Welcome to Hertford Chapter 403
One of the oldest Royal Arch Chapters in the UK, and the oldest in the Province of Hertfordshire.
The Royal Arch is the continuation of Craft Freemasonry. Its members, called Companions, meet in Chapters under a Grand Chapter.
Chapters are ruled over by three Principals, who rule conjointly, and the Grand Chapter is ruled over by three Grand Principals, with a Pro First Grand Principal when the First Grand Principal is a Royal Prince.
In England, the Royal Arch is considered to be the completion of "pure ancient Masonry". In the Craft the candidate is presented with a series of eminently practical principles and tenets which if he practises them he may hope to live a life pleasing to his God, however he worships him, and of service to his fellow man. But man is not simply a practical being, he has an essential spiritual aspect to his nature. That spiritual aspect is introduced in the Third Degree, in which the candidate is led to a contemplation of man's inevitable destiny, and becomes the central message of the Royal Arch. In that sense, "pure ancient Masonry" can be seen as a journey of self - knowledge and discovery with the Royal Arch completing the practical lessons of the Craft by a contemplation of man's spiritual nature, not replacing but reinforcing and supporting what he has learned from his religion.