Criterion Chapter of Installed First Principals 6220

In the Beginning

At three o’clock on the afternoon of 21st October 1997, one hundred and eighteen Royal Arch Masons, 66  petitioners and 52 visitors, assembled at Hoyle Court to witness the Consecration of a new Chapter, Criterion Chapter of Installed First Principals No. 6220, by the Grand Superintendent of the time, the late Ex. Comp J Trevor Broadley, assisted by the Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals, other rulers and a team of consecration officers.

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The Chapter was formed at the suggestion of M Ex Comp Broadley for the purpose of promoting interest in Royal Arch Masonry within the Province as a “Chapter of Excellence”. The late Ex Comp Ernest Dulson, Deputy Grand Superintendent at the time, and Ex Comp  Keith Roberts who is still amongst the members, were instrumental in giving the project a kick start, and the eminence of the three founding principals, Michael Schofield, Roy Armitage and Peter Lawton, along with their officers at the time, was such that the Chapter rapidly made its mark, setting standards of Freemasonry to which its members aspire to this day.

It was felt that the aims of the Chapter would best be served by engaging the services of top- flight speakers from the English and neighbouring Constitutions who would deliver to its members and visitors presentations which would be both instructive and interesting and, above all, entertaining.

One special occasion was a presentation of the Ceremony of the Veils by a demonstration team from our own Province but in the past speakers have included The Marquis of Northampton, The Earl of Elgin (Past First Grand Principal of Scotland),  The Grand Secretary of Ireland, John Hamill (Director of Special Projects, UGLE) Yasha Beresiner, and from nearer  home, the late Neville Barker-Cryer. These are just a few of the enthusiastic and inspirational orators the Chapter has been privileged to listen to, all of whom  have  stimulated our interest and have added to our knowledge and appreciation, not only of The Supreme Degree, but of  Freemasonry in the round.

After nearly twenty years, with a membership hovering around 100 and with significant numbers of visitors at every convocation the Chapter appears to be having some success in spreading the word.  The present Principals and officers would like nothing better than for that success to continue and heartily invite all Chapter Masons, regardless of rank, to come and see at first hand what the Chapter is all about and to participate in the Criterion experience.