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Engaging Archway in Shropshire

The Three Provincial Grand Principals of Shropshire in the masonic regalia

The introduction of Archway as a resource for enhancing membership and enjoyment in the Royal Arch represents a major positive development. It provides clear guidance on the necessary steps to engage members and promote the principles of the fourth step in ‘Pure and Ancient Masonry’ across the Provinces, as well as to potential members. In Shropshire, Archway has led to several pioneering initiatives, all designed to support its goals and increase enjoyment of the Royal Arch.

The Ruler of the Royal Arch in Shropshire, Roger Pemberton, has embraced the Archway’s focus on inclusion and communication. He has appointed two new Provincial Officers to the Shropshire Grand Chapter for the first time. These roles mirror those in the Craft. The new Provincial Grand Membership Officer’s role is to rejuvenate interest among Royal Arch Freemasons, reconnect with those who have drifted away from the order for various reasons, and encourage Master Masons to explore the next steps in their Masonic journeys. Additionally, the newly appointed Royal Arch Provincial Grand Communications Officer will help by raising the order’s profile in the province, promoting the achievements of local Chapters, and fostering more open discussions about the order.

To support these efforts, Deputy Grand Superintendent David Kettle is introducing a new ‘Shropshire’ Royal Arch ritual book. This book features modern readings, divides the ritual between Sojourners and Principals, and includes additional addresses as the Archway recommends. 

David said:

“This progressive approach to the Royal Arch ritual, in line with Archway, will help foster a sense of belonging among both new and longstanding members.”

These innovations are showing results. “Membership in the Royal Arch is the highest it’s been in ten years,” reported the Grand Superintendent, celebrating the Province’s recovery from the challenging Covid years. This growth stems from both returning members and new Master Masons curious about what the Supreme Order offers. The hope is that this upward trend will continue as links between the Craft and the Royal Arch are further strengthened.

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