Devon And Cornwall Division of The Masonic and Military Order of
the Red Cross of Constantine and the Orders of
the Holy Sepulchre of St. John the Evangelist

Home Meetings Divisional Conclave History Links News & Events

A History of our Conclaves



St John The Evangelist Conclave No.238 Joseph of Arlmathea Conclave No.253 Mount Lebanon Conclave No.270 St. Ercus Conclave No.349 Conclave of Light No.498

St John The Evangelist Conclave No.238
The conclave of St John the Evangelist did not happen overnight.  The time and energy spent in bringing the conclave into being may be summed up by the conclave recorder, Puissant Knight M.O Tollermache in giving his toast to the guests at the Festive Board.

Quote “How pleased I am to welcome the members of ALL the conclaves who had provided Founder Members.  Those who had greatly assisted in bringing it into being and for all the help they had given over the last 18 months”

The reward for their labours finally arrived after the Knights – Petitioners’ petition to the Grand Sovereign, to form a new Conclave, to be named St John the Evangelist Conclave, was granted and the Consecration meeting was to be held at Freemasons Hall, Gandy Street, Exeter on Wednesday October 26th 1966.

The ceremony was called to order by the Grand Marshal V.III. Kt. H.D. Still, K.C.C. and the constituting Sovereign V.Ill.Kt Lt. Col. J.W. Chitty.  M.B.E, G.C.C. Grand Recorder, the Consecrating Eusebius V.Ill.Kt. F.W. Friday K.C.C. Int. General for Kent,and other assisting Knights entered the temple in procession.

The Oration was given by the Grand High Prelate, V.III. Kt The Reverend C.H. Mosse M.A, in which he congratulated the Founders on having formed a Conclave in this part of the country. It is the first conclave to be formed in the South West of England and so forms a definite advance of this order in Freemasonry.  He concluded with the words “It is the hope of us all who are here today that this Conclave maybe a guiding light and a means of inspiration for all Christian Masons in this neighbourhood”

The recorder gave notice that there was one Knight wishing to become a joining member of the Conclave, and there were 14 Companions to be balloted for. It was noted that one of these is a Knight well known to most of us, Keith Barry Jackson, who was installed on Saturday 4th February 1967.  He resigned from the Conclave on Friday 24th May 1974, but remained a member of another Conclave, becoming Intendent General Devon and Cornwall in November 1990, and later becoming the Grand Historiographer.

The first assembly of the Knights of the Holy Sceptre, and St John the Evangelist was held on Saturday 20th April 1968, and after the square has been formed and bread and wine taken the NuncDimittuswas sung, the Holy Bible saluted, and the closing hymn sung.

This format changed for the later Appendant Orders meetings, commencing on Saturday 29th November 1969, when the Members were invited to a celebration of Holy Communion in St Martin's Church, Cathedral Close,Exeter at 12noon. The Appendant Orders to follow at 3.45pm  This practice seems to end  after the  meeting held on Saturday the 7th November 1970

Saturday 1st February, 1975. The death of the Intendant General, V.Ill. Knight W.J Jones, was announced by the Recorder. The members stood to Order.  V.Ill.Kt. Revd. W.J. Toop , Intendant General Pro tem  Appointed Intendant General 1980.

27th June 1980 M.P.Sovereign in proffering the Baton to the Intendant General V.Ill.Kt. J.W.Toop, gives notice that this is a New Baton, whereupon the Intendant General dedicated the baton before returning it to the M.P. Sovereign.

P.Knight Maurice Tapley informed members that a letter had been received from the Grand Recorder, that “conditions laid down by Grand Conclave for the selection of Hymns to be used in the Opening and Closing of Conclaves should definitely reflect the TRINITY “. P.Knight  Maurice  undertook the task and wrote the words for the two hymns which being approved we still sing today.

Change of Venue  It had become difficult doe some members to attend Saturday meetings at Exeter  a change of day and venue had been sought The M.P. Sovereign the Conclave would meet at the Masonic Hall, Topsham on the suggested three Tuesdays.

Saturday 15th September 1984Ceremony of the Sanctuary and Commandery restored after long lapse.

A New Division of Dorset, Somerset and Bristol had been formed 20th June 1984 and \Rt. \ Ill.Knight M.E. Tapley had been appointed as the Intendant General.

Tuesday 3rd February 1987,  E.Companion Ronald Discombe was Installed  into the order Receiving Knighthood of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and St.John the Evangelist on Saturday 5th September 1987.

Tuesday 17th December 1991    The 25th Anniversary of the Consecration of the Conclave  Two addresses were given  Firstly by Rt.Illustrious  Knight William  Toop. K.C. in which he stressed that the Conclave acted as a Mother conclave, bringing in suitable candidates who then went on to form a nuclei for the consecration of NEW Conclaves.

The second address was given by the Intendant General, Rt Illustrious Knight Keith Barry Jackson, which covered the derivation. And development  of the Order of the Red Cross Of Constantine In conclusion he praised the High Standard of ritual he had observed in the assemblies of this Division.  38 Knights attended

Tuesday 2nd June 1992   An unusual occurrence ?? The Most Illustrious Grand Sovereign had acceded to a dispensation that "W.Knight Ronald Thomas Discombe, not having served the Office of Viceroy, empower you to Consecrate him as an Eusebius, and install him in the Viceroy’s chair prior to hisEnthronement as Sovereign" .The ceremony of Consecration , followed by the Enthronement of Ronald Thomas Discombe then ensued

Tuesday 2nd February 1993/.. Illustrious Knight Roy Goddard gave notice that W,Knight Ted Fay was exploring the possibility of forming a new Conclave at Tiverton..This led to the Consecration of the Conclave of the Resurrection No.432 on the 17th September 1994

June 1994,. Membership of the Conclave stood at 57

Tuesday 1st November 1994 V.Illustrious Knight R. Goddard reminded members  of the need for suitable candidates as wastage, retirement death’s etc were such that 2 candidates were necessary for membership to remain static. ( by Tuesday 25th March 1995 membership had risen to 63 ) 

Tuesday 23rd March 1999 (Appendant |Orders)  A wonderful occasion for the Conclave, to be honoured with the presence of Most Illustrious Kt Ronald Albert Champion G.C.C. Patriarch and Grand Commander, accompanied by Rt.Ill. Knight Timothy J.Lewis K.C.C. Grand Recorder, and Rt Illustrious Knight Brian Warch K.C.C. Grand Marshal.

