Freemasonry in the English and Welsh Constitution begins with "The Craft". It is from here that Freemasonry has evolved and you need to be a member of the Craft to be able to call yourself
a Freemason. It is governed by the United Grand Lodge of England, based at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London.
Having become a Freemason, many members chose to compliment or enhance their Masonic interests by joining the "Progressive Orders". Mark Mason's Hall administers ten such Orders which,
if active in Oxfordshire, can be seen below.
As the Craft degrees have evolved, so too have independent Orders of Freemasonry and rituals peculiar to them. Prominent among them in England and Wales is the Ancient and Accepted Rite,
whose Chapters are grouped into Districts and administered by a Supreme Council from its headquarters at at 10 Duke Street, St James's, London SW1Y 6BS. The Rite is frequently referred to as
the 'Rose Croix', although this is only one of its degrees.
The Provincial Priory of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire was first Constituted as the Province of Oxfordshire in 1873, Berkshire was added 1928 and Buckinghamshire was added 1964.
The Province, encompassing the three counties of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, now consists of seventeen Preceptories and their meeting places extending from Bletchley in the North, to
Newbury in the South, and Chipping Norton in the West to Slough in the East.
The Sovereign Grand Inspector General V∴Ill∴Bro. Peter Jones 33° (right) with members of the Chapter
Ancient & Accepted Rite
Welcome to the Ancient & Accepted Rite for the District of Oxfordshire, more commonly known as "Rose Croix". It is a Christian order and is open to all Freemasons who have been Master Masons
for at least one year.
Many members consider Rose Croix to be their favourite order. Without revealing too much, when a candidate joins, or is "perfected", he becomes a Prince Rose Croix and receives 18 degrees.
If you would like to know more please feel free to contact me or one of the Recorders of the eight Rose Croix Chapters within the
District via inspgen(at)oxfordshirefreemasons.org, replacing '(at)' with '@'.
We currently hold meetings at Bicester, Banbury, Caversham, Chipping Norton and Oxford.
The Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees was formed in 1897 to bring under its direction all lodges of various orders who recognised no central authority and were not regulated by the
other major governing bodies. Initially the degrees of Grand High Priest, St Lawrence the Martyr, The Red Cross of Babylon and Knights of Constantinople placed themselves under the control of this body and
by 1897 the degrees of Grand Tilers of Solomon, one degree of the Secret Monitor and the order of Holy Wisdom (Knight Templar Priest grades) had also been included. Eventually, however, in 1923 a Grand
College of Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests for England was erected at Newcastle and the Grand Council accordingly disclaimed control of this large group of degrees. Following this in 1931 the
Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees agreed to cease working their single degree of the Secret Monitor and so today private Councils of the Order are empowered to work the degrees of :
(L-R) The Intendant General Alan Baverstock with the newly enthroned Most Puissant Sovereign Nick Tyler, and newly consecrated Viceroy Kwasi Boatin.
Red Cross of Constantine
The Masonic & Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine consists of three degrees, named Knight-Mason, Priest-Mason (or Venerable Eusebius), and Prince-Mason. The 2nd and 3rd degrees
are usually only conferred on those elected to the two ruling chairs of a local Conclave, although there are exceptions. The ceremonies of the Order are based upon the story of the Emperor
Constantine, who first legalised the Christian faith. The Order is open only to Trinitarian Christian Freemasons.
Sometimes referred to as The Cryptic Degrees this fascinating Masonic Order refers to the steps taken by King Solomon to safeguard the treasures of his Temple at Jerusalem, by
building a secret underground vault, or crypt, in which they could be hidden against times of trouble.
A companion admitted to the Order receives four degrees. These are Select Master, Royal Master, Most Excellent Master, and Super Excellent Master, and are taken in that
sequence. These degrees cover the 500 year period between the building of the first and second Temples. It is a fascinating story, being demonstrated by some of the most beautifully
constructed ritual in the whole of Freemasonry and is laced with intriguing moral precepts. The discerning ritualist and the Masonic historian will be delighted alike by what they discover.
(L-R) Rt Wy Bro Trecor Cavill, PGSR Warwickshire, V Wy Bro Richard Own DPGSR, Wy Bro Ivor Hawkins Supreme Ruler, Rt Wy Bro Bernie Wegerhoff PGSR and V Wy Bro Maxwell Pipe DPGSR Warwickshire
Order of the Secret Monitor
While the first references to the Order of David and Jonathan are known to be of Dutch origin, the Secret Monitor was worked in American as a 'side degree', conferred by any mason who had
received it himself.
Dr I. Zacharie brought it to England, after the Civil War, around 1875 and the ritual was exended by adding two more degrees, therefore in total, the Secret Monitor and Prince degrees and the final
degree pertaining to reaching the Supreme Ruler's chair.
The Visiting Deacons are officers who have a very special function peculiar to this degree.
The Grand Conclave of the Order of the Secret Monitor or Brotherhood of David and Jonathan in the British Isles and in Terrirories Overseas formed in 1887.
The only qualification for prospective candidates seeking admission into this Order is that of being a Master Master.
Consecration of the Thames Valley Scarlet Cord Consitory
Order of the Scarlet Cord
Founded upon 18th century documents found in the Amsterdam Masonic archives, this Order was developed in 1889 as a means of raising donations to the Fund of Benevolence of the Order of
the Secret monitor by it's leader, His Honour Judge F.A. Philbrick K.C.
It worked regularily until the First World War when it entered a period of inactivity until it was revived at the end of hostilities and continued to operate until 1929.
It was some 80 years later that the Inauguration of the Ancient & Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord took place on 21 July 2010 at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London. This momentuous
event saw the Constitution, Dedication and Consecration of the Grand Senatus, and the Installation of the Grand Summus, since then the Order is now thriving in over 80 Consistories in England
and Wales and overeas in India.
Admission to the order is confined to those who are a subscribing Prince in the Order of the Secret Monitor.
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