The Masonic Order of Athelstan
The Masonic Order of Athelstan
in England, Wales and its Provinces Overseas ~ Province of Sussex

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The History of the Provincial Grand Court of Sussex

Masonic Order of AthelstanIn July 2006 R W Bro Brian James Prevett became the first Provincial Grand Master for this Athelstan Province of Sussex – at which time he was not even a member of the Order!

In September 2006, Brian, together with four other brethren, who included John Hickman the current Provincial Grand Treasurer, was ‘Instructed’ into the Order in The Court of Ætheling No. 10 in East Anglia.

Brian was now Provincial Grand Master but he did not as yet have any Courts in his Province – the geographical boundary of which comprised Hampshire & Isle of Wight, South Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex and The Channel Islands and was one of the largest Provinces of any Masonic Order in the South of England.

The first Athelstan Court established in the Province was in the County of Sussex; The Court of Prince Edmund No. 24 was consecrated at Chichester on 26th May 2007 with Brian Prevett as Primus Master. Following the consecration of this first court in the new Athelstan Province of Sussex, W Bro Brian was installed Provincial Grand Master and his title in the Order became “Right Worshipful Brother”. Two further Courts were founded that same year - The Court of Ælle No. 25 on 9th June 2007 at Herstmonceux, north of Eastbourne, and Archbishop Æthelhelm Court No. 34 on 20th December 2007 at the Nutfield Masonic Hall in Redhill, Surrey.

The Primus Master of the Court of Ælle No. 25 was to have been Peter Fynmore, but unfortunately Peter suffered a broken leg the day before the consecration and the Founding Immediate Past Master Bill Leach undertook the role and was installed Primus Master with Terry Brown as Founding Secretary.

A few months later on 20th December 2007 at Nutfield Masonic Hall, R W Bro Brian assisted by Provincial Officers and other members of the Province, consecrated Archbishop Æthelhelm Court No. 34. The Primus Master was Roy Leavers and Peter McCarthy was Founding Secretary.

With the Consecration of Archbishop Æthelhelm Court, the Province was now established in the Craft Provinces of both Sussex and Surrey.

The next court - the Court of The South Saxons No 60 - was founded at the Ferring Village Hall in West Sussex on 30th November 2009. M W Bro Michael Roalfe, Grand Master assisted by Provincial Grand Master Brian Prevett and members of the Province officiated at the consecration. Ross Everett was Primus Master and the Founding Secretary was Gene Earland.

The next court, The Court of King Alfred the Great No. 79, was consecrated at Winchester in Hampshire on 27th April 2012. Again, Provincial Grand Master Brian Prevett and his Provincial Team officiated as the consecrating team. The Primus Master was Alan Paxton and Founding Secretary was Ron Bentley.

The Province now consisted of FOUR Courts and was established in the Craft Provinces of Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire & Isle of Wight.

On 28th November 2012 M W Bro Michael Roalfe, Grand Master, again assisted by Brian Prevett and members of the Province officiated at the consecration of The Court of Harrow Way No. 88 at Guildford in Surrey. W Bro Louis Keats was Primus Master and the Founding Secretary was W Bro Roy Leavers.

From the time of the founding of the Order in 2005, it was the wish of those involved in the Inauguration of the Masonic Order of Athelstan to have THREE ‘Flagship’ Courts to represent: - Grand Court determined that these Flagship Courts were to bear the Numbers of 1, 50 and 100 respectively.

The first of these courts - The Court of Eorforwic No. 1 - was established at York on 4th August 2007 in the Province of Lindsey. This was followed on 31st May 2008 when Malmesbury Court No. 100 was consecrated at Malmesbury in the Province of Wessex. The last of the 3 Flagship Courts named The Coronation Stone Court No. 50 was consecrated on 27th January 2014 at Surbiton in Surrey by the current Grand Master M W Bro Paul Weldon Johnson, assisted by Provincial Grand Master Brian Prevett and Officers of the Province of Sussex.

The Rood at Sudtone Sari Court No. 106 was the next court to be established in the Province at Sutton in Surrey on 11th March 2015. The consecration was carried out by the Deputy Grand Master R W Bro John Lloyd with Brian Prevett and his Provincial Officers again assisting. Primus Master of this court was Brian Wareham with Leonard Hayward becoming Founding Secretary. There were now EIGHT Courts in the Province of Sussex.

R W Bro Roy Leavers, who had been appointed Deputy Provincial Grand Master in early 2014, stepped down in May 2015 and W Bro Lionel Mee was appointed the new Deputy Provincial Grand Master in July of that year.

R W Bro Brian Prevett retired as Provincial Grand Master on 31st December 2015 after nine years in office and W Bro Lionel Broadbent Mee was installed as the new Provincial Grand Master on Saturday, 2nd April 2016 by the Grand Master at Chichester Masonic Hall in West Sussex. On the same day R W Bro Lionel appointed W Bro Michael Daniel Ellis as Deputy Provincial Grand Master.