A superb ceremony followed at the end of which the Patriarch and Grand Commander thanked all those who had taken part in the ceremony and congratulated the three candidates. It had been a most enjoyable evening and that “ The wise men who had come from the EAST would return in the knowledge that all was well in the West”

Tuesday 5th November 2002. Letter to the Deputy Intendant General Peter Hawkens giving our  sincere Congratulations upon his award of the M.B.E.

Tuesday 2nd November 2004   The New Model By-Laws (as amended) adopted.

Tuesday 2nd February 2005.l  Ill.Knight Peter Galt to be re-appointed as Divisional Marshal, and P.Knight Terry Sloan to be re-appointed DeputyMarshal.

Tuesday7th February 2006  Due to loss of 6 members subscriptions to rise by £3.00  to £25.00.

Tuesday 5th February 2008  The Most Puissant Sovereign thanked the retiring Recorder, Ill.Knight. Ted Fay, for his 10 years of service.

 Tuesday 7th February, 2012.   The Recorder reminded the members that the Next meeting (Enthronement) would be held on Tuesday 29th MAY, 2012, due to our regular meeting coinciding with H.M. the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Tuesday 29th May, 2012 (Enthronement)  The Conclave was honoured with the presence of the Rt. Ill. and Venerable Knight Revd. Dr. Charles Peter Bernard Blackwell-Smyth, G.C.C. the Grand Eusebius..  32 Knights were in attendance.Tuesday 4th June 2013  The Conclave welcomed  our new Intendant General Rt.Ill.Knight Richard Lucas, and the Deputy Intendant General Ill.Knight Alan Cockman.  The ceremonies of Consecration of W.Kt Alexander Barahona-Wills, and the Enthronement of E,Kt David Silman followed being conducted in an excellent manner  32 Knights were present Tuesday 4th February 2014  Illustrious Knight Terry Sloan delivered a most interesting talk  “Constantine the Great. His rise to Power”

Tuesday 2nd June 2015  The Conclave was again honoured  with the presence of the Right Illustrious and Venerable Knight the Revd.Dr. Charles Peter Bernard Blackwell-Smyth G.C.C. the Grand Eusebius, together with the Deputy Divisional Grand Marshal Roy Rudling and V.Ill.Kt B. Winsor and the Divisional Sepulchre Guard. Another superb Ceremony

Let us now look forward to the years ahead

John Tilke


Joseph of Arlmathea Conclave No.253

One of the remarkable things about this Conclave was that about 12 of its Founder Members were not even members of the Order when they were recruited! This came about when the main instigator, and first Sovereign of the new Conclave, KT Miles Tollemache, approached some Knights Templar at a meeting of the Restormel Preceptory in Exeter about becoming members of the Red Cross of Constantine.

About 12 of these were sufficiently interested to be installed as Knights of the Red Cross in St John the Evangelist Conclave in Exeter. Thus Joseph of Arimathaea Conclave was a daughter of this Conclave.

The first Founders Meeting took place in Truro on 2nd November 1968 when the petition was signed, the meeting dates arranged and the name Joseph of Arimathaea was chosen.

It was decided to use locally made ( or resourced) furniture and many of the other requirements for the functioning of the Lodge were presented by the Founders.

The Conclave was consecrated at the Masonic Hall, Union Place, Truro, on 16th September 1969,by the Grand Sovereign, Brigadier CBS Morley, assisted by V.III. Kt. J Chitty as Viceroy and W.Kt. W.J.Toop as High Prelate,. III.Kt. Tollemache was the 1 st MPS and W.Kt. Major CH Beer the first Viceroy. Other Founder Officers of note were Col Perry Morgan (PGM of the Craft) as Junior General, Rev.J.Gillett (Grand Superintendent of the RAC) as High Prelate and W. Kt. KB Jackson as Treasurer.

The Conclave has made steady progress, especially following a decision to move the meetings from Truro to Perranporth in 1974.

The Conclave now has xx members and, with the other Conclaves in Cornwall. regularly performs the Appendant Orders.

V.III. Kt. N.J.F.C. Barrington ( PGM of the Craft in Cornwall from 1994-20030 has been a member since 1976 and was MPS in 1985 and it was in this Conclave that the present Grand Eusebius received his birth and infant nurture in this Order!


Mount Lebanon Conclave No.270


It was after an emergency meeting of Joseph of Arimathea Conclave No253 which was held at the Masonic Hall, Union Place, Truro on Friday 16th July 1971 that a number of Knights gathered to discuss the formation of a new Conclave which would meet at the Masonic Hall, Saltash. There were eleven Knights present and a further seven had expressed an interest and it was considered that this was enough to form a new Conclave also follow up prospects were encouraging, so it was decided to go ahead and those present signed a petition, it was also decided that the Conclave would meet on the fourth Mondays of February, May(E) and September.  The meeting was also informed that  the Order was anxious to proceed without delay and the intention was to

issue a warrant as quickly as possible and then to form a Division in the West comprising of the Conclaves at Exeter. Truro, Bridport and Saltash, the Division would then consecrate the Saltash Conclave.


The name of Mount Lebanon was chosen although there was a Conclave of that name in Australia, it was decided that the Founders fee be £12.50, the Installation and Joining fee be £3.59 and the annual subscription be £3.00, further to that it was decided that E.Kt. J.W. Bachelor be the first Sovereign and W.Kt. G.B.Doidge be the first Viceroy, the first Treasurer be W.Kt. W.J.Gann and the first Recorder be W.Kt. L.J. Lean.  A generous offer from V.ll. Kt. W.J.Jones PGHAlm who said he would present the 16 candlesticks and the holders for the lilies and roses was accepted and other Knights were invited to consider what gifts of Conclave furniture could be made or given.

