Harry Benford 50 Not Out

E Comp Harry Benford, PGSwdB, PDepGSupt

Christopher Wren Chapter No. 4855


Celebrates 50 years of RA Masonry.

Sometimes referred to as one of the Grand Originals, as he has been around Freemasonry since time immemorial.  Companion Harry Benford can certainly boast a long and successful Masonic career as a Royal Arch Mason.


      50 years to be precise, having been Exalted into the Christopher Wren Chapter No. 4855 on 6th February 1971.


This Golden Anniversary was celebrated by the Chapter over a ZOOM meeting held on the 9th February 2021, when the ME Grand Superintendent, E Comp Ian Hopgood, and his Executive Officers accompanied by 40 members and friends of the Chapter gathered to present Harry with a Certificate to mark the occasion.


Harry is best known to most of us for his distinguished service from 1989, with his appointment as the Third Provincial Grand Principal, then Second Provincial Grand Principal, and finally as Deputy Grand Superintendent to ME Grand Superintendent E Comp Robert Faulkner, retiring from that role in 2003.  Among those supporting the occasion were two Berkshire Past Grand Superintendents making a total of seven Past Deputy Grand Superintendents.


The full extent of Companions Harry’s varied and extensive Masonic Career is detailed in the Grand Superintendent’s presentation, which is attached here, and makes remarkably interesting reading.


Berkshire Deputy Grand Superintendents 2019

Berkshire Deputy and Grand Superintendents - Past and Present 2019


Congratulations Harry on achieving this magnificent milestone.



Date posted: 12 February 2021

50 years with David Lloydlangston, PPGSN

Downshire Chapter No. 2437

D LloydlangstonOn Tuesday 1st December 2020, the Downshire Chapter No. 2437 held an historic ZOOM meeting, under the guidance of MEZ, E Comp Neil Hougham and SE, E Comp Rob Wilkinson, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Comp David Lloylangston’s Exaltation into the Downshire Chapter on the 1st December 1970, and to witness a “virtual presentation” of his 50 Year Certificate, presented by the ME Grand Superintendent, E Comp Ian R G Hopgood.

The evening was deemed a great success, even though a key member (David) had forgotten about the meeting and had to be telephoned to remind him his presence was required. A total of 13 Members then joined together for the first time since the March Lockdown to share this celebration of a remarkable and inspirational Royal Arch career with David, and to express their Congratulations.

Golden Wonder – David Lloydlangston - 50 years a Royal Arch Mason

E Comp Ian Hopgood gave a moving summary of David’s background and interests over the past 50 years and there were contributions from many of the members. Ian presented David with his Certificate and a lapel pin to mark the occasion.               Text of ME GSupt's Presentation   See the Certificate

Well done David. Congratulations from us all.          


Date posted: 5 December 2020

COVID-19 Continuation of Suspension

Companions, Please see the latest information received, concerning the effect of Tier 2 on Masonic Activity in Berkshire.

2nd December 2020

Click here for information

Date posted: 2 December 2020

Steve's Bike Ride raises £4,743 for Covid Fund

The ME Grand Su[erintendent announces the results of donations received following Steve Hieke's succesful completion of his Covid Cycle Challenge.  Click here for details.

Date posted: 22 July 2020

Steve Hieke's Crazy Covid Bike Ride

Not a man to stand idle during a Crisis, and concerned about his lockdown weight gain, Companion Steve Hieke of St John’s Chapter No. 795, the Provincial Deputy Grand Director Ceremonies, had decided to make use of the static cycle in his garage, to lose a few pounds, but found it difficult to commit to a regular programme. On hearing this the ME Grand Superintendent E Comp Ian Hopgood felt he needed some motivation and  challenged him to emulate a bike ride he made around the Province some years ago, when Steve and he, along with a number of other Masons, visited every Masonic Centre in the Province, in one day, in the aid of Charity. On this occasion the Grand Superintendent suggested that a suitable cause would be to raise monies for the PGMs Covid -19 Hardship Fund .

Steve readily rose to this Challenge, but decided that due to the present restrictions on travel and social distancing, he would be riding alone, and staying safely at home while carrying out the ride on a fixed cycle, and setting himself the target of “virtually” travelling to each Masonic Centre and back home, each day, or over two days, depending on distance.

