The Royds Royal Arch Chapter was consecrated on Thursday 8th February 1934 by E.Comp. S. S. Somers PGH, taking its name from Albert Hudson Royds, the Provincial Grand Master for Worcestershire from 1866 to 1878. It meets at Malvern Masonic Hall, which stands on Belle Vue Terrace in the centre of Great Malvern.

Royal Arch Masonry

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 and Wales, the Royal Arch is considered to be the completion of Pure Ancient Masonry. During the three degrees of Craft Freemasonry, a Mason is presented with a series of eminently practical principles and tenets. If practised, these may result in him living 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.

This spiritual aspect is introduced in the Third Degree of Freemasonry, during which a Mason is led to a contemplation of man’s inevitable destiny, and forms the central message of the Royal Arch. In this sense, Pure Ancient Masonry can be seen as a journey of self-knowledge and discovery, with the Royal Arch completing the practical lessons by a contemplation of man’s spiritual nature.

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, the title by which Craft Freemasons are known. This 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.


There are many reasons why a Freemason should feel motivated to join the Royal Arch, not least of which is the undoubted fact that it is a spiritually rewarding, colourful and joyful experience. A more practical reason is that by the solemn Act of Union between the two Grand Lodges of Freemasons of England in December 1813, it was, declared and pronounced that, “Pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, viz., those of the Entered Apprentice, The Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch.”

The prime qualification for admission into the Royal Arch is to be a Master Mason of at least four weeks standing. As in all other Masonic Orders, candidates for membership must have a proposer and seconder who are members of the Chapter in which they seek to be exalted.

If you are a Master Mason of at least four weeks standing and are interesting in becoming a Royal Arch Mason, please contact us. We welcome all enquiries and would be delighted to answer any questions you may have.

If you are not a Freemason and are interested in becoming a member of our wonderful fraternity, you should direct your enquiry to a Lodge. Details of the Lodges that meet at the Masonic Hall in Great Malvern are available here.