The next meeting of the founders of the proposed Mount Lebanon Conclave took place at Truro on Saturday 12th October 1971. The fourteen Knights present were informed that on the advice of V.Ill.Kt. W.J. Jones PGHAlm. the petition had been forwarded to be with the Grand Recorder by 20th September, although it lacked four signatures, together with a cheque for fees and dues of £15.40, the petition had been returned to be completed by the 4th October but the cheque had been cashed, the required signatures were obtained and the petition returned by the due date with a further cheque for £3.60.


The organising recorder produced a list of Conclave furnishings and this was reviewed item by item, it was also reported that the Treasurer was opening an account with Lloyds bank with himself as signatory and the Recorder as an alternative in case of emergency, those present approved the action taken.


The third meeting of the Founders was held at Perranporth (no date recorded) when twelve Knights were present and apologies were given from six others, items discussed once more was the furniture for the Conclave and the list amended as to who was donating what or where it was being acquired from (list attached in minute book), it was decided that a practice for the closing ceremony was not required , it was also decided to have a trial run on setting up the Conclave on either the 9th or 10th March 1972, it was further agreed that the Conclave could be all set up on 13th March after the Consecration of the Lodge in the Allied Degree and it was noted that the Sentinal could stay the night if required. As the dinner was to be held in the Holiday Inn at Plymouth, the dining fee being £3.00, taxi arrangements had been made with the Div. Recorder designate, finally a draft copy of the Bye Laws were read and approved.

And so to the big day, prior to the consecrations the M.lll.Gr.Sov and his party departed from Paddington Station, London on Monday 13th March 1972 at 2-30 pm and arrived at Plymouth at 6-42pm where they were met by Rt.W.Bro. W.A.Kneel and taken to the Holiday Inn at Plymouth.


The following day they were transported to Saltash for a rehearsal at 10:00am and at 11:00am the consecration of the South Western Division took place. The M.Ill.Gr.Sov. Brig.C.B.S.Morley CBE;TD;DL;GCC presided and he was assisted by Officers from Grand Imperial Conclave, at that meeting V.Ill. Kt. W.J. Jones PGHAlm was installed

as the Intendant Gen of the new Division, after which he conducted the Divisional business and invested his Officers, the Divisional meeting was closed and the Knights retired for a luncheon in the refectory at a cost of £1.50


After the lunch a rehearsal for the founders of the new Conclave was held at 3:30pm and this was followed at 4:30pm by the Consecration, Dedication and Constitution of the Mount Lebanon Conclave No270, the ceremony was again conducted by the Grand Sovereign who was assisted by the Grand Viceroy Rt.Ill.Kt J.C.H.Twallin GCC and Officers of Grand Imperial Conclave being :- VIll.Kt. A.A. Murphy PGHChan. as Sen.Gen. VIll.Kt.W.C.B.Oakley PGHChan as Jun Gen. W.Kt Rev.J.Gillett as High Prelate VIll.Kt.The Hon.M.G. Edwards MBE; KCC: Gr. Rec as Recorder V.ll.Kt Dr.G.L.C. Colenso-Jones KCC Gr. Mar. as Marshal. Ill.Kt T.WHoward Dep.Gr.Mar as Dep. Marshal

W.Kt Brig G.L.Glloway DSO;OBE;GM as Swd Br. P.Kt C.H.V.lliott as Std.Br.(C) P.Kt. C.H. Beer as Std.B,(L) Ill.Kt. C.D. Brown P.G.Hist. as Organist V.ll.Kt. S.E.Ward Herald.           W.Kt.R.Poole as Sentinal.


The first Sovereign of the Conclave was P.Kt. J.W. Bachelor whilst the first Viceroy was E. Kt.G.B. Doidge.the rest of the Officers appointed were :-

Senior General W.K.K. LJ.Prince.                       Junior General          W.Kt. K.B. Jackson.

High Prelate      Ill.Kt. M de 0 Tollemache           Treasurer         W.Kt. W.J. Gann

Recorder            W.Kt. L.J.L. Lean                        Almoner           W.Kt. A.E.B. Greenwood.

Marshal              P.Kt. R.M. Jefferies                    Orator               W.Kt. L.J. Sweet

Std.Br                 W.Kt. H.S. Tucker                       Prefect             W.Kt. W.R. Cocks

Senior ADC      W.Kt. J.C. Ball                             Junior ADC     W.Kt. S.J. Forvague

Organist             W.Kt. A.J. Coates                        Herald              W.Kt. S.R.F. Moray

Sentinal W.Kt. R.J. Dolley.


After the Consecration ceremony the MPS tendered his baton to the Grand Sovereign stating that it was a great honour to him to have been privileged to have been enthroned as MPS by the Gr.Sov, an honour that he doubted would occur again as probably in the fixture the consecration of any new Conclave would be carried out by the Intendant General and the Divisional Officers, he further thanked the Grand Viceroy and the rest of the Consecrating team. The Grand Sovereign in returning the baton thanked the MPS for his remarks and wished the Conclave every success and prosperity. In the business that followed.  The Consecrating team were all elected as Honorary members of the Conclave, the Recorder stated that he had completed forms for one joining member and three candidates for installation with a further form from another Companion. The Bye-laws for the Conclave were adopted and presented .The Organist was thanked for playing throughout the day and for inspiring the W.Kts. to sing.


Following the meeting the Consecrating Officers, Founders and guests gathered together at the Holliday Inn where an enjoyable dinner consisting of Melon Boat, Fillet of Sole Mornay, followed by Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding,. Roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables, whilst the sweet consisted of fruit flan followed by cheese and biscuits and coffee, all of which proved most satisfying.  The evening was further enhanced by some appropriate and humorous speeches.


The following day the London party were escorted to Plymouth station where the train left at 10:30am and to arrive at Paddington station, London at 2:30pm, it was noted that a restaurant car was on the train but it is not recorded whether the party made use of it, however, the Recorder did receive a letter from the Grand Recorder thanking everyone for all the kindness and hospitality dispensed to them.


And so to the first regular meeting of Mount Lebanon Conclave No 270 held at the Masonic Hall, Saltash on Monday 22 May 1972 at which fifteen members were present together with one joining member and two candidates. Officers who were unavoidably absent at the Consecration were invested and apologies were received.  A ballot was taken for the joiining member which was successful, he was welcomed and presented with a copy of the Bye-laws.  A further ballot was taken for six candidates for installation, this also proved successful and two of them, namely Comp.George Helson and Comp Rowland Crabb were installed as Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine by the MPS and his Officers.


