A Venerable Northumbrian Preceptory Returns To The Active Roll Of Great Priory

07th October 2022

On Saturday 1st October, Brandling Preceptory No 239 returned to the Active Roll of Great Priory after its Warrant had been placed in abeyance during the pandemic.

One of the oldest Preceptories in Northumberland, it was consecrated on 25th August 1929 by the then Provincial Prior, Col. Charles Warren Napier Clavering, GCT. 

Col. Napier Clavering was one of the greatest Freemasons of the early part of the twentieth century, serving as Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent of Northumberland for over two decades from 1909; the Provincial Grand Master for Northumberland and Durham in the Mark; Intendant General in the Red Cross; Inspector General in the Rose Croix; and Grand High Priest in the Knight Templar Priests. In our own Order, he was Provincial Prior for Northumberland and Durham from 1911, Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal from 1913 and Knight Grand Cross of the United Orders from 1915, until he was called to Higher Service by the Great Captain of our Salvation in 1931.

Originally meeting in Gosforth, the Preceptory relocated following the closure of the masonic hall to the eastern side of our Province but, sadly, suffered declining support and, when the pandemic struck, the few remaining Knights felt the Preceptory had become unviable.

The ME and Supreme Grand Master authorised the Warrant to be held in abeyance in the hope of its revival at a later date.

The current Provincial Prior, RE Kt Kevin Stannard, assisted by several of the Provincial Officers, decided to repurpose it as a “Preceptory of Improvement”, relocating it more centrally within the Province and changing its meetings to a Saturday morning, three times a year, to demonstrate the ceremonies of Installation of a Knight Templar; Installation of a Knight of Malta and the Installations of a new Preceptor and Prior.

With RE Kt Kevin acting as Preceptor, all the other offices were filled by Acting and Past Provincial Officers, and they were delighted to admit a candidate, Comp Darren Bolton, from John Page Chapter in Cramlington, in an excellent ceremony witnessed by many Knights from other Preceptories in the Province as well as several Knights who had been original members of Brandling before the pandemic.

So successful was the day, that Brandling now has over 15 joining members and the likelihood of new Knights wanting to join from the Chapters meeting in the Cramlington building. There is renewed confidence that Brandling Preceptory will now go from strength to strength, looking forwards to a bright future as it proceeds onwards towards its Centenary.

Already a Craft and Royal Arch Chapter Mason and interested in finding out more about Knights Templar Freemasonry in Northumberland? Head over to https://northumberlandkt.com/

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