The Masonic Order of Athelstan instructs its members on many symbols and their meaning that has in some jurisdictions been removed from the Craft Lodge. Where these symbols have been retained you will find that they are presented in a more esoteric manner than they are in the Craft Lodge which leads the serious Masonic student down a totally different path of learning and perception.
The aim of the Order of Athelstan is to encourage further study and research.
Three meetings a year are encouraged; two working and a third the Installation. At this meeting the ceremonial is about 40 minutes in total and allows for a 20 minute talk or lecture. This is encouraged by way of an annual Provincial Certificate and a Grand Court Presentation to the best of the best. A number of other incentives have and will be introduced, by way of keeping brethren interested.
Membership is by invitation only. Each candidate (who must be an active and current member of both the Craft and the Holy Royal Arch) is expected to have a wide and committed interest in all aspects of Freemasonry and is carefully chosen for his interest in Masonic history. If a potential candidate holds these requisite qualifications they can be invited to our Festive Board and will be warmly welcomed by all. The intention is to enable brethren to attend the dinner, after the meeting, as a way of introducing them to the Order without disclosing the ritual and workings of the Order.
Like other Masonic ceremonies that use legend and allegory to tell a story and portray good ethical conduct and behaviour. In the Order we use the legend of Athelstan’s York Assembly of 926 as the framework and conduit for ours. We aim to bring to life the 926 Court that was held in York to educate and raise the quality of masonry in 10th Century England and in so doing to explore the development of the Craft over the centuries in order to prompt further study and research. As such our meetings are held in a Court and our candidates are ‘Instructed’ into the Order.
The Masonic Order of Athelstan tells the story of a Master Mason being called to York in 926 AD to receive the Ancient Charges from King Athelstan, the grandson of King Alfred, and the first King of England to be referred to as “The King of All the English.” Throughout its ceremony the ritual contains a great deal of symbolism that is still seen in some Lodges today and a great deal that is not currently worked. It culminates in an historical oration which takes the candidate through the development of the various Grand Lodges, from the appointment of Sir Thomas Gresham in 1567 as the first Speculative Grand Master ending at 1813 with the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England.
In England, the Order is structured so that its Provinces reflect and represent the original Kingdoms and Gilds as they were set up by King Athelstan, so that they are not therefore necessarily co-terminus with the modern counties. Hence, the Province of Kent includes Kent and East Surrey.