At the next regular meeting in September the MPS referred to the sad loss the Conclave had sustained in the passing to the Grand Conclave above of the Recorder, W.Kt. L.J.L. Lean, who had worked so hard at the Consecration and at the first meeting, he would be sadly missed within the Division and Mount Lebanon in particular and he requested the Knights to stand to order.

On being proffered the baton the Intendant General accepted it and took the Chair and carried out the ceremony of Installation on two Companions, on returning the baton to the MPS the IG thanked him for allowing him to conduct the ceremony which he had enjoyed immensely.

A letter was read from the IG with regard the unauthorised additions and innovations to rituals 1 and 2 and requesting Conclaves to cease using them.


It is interesting to note from a copy of the old returns that on 31st December 1972 the Conclave had a membership of 23 and dues to Grand Imperial Conclave was £6-90p, this being 30p per member (today,2014 the dues are £27-50p ), by 1979 the membership had nearly trebled (65) whilst dues had doubled to 60p per member.


At the first business meeting the usual elections took place but under AOB the Rt. Ill. Intendant General pointed out that it was compulsory for the Sovereign's baton to be of a particular design and he proposed that the correct baton be obtained, he also suggested that the format of the Conclave summons be changed to that as used by Joseph of Arimathea Conclave, it was pointed out that the appropriate covers for the pillars had been presented to the Conclave by the last four candidates and these were duly thanked for their generosity and thoughtfulness.


A dispensation had to be granted for the first Enthronement as the date of the meeting fell on Spring Bank Holiday, it was at this meeting that W.Kt. W.R. Cox was appointed Recorder. The Treasurer presented his balance sheet, which showed a surplus of income over expenditure of £42.95. Under AOB a bar steward was elected at the request of Zetland Lodge to serve liquid refreshment to the members of the Conclave.


From the minutes of September 1973 it is recorded that the Organist, W.Kt. T.L. Petters, who had travelled from Hayle was thanked for providing the music for the evening, so the question arises, when the Conclave was formed were hymns sung at the opening and closing of the Conclave as nothing else is recorded concerning music other than at the consecration and currently there is no music.


By February 1974, after much discussion, a baton of the correct design and which was 'compulsory* was presented to the MPS, also the warrant was presented to him which had been duly framed and would be better preserved.


At the end of 1974 the Conclave received a letter from the Saltash Hall Committee stating that owing to the ever increasing costs the rent for use of the building would be increased by £22.50, it was also proposed at this meeting that the names of all the members be placed on the back of the summons. The Recorder read a letter from the Most Ill. Grand Sovereign who wished to emphasise that the rituals of the Order are issued on the understanding that they are not to be read in open Conclave and he directed Intendants General and Sovereigns of private Conclaves will take every step to ensure that the instruction is meticulously carried out.


The first emergency meeting was held on Monday 9th December 1974 when it was explained that a candidate, who was in the Royal Navy, was having difficulty in attending the regular meetings, no dispensation is attached to the minutes nor is any mention of one recorded. At that meeting, the W.Kts. assembled, stood to order as a mark of respect for Rt. Ill W.J. Jones PGHAlm, the first IG for the SW Division and a founder member of Mount Lebanon Conclave, the MPS said that he would be sadly missed for his unstinting work within the Division and in Mount Lebanon Conclave in particular. The new IG P.Kt Edwin Perry Morgan MBE; TD;JP; was to be installed on 17 March 1975 and it was hoped that a large attendance from Mount Lebanon would be there for the special occasion.


Again a dispensation was required for the Enthronement meeting May 1975.  At that meeting the new IG was present and on being proffered the baton took it and proceeded with the help of the regular Officers to installed three candidates after which he returned the baton so that the MPS could carry out the ceremony of Enthronement into the Chair of Mount Lebanon Conclave of Em. Kt. K.B.Jackson.


Moving on to the Enthronement meeting the following year (1976) a ballot was taken for nine candidates, the MPS explaining the reason was that they could become founders of the new Conclave being formed at Torquay on 12 January 1977, the ballot was successful and the candidates, bar one, were Installed by the Immediate Past Sovereign, following that ceremony the MPS elect and Viceroy were Enthroned, it was announced under AOB that the Divisional meeting would be held at the Charter Hall, Okehampton on Saturday 27111 November 1976 at 5.15.

A candle snuffer was presented to the Conclave by W.Kt. the Rev. A.J.C. Beddow for future use and to add to the Conclave furniture, the MPS thanked him for his generous gift.

It was at the Enthronement meeting 1977 that W.Kt. Tommy Trend was appointed Recorder, an office he held until 1985, he was able to announce at the next meeting that Ill.Kt. Henry Tucker had recordings of the Doctors and Nurses of he RMH singing carols at a cost of £2.00, also that the next Divisional meeting would be at Exmouth


February 1978 saw three candidates installed who were to be founders of the new Conclave being formed in Plymouth, the usual business was then carried out, the Past Sovereigns were requested for the first time to remain for a short meeting after, this custom still exists today.

By a dispensation granted at the Enthronement meeting on 22nd May 1978, W.Kt. Peter Oakley was Installed as Viceroy to enable him to become the Viceroy of the new Conclave in Plymouth, this was a double ceremony as the Viceroy elect of Mount Lebanon Conclave was Installed at the same time.


It was interesting to note at the start of the minute book the Aides were called senior and junior and it was at this time on the summons they became !st and 2nd Aides.


Having assisted the new Conclave in Plymouth the W.Kts. of Mount Lebanon Conclave at the September 1978 meeting balloted for and installed seven candidates who were to become founders of the proposed Conclave being formed at Bamstaple. Also at that meeting it was announced that the Divisional meeting would be hdd at Mount Edgcumbe Masonic Hall, Plymouth.


February 1980 the WKts stood to order in memory of Rt. Ill. Col E. Perry Morgan who had been called to Higher Service and it was announced that V.Ill. Kt. the Rev. A.J. Toop. the Dep.Int.Gen. would be Installed as Intendant General on Saturday 26th April 1980 at Torquay.


