St. Pauls Preceptory
Knights Templar No. 466
The full title of this Order is – The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, in England and Wales and Provinces Overseas. The Order is governed by Great Priory in London.
The earliest reference to this Masonic Order occurred at around 1777, but it was not until 1845 that the ritual was standardised and the order steadily expanded. Today there are over 600 Preceptories on the roll of The Great Priory of England and Wales and Provinces Overseas. Whilst there is no claim to any historical connection to the medieval Military Orders of this name, the ritual is based around its history and exploits and the “Rule” of the Order given to them by the Pope.
Meetings of this Order are held in a Preceptory and presided over by a Preceptor. The regalia is most impressive, and is based on the costume of our medieval counterparts: it comprises of a mantle, tunic, cap, sash, cross, star, belt and sword.
This degree commemorates the actions of a band of knights who were granted refuge within the sacred precincts of King Solomon’s Temple by Baldwin II, King of Jerusalem in 1118. A candidate for installation is admitted in the character and garb of a pilgrim and is required, symbolically, to undergo a period of pilgrimage and warfare culminating in taking the vows of a crusader. Having conducted himself courageously, he is then instructed how penance and meditation play will prepare him for Christian knighthood. Finally he is received, clothed, armed and proclaimed a Knight of the Temple.