The Ancient and Accepted Rite for England and Wales and its Districts and Chapters Overseas, originated in France, and is more popularly known as ‘Rose Croix’, the name of the 18th degree.
Practised extensively throughout the World, the Order in England and Wales, and certain Districts and Chapters Overseas, is governed by the Supreme Council 33°. The Council, formed in 1845, has its headquarters at St. James's, London, which is known as the Grand East.
The complete Order comprises 33 degrees, of which only the 18° is worked in full in our private Chapters. The first three degrees of Craft Masonry are accepted as the equivalent of the first three degrees of this Order, the 4th to the 17th ‘Intermediate Degrees’ are conferred by name as a prelude to the 18°. (The King Edward VII Chapter of Improvement regularly demonstrates one or two of the Intermediate Degrees in full at various locations around the country).
The ceremony of the 18° seeks the Perfection of Christian virtues in Faith, Hope and Charity. It is an immensely thought provoking, impressive and beautiful ceremony which instils a warmth of Brotherly love on which the whole Masonic movement is founded.
The higher degrees, for those who have progressed through the Sovereign’s Chair, are conferred by the Supreme Council at the Grand East in London.
The Order amplifies the teachings of Craft Masonry within a Christian context, for which reason candidates for the ‘Rose Croix’ must:
(a) Be of high moral standing and prepared to sign a declaration professing a belief in the Trinitarian Christian Faith.
(b) Have been initiated in a Lodge recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England.
(c) Have been a Master Mason for at least one full year and be in good standing.
As with other Masonic Orders, members are, in the fullness of time, invited to take progressive Office, the demands of which are not arduous – rather, enjoyable and fulfilling - culminating in election to the Chair.
The regalia of the 18o consists of a spectacular Collar and Jewel. This regalia is both eye catching and not inexpensive, therefore, in Nottinghamshire, the Brethren of the Rite support a scheme whereby candidates make a one-off payment of £45 to secure regalia for their entire Rose Croix career, 18° to 32° if necessary; neither gloves nor black tie are worn at our meetings.
The District of Nottinghamshire has 15 Chapters working the 18°, and there is one Higher Degrees Chapter. At least one Chapter is to be found at every Masonic Hall in Nottinghamshire and, with most meeting just three times a year, subscriptions are modest and there is a one-off Perfection fee.
Visiting within the Order is heartily encouraged and is extremely popular with the membership. Waiting to be invited to attend a particular Chapter is unnecessary, simply informing the Chapter Recorder of your intention to attend is enough to ensure a warm welcome.
Membership is open to all Master Masons fulfilling the necessary criteria, and potential candidates are encouraged to express their interest to any member.
This is not just the friendliest but also the most relaxed and unique Order of Freemasonry.
It is unique in that, albeit numerically similar in size to the Mark degree in Nottinghamshire, it doesn’t have a team of District Officers or large executive, just an Inspector General assisted by a District Recorder, and this low hierarchical system makes for a very friendly and relaxed Order in which there are no salutations or ceremonial processions. The Obligations do not contain penalties, the word of a Christian being sufficient, and all brethren witness all aspects of the 18° and Enthronement ceremonies.
For further information please contact the District Recorder, or any member of the order.