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Royal Arch By-Laws

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THE PROVINCIAL GRAND CHAPTER OF NORFOLK

  1. The Provincial Grand Chapter shall consist of all present Provincial Grand Officers and the Principals of all Chapters within the Province, and also (so long as they may respectively be both members of Supreme Grand Chapter and subscribing members of a Chapter within the Province) the Past Provincial Grand Officers and Past First Principals of any Chapter under the English Constitution, as well as those Past Provincial Grand Officers who are not Past Principals.
  2. The Annual Convocation of the Provincial Grand Chapter shall be held in June or July, unless the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent (or in his absence, his Deputy) shall otherwise direct, at a time and place to be fixed by him, at which meeting the election of the Provincial Grand Treasurer and the appointment of the other Provincial Grand Officers shall take place. Especial meetings of the Provincial Grand Chapter may be convened by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent (or in his absence, his Deputy) whenever in his judgement it may be necessary. At Annual and Especial Meetings, Companions not Members of Provincial Grand Chapter (providing they be Subscribing Members to some Chapter under the English Constitution, or Members under a Constitution recognised by Supreme Grand Chapter) may, by permission of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, be allowed to be present, but not to take part in any of the proceedings.
    The First Principal of each Chapter, or, in his absence, a Present or Past Principal present, (who is himself a member of Provincial Grand Chapter) shall answer for the qualification for any Members of his Chapter who may present themselves as Visitors to the Provincial Grand Chapter, and the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, or Provincial Grand Scribe N., shall satisfy himself as to the qualification of every Visitor who may not be thus satisfactorily vouched for.
  3. Provincial Grand Officers (Present and Past) shall take precedence amongst themselves within the Province in similar order to Officers of the Supreme Grand Chapter holding, or having held, corresponding ranks. The duties of all Provincial Grand Officers shall, as nearly as possible, be similar to those of Grand Officers holding like appointments.
  4. A Report of the proceedings of every meeting of the Provincial Grand Chapter shall be inserted in the Masonic Yearbook of the Province. The convening Summons of every approaching Provincial Grand Chapter shall be transmitted to all Members of the Provincial Grand Chapter.
  5. A Provincial Grand Chapter Fund, having been established for charitable and other Masonic purposes, every Chapter in the Province shall contribute annually, within one month of the end of its financial year, the sum of fifteen pounds (£15), or such lesser amount as the Provincial Grand Chapter may determine, for every subscribing member.
    Every Companion, on his appointment or election to any of the under-mentioned Offices, or to the corresponding Past Rank, shall pay to the Provincial Grand Chapter Fund the Registration Fee specified below:
    Provincial Grand Principal: Such fee as is required by Supreme Grand Chapter All other Provincial Grand Officers:- 
    On first appointment £30
    On any subsequent promotion £20
    No fee shall be payable on any re-appointment.
    In addition to the above, the following fees shall be payable to the Fund:-
    For a Dispensation £10
  6. The Committee of General Purposes shall meet as directed by the Grand Superintendent or, in his absence, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, It shall consist of the Grand Superintendent, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, the Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals, the Provincial Grand Scribes E and N., the Provincial Grand Treasurer, the Provincial Grand Registrar, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, the Provincial Grand Almoner and the Provincial Assistant Grand Scribe E. Three Members of the Committee (exclusive of the Provincial Grand Treasurer) shall form a quorum.
    The Committee may originate and recommend to Provincial Grand Chapter whatever it may deem necessary or advantageous for the welfare of the Province. Further, it shall consider all such matters relating to the general business and administration of the Province as may, from time to time, be referred to it. The Grand Superintendent or, in his absence, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, has the power to co-opt any other member of Provincial Grand Chapter and/or  appoint sub-Committees to enquire into and report upon any specific matter. All transactions of all Committees and sub-Committees of Provincial Grand Chapter shall be entered in a Minute Book by the Provincial Grand Scribe E. The Grand Superintendent, or in his absence the Deputy Grand Superintendent, or in their absence the Second Provincial Grand Principal, or in the absence of all three, the Third Provincial Grand Principal shall be, ex-officio, Chairman of all Committees of Provincial Grand Chapter. In the absence of all of these, the meeting shall be re-convened.
  7. The Accounts of the Provincial Grand Chapter shall be made up to the 31st day of December in each year and shall be examined by two Members of the Provincial Grand Chapter who shall have been elected for that purpose at the preceding Annual Convocation of the Provincial Grand Chapter.
  8. All monies belonging to the Provincial Grand Chapter shall be received by the Provincial Grand Treasurer, who shall pay the amount to the credit of the Provincial Grand Chapter at such bank as the Provincial Grand Chapter may decide. All payments shall, as far as possible, be authorised by the Provincial Grand Treasurer or Deputy Grand Superintendent and also by one of the following: the Provincial Grand Scribe E.: the Provincial Grand Registrar.
