W Bro Simon Bennett LGR (LGCR) reports
As COVID-19 restrictions lifted, the Lodge was planning its first ‘full’ meeting since March 2020. We needed to restart with a bang, so we asked the Metropolitan Grand Chapter Talking Heads Team to visit and provide us with their playlet “Talking Heads – The Next Step: Into the Royal Arch.”
The playlet depicted an encounter between an experienced Past Master, who is also a Royal Arch Companion, and a relatively new Master Mason eager to learn more.
The presentation team for the evening was W Bro Chris Stewart PAGDC (in the role of Past Master), W Bro Martin Simmons LGR (in the role of the Master Mason) and W Bro Christopher Schofield (as the Narrator), all led by W Bro John Peters PJGD (PGSoj) Metropolitan Grand Inspector.
The playlet covered the history of the Order and explained a little about the regalia – especially the jewel that is also worn in Lodges – as well as discussing some of the links with the Craft.
After receiving a warm welcome from Worshipful Master W Bro Tom Jones, the team started with the opening scene of two masons chatting in the anteroom as they don their regalia, after which they started engaging with the brethren present.
The playlet was absorbing and informative, especially for those non-Royal Arch members of the Lodge. It described the way the journey of personal discovery continues beyond the Craft experience, the history of the Order, as well as the likely time and financial commitments needed to reach the completion of pure Ancient Freemasonry.
The performance was delivered with a great deal of good humour between the players, and occasional off-script asides made the event highly enjoyable as well as educational. After the playlet, the team engaged in a question-and-answer session and, at the Festive Board, Bro John Peters provided further information on the other Royal Arch Awareness opportunities that exist.
As a result of the presentation, two of the brethren present that evening have indicated their intention to join the Royal Arch once they have been Raised to the Degree of a Master Mason. One of them was a guest!
Although the Lodge already feeds into two Chapters, as part of the wish of the members of the Lodge of Paul’s Wharf to promote the Royal Arch, a small group from the Lodge is investigating the potential to be directly associated with a Royal Arch Chapter that is seeking to re-affiliate with a Lodge rather than hand in their Charter. The Lodge Secretary, who is also a VO within W Bro John Peters’ Inspectorate, was introduced to a likely partner by W Bro John. The initial discussions have been positive.
The Lodge meeting was a welcome return to Innholders’ Hall after the uncertainties of the COVID-19 lockdown, with all of the more than 30 brethren present thoroughly enjoying themselves both in the temple and at the lively Festive Board.
The first performances of the playlet were given in February 2011, and now Talking Heads Teams have presented on over two hundred occasions both in London and in Provinces throughout England and are available to present to all Lodges. Those Lodges interested in receiving this enjoyable and informative presentation should contact W Bro Russell Woodland, Metropolitan Coordinator for this initiative, via Rosetta or their VO.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 46 October 2021 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons - Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 46.