September of that year saw an alteration to the Bye-laws in which it was proposed and seconded that the Enthronement meeting be held on the first Monday in June thus preventing it from clashing with the Spring Bank Holiday, this was duly carried.

February 1981 the Recorder read a letter from the Recorder of Joseph of Arimathea Conclave suggesting that the three Cornish Conclaves carry out the Appendant Orders ceremony in September, the Recorder asked that any volunteers to assist in the ceremony to see him after the meeting.


After much discussion over a number of meetings a notice of motion was finally given at the Enthronement meeting 1982 that Bye-laws 3 and 4 be rescinded and a new Bye-law 3 be adopted to read; ^'the fees for Installation, Joining and Rejoining and the annual subscription payable in advance on 1st January each year, shall be such sums as determined from time to time and prescribed by a two thirds majority of the members present at any open meeting of the Conclave after due notice on the summons. Members in arrears with their subscriptions for more than three months shall not be eligible for appointment to office or to vote and having received notice from the Recorder shall be liable to Exclusion. The Recorder shall be exempt from payment of subscription but shall be entitled to all the privileges of a subscribing member'. This motion was duly proposed and carried.

It was also at this meeting the W.Kts. stood to order in memory of W.Kt. R.J. Dolley the founding Sentinal who had received an annual remuneration for his services, it was from that the office of Sentinal became a progressive office for a few years.


The first exclusion under Bye-law three is recorded in the minutes of February 1983 in which a W.Kt. had not paid his dues. Also at the Enthronement meeting of that year it was proposed and duly seconded that a MPS's collarette and jewel be purchased. .September saw the Recorder make an appeal for candidates as he knew of no one at this present time, this after what seemed to be an abundance of candidates.


The MPS, P.Kt. J.C. Andrews. was thanked by the Recorder on behalf of the Conclave at the February 1984 meeting for presenting a Salver


September that year saw an alteration to part of the heading on the summons, it going from South West Division to Devon and Cornwall Division, nothing is recorded in the minutes for this alteration.


The agreement with Joseph of Arimathea Conclave with regards to the Appendant Orders ceremony did not seem to last very long as an emergency meeting was held on Saturday 6th October at Mount Edgcumbe Masonic Hall to confer the Appendant Orders in close co-operation with Royal Citadel Conclave, this meeting was preceeded with a luncheon and there were six candidates.


When the Conclave was formed the annual dues were £3.00 per member, this, recorded in the minutes, continued to rise, so that by the end of 1985 it had risen to£12-00 per member.


It is interesting to note that the membership at the start of this minute book was 39, a number which remained fairly constant for quite a number of years, the appeal for candidates in 1983 seemed to have been heeded as there were candidates for most meetings,

The progressive office of Sentinal came once more to an end when a dispensation was granted in March 1986 so that Comp.R.B.Walker could be Installed as a serving brother to act as Sentinal of the Conclave, this office he held for some 20 years until he passed away in February 2007, many Knights attending his funeral as a mark of respect and as was said in his eulogy in the Conclave, he would be sorely missed for his merry wit and dry humour.


A further dispensation was read at the September 1987 meeting, this being of an unusual occurrence, it reads:-

"You enthroned as Sovereign of your Conclave E.Kt. George Stanley Godden who did not serve as Viceroy for the qualifying period of one year and that you omitted to petition for the necessary dispensation prior to his Enthronement on 1st June 1987 in accordance with the provisions laid down in Statute 30 and that in order to regularise the position the Most Illustrious Grand Sovereign be requested to grant a dispensation nunc pro tunc.


At the February 1988 meeting the Treasurer proposed that the Conclave purchase a new surplice for the High Priest, this was duly seconded and carried.


There was a change of format to the summons for the June 1989 meeting, these being printed by W.Kt. A.R. Scott who stated that he would produce them at a reasonable cost.


At the Enthronement meeting .June 1990, the Conclave was informed of the resignation of the Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. W.J. Toop MA;BSc;KCC and that the Grand Sovereign had been pleased to appoint Ill.Kt. K.B. Jackson KLJ; PGrOrator;Div.Marshall as the next Intendant General of the Division of Devon and Cornwall and that he would be Installed at Torquay on the 20th July, this news was received with joyous acclamation and many congratulations, it was at the February 1991 meeting that he was received and welcomed into the Conclave in the prescribed and proper form as befitted his new rank.

Following a proposal by the Recorder and duly seconded it was agreed that all members would be recorded as dining members and that they should inform the Recorder if they were not dining, failing to do this they would be charged for the meal ordered for them and so for the first time the letter P was placed beside their name on the summons to show they were permanent diners, this is still the current practice.


As the Conclave did not possess it's own ceremonial swords it was proposed at the meeting, February 1993, that two be purchased and that the Marshall be responsible for their safe custody. Some two years later a further two swords were purchased.


It was also at the February 1993 meeting that the Recorder informed the Conclave that he had recently been told that the Em. Viceroy would be unable to carry out the ceremony of installing his successor as Eusebius. As he was (the Recorder) unsure as to the procedure in this case he had contacted the Grand Recorder who had informed him it would not be proper for the Viceroy to be installed as Sovereign under the circumstances and a dispensation allowing the Conclave to elect another MPS would be forwarded.

At the June 1994 meeting the Dep.I.G. spoke of the new Conclave to be consecrated at Tiverton, the first in the Division in the last ten years. He also spoke of the requirement for the Division to work the Appendant Orders in London in 1998 and he requested any volunteers to make themselves known to the Div-Recorder but by September 1995 the Div.Recorder informed the members that this would not take place as Grand Imperial Conclave did not wish to have it taking place on the morning of the annual meeting., however, the opinion of Conclaves were being sought as to when, where and how the Appendant Orders should be done.

There then ensued a discussion with regards the matter and it was proposed that Mount Lebanon in conjunction with Royal Citadel carry out the ceremony of the Appendant Orders, as the MPS of Royal Citadel Conclave was present he wholeheartedly supported the proposal and so the Recorder was asked to contact the Recorder of Royal Citadel and pursue the matter, apparently this was done as the Recorder reported at the next meeting that it was expected that the ceremony would take place sometime in July, the next meeting the Recorder further reported that unfortunately Royal Citadel could not proceed with the arrangement. The Dep.I.G. advised the Conclave that they should take note of the alternative arrangements within the Division.