  9. The Provincial Grand Treasurer shall be elected annually and all nominations for that office shall be received by the Provincial Grand Scribe E. on, or before, the 31st day of January in each year, in order that the same may be inserted in the Summons convening the Meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter.
  10. The Provincial Grand Scribe E. shall issue Summonses for all Meetings of the Provincial Grand Chapter and its Committees and shall attend and take minutes of the proceedings. He shall:-
    keep a register of the Present and Past Provincial Grand Officers, receive and record the returns from the several Chapters and at all times, when required by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, produce his records and send extracts therefrom to him, or other Officer(s) appointed by him, for that purpose.
    The Provincial Grand Scribe E and his Assistant shall be paid such remuneration as the Committee of General Purposes may approve, together with travelling and other expenses incurred in the discharge of the duties of the Office.
  11. All Masonic applications of communications to the Grand Superintendent shall be made through the Provincial Grand Scribe E.
  12. The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies shall have the arrangement and direction of all Processions and Ceremonies of the Provincial Grand Chapter. The Provincial Grand Scribe E. shall be responsible for the Regalia and Jewels  belonging to it. Every Provincial Grand Officer may retain in his possession, the Jewel and the Insignia of his Office on signing the receipt book and an undertaking to return the same in good condition on or before the next Annual Convocation of the Provincial Grand Chapter.
  13. The Provincial Grand Janitor shall attend the meetings of the Provincial Grand Chapter and, when so attending, he shall be paid such sum as the Committee of General Purposes may recommend and the Provincial Grand Chapter decide. He shall see that every Companion is properly clothed before entering the Provincial Grand Chapter. He shall also give assistance as the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies may direct.
  14. Every Chapter in the Province shall by its Scribe E, in such format as the Committee of General Purposes shall from time to time prescribe, submit a return of the persons who were, during such year, its subscribing members. Any Chapter failing to make its return and transmit the amount of its dues within one month after the end of each of its financial year shall be subject to such admonishment as the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent shall deem expedient. If any Chapter shall for the space of twelve months’ neglect to make its returns and payments, none of the members of that Chapter shall be allowed to appear at any Meeting of the Provincial Grand Chapter, or its Committees, or participate in any of the Provincial Grand Chapter Funds until the returns are made and all arrears paid. In case of continued neglect after due admonition, such Chapter shall be reported to Supreme Grand Chapter.
  15. Every Chapter in the Province shall annually, immediately after the Installation of the Principals, make a return in such format as the Committee of General Purposes shall from time to time prescribe, of the Principals, Past Principals, and of all members entitled to vote in the Provincial Grand Chapter by reason of having served the Office of First Principal in some other Chapter (specifying the Chapter in which each of them has so served), accompanied by confirmation that the current year Audited Accounts have been proposed and approved by the chapter members. No Companion shall be permitted to attend the Provincial Grand Chapter as a Principal or Past Principal unless his name shall appear in the aforementioned return. The return shall also contain the full names and contact details of the First Principal, Treasurer and Scribe E. of the Chapter, as prescribed in Gen. Regulation 60.
  16. Every Chapter in the Province shall be represented at the Meetings of the Provincial Grand Chapter either by its Principals or past First Principals.
  17. The First Principal of each Chapter shall cause a copy of the Summons of every meeting of the Chapter to be forwarded to the Provincial Office, prior to each meeting of the Chapter, by email for review and distribution to the Provincial Chapter Executive.
  18. Notice in writing of any Motion to be brought forward at a Meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter (complimentary thanks and similar resolutions excepted) shall, except as provided in By-Law 19, be sent, with the name of the Mover, to the Provincial Grand Scribe E to be received on, or before, the 31st day of January in each year, in order that the same may be inserted in the Summons convening the Meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter. Otherwise, the Motion cannot be brought forward without the special sanction of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent. Should any Member fail to bring forward the Resolution standing in his name, it shall fall, unless some other Member shall, by leave of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, move it. No Motions, By-Laws, or Resolutions, duly passed and adopted at any Meeting of the Provincial Grand Chapter, shall require confirmation.
  19. These By-Laws shall be reproduced in the Provincial Masonic Year Book and shall be binding on all Chapters in the Province. No By-Law shall be amended or repealed, or any new one introduced, unless notice in writing thereof shall have been received by the Provincial Grand Scribe E. on or before the 31st day of January, and forwarded to each member of the Committee of General Purposes, which Committee shall report thereon at the next meeting of the Provincial Grand Chapter.

John Adrian Parfitt
Provincial Grand Scribe E.

These by-laws were approved and passed by the Provincial Grand Chapter at the Annual Convocation held on 29th May 2024, and by:
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Norfolk Michael R Butler.