In June 2016, The Ridgeway Court No. 7 - which had been founded at Thame in Oxfordshire in May 2006 in the Province of Hwicce - was assigned to the Province of Sussex bringing the number of Courts in the Province of Sussex to NINE.

The next court to be established in the Province was on Tuesday, 11th October 2016 at Croydon in Surrey when the Sword of Constantine Court No. 120 was consecrated by the Grand Master assisted by Provincial Grand Master R W Bro Lionel Mee and Officers of Grand and Provincial Grand Court. W Bro Ian Clark was Installed Primus Master and W Bro Justin Hollingsworth was appointed Founding Secretary.

By the close of 2016 the Province had thus expanded to TEN Courts.

On 20th January 2017 however, the Ridgeway Court No. 7 was removed from the Roll of Courts on the Register of the Order as no regular meetings had been held since May 2013.

By mid-2016 the Coronation Stone Court No. 50 which had been established with 24 brethren in January 2014, had expanded rapidly and grown to almost 50 members. The membership now included the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Assistant Grand Master for the Americas, 5 Present & Past Rulers in Freemasonry, a number of Present and Past Provincial Grand Masters and other Brethren of distinction. At the meeting of the Court in June 2016 the members voted to amend its By-Laws to allow for:- After due consideration, and in accordance with the revised By-Laws, the Grand Master removed the Court from the Province of Sussex on 23rd January 2017 to become an Unattached Court within the Order reporting directly by Grand Court.

With the removal of the Ridgeway Court and Coronation Stone Court from the Province of Sussex, the number of Courts in the Province was reduced to EIGHT.

Ten Years of the Order in Sussex
To commemorate the Tenth Anniversary of the founding of the Order in May 2007, a Celebration Dinner & Dance was hosted in June 2017 by the Provincial Grand Master R W Bro Lionel Mee and his wife Deirdre at the Chichester Park Hotel in West Sussex. More than 70 Members of the Order their partners and Guests attended and thoroughly enjoyed the proceedings.

Founding of the Court of Wiht-land No. 123
In early 2017 a Petitioners Meeting was held at the West Cowes Masonic Hall with a view to forming a Court on the Isle of Wight. This culminated with the submission of a Petition to the Grand Master for a new Court to be named “The Court of Wiht-land” to meet at Ryde. The Petition was duly approved and the Court was consecrated by the Most Worshipful Grand Master on Wednesday, 6th December 2017 at the West Cowes Masonic Hall. The Primus Master was W Bro Colin Wilson, a long time resident of the Island and the principal organiser of the new Court. He is also a member of The Court of King Alfred the Great No. 79 in Winchester. The Founding Secretary was W Bro Colin Maddison.

Founding of the Court of Sion Abbey No. 126
In June 2017 a Petitioners Meeting was held at the Middlesex Craft Headquarters at Cole Court for the establishment of another new Court in the Province to meet at the Masonic Centre in Twickenham. The Petition for “The Court of Sion Abbey” was submitted to the Grand Master in September2017 and approved in the November. R W Bro Lionel Mee, Provincial Grand Master, having been given the honour of Consecrating Officer by the Most Worshipful Grand Master conducted the ceremony of consecration for the new Court on Wednesday, 28th February 2018. He was assisted by Officers of Grand and Provincial Grand Court. W Bro Martin Smith, the principal organiser of the new Court and also a member of The Rood At Sudtone Sari Court No 106 meeting at Sutton in Surrey, was installed as Primus Master by the Deputy Provincial Grand Mater W Bro Mike Ellis. The Founding Secretary was W Bro Roger Short.

Following the establishment of the Courts of Wiht-land and Sion Abbey, the Province once again comprises of 10 Courts and the Masonic Order of Athelstan now has a presence in the Craft Provinces of Hampshire & Isle of Wight, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex.

Appointment of a new Deputy Provincial Grand Master – April 2019
At the Annual Assembly of Provincial Grand Court on Saturday, 6th April 2019 held at Chichester in West Sussex, V W Bro Mike Ellis, KSM, PGSwdB stepped down as Deputy Provincial Grand Master after three years in Office and W. Bro. Mark Peter Donovan, KSM, Provincial Grand Marshal, was appointed the new Deputy Provincial Grand Master. Prior to appointing and installing W Bro Mark in Office, the Provincial Grand Master R W Bro Lionel Mee thanked V W Bro Mike for his excellent contribution and dedicated service to the Province during his term of office.

There are currently 210 members with a total of 230 memberships in the Province.

The future of the Athelstan Province of Sussex is very much alive and doing well!

November 2019

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