Chapter of Sincerity No 261

Meets at – The Masonic Hall, Taunton TA1 4EB at 18:30 (except May) on the second Wednesday in
January, March and May and November. Months – January, March, May (18:00) and November.

Consecrated 30th November 1818Meets at the Masonic Hall, The Crescent, Taunton.

In October 1817 seven Royal Arch Companions from the Chapter of Union in Bridgwater who all were residents of Taunton together with Frederick Walker who described himself as a companion of Caledonian Chapter London but there is no trace of his name in the Registers of that Chapter, signed a petition for a Charter to establish a Royal Arch Chapter in Taunton, suggesting that it should bear the name ‘Unanimity’. The three Principals of Union Chapter No 47 added their recommendation and Supreme Grand Chapter gave its approval on 4th February 1818 but they preferred the name ‘Sincerity’, no one appears to have been upset by this recommendation and so the Chapter became Sincerity Chapter.

The early convocations, which were held at The New Inn, Taunton, were concerned with problems about officers, jewels, regalia and furniture but soon new companions were exalted and they were Brethren of Unanimity & Sincerity Lodge in Taunton and in the first 30 years of the Chapter’s existence only 6 brethren form other Lodges were exalted. The ‘Passing the Chair’ ceremony was practised in the early years just as it was used in other Chapters in order that candidates might qualify for exaltation. There are several places recorded in the minutes where the Chapter met before finding a permanent home at the Taunton Masonic Hall. These were the Bird in Hand, Mary Street, Taunton, the London Inn, Taunton, Sweet’s Hotel and Clarkes Hotel where they remained until 1879. It was in 1863 that the re-numeration of lodges took place and both Unanimity & Sincerity Lodge as well as Chapter of Sincerity was given the number 261.

one item that Chapter of Sincerity is rightly proud of is its Royal Arch Tracing Board and until 2015 the only Royal Arch Tracing Board within Somerset. This Tracing Board is first mentioned in the minutes dated 5th February 1827 when ‘it was resolved to purchase the Floor cloth for the Chapter from Companion Townsend for three guineas’. Recently a great deal of research has been done on Royal Arch Tracing Boards and in 2017 the Chapter that meet at the Taunton Masonic Hall were presented by the Grand Superintendent, E Comp D John Bennett with a new Tracing Board.

Chapter of Sincerity Tracing Board

If you would like to find out more about Chapter of Sincerity email 📧 Scribe E – Robert Mark Nicholls

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