The Supreme Council 33º for England Wales and its Districts and Chapters Overseas and formed in 1845 is the governing body for the A & A R in England. It consists of 9 members and has been based at its headquarters at 10 Duke Street, St. James’ London since 1911. It is responsible for all matters pertaining to the Order within its jurisdiction including Ritual matters, Consecrations and conferring the higher degrees of the 30º – 33º during ceremonies which it carries out regularly at Convocations held at its headquarters.
In 1872 the Supreme Council decided to divide England and Wales into Districts under the direction of Inspectors General. Each District is ruled by an Inspector General who is invariably promoted to 33º.They are appointed for 5 years but are eligible for reappointment. They have certain powers delegated to them by Supreme Council and they are normally assisted by a District Recorder but there is no District organization similar to that in the Craft, Royal Arch, Mark, Knights Templar, etc.
The History of the Order in Somerset was said to begin in 1852 with the granting of a warrant for the founding of ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL Chapter to meet in the City of Bath. By 1870, Somerset had more Chapters than any other County in England and Wales, including the City of London. In complete contrast there followed a period when there was no development in the County until 1955. A period of 85 years, during which time Supreme Council warranted 286 Chapters in England and Wales, and many more overseas in Crown Dependencies. In 1873. The Chapters at Bath, Taunton, and Weston-super-Mare, along with those at Exeter, Plymouth, and Newport, Monmouthshire, were formed into the SOUTH-WESTERN DISTRICT.
Having experienced administrative problems, it is not surprising that SC decided upon a re-structuring of the District and in 1909 removed the South Wales Chapters leaving Somerset, Devonshire and Cornwall as they were. In the late 1930s SC once again introduced a re-structuring, this time removing Devon and Cornwall as one entity, and merging Wiltshire with Somerset. It is interesting to note, that at the time, there were no Chapters in Wiltshire. In 1987 Supreme Council once again re-structured the District, by merging Wiltshire with Dorset, and thereby granting SOMERSET the independent status it now holds and merits.
The Order amplifies the teachings of Craft Masonry within a Christian context, for which reason candidates must profess the Trinitarian Christian Faith.
The District of Somerset comprises twenty Chapters meeting in ten Masonic Centres. Meetings are very friendly and relaxed with members sharing a commitment to Christian fellowship and a deep understanding of this beautiful Masonic Order. They all conclude with a Festive Board.
Brethren who are interested in this Degree can gain further information from the District Recorder who can be e-mailed via the Contact Page.