Provincial Priory of Surrey 150th Anniversary Meeting

On 18th February th e Knights Templar Province of Surrey celebrated its 150th birthday in the wonderful setting of the Chapel of Charterhouse School in Godalming.

On that same day in 1864, Harcourt Preceptory was Consecrated in Chertsey, followed by the Installation of its first Eminent Preceptor, George Harcourt, as the first Provincial Prior of the newly constituted Province of Surrey. Sixteen years later in 1880, Kent, which had been constituted in 1847, and Surrey came together as one Province, each with two Preceptories, and stayed together for 76 years until 1956. By then, Surrey had grown to five Preceptories which had then grown further to 17 at the time of our sesquicentenary.

To mark this very special occasion, we were fortunate in being able to return to Charterhouse School, the venue of so many Surrey KT Provincial meetings and Church Services in the past. The wonderful School Chapel was designed by the famous architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and was consecrated in 1927. It has 700 seats, one for each of the old Carthusians killed in the First World War. It's almost unimaginable isn't it? 700 killed from just this one school.

Amongst the guests in attendance were the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal, who is the deputy to the Grand Master, Provincial Priors or their representatives from the surrounding Provinces and the heads of many of the other Orders in the Masonic Province of Surrey. The Service started with processions of the guests parading into the Chapel through columns of the Provincial Prior’s Bodyguard and the active Provincial Officers, to be greeted by the Provincial Prior at the altar rail. Last of these processions was a deputation from each of the Preceptories carrying the banner of that Preceptory making a magnificent spectacle of colour and pageantry. The Service which followed celebrated the 150 years of the Order in Surrey and reaffirmed the Christian traditions of its members.

The Service was led by the Provincial Prelate and the address given by the Past Great Almoner who is also the Grand Chaplain in Craft Masonry. There was an excellent choir of around 40 and the singing was accompanied by the impressive Charterhouse Chapel organ. Following the Service and a drinks reception, there was a most enjoyable meal in the school hall, where commemorative presentations were made to the Great Seneschal and the current and past Provincial Priors of Surrey.

For photographs of this special event click here.

< Back to News Index