Triple Celebration At Fern Avenue Masonic Centre

04th June 2022

The 28th May saw Fern Avenue Masonic Centre witness a unique double celebration when the assembled members of the Commemorative Order of Saint Thomas of Acon held not only the Consecration of a new Chapel, named the Venerable Bede Chapel No.138, which will hold its subsequent meetings at Sunderland Masonic Hall, but also the Constitution of the new Province of Northumberland and Durham. 

The Province came into being after the decision was taken, by the Grand Masters Council, to split the old Province of Yorkshire and North East Counties, and comprises of five Chapels situated in Berwick, Ashington, Jesmond, Chester-le-Street and Sunderland, with a further proposed two in the developmental stage. 

The assembled members of the order, from across the boundaries of the old Province, witnessed the Grand Master, Sir Melvyn (Cross) of Wud Plumpton,  accompanied by Grand Officers from across the country, firstly perform the Consecration Ceremony for the members of the new Chapel and then swiftly move on to the Constitution of the new Province during which the new Provincial Officers were appointed including the new Right Worthy Grand Preceptor, Sir David (Roach) of Bellingham, the current Intendant General of the Red Cross of Constantine in the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings, Sir John (Watts) of Shotley Bridge, the soon to be re-appointed Assistant Provincial Grand Master in the Craft Province of Durham and Provincial Sub Prior for Durham, and Sir Richard (Scott) of Gyrwy, the Provincial Prior for Durham.

Some four days later the, newly constituted, Province of Northumberland and Durham then witnessed the first candidate, initiated into the St Nicholas Chapel No.122 when Sir Stanley (Madgin) of Stagshaw joined the order, witnessed by the Right Worthy Grand Preceptor.

The Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon was established in 1974 as a result of twenty years’ research in the Guildhall Library in London by John E. N. Walker, who for many years was the Secretary General of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia. The ancient records of the Order, written in medieval French and Latin, had been deposited in the Guildhall Library and escaped the Great Fire of 1666. The Order is based on the Order of St Thomas of Acon and the life and death of St Thomas a Becket.

Are you a member of the United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, and interested in joining the Commemorative Order of St Thomas of Acon? Find out more about the Order at and send a message to the Provincial Grand Secretary for Northumberland and Durham on who will be happy to discuss your requirements with you. 

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