The Society, founded in 1913 as the Channel Row Assemblage, exists to perpetuate or preserve a memorial of the practices of operative Free Masons existing prior to, or continuing independently of, modern speculative Freemasonry.

The Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers

The ritual and working is more archaic than that of Craft Masonry, containing practical instruction of which only echoes are found in speculative ritual. It does not claim to be the successor to or connected with any former society of the same or any like name, nor that the ceremonies in fact represent precisely the practice of stonemasons, although some elements certainly reflect former practices. For instance, anyone wishing to learn the craft of stonemasonry in days gone by would do so in two ways; by either watching and practising next to an experienced workman (i.e. ‘Sitting by Nellie’, as it was known), or by entering into a formal apprenticeship deed with a master. This latter method is reflected in our Society today and, on joining, a candidate does not promptly become a ‘mason’ but is known as an Indentured Apprentice until through time and experience he is able to progress through the seven degrees of the Society, which are:1. Grade I Indentured Apprentice

2.Grade II Fellow of the Craft

3.Grade III Fitter and Marker

4,Grade IV Setter Erector

5.Grade V Intendent, Overseer, Super Intendent and Warden

6.Grade VI Passed Master (Note for Masons: Not Past Master)

7.Grade VII Master Mason, of whom three are Grand Master Masons

Bodies are termed Assemblages, consisting of one Lodge of each Degree, from the fourth to the first, ruled by a Deputy Master Mason. Lodges of the fifht and sixth degree function under the Grand Assemblage, controlled by an authorised Deputy Grand Master Mason. The seventh degree is under direct control of the Grand Assemblage.

The Society is governed by three Grand Master Masons who traditionally hold their offices ad vitam, but waive that right. The First Grand Master Mason retires after a tenure of five years and the Second Grand Master Mason after a period of three years (although both are eligible for reappointment), whilst the office of Third Grand Master Mason terminates annually with the enactment of the Ancient Drama one year after his appointment.

The three Grand Masters are the sole members of the seventh degree Lodge, all others being said to be members of the seventh degree honoris causa. The minimum qualification for the sixth degree is to be an Installed Master in good standing in both the Craft and Mark degrees of speculative Freemasonry. The candidate also has to have attended at least seventy percent of his Assemblage meetings. The Senior Passed Master of a Region confers this degree in a Lodge of Passed Masters, usually held once per year. In his capacity as head of a region the “SPM” is known as a Deputy Grand Master Mason.

The first four degrees are conferred in an Assemblage of Lodges IV° to I°, each degree beyond the first being conferred when the Assemblage is appropriately opened as a Lodge of that degree. The fifty, sixth and seventh degrees are conferred in separate Lodges of those degrees.

The Society has about two thousand members scattered throughout the world in England & Wales, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, France, Canada and Belgium, although Assemblage membership is not restricted to those countries alone.

Each Assemblage, however, has considerable furniture and equipment, all of which has its basis in antiquity and is related to the craft of stonemasonry.

All ceremonies are distinctly English in character. No matter where they are being worked, they are always conducted in English and the first toast at the luncheon or dinner which follows the meeting, is always to the Monarch of the United Kingdom.

Regalia is simple, apart from the Grand Master Masons and the Grand Clerk, the regalia is minimal and consists simply of a blue collarette or cord from which is suspended the badge of one’s grade. Badges are exchanged as progression is made.

A candidate for the Society must be a Master Mason, a Mark Master Mason and a Royal Arch Companion in good standing. Once accepted, a candidate can progress to the Vº without additional qualification, but must be an Installed Master in both Craft and Mark before he can be promoted to the VIº.

There are two Assemblages meeting in the area of the Masonic Province of East Kent.

The nearest for members of Loyal and True is the Leeds Castle Assemblage at Balmoral Road, Gillingham.

Meetings are held on the second Friday in April (except Easter), July and September.

Contact Details

Name : Stephen Gallacher

Position: Clerk

Telephone: 01322 551310

Email: Stephen Gallacher

Website : non

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