Spring National Vigil & Investiture of the Grand Priory - Belmont Abbey, April 2016

This event was hosted by the Commandery of Wales whose Commander, Chevalier Dr David Woolf KLJ, is to be congratulated on his hard work and attention to detail, which contributed in no small part to a successful occasion.

Nearly 70 members and guests attended the Vigil at 7.00pm on Friday 15th April in the Abbey Church at Belmont, during which 9 postulants made their vows of dedication before the Chaplain-General, Colonel The Revd Fr Ian Evans QHC, SChLJ, MMLJ, and all were led in meditation upon The Beatitudes. The Grand Prior, The Most Honourable the Marquis of Lothian PC, GCLJ and the Bailiff, H.E. The Chevalier Charles Holloway, GCLJ, KMLJ were in attendance. Afterwards, a dinner at Hedley Lodge, formerly part of the Benedictine Community’s buildings, fortified the inner man.

The next day at 11.00am the Service of Investiture was held, over 90 members and guests attending.

Members of the Order processed in to the Abbey Church to the solemn “Choral” from the Suite Gothique by Leon Boellmann. Eight Chaplains attended the Chaplain-General in the sanctuary and the Abbot of Belmont, The Rt Revd Dom Paul Stonham OSB, was the preacher. Music was provided by The Newman Hall Schola under their Director of Music, Dominic Neville MA. Anthems sung were: ‘O taste and see’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1959), between the First Reading and the Gospel, and ‘Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts’ by Henry Purcell (1659-95) before the Intercessions. The Gospel was read by The Revd Fr John Owen SChLJ, Chaplain of the Commandery of Wales, and the The Revd Fr Ray O’Shea TD, ECLJ, Chaplain Emeritus of the Commandery (and a former Chaplain-General of the Grand Priory) conducted the Intercessions. During the hymn preceding the Ceremony of Investiture, a collection was taken for the work of the Benedictine Community at Belmont.

The Investing Officer was The Grand Prior, assisted by The Bailiff and The Secretary-General, Chevalier Gareth Vaughan KCLJ. The Marshal was Chevalier Peter Salt, KCLJ.

The following postulants were admitted to the Order and invested with the decorations appropriate to their rank:

Rhys Llewelyn Jenkins (Cdry of Wales)                

Esquire (ELJ)                      

Daniel Llewellyn Blair Jeremy (Cdry of Wales)                

Esquire (ELJ)                                      

Graham Smith (Cdry of Cumbria)           

Member (MLJ)                                 

Emilio Antonio Chiquito (Cdry of Mersey)              

Member (MLJ)                                                 

Charlotte Natasha Kemp (Cdry of King Offa)          

Member (MLJ)                                                 

Haydn Jones Rees (Cdry of Wales)                

Officer (OLJ)                                      

Craig Frederick Williams, (Cdry of Wales)                

Officer (OLJ)                                                      

Neil Frank Buffin (Cdry of Wales)                

Officer (OLJ)                                      

Jeffrey Keeney Morgan (Cdry of Wales)                

Officer (OLJ)

The following members of the Grand Priory were promoted and invested with the decorations appropriate to their rank:

Charles Anthony Blair Jeremy (Cdry of Wales)                

Member (MLJ) to Officer (OLJ)

Donald Eric Preddy (Cdry of The Marches)    

Member (MLJ) to Officer (OLJ)

Alan Thomas Howls (Cdry of The Marches)    

Officer (OLJ) to Commander (CLJ)           

David Lindsay Watkins (Cdry of Wales)                

Officer (OLJ) to Commander (CLJ)

Alice Anne Howls (Cdry of The Marches)    

Officer (OLJ) to Commander (CLJ)

Anthony William Jeremy (Cdry of Wales)                

Knight (KLJ) to Knight Commander (KCLJ), of Grace

The Very Revd Dr Gareth Adrian Jones (Cdry of Wales)

Assistant Chaplain (AChLJ) to Chaplain (ChLJ)

The Revd Prebendary William Edward Victor Ward (Cdry of The Marches)

Chaplain (ChLJ) to (Senior Chaplain) (SChLJ)

The following were given Awards and invested with the appropriate decorations:

Mrs Dorothy Dervin       

Admitted to the Companionate of Merit in the rank of Member (MMLJ)

Alan Littlewood (CLJ), (Cdry of John of Gaunt)  

Bronze Medal of Merit (BMLJ)

Dame Erica Mary Austin DLJ, (Cdry of Wales)               

Bronze Medal of Merit (BMLJ)

The Grand Prior presented the following members with their Patents of Appointment:

Alan Thomas Howls CLJ                

Appointed to be Commander of The Marches

Keith David Johnson CLJ               

Appointed to be Commander of Avalon

The service concluded with the ‘Regina Coeli’ and a blessing from the Abbot of Belmont, after which the National Anthem was sung and members processed out to the ‘Toccata’ from Boellmann’s Suite Gothique.

A celebratory glass or two of prosecco preceded lunch at Hedley Lodge at which the Abbot of Belmont was the Grand Prior’s guest of honour. Following the Loyal Toast and the toast to the Grand Master, the Grand Prior entertained those present with a speech both amusing and instructive, before proposing the toast to the Order.

Gareth Vaughan KCLJ                                                     Secretary-General – Grand Priory of England & Wales

Photographs below










Alan Littlewood CLJ and Dame Erica Austin DLJ, waiting to receive the Award of Bronze Medal of Merit. Behind them, postulants Daniel James and Emilio Chiquito.










The Grand Prior, Bailiff and members during the service.









Chaplains in the Sanctuary. Left to Right: Revd Fr John Owen SChLJ, Revd Louis Baycock ECLJ, Very Revd Dr Gareth Jones ChLJ, Revd Justin Parker AChLJ.









Postulant Craig Williams (OLJ) delivers the First Reading.

















The Abbot of Belmont, The Rt Revd Dom Paul Stonham OSB, preaching.

















The Revd Fr Ray O'Shea TD, ECLJ, conducting the Intercessions.










The Investiture Ceremony commences. Left to Right: Chev. Gareth Vaughan KCLJ (Secretary-General), H.E. The Chev. Charles Holloway GCLJ (Bailiff), H.E. The Most Honourable the Marquis of Lothian PC, GCLJ (Grand Prior).








Postulants for Admission in the rank of Officer are presented to the Grand Prior.










The Very Revd Dr Gareth Jones is promoted to the rank of Chaplain (ChLJ).
















Chev. David Wheeler KCLJ (Receiver-General) leads the exit procession.
























The Grand Prior, the Bailiff and Chev. Mario Rizzardi (with Gonfalon).















Chev. Peter Hughes KLJ (Receiver, Commandery of Wales) exiting; behind him Chev. Dr David Woolf KLJ (Commander of Wales).
















   The Abbot of Belmont.










The Grand Prior, Bailiff and the Commander of Wales with the Marshal and newly admitted members.










The Marshal (Chev. Peter Salt, KCLJ) & Deputy Marshal (David Knox OLJ) with postulants for admission.









       The Abbot of Belmont at the lectern; seated on the Right, the Chaplain-General, Col. The Revd Fr Ian Evans QHC, SChLJ.
















Postulants Rhys Jenkins (left) and Daniel Jeremy (right), being admitted in the rank of Esquire.
















The Secretary-General, before the service, looking harassed - as well he might!

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