St. George Chapter of Royal Arch Masons is the Royal Arch Chapter attached to The Lodge of St. George No.1152 and Oldham Lodge No.9961. In English Freemasonry, a Royal Arch Chapter is usually attached to two or three lodges, however The Lodge of St. George is somewhat unique in having its own Chapter attached to it and for many years was the only Lodge attached to it. It bears the same number as the lodge and its purpose is to practice Royal Arch Masonry. It meets on the first Tuesday in April, June, October (Installation) and December at Freemasons’ Hall, Singapore. In 2017 The Lodge of St. George sponsored the formation of a daughter Lodge, Oldham Lodge No.9961, and the Chapter is also attached to this Lodge.
The Royal Arch is the continuation of Craft Freemasonry. Its members, called Companions, meet in Chapters under a Grand Chapter. Chapters are ruled over by three Principals, who rule conjointly.
The Royal Arch has four ceremonies: the exaltation ceremony to bring in new members and an installation ceremony for each of the three Principals.
The exaltation ceremony is in two parts: a rather dramatic presentation of the principles of the Order followed by three Lectures in which the history, symbolism and principles of the Royal Arch are further explained. Like Craft Freemasonry, the Royal Arch is open to men of all faiths.
The allegory of the exaltation ceremony involves the candidate making a number of discoveries which emphasise the centrality of God to man’s life and existence and, without transgressing the bounds of religion, lead the candidate to a consideration of the nature of God and his personal relationship with Him, whatever his religion might be.
In England, the Royal Arch is considered to be the completion of “pure ancient Masonry”. In the Craft the candidate is presented with a series of eminently practical principles and tenets which if he practises them he may hope to live a life pleasing to his God, however he worships him, and of service to his fellow man. But man is not simply a practical being, he has an essential spiritual aspect to his nature. That spiritual aspect is introduced in the Third Degree and becomes the central message of the Royal Arch. In that sense, “pure ancient Masonry” can be seen as a journey of self-knowledge and discovery with the Royal Arch completing the practical lessons of the Craft by a contemplation of man’s spiritual nature, not replacing but reinforcing and supporting what he has learned from his religion.
As with Craft Freemasonry, there is debate as to the origins of the Royal Arch, not helped by the paucity of surviving evidence. From that evidence we know that the Royal Arch was known in London, York and Dublin by the late 1730s. For further information on Royal Arch Masonry please go to: http://supremegrandchapter.org.uk/
The Royal Arch is the culmination of “pure ancient masonry”. The Craft gives its members eminently practical rules by which they can live their lives in the service of both God, however they worship Him, and the community as a whole.
Man, however, is not simply a practical being but has an essential spiritual aspect to his nature. This is taken up in the Royal Arch, in which the candidate, without trespassing on the bounds of religion, is led to contemplate the nature of God and his personal relationship with Him. Thus the Royal Arch leads the candidate from the practical to the spiritual and completes “pure ancient masonry”, a fascinating journey of self-knowledge and self-discovery.
St. George Chapter of Royal Arch Masons is warranted by The Supreme Grand Chapter of England, the governing body of Royal Arch Masons in England, Wales and the Channel Islands. Its headquarters are at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London as is the United Grand Lodge of England, the governing body of Craft Freemasonry in England.
The Supreme Grand Chapter of England has over 107,000 members grouped in approximately 3,484 chapters. St. George Chapter is one of those Chapters. Chapters meeting outside of England are grouped in 32 Districts each headed by a District Grand Superintendent, 7 Groups each headed by a Grand Inspector, with 7 chapters being administered from Freemasons’ Hall. Our Chapter falls within the area administered by the District Grand Chapter of the Eastern Archipelago.
St. George Chapter was consecrated on 7th April 1899 and is one of the oldest Royal Arch Chapters in Asia. Whilst The Lodge of St. George is the largest lodge in our District, St. George Chapter is one of the smallest Chapters in our District – primarily because it is attached to only one Lodge whereas other chapters are attached to two or three. Whilst the majority of our members are Freemasons from The Lodge of St. George, we still have members from other Masonic lodges. We welcome both joining Royal Arch Members from other Chapters as well as Master Masons from any recognised Masonic Lodge who wish to join the Royal Arch. For further information on joining, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As lodge is to Craft Freemasonry, a “Royal Arch Chapter” is the basic social unit for Royal Arch Masons. As mentioned above, are presided over conjointly by three “Principals” (who, like a Worshipful Master of a Lodge, are usually elected to serve for a 12-month term). In a similar fashion to how when a Freemason becomes a Master of a Lodge he is referred to as a “Worshipful Brother”, so when a Royal Arch member becomes a Principal he is then referred to as an “Excellent Companion”.
Again, just like a Lodge, a Royal Arch Chapter has a number of specialised positions or “Chapter Officers” that are selected by the First Principal and/ or the Chapter to perform specific functions. There are those that are “ceremonial” and have functions that are designed to assist in the Royal Arch Ceremony and there are those that are administrative, who are responsible for the accounting, paperwork, organization and charity of the Chapter, as well as pastoral care of its members and their families.