The Mark Degree is the largest degree after the Craft and Chapter and whilst the Book of Constitutions states that pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, namely the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch, this does not take into account the fact that before the Act of Union between the two Grand Lodges of Freemasons in 1813 a form of Mark Degree was being extensively worked in London and the Provinces.
In many countries the Mark Degree still forms part of either Craft or Royal Arch Masonry and candidates can become Mark Master Masons as soon as they have been passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft. However, in England the Mark Degree is totally separate from the Craft having its own Grand Lodge, founded in 1856.
The Degree itself is one of hope and encouragement, dealing with the building of King Solomon's Temple. Its message is one of contemplation of human strength and weakness. It shows that the wisest amongst us can be mistaken, that the experts are frequently wrong and that the weakest can show more determination than the strongest.
In this Province there are 48 Mark Lodges, which are overseen, as in the Craft, by a Provincial Grand Master, a Deputy Provincial Grand Master, an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, a Provincial Grand Secretary, and a full supporting Executive Team. The Province is divided into Groups and each has a Group Representative. A Visiting Grand Officer is allocated to each Lodge who is responsible to the Group Representative.
The present Provincial Grand Master of Mark Master Masons is Right Worshipful Brother George J Deacon and in this Province the ties between Craft, Chapter and the Mark Degree have never been closer.
Many of the Craft and Chapter senior officers have been enthusiastic Mark Masons, these include the Immediate Past Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Brian C Bellinger PPGSD, a Past Master of Mercury Lodge of Mark Master Masons No 777, RW Bro Alan Chun a Past Grand Junior Warden and Past Provincial Grand Master of this Province, RW Bro Ernest F R Moss PPGSD and a Past Provincial Grand Master of this Province, VW Bro Cdr R A Champion RN, a Past Grand Junior Warden and a Past Deputy PGM of this Province. Dr Roger H. Jago PGSO, Past Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, is a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master in the Mark Degree. His Successor as Grand Superintendent W Bro Phillip Alan Berman PAGDC is a very enthusiastic member of the Mark Degree being Past Master of two Mark Lodges in this Province, Phoenix No. 2 T.I. and the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge No. 1796.
It is also pleasing to note that at this present time every Head of the other Masonic Orders which meet in this Province of Hampshire & Isle of Wight are members of the Mark and the Royal Ark Mariner Degree.
Like the Craft, the Mark Province is also deeply committed to the pursuit of Charity and is very proud of its achievements in this respect. Finally, as the Craft has the Royal Arch Chapter, so the Mark Degree has the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners. This Degree is about two hundred years old and is governed by the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons under the Grand Master's Royal Ark Council and in the Province the 27 RAM Lodges in the Order are managed by the Provincial Mark Executive.
Brethren, if you would like to take the fourth regular step in Freemasonry by becoming a Mark Master Mason either contact your local Mark Lodge Secretary or use the Link from this website to the Mark Website to find out more. "Among Mark Master Masons you will ever find friends who will administer relief to your distress and comfort in your affliction."
RW Bro George J Deacon
Mark Provincial Grand Master