Steve set off, at 4.00pm, on the 4th June 2020, to mark the date and time of the Annual Provincial Grand Chapter Convocation, which would have taken place on that day, if Masonic Meetings had not been suspended.

Steve completed this challenge on the 25th June 2020, and, after 22 days, 522 miles, and having spent 34 hours 40 minutes in the saddle, he had “virtually” visited all the Masonic Centres in the Province, where Chapters meet. His progress has been closely monitored, with reports on the website, showing the journey he has made each day. Details of Steve’s weight loss and the monies collected in connection with this Challenge will be published in due course.    Check out Steve's progress here.

Steve  has much appreciated the support he has received during this event and sends his grateful thanks to all who have responded to his initiative, so far, and have made donations towards the PGMs Covid -19 Fund. Donations may be made by cheque, payable to "Provincial Grand Chapter of Berkshire", and sent to the Provincial Grand Scribe E, Berkshire Masonic Centre, Mole Road, Sindlesham, Wokingham, RG41 5EA, or bank details can be obtained from the Provincial Charity Steward, John Kirkpatrick at johnakirkpatrickmas@outlook.com.


         Start 4.33pm on 4th June 2020   5th June 2020 Welcome Vale of White Horse Chapter, Faringdon                              Any offers accepted



Date posted: 17 June 2020

Keeping In Touch

If you want to know more about the various ways in which Lodges and Chapters can keep in touch with their members and Masonry, and how modern technology can help you, have a look at the excellent suggestions on the Craft Website, by clicking the link below.

Click here for more details

Date posted: 16 June 2020

COVID-19 FAQs for Lodges and Chapters

Please click below for advice from the UGLE, relating to problems arising from the suspension of all Masonic activity.

Click for Information

Date posted: 12 April 2020

Berkshire Chapter Ladies Supper 2020

Royal Arch Ladies Supper returns in great style

Over 180 people attended the return of the Annual Ladies Supper in its revised format as a Dinner Dance on Friday 28th February, 2020, when, for one night only the Flavell Suite at Sindlesham Masonic Centre was transformed into the hottest night spot in town.

With low lighting and sweet music, guests were treated to a three course meal, dancing and a top class Cabaret Act in the person of Jay Antonio singing a lively selection of songs from Motown and Soul Classics, which kept the dance floor packed for hours.

An excellent Raffle was arranged during the evening, with winning tickerts being drawn by the RW Provincial Grand Master, E Comp Anthony Howlett-Bolton. The star prize was a well stocked hamper of edibles and consumable items, selected and put together by the Deputy Grand Superintendent E Comp Jem Whitmore and his wife Chrissy, altogether raising over £1,040 for the Berkshire Festival 2023.

The ME Grand Superintendent and his Lady Jane were delighted to see so many people at the event, welcoming them all and and hoping the turnout would set the standard for future occasions.

Date posted: 1 March 2020

Royal Arch Support Group

Berkshire R A Support Group Volunteers

The Provincial Executive and DC’s team, has decided to set up a Support Group (similar to that of the Craft) to assist struggling Chapters in the Province of Berkshire. This will be co-ordinated by E. Comp. Steve Hieke, ProvDepGDC, and overseen by the 2ndProvGP, E. Comp. Mike Warner.

  • A dedicated group of Companions is required who are willing to attend all regular meetings of the identified Chapters, including rehearsals, and to assist with the ritual where required. Group members will be allocated to their preferred Masonic Centres, according to Chapter needs and to that end it will be of great help if those interested in helping can indicate which Masonic Centres they are able to attend and which particular parts of the ritual they can assist with.
    At the present time three Chapters have asked for assistance and the Co-ordinators are looking to have a team of at least four or five Companions per Chapter – each having a Team Leader who will liaise with Steve Hieke.
    The Province is also looking to set up a dedicated team of Companions, with reliable skills, who are able to assist other Chapters within the Province, at short notice, to fill vacant offices due to non-attendance such as illness, work and family commitments.
    Steve Hieke and Mike Warner will also attend as many of these meetings as they can to try boost numbers and assist with the ritual where necessary. Please only apply if you have sufficient time to actively support these Chapters.
    A similar initiative has proved to be very successful within the Craft in Berkshire - and has helped many struggling Lodges, a lot of whom are now flourishing.

If you are interested in helping the Province with this extremely important task, please download and complete the Support Group questionnaire with your details.

Date posted: 13 September 2018