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Red Cross of Constantine

The Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine is one of seven Masonic orders governed from Mark Mason Hall, situated at 86 St James’s Street London. The Red Cross additionally incorporates, as appendant orders, the Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and of Saint Johnthe Evangelist. The orders consist of five ceremonies, three involving the admission of the candidate and two dealing with the “chair degrees”. The whole has been described as the third pillar of Christian Freemasonry.

The earliest record of the Red Cross of Constantine was in the late 1700s, in Scotland, when the three admission ceremonies formed part of a 46 degree Rite. Rituals relating to the Red Cross were also being sold in London at the beginning of the 19th century but there was no regular Masonic authority controlling the degrees until 1865 when a Grand Imperial Conclave was established, due in no small measure to the work of Robert Wentworth Little, who held an important position at Grand Lodge.

Since then a dozen or more Grand Conclaves have been formed around the world. All recognise the Grand Imperial Conclave as the mother Grand Conclave. In England and Wales there are 26 divisions with an Intendant- General acting locally on behalf of Grand Conclave, and the Grand Sovereign, who at the present time is M.Ill Kt Ronald Albert Champion RN.

The reason for the strength and appeal of these Chivalric Masonic Orders are not only the impressive nature of the admission ceremonies, but also the historical stories contained within the ritual. They tell of the life of the Emperor Constantine and the crucial part he played in the development of Christianity, as it developed into the world religion that it is today. Following the death of his father Constantius, at York in 306 AD, Constantine was proclaimed Caesar by his Legions. His brother in law, Maxentius, was Caesar of the Eastern Roman Empire and on the 28th October 312 AD they meet in battle, at Milvian Bridge, on the banks of the River Tiber, just outside RomeConstantinebelieved that he saw in the heavens symbols depicting Christ and he ordered his soldiers to depict these on their shields. They also became his battle standard. He gained a great victory at MilvianBridge and as a result was able to weld the Western and Eastern Empires into one. He and his mother Helena became proclaimed Christian’s and late in her life Helena made a journey toJerusalem and found part of the cross on which Christ had been crucified.

Much of this is explained in the first of the degrees when the candidate becomes a Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine. In the subsequent degrees, those of the Holy Sepulchre and of St John the Evangelist, the days between the crucifixion and the resurrection are considered, at the same time explaining the Craft and Royal Arch ceremonies in a purely Christian sense.

Every candidate for admission must be a Royal Arch Mason and believe in the Trinitarian Christian faith. He eventually receives the accolade of a Perfect Knight Mason.

The West Midlands Division covers six Midland Craft Provinces.  The Intendant-General is Colin Young and the Deputy Intendant-General is Charles Gwynne. Membership is very desirable for all Christian Royal Arch Companions.

The Division includes the following Conclaves :

CONCLAVE MEETING PLACES

Rose of Sharon No 161 Wretham Road, Handsworth

Morning Star No 249 Moseley Masonic Hall, Kings Heath

Saint Oswald No 278 Rainbow Hill, Worcester

St Chad No 320 Gaol Street Stafford

Tewkesbury No 334 Masonic Hall, Tewkesbury

St George No 344 Wellington, Shropshire

Stroud No 360 Masonic Hall, Stroud

St Mark No 361 Masonic Hall, Liverpool Road, Kidsgrove

Guy’s Cliffe No 411 Guy’s Cliffe, Warwick

Forum No 455 The Masonic Hall, Cirencester

Holy Trinity No 458 Mill Street, Sutton Coldfield

Knowle No 484 (Daylight) Solihull Masonic Temple, Knowle

Dr Thomas Arnold No 487 Masonic Rooms, Rugby

The Divisional Recorder, Ian Thorpe, who can be reached at; 
"The Windmill", 10 Windmill Lane, Wolverhampton, WV3 8HJ, or Tel No 01902 764444  - email: ian.thorpe@blueyonder.co.uk , would be very pleased to give further information and advice.


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