The members of Aughton Lodge No 7996, at their regular meeting at the Ormskirk Masonic Hall hosted a rendition of the Masonic playlet entitled ‘Talking Heads’. This presentation was adapted from the work developed by the Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London with the intention of raising awareness of the Royal Arch to members of the Craft who have not yet to take that step.
The action takes the form of a dialogue between an experienced past master and a relatively new master Mason as they arrive to get ready for a lodge meeting. The scene is set by a narrator who goes on to interject at various points in the dialogue to add supporting information at the appropriate point.
Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Paul Renton once again donned his acting cap and undertook the role of the narrator with the assistance of David Harrison taking the part of the experienced past master and member of the Royal Arch; and dressed as the new questioning master Mason was Iain Brown. A screen and a projector were suitably placed in the lodge room to allow illustrations and information to further highlight the narrative of the production.
The WM of Aughton Lodge Stewart Cranage had posted an open invitation to other lodges in the group to attend the presentation and on this occasion the lodge was honoured by the presence of grand officer and Ormskirk Group Chairman Frank Umbers, along with the group vice chairman Stephen Brereton.
Stewart duly opened the lodge with a very warm welcome and conducted the regular business of the evening informing all how much he had been looking forward to the presentation having himself appeared in an earlier production.
The play commenced with Paul, in his role as the narrator, humourlessly introducing David and Iain and informing all that the action was to take place in the robing room prior to the commencement of a lodge meeting. After the usual greetings, Iain began by commenting about how much he had learnt in the short time he had been a Mason and how, after each meeting he had more questions to ask. David responded by saying he was always willing to help and encourage and to provide information for the inquiring mind. Iain began by asking David as to the Masonic relevance of a tie he was wearing and jewel he had just put in his breast pocket. David pointed out that the tie and jewel showed that he was a member of the Royal Arch, a beautiful order closely related to the Craft.
Curiosity raised, Iain continued with his questions to which David responded, describing how the present Royal Arch came into being as a result of the union of the two grand lodges in the early 1800’s. Further questions revealed the relevance of the Royal Arch to the Craft and provided information regarding the background to the ritual and what was expected of a Royal Arch companion in terms of commitment, time and cost of membership. From time to time Paul was asked to shed further light on aspects raised during the proceedings, this was further highlighted by numerous informative slides and illustrations. The presentation concluded with the distribution of a leaflet entitled, ‘The next step in Freemasonry’ and an introduction to the lodge and group Royal Arch contact who just happened to be the lodge’s very own WM.
Paul brought the proceedings to a close by saying that this was in no way to be considered a ‘hard sell’ and he hoped that the presentation had provided those brothers present, who were not members of the Royal Arch, with much food for thought. Indeed it may also have furthered the Masonic knowledge of those brethren who are already members.
Later at the festive board Stewart thanked Paul and his team for their excellent presentation of ‘Talking Heads’ commenting that he hoped that this had provided an insight into the Royal Arch and hopefully some encouragement to those brethren who were yet to consider taking the next step.