The business meeting in February 1997 saw the members receive a talk by W.Kt. Jan Olszewski entitled The emperor Constantine, his legacy to the Western World', this was a well researched and interesting paper and W.Kt. Olszewski was thanked by the MPS for coming and presenting the paper. This was the first time the Conclave had not had a candidate to Install since it's consecration.


February 1998 it was proposed to obtain a further purple sash and the Recorder was asked if he could ascertain the whereabouts of the missing sash.


At the Enthronement meeting 1999, the MPS did not appoint an Orator, no reason being recorded, at the following meeting the recorder delivered the legend of the Order to the candidate.


A further talk was received at the February 2000 meeting, this was delivered by Ill.Kt. M.G. Anderson PGVCham. on the history of the Order, this was well received by the Knights present, he was thanked by the MPS.


The format of the notice for February 2001 was again changed going back to an A4 sheet as it was originally.


At the May 2002 meeting the Recorder read a letter from the Hall Management Committee asking if anyone knew of a good caterer to let them know as the current caterer was retiring, it was proposed and seconded that a cheque be presented to the retiring caterer in appreciation of all her good work, this was carried.


September 2003 a letter was received from the Intendant General, Rt.Ill.Kt. K.B.Jackson, detailing the circumstances of his resignation, this being in consequence upon his appointment to the high office of President of the Grand Sovereign's Council and so by June 2004 the Conclave was informed that the new IG was to be Ill.Kt.Peter Hawken MBE, this news was greeted with spontaneous acclamation. It was. at this period in time that a copy of the registration form for each candidate started to be attached to the minutes., also at this meeting the Knights decided to adopt the model Bye-laws as proposed and prepared by Grand Imperial Conclave. A copy of me notice and minutes of the Appendant Orders as carried out by the Cornish Conclaves at Saltash is also attached to the June minutes and at which time five candidates were admitted to the Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and St, John the Evangelist.


Again purple sashes seem to have gone missing for it was proposed at the September 2004 meeting that two new ones be purchased, this was duly seconded and carried.


In February 2005 the MPS, P.KT. G. Evatt OBE, thanked Em.Kt. A.J. Payne for his very generous gift of a very handsome pastoral staff to replace the old one which had seen better days.


A sad occurrence at the February 2006 meeting when the acting MPS. P.Kt. G.Evatt.OBE, informed the Knights present that the MPS, P.Kt. A.J. Payne, who had worked so hard for the Conclave had passed away and he called the Knights to order as a mark of respect to departed merit.


At the start of the minute book the membership was 39 members but sadly at the end of the book this number had decreased to 32 members. Currenty, 2014;this stands at 29 members.


The three Cornish Conclaves met at Hayle to confer the Appendant Orders on three candidates on Friday 7th July 2006, the following year the ceremony was again done by the three Conclaves at Perranporth and since that time has been carried out annually with the addition of the Conclave of Light in 2010.


It was at the September 2006 meeting that the Treasurer stated that he had received a letter from the Saltash Hall Management Committee informing him of rise of rent which would more than double the current rent the Conclave was paying, it was decided to have a committee meeting prior to the next Conclave meeting to see what could be resolved, arising from that meeting the Recorder was instructed to write to the Hall Committee offering the sum of £350.00, this sum to be for three meetings per year, insurance and Mrs Hardy for running the bar, an early reply was requested, at the next meeting June 2007, the Recorder stated that in view of all the correspondence he had received from the Saltash Hall Committee he gave a notice of motion that at the next regular meeting he would propose that the Conclave move to another venue w.e.f. from 1st January 2008 and as there was no candidate for the September meeting it could be fully discussed and voted on then. The Treasurer then gave a further notice of motion that at the next regular meeting he would propose that if the Conclave remained at Saltash dues would have to increase from £30 to £36,

So at the September 2007 meeting the decision to relocate to Tavistock was made, this after much discussion and voting, after the Intendant General said that it was a sad day for the Conclave but the economics of stopping at Saltash were not viable either to the membership nor for the number of meetings per year, the decision had been made and he hoped everyone would soon settle down at Tavistock and he hoped there would be no resignations because of the decision


The Conclave then held its first meeting at Tavistock on Monday 25th February when the MPS, P.Kt. R.F. Eglinton installed Comp. B.W. Slade and Comp. M. Bennett as Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine.

Under AOB a vote of thanks was recorded to P.K. tA.D. Vickery for transporting all the furniture from Saltash and with the help of P.Kt. JA. Cory set up the Temple for the meeting that evening.


Some consternation arose at the Enthronement 2009 meeting when the Viceroy elect who was about to take his solemn and sacred vow, the Dep. Marshall upset the censer sending incense over the carpet thus burning holes in it and making quite a mess, this caused a break in the ceremony whilst endeavours were made to clear it up, a lighted

censer has not been used since!


It is recorded for the first time at the February 2010 meeting of an official visit by the Intendant General and his Deputy, They entered the Conclave in procession together with a goodly number of Grand Imperial Officers and Divisional Officers with six members of the Sepulchre Guard and their Captain, after the meeting because of the large number attending everyone partook of a buffet supper which was greatly enjoyed and where the usual toasts were honoured.


It was in 2012 that notification was received that the Intendant General RtDl.Kt Peter Hawken MBE was retiring and that Ill.Kt. Richard Alan Lucas P.G.Std.Br.( C ) was to take his place and that P.Kt. Alan Cockman would be the new Deputy.


Both were welcomed into the Conclave for the first time in their respective new offices by the MPS, P.Kt. F.H. Corbridge, at the February 2013 meeting. Also at that meeting a letter was read from Rt.Ill.Kt. Peter Hawken MBE;KCC;Past Int Gen expressing his thanks and appreciation to the Conclave.

The next meeting, June 2013, we find recorded that the MPS solicited for as many of the Knights as possible to go to Birmingham to witness and support Rt.Ill.Kt. Peter Hawken MBE;KCC;Past IntGen.who was to be Installed as the next Dep.Grand Sovereign on 2nd July 2013.


