THE CHAPTER OF HOPE No 2679 Short History
The first meeting to consider the formation of a Holy Royal Arch Chapter was held in the Masonic Rooms, Barton Road, Patricroft on 1st August, 1917. This was followed by a meeting held on 1st October, 1917 when it was agreed that:-
That the Exaltation Fee would be £3. 3. 0 Three Guinea’s (£3.15)
That the Joining Fee would be £1. 1. 0 One Guinea (£1.05)
That the Annual Subscription would be £1. 6. 0 (£1.30)
That the Founders Fee would be £10. 10. 0 Ten Guinea’s (£10.50)
That the three Principals would be:- E.Comp. E. J. Chambers as Z. E.Comp. W. L. C. Bowden as H. Comp. S. Cowan as J. At the meeting of Supreme Grand Chapter held on 6th February, 1918 the Petition for the Chapter of Hope No. 2679 to be formed was granted. It was confirmed the Chapter would meet at the Masonic Rooms, Barton Road Patricroft on the second Friday in February, April, October and December.
The Lodge of Hope No. 2679 approached the Chapter offering the use of any furniture the Chapter may wish to use. The consecration of the Chapter of Hope No. 2679 took place at The Masonic Rooms, Barton Road, Patricroft, at 3-30 p.m. on Saturday 28th September, 1918. The consecrating Principal was The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent The Hon. Sir Arthur Stanley, G.B.E., C.B., M.V.O., M.P. The Founders being from Victoria Chapter No.1345 and Urmston Chapter No. 1730.
The Chapter met in The Masonic Rooms at the Conservative Club, Barton Road until 8th December 1939 when the 20th Installation after Consecration was held at Elm Bank, Half Edge Lane, Eccles and has been held there four time a year ever since.
It would be wrong to say the Chapter had not passed through troublesome times, at one period there were a large number of resignations but the records do not give any reasons also during 1964 the Chapter suffered a very severe loss due to the deaths of: E.Comp. J. W. Hooley, H. E.Comp. E. W. Bromley, Treasurer. E.Comp. T. Smith, P.Pr.A.G.D.C, Janitor E.Comp. S. Pimblett, P.Z. all of whom were very active workers for the benefit of the Chapter.
The 50th Anniversary meeting of the Chapter was held on Friday 11th October 1968 at Elm Bank and was attended by E.Comp G. Ward Platt P.G.Treas., 2nd Pr.G.Principal, E.Comp Earnest Heaton P.A.G.Soj., Assistant to the Grand Superintendent, E.Comp. A. Cowling P.A.G.S., Pr.G.D.C.
From this time the Chapter had a constant supply of candidates for Exaltation indeed many of the convocations were double ceremonies. The first Convocation, apart from Installations, which did not have the Exaltation of at least one candidate was not until April 1972. During this period, on 9th October 1970 our longest serving Companion, E.Comp. Brian Crossley P.G.Std.B., was Exalted by E.Comp J. Edden Jnr.
On 26th April 1974, after a short sequence of Convocations with no candidates E.Comp. John Christopher Hutton P.A.G.Soj., PPr2nd G.P. received his Exaltation into the chapter by E.Comp H Edden.
At the convocation held on the 9th October 1981 it was proposed and passed that E.Comp Joe Hall PGStdB be granted honorary membership of the Chapter in recognition of his 50th year in Freemasonry and his role as Group Chairman.
The Chapter received a Dispensation for the April 2006 Convocation to be convened on 5th May 2006 for the dedication of the new Robes for the three Principals. This was carried out by E.Comp Rev. Kenneth Cox accompanied by E.Comp John C Hutton PGStdB, Assistant to the Three Grand Principals and other Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter.
At the Installation Convocation on 14th December 2007, along with a ballot for a candidate for Exaltation four members of Andrew Chapter 3328 joined, following the recent handing-in of its warrant.
The Convocation held on 12th April 2013 the Chapter hosted Representatives of The Royal College of Surgeons who gave an insight into the research work which was being funded largely by grants from The Royal Arch. This convocation was attended by 45 visiting Companions.
On 9th October 2015 the Chapter gave a demonstration of the Enhanced Exaltation Ceremony, and at the February 2016 Convocation W.Bro L Heathcote (the father of the Chapter’s 2nd Principal) became the first Candidate to receive this enhanced an explained version of the ceremony. With the increase in numbers of candidates an emergency meeting was held in November of that year rather than the practice in the early days of the chapter of performing joint Exaltations.
The Convocation held on Friday 13th October 2017 dedicated the banner which the Chapter had commissioned to mark its centenary. This was attended by Comp Paul Renton Deputy Grand Superintendent and the dedication carried out by Comp Barry Jameson 2nd PrGP
The Convocation held on Friday 8th December 2017 was the Installation of E.Comp Harry Cropper PPrAGSoj as 1st Principal of the Chapter for its centenary year
Since its dedication the chapter has had a total of 304 members including Founders and a current membership of 23 active members. Over the past 99 years the chapter has had members exalted into the chapter from sixty lodges and had joining members from nine chapters. Six members have been promoted to Supreme Grand Chapter and one became the Second Provincial Grand Principal. There have been seventy-two Provincial appointments.
The chapter is honoured to have the present Group Chairman and Vice Chairman as members. In past years as well as at this moment in time chapter members have been active on the Elm Bank Management team.