: 150 (St Albans)

23rd September 2017
Hertfordshire Council No: 107 (Radlett)

11th November 2017
Brian Blanchard Council (Royston)

18th December 2017
St Lawrence Council No: 205 (Bedford)

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