At the meeting on February 2014 the Conclave was honoured by the presence of R.Ill.& Em,Kt. Peter Hawken MBE;GCC, he was received with due ceremony according to his rank and the MPS congratulated and welcomed him into his own Conclave, he then proffered him his baton which the Dep.Gr.Sov declined with thanks. It was at this meeting that the AsstPGMof the Mark Degree of Devonshire, E.Comp. William Samual Humphries was installed as a Knight of the RCC in a most pleasant ceremony.

These then are some of the items of interest that are recorded in the minute books that have happened within the Conclave and Division over the last 43 years, no doubt someone will add to it as the years progress I wish them well!


John Cory



                     TREASURERS                                                  RECORDERS

            W.J. Gann                 1972-1974                L.J.L. Lean                1972-1973

            G.R. Doidge              1974-1978                W..R. Cocks              1973-1975

            W.T. Scandebury     1978-1981                W.A. Crocker            1975-1979

            G.R. Doidge              1981-1982                T.F.W. Trend             1979-1985

            W.J. Gann                 1982-1984                D.S.M. Mortimore     1985-1994

            B.D. Williams            1984-1993                A.D. Vickery              1994-2000

            P.F. Boice                 1993-1999                F.N. Walbutton         2000-2002

            A.J. Payne                1999-2004                J.R. Clendinning     2002-2003

            J. W. Stratton            2004-2006                D.S.M. Mortimore     2003=2006

            F.H. Corbridge         2006-2011                J.A. Cory                   2006-?

            J.R. Clendinning     2011-2013

            F.H. Corbridge         2013-?



                                             E.M. Jefferies             1972-1973

                                             A.E.B. Greenwood     1973-1976

                                             K.B. Jackson              1976-1990

                                             W.C. Tucker                1990-1992

                                             P.S. Oakley                 1992-1999

                                             T.E.W. Trend               1999-2003

                                             M.W. Eglinton             2003-2006

                                             A.D. Vickery                2006-2011

                                             A.C. Barker                 2011-2013

                                             R, Rudling                  2013 -?




A.E.B. Greenwood Founder; 1st Div.Rec; MPS.(253); PGStdB(L) 1978; PGHChan.1980; Dep.Int.Gen 1980.

Lt. F.M. Jefferies RN.Retd. Founder, DivJG; 1st Marshall; PGVCham; Dep.IG.NSW & Australian Capital Territories; IG.NSW& ACT 1980-1987; KCC1984

K.B. Jackson Founder; 1st JG; MPS 1975; Marshall 270 1976; PGPr; Div Mar 1979; PGOrat 1985; IG 1990 -2004; KCC 1996; G,Hist 2000; GCC 2001; Pres.G.Sovs.Council 2003 -2008.

The Hon. M.R.V. Eliot Installed May 197;, MPS. 1984; Div SwdB 1986; Div SG 1988; Gr.Jun.Gen 1989.

S.J. Forvague Founder; 1st JunAide; MPS 1979; DivDep.Mar.l992; PGPr, Div Viceroy 1983; Dep IG 1984; PGHALm. PdepIG 1990


TEWTrend Installed 1975; MPS 327 1981; MPS.270,1993; DivJG.1984; PGHer 1986; PGStdB (L) 1993; GrHChan. 2000; Div Viceroy 1990;

M.WEglinton. Installed Sept 1987, MPS.1998; Div.Rec.2002; PGStdB(L) 2002; PGHAIm.2007; DivViceroy 2008.

P. Hawken MBE Installed Feb 1994, MPS.2001; PGStdB ( C ) 2002; DepIG 2002; IG 2004 - 2013; KCC 2011; GCC2013; Dep.Gr.Sov 2013.


St. Ercus Conclave No.349

Erc/Ercus (424-514 AD) was the son of Dago/Deagh.
Erc’s immediate progenitors and family lived in Munster; although, he descended from Fergus Rogius, and the royal line of Ulster kings. He is believed to have been a pagan druid and the only member of King Laoghaire's retinue to pay homage to Saint Patrick during the latter's confrontation with the druids at the Hill of Slane in 433.


Dubhthach maccu Lugar was also a druid who paid tribute to St. Patrick and converted. Erc mac Dago was converted to Christianity by St. Patrick and appointed the first Bishop of Slane. St. Erc’s foundation at Slane stayed active for at least six hundred years.


Erc may have arrived in Kerry soon after the mission of St. Benignus, who was sent by St. Patrick to preach to the tribes of West Munster in 450. Benignus's visit was comparatively short since he was called away to North Clare and Connaught. St. Patrick sent Erc to complete the conversion of Kerry.


Erc had spiritual charge over Kerry and a wide range of southwest Limerick in the heart of which lay the convent of Ita at Killeedy.


Before Saint Patrick died in 461, he sent Bishop Erc south to Munster. Around the year 484, Brigit of Kildare was his travelling companion to his native province. The following taken from ‘Volume II of The Lives of the Irish Saints’ by John, Canon O'Hanlon; ‘With blessed Erc, the great St. Brigid was specially intimate and bound by ties of holy friendship. This appears from her Acts, and it is supposed, that about the year 484, she was his travelling companion to his native province..... St. Brigid entertained a great inclination to see certain consecrated places and holy persons in Munster; but, according to another account, her visit there was induced, through a desire to accompany St. Erc on a visit towards that country, where his relatives lived. One day, while prosecuting their journey, St. Brigid said to the bishop, "O venerable father, point out to me the quarter of Munster, in which your family resides." When the bishop had complied with her request, the holy virgin exclaimed in continuation, "At present, a war is there waging, between your tribe and another clan." The bishop replied to her: "O holy mother, I believe what thou hast told me is true, for when I last left them to see you, they were in a state of discord." Then Brigid cried out, "O Father, your people are now routed." One of St. Erc's disciples, hereupon, thoughtlessly remarked to the holy abbess, "How are you able to see the fight at such a distance?" The bishop reproved this incredulity for his not recognising the Holy Spirit's illuminating gifts conferred on a virgin, who was blessed both in soul and body. Then said Erc to our saint: "O servant of God, sign our eyes that we may witness those things thou seest." The spouse of Christ immediately complied with this request, so that they clearly observed the battle's progress. Looking on, in great grief, his disciple cried out to Bishop Erc: "Alas! also, my Lord, at this moment, my eyes behold the decapitation of two brothers." The result of enquiry established the reality this vision detailed.


