The Consecration of a New Preceptory


On Friday the 8th May 2015 at the Masonic Hall, Croydon, the Provincial Prior of Surrey, RE Knight Michael J Banbury, consecrated the St Michael at Bisley Preceptory No 693. A team of willing volunteers gathered at Oakfield Road early that morning to set up the Temple and prepare the changing rooms for the arrival of the Knights.

From 2 pm Knights of the Province started gathering in the Temple. Just after 2.45 pm the Knights were called to order to receive the Provincial Deputy Marshals, E.Kts. Tim Ford and Mark Winchester, followed by two Aides-de-Camp, E.Kts. Andy Fox and Paul Fitzgerald, leading the Processional Cross carried by E.Kt. Hugh Saville. Following the Processional Cross, the Provincial Prelate, VE Knight David Allonby and the Provincial Marshal.

The Consecrating Officer, RE Knight Michael J Banbury, led by the Acting Provincial Sword Bearer, Kt. Graham McLashen, and followed by the Provincial Standard Bearer, E.Kt. Miguel Godfrey, entered in procession, accompanied by the Assisting Officers, assumed the Throne and opened a Chapter of Provincial Priory. The Consecrating Officer was saluted under the command of the Provincial Marshal, E.Kt. Chris Eley. The Consecrating Officer stated the object of the meeting, the Provincial Prelate offered Prayers and then delivered an Oration on the Nature and Principles of the Order. The Consecrating Officer called upon the Brother Knights whose names are appended to the Petition to appear before him in the West and the Provincial Vice Chancellor, E.Kt. Peter Brown read the Warrant.

After questioning the Knights Petitioner, the Consecrating Officer Constituted the Preceptory; following which the Knights Petitioner marched in procession round the Preceptory and the Consecrating Officer scattered the corn, poured the wine and sprinkled the oil.

The Provincial Prelate perambulated the Preceptory three times; censing the Altar and Sepulchre, the Consecrating Officers and finally the Petitioners and Bro. Knights. He then lit the candles on the Sepulchre. The Standards were lowered before the Consecrating Officer who consecrated them. The Provincial Prelate pronounced the Invocation, the Standards were raised and placed in the West.

The Knights Petitioner then formed round the Sepulchre facing East while the Provincial Prelate read a passage from the Bible. The Consecrating Officer Dedicated and Consecrated the Preceptory. The Knights Petitioner resumed their stations and remain standing while the Provincial Heralds proclaimed that the St Michael at Bisley Preceptory regularly registered as No. 693 on the roll of the Great Priory of England and Wales and its Provinces Overseas has this day been duly consecrated under the command of the Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master.

The Preceptory was called off for a few minutes and on his return the Consecrating Officer invited the Provincial Sub Prior, VE.Knight Pat Crossan, to perform the Installation Ceremony. Eminent Knight Nigel Harding was duly installed, and proclaimed Eminent Preceptor of the St Michael at Bisley Preceptory No. 693. Then followed the appointment and investiture of the Officers and the regular business of the Preceptory. After the collection of Alms the Consecrating Officer retired in procession accompanied by the Assisting Officers.

The Knights of St Michael at Bisley Preceptory and their guests dined together in fraternal union at the Croydon Masonic Centre, toasting the health and happiness of the newly consecrated Preceptory

Article and photographs by Chris Eley

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