Provincial Priory of Surrey Service of Rededication and Thanksgiving

After the rain of the previous few days it was a relief to have a lovely sunny day for our Biennial Church Service on Sunday afternoon, 11th September. Many Knights, their friends and their families attended the service at the lovely old St Mary’s Church, Thorpe.


It is impossible to say exactly when St. Mary’s Church was built, although portions of the building are of venerable antiquity which leads one to believe it is a Medieval Church. In 1963 a Roman cinerary urn, dated to 120 -150 A.D. was discovered buried in the Churchyard, establishing that this site has been of religious significance for nearly 1900 years. The beginnings of the church seen today may have been instigated by Abbot Hugh in 1110. The present Church building, with earliest sections dated around the 10th / 11th century is part of the conservation area along with a number of other listed and protected buildings possibly dating from the 17th century onwards.

Permission for the Province to use the Church had been given by the Vicar, Rev’d. Damian Miles who opened the service by warmly welcoming everyone. After the first hymn the Confession and the Collect were led by our Provincial Prelate, Very Eminent Knight Revd David Allonby, OBE.

The lessons were read by the Provincial Prior, Rt. Em. Knight Patrick Crossan, and Sub-Prior, V.Em. Knight Chris Cradock, and the Address was given by Rev’d. Damian Miles - who had obviously researched the Precepts of our Order. The Provincial Vice Chancellor, Em. Knight Peter Brown, then read the Precepts of the Order.

The carefully chosen hymns, which were not only very appropriate to the Christian Precepts of the Masonic Knights Templar Order but all very well known, were lustily sung by the congregation led by the Surrey Provincial Choir and the Kingston U3A Singers under the baton of the director, E.Kt. Glyn Harvey. The Organist was Robert Pettigrew.

Following the service the congregation adjourned to the Church hall where the 'Ladies of the Church' had prepared a magnificent, very tasty and enjoyable buffet tea.

A quote from our Provincial Prior after the service: “A day in which we all received not only a blessing but an inspiration to go forward, in a humble way and practice the virtues professed in the Sermon and our Precepts”.

Article by Chris Eley, photos by Chris Eley and Steve Jones

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