What is Royal Arch?

After you have become a Freemason, the journey doesn’t end there. At an appropriate time, to suit you, you have the opportunity to further your discovery of freemasonry by joining the Royal Arch.

The Royal Arch is a beautiful degree, dramatic in its ceremony, and full of allegory and hidden meaning. It takes brotherhood to the next level as Craft Masons become Companions in the Royal Arch. As such it is the completion of a Craft Mason’s journey through ‘Pure and Antient Freemasonry’ from Initiation to Exaltation. 

It is a separate order with an important connection to Craft Freemasonry. It completes the journey that a freemason begins with his initiation.

Together the Craft and the Royal Arch freemasonry form “pure antient masonry” as defined by the Act of Union of 1813 which combined the then two main grand lodges to form the United Grand Lodge of England, our governing body.

The Triple Tau logo

What Is The Ceremony About?

In Craft Freemasonry there are several references to things which were lost, which we hope to find and which will come to those who are diligent and patient and willing to search. These references form the basis of the ceremony of exaltation into the Royal Arch.
This ceremony is based on events that took place almost five-hundred years after those of the master mason’s degree, and is probably the most colourful, beautiful and enlightening ceremony in Freemasonry.

When Is The Best Time To Join?

The minimum qualification is to have been a master mason for at least four weeks. Some brethren join very soon and some wait longer. Much will depend on your personal inclination and circumstances. We encourage brethren to discuss the timing with their personal mentor and their lodge’s Royal Arch representative and to aim to join within a year of becoming a Master Mason.

What Is The Commitment Involved?

Royal Arch Chapters usually meet three or four times each year, and so the time involved and fees payable are both lower than Craft Lodges. There is one admission ceremony, and the work is shared between several members.


What Is The Next Step?

Every Craft Lodge has a Royal Arch representative who can provide further information, help members find a Chapter suited to them and answer questions.

Ready To Join Royal Arch?

There are a number of people in the lodge that can help brethren who are interested in joining Royal Arch including the lodge mentor, lodge chapter representative or any brother wearing a Chapter jewel, be it on a white, red, or tri coloured ribbon.

Alternatively click the button below to contact the Provincial membership officer. 

More Royal Arch Questions...

Freemasonry is not a quasi political or religious organisation, but a means of enhancing our commitment to our social, moral and lawful duties, and our faith in a Supreme Being. The Order of the Royal Arch is the climax of Pure and Antient Freemasonry. The final chapter in a four part enactment which completes the link between this our mortal life and our belief in eternity, thus directing our thoughts to do the will of the Creator.

It is a way of life which teaches us charity of thought and action to not only freemasons but to all our fellow beings; to avoid jealousy and discord by promoting harmony; to subdue all unbecoming passions and prejudices and to cultivate charity. It encourages us to walk justly and uprightly through life, by reminding us that there is one who knows our every thought word and act, and to whom we will have to give an account of all our actions.

Freemasons, of all faiths, who have been Master Masons for at least four weeks can apply for membership of any Chapter, but must be proposed, seconded and balloted for by the members of the Chapter to which they seek admission. The interval between becoming a Master Mason and his exaltation into a Chapter is however a matter for each individual, and will largely depend on his circumstances and readiness for its teachings. Early application however, ensures a greater opportunity to participate in the work and to understand its teachings.

At the beginning of 2023, in this Province of Warwickshire we have 46 Chapters, meeting at 18 different locations with a total of around 1,000 Companions who subscribe to membership of one or more Chapters. Worldwide there are probably in excess of 1.0 million Royal Arch Companions.

The word Companion is derived from two Latin terms “cum” meaning “with” in the sense of being together, and “panis” meaning “bread”. Someone with whom you shared your bread was one who could be trusted with your life, and it suggests a higher affinity than that of a Brother. It is a particularly apt description of a member of the Royal Arch, who has a duty to support and encourage his Companions and attain a high standard of conduct in his personal life.

The Order of the Royal Arch is said to be the completion of Craft Masonry because we complete the Master Mason’s degree and recover what was missing from that ceremony. It has, however, a far deeper meaning. In the symbolic sense, the three Degrees correspond to our passage from darkness to light, our progress from ignorance to knowledge and understanding, and loss with the promise of recovery. The Royal Arch is consequently an integral part of Craft masonry because it completes the symbolism by making good the promise of recovery.

These take a similar form to our Craft meetings, in that we open the Chapter, present certificates, read minutes and carry out other items of business, such as elections, reports etc. However, the main part of our meetings is the ceremony of exalting new candidates. This takes the form of a passion play, which recounts the rebuilding of King Solomon’s Temple by the children of Israel, on their return from their Babylonian captivity. There are also associated lectures explaining the history, the significance of the forms, symbols and ornaments of Royal Arch Masonry, and the mystical knowledge of the Order.

It varies from Chapter to Chapter, but as Chapters meet only three or four times a year, it is generally more modest than the cost of Craft Masonry. On entry there is an exaltation fee to pay and regalia to buy. Each member pays an annual subscription to cover the cost of administration, and it is usual, but not compulsory, to dine after each meeting. Collections for charitable causes are a regular feature, but members contribute only what they can afford without detriment to themselves or other responsibilities.

If you are interested in Royal Arch Masonry, and would like to find out more, we would like to hear from you. We would also like to hear from Freemasons who wish to become members. Please feel free to contact our Provincial Grand Scribe E and we will pass on your details to the Scribe of the Chapter nearest to your home. You may also obtain help and information from Royal Arch representatives in Lodges.

Ex Comp Philip L Hall. Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Provincial Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Warwickshire

Warwickshire Royal Arch Masonry


My aim is that Exaltation should be an aspiration of every freemason rather than just another order to join and that becoming a freemason involves four steps, not three.

Whether or not you are a member of the Royal Arch then this website aims to provide you with all the information you will require to understand what is Royal Arch; what it does; why should I Join the Royal Arch and what to do when you decide to join.

The site also contains all you need to know about the Warwickshire Province and all that is going on including details of our various charitable giving and charity schemes.

There are regular updates in our Latest News section and please visit the site regularly so as to stay up to date and to learn about what is going on across the Province.

If there is anything not covered but where you need further information, then contact us.

E Comp Philip L Hall
Most Excellent Grand Superintendent
Provincial Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Warwickshire

Pure and Antient Freemasonry consists of three degrees and no more, those of the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason including the Supreme Order of the Royal Arch.