Ben Scott-Nelson, of St Giles’ Lodge, was exalted in to Castle Chapter on 15 January 2016. Here he describes his reasons for joining the Royal Arch and his initial experiences.
Having been enthralled by the three degrees of Craft Masonry and loving my time at the St. Giles’ Lodge, I was keen to learn about Royal Arch Chapter as I was told it was the completion of the Masonic degrees, and I was curious about what I had learned of the secrets at the time of my raising ceremony. Everyone I had talked to in Chapter thoroughly enjoyed being part of it and I couldn’t wait to get involved; I was looking forward to meeting a new group of friends from a range of different lodges, and also experiencing meetings at Goldsmith Street, as my lodge is in West Bridgford.
On the run up to the exaltation I got progressively more excited as I bought my new regalia (tie (optional), gloves, apron, sash and jewel) and looked over the Provincial Website more times than I can remember so that I had a bit of background before the evening… quite geeky I know, but I found the history and tradition of the order just captivating. It couldn’t have prepared me for the evening itself though, as the experience was an incredible blur of colour, drama and historical ritual which left me open-mouthed and feeling utterly privileged to be a part of something very special. A whole new set of questions were answered, and I feel that I have advanced enormously on my Masonic journey.
Joining the Royal Arch now also means that I have the option to advance to further orders such as Knights Templar, which has always been a fascination, but for now I am going to enjoy my time in Lodge and Chapter, relish the new friendships I have made and get myself involved as much as possible so that I can fill in the gaps and develop a fuller understanding of the craft.