Provincial Grand Chapter of Dorset

The official website of the Dorset Royal Arch

What is The Royal Arch ?

The Royal Arch is the continuation of Craft Masonry. The Supreme Order of the Royal Arch takes up the Masonic narrative of King Solomon's Temple, the subject of Craft Masonry, from a time 450 years after completion of the Temple at Jerusalem.

As the Royal Arch takes up the story, it tells of how the loss suffered through the death of the principal architect of the former temple was made good by the recovery of that which the Master Mason acknowledges as lost. This discovery does not however complete the Masonic journey which started at Initiation. The newly admitted member of the Royal Arch is introduced to an explanation of that which was lost but the explanation is completed only upon Installation into the First (the most senior) of the three Principal's chairs of the Chapter.

The admission of a Master Mason into the Royal Arch is the ceremony of Exaltation, which is in two parts. The first is a dramatic presentation of the discovery of the secrets of the Order and is followed by three lectures explaining the history, symbolism and the mysteries and principles of Royal Arch Masonry.

Its members, called Companions, meet in Chapters under the Supreme Grand Chapter of England. Chapters are ruled over by three Principals, who rule conjointly.

Chapters in England are grouped as a Metropolitan area or Provinces which are based on the old County boundaries. Provincial Grand Chapters are ruled over by a Grand Superintendent who is appointed by the First Grand Principal as his personal representative for the particular area.


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