Knights Templar Priests

Knights Templar Priests

The Order of Knight Templar Priests goes back to the Anahilt Union Band in County Down, Ireland in 1792. So far over 60 Union Bands have been identified in Ireland with only a small number being under the Irish Early Grand Encampment and even fewer being “banded” with one or more Lodges. During this period there was no ruling body. In 1807 the Early Grand Conclave of Scotland warranted the Joppa Encampment of Knights Templar in Sunderland. This Encampment was also authorised to work a number of other degrees, including the Knight Templar Priests. In 1812, the Newcastle upon Tyne Members petitioned the Grand Conclave of England for a warrant. This was granted in the name of the Royal Kent Encampment. 

The Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests or Order of Holy Wisdom

The Order of Knight Templar Priests appears to have only worked spasmodically as was the Royal Kent Conclave, eventually coming under the aegis of the Council of Knight Grand Cross of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem formed in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1845. Henry Hotham – a Yorkshireman – being the last Installed Master, or High Priest, of the Independent Chapter of Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, on Good Friday, 23 March 1894, admitted nine Knights into the Order under the authority of one of the original Rules of the Order. Henry Hotham died on 17 May 1895. The revived Tabernacle, in conjunction with the Knights Grand Cross, being conscious of the efforts of the Council of Allied Masonic Degrees in London to found a “Grand Council of Rites”, agreed that with its then 24 Appendant Degrees to become the Royal Kent Tabernacle, Time Immemorial.

From 1894 the Order continued under the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degree, until by mutual consent it separated and became the Grand College. Grand College had its first meeting on 15 May 1924 in Newcastle upon Tyne but has since move to York, where it remains to this day and is the headquarters of the Order,  from which it administers the Order in England, Scotland, Wales, parts of Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other parts of the Commonwealth and South America. Within these countries the Order is divided into two hundred and thirty five Tabernacles formed in 47 Districts. These are numbered with a geographical designation in brackets, – thus District No. 5 (Kent).

The head of the Order within a District is the Grand Superintendent and he is assisted by a District Director of Ceremonies and, possibly, a District Recorder, although in many Districts, as the secretarial role is light, the secretarial work is carried out by the District D.C. The “Lodges” are known as Tabernacles

The Order is a Christian Order and a candidate for membership must be a subscribing installed master in the Craft, a subscribing member of a Royal Arch Chapter and a Knight Templar. Most of the work within the Tabernacles during the course of a ceremony consists of readings from the Scriptures, with only two or three sentences to be learned and only the occupant of the chair, the Very Eminent High Priest and the Conductor (equivalent of the Senior Deacon) have much to learn.

Regalia consists of a white tunic (the same as a Knight Templar), a plain white mantle and a mitre.

There are six Tabernacles meeting within the area of the Masonic Province of East Kent.

The nearest for members of Loyal and True is the Chatham Council No 54, at Manor Rd. Chatham.

Meetings are held on the third Monday in April and October.

Contact Details  

Name: Stephen J Turner

Position: District Recorder

Telephone: 020 7233 8157

Email: Steven Turner


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