Afterwards, in a certain place, and near a mountain, the holy Bishop Erc and the sanctified virgin Brigid sat down, with their attendants. These were greatly fatigued after their journey, and they experienced great hunger. A youth in their company thereupon remarked, that whoever gave them food should confer a great charity on them. St. Brigid then said, "I predict, that if food and drink be required, you must wait awhile in expectation of assistance from on high; because, I behold a house, in which they are today preparing alms for a certain church. Within an hour it shall come here, and even now it is put up for us in packages." While our saint was speaking, refreshment carriers arrived, and when they had learned the illustrious Brigid and holy Bishop Erc, with their disciples, were there, those bearers greatly rejoiced to relieve their wants. Alms were presented to the famished travellers, with such words: "Receive those refreshments, which God Himself hath intended for you, as your wants and merits should be taken into consideration, before those of any other congregation." Giving God thanks, our travellers partook of this food presented; yet, as they only received edibles, some drink was required, likewise, to allay their thirst. Then Brigid told them to dig the earth near this spot. On obeying her order, a spring of clear water issued from the ground. Afterwards, it bore the name of St. Brigid's well, and it might be seen at the time our virgin's Third and Fourth Lives had been written.


The holy travellers subsequently visited Magh-Femyn, at a time when a great Synod of Saints was there assembled. They were obliged to remain at that synod. The holy Bishop Erc gave an account of those miracles wrought by our saint, while he was assisting at this council. The neighbouring inhabitants, hearing that Brigid was there, brought many infirm persons to her, that she might heal them.


Among these were included some lame, leprous, and demented persons. Such fortunate patients were released from their several afflictions, through Divine assistance, and the prayers of our merciful saint.’


Erc was also the friend and tutor of St. Brendan the Navigator, the patron of Kerry. Erc is said to have trained the young Brendan at his church in Ardfert in 512. Erc established the school at Slane where King Dagobert II is said to have received his early education.


In the nineteenth century, historian Dean Cogan (a native of Slane) called Erc a man of great sanctity and usefulness. St. Patrick is reputed to have said: "Bishop Erc – Everything he judged was just; Every one that passes a just judgement – Shall receive the blessing of Bishop Erc".


At some point Bishop Ercus and his brothers Ia and Euny (Uny) accompanied by as many as 777 missionary companions sailed across the Channel to found their respective churches, Ia to St Ives, Euny to Lelant and Ercus to St Erth. At that time ships sailed inland as far as where the medieval bridge now spans the Hayle River, and it was about here that Ercus must have landed. There had been missionaries before him, and the place was known as Lanuthnoe, after Uthinock, another Celt who had founded a "lan", or monastic cell, thereabouts. Tradition has it that a Church was built and that Ercus consecrated it in the usual manner of a 40 days' period of prayer, fasting and preaching, after which it was given the Bishop's name. Certain it is that the place has been called "St Erth" (variously spelt) ever since.


A chapel of St Ercus was built at Trevessa in the parish of St Erth in 1403. His saint's day in Cornwall is October 31st, whilst in Ireland is held on 2 November.


An ancient rubric of Sarum states: - ‘Commemoration of All souls – No Feast may have office on this day, but if it be on a Sunday, office is of Sunday in the Octave of All Saints, the Commemoration of All Souls being transferred to Monday 3.’ Clearly indicating that the Feast of St Ercus should be on All Souls Day as in Ireland. The confusion seems to have started with the notes of William Worcester, in 1478, when he confused the name of Ercus with that of St Herygh whose feast day is October 31. Little is recorded of him apart from what William of Worcester who wrote in 1478: "Saint Herygh (Ercus), the brother of Saint Uny, a bishop, lies in a certain church situated under the cross of the church of Saint Paul in London; his day is kept on the vigil of All Saints, that is, the last day of October ... Saint Hya (Ia) ... the sister of Saint Herygh ...". The statement about St. Paul's may be due to a mistaken identification with St Herygh/Erconwald.


Erc finally returned to Slane and became the friend and tutor of St. Brendan the Navigator, the patron of Kerry. Erc is said to have trained the young Brendan at his church in Ardfert (High place of Erc) in 512. Erc established the school at Slane where King Dagobert II is said to have received his early education.


Erc lived out the rest of his life in prayer and solitude at ahis quiet hermitage on the Hill of Slane beside the Boyne and died on 2 November 514, at age 93. In the nineteenth century, historian Dean Cogan (a native of Slane) called Erc a man of great sanctity and usefulness. St. Patrick is reputed to have said: "Bishop Erc – Everything he judged was just; Everyone that passes a just judgement – Shall receive the blessing of Bishop Erc".


In the 16th century, the hilltop monastery of Slane became a Franciscan friary supported by the Flemings. In the grounds of Slane Castle are the ruins of St. Erc's Hermitage. This consists of a late fifteenth or early sixteenth century chapel and an earlier dwelling.


 The 12th century martyrology of Gorman called him: "Erc of Slane, bishop of Lilcach and from Ferta Fer Feic (the Graves of the Men of Fiac) beside Sid Truim from the West".



Conclave of Light No.498


In 2007  I was hearing from many Brothers in Cornwall of  (shall we say older years ) that they did not like going out at night and the meals were too heavy.  This stimulated me to gather a  group together who would form a daylight Conclave.


At the same time there were murmurings of similar thought in Devon.  At the beginning of 2009 both Conclaves, 498 and 499 were ready to go.


The Conclave of Light  No.498 and the Conclave of Ascension No.499 were both Consecrated at Newquay Masonic Hall  on Thursday 23rd April 2009,498 in the Morning and 499 in the Afternoon by the consecrating Officer R.Ill Kt.Peter Hawken MBE assisted by his Divisional Officers.


498 were to meet in Bodmin and 499 in South Brent.


Both Conclaves have prospered 498 a little better than 499

Conclave of Light was to meet three times a year, in January, July and November. The January meeting in 2010 was abandoned due to very bad weather and has been changed to April We have a buffet after the meetings in April and November and dine at a Hotel after the Installation meeting in July.


The present number of members is 22.


Bill Lissamer