Re-opening of Royal Arch meetings: Gresham Chapter

Gresham Chapter was fortunate that their last meeting was in February before the first lockdown. Able to ballot for the Principals Elect, which reduced some of the pressure. The Scribe E,Pantelis Poullais, realised that it was going to be a difficult task ahead with all the Government social distancing measures in place and to ensure that the health and safety of the members to be of paramount importance. 

Gresham Chapter

A Summons was issued in line with Supreme Grand Chapter guidelines with a view of establishing, initially, who was willing to attend such a meeting in order to achieve the required quorum, bearing in mind that many of the members are in the shielding group. Initially concerns were also raised at that time, that the Chapter may only be able to conduct a single ceremony.
However, they managed to get eleven Companions willing to attend, but two had withdrawn due to their vulnerability. In the end, nine Companions including the Principals Elect and PZ’d confirmed their attendance, so that paved the way for a meeting to go ahead. 

That led to the next phase of piecing together a ritual that would be acceptable to the Companions and in line with SGC guidelines at the time. Within the ritual the Chapter had two full installation ceremonies and an induction to perform. The challenge for those attending was the predominant factor with how we were going to maintain the social distancing and stay safe, but not to detract too far from the actual Domatic ceremony.

The layout of the temple was important and kept simple by only using the Pedestal as the focal point. All other items that would be prone to cross-contamination were not to be used, mindful that the furnishings at Cheshunt are shared with other Chapters. A decision was also made not to wear personal regalia to reduce any possible contamination. 

So there were many issues to deal with and this increased the pressure but those willing to attend were still enthusiastic. 

The Scribe E put together an adapted ceremony and passed it through the Chapter DC, Jason Roberts. After his input with a few tweaks here and there we reached an agreement and we were ready to go. The adapted ceremony was then emailed to the Companions attending so they were fully briefed prior to the meeting enabling any issues raised to be addressed.