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18 JANUARY 2021

Martin Luther King Jr Day

Martin Luther King Jr

15 January 1929 - 4 April 1968

More than 50 years after his death, Martin Luther King Jr's legacy lives on.

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Jr Day is a federal holiday in the United States of America and is held on the third Monday in January.  It celebrates the life and achievements of the hugely influential American civil rights leader, The Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

A chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism and one of the leading figures of the civil rights movement, his words live long in the memory of millions worldwide.

Martin Luther King Jr - Lincoln Memorial

Martin Luther King Jr pictured as he addressed crowds during the 'March On Washington' at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, where he gave his 'I Have A Dream' speech.

Some of Dr King’s powerful quotes:

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

"True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice."

"We've got some difficult days ahead.  But it really doesn't matter with me now because I've been to the mountaintop...  I've looked over and I've seen the promised land.  I may not get there with you.  But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land."

“I have a dream...”

Knights Templar everywhere can learn much from studying Dr King's life and message and, of course, see how his inspiration and commitment was rooted in his devotion to the teachings of his and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

KT - Cross

In memoria aeterna erit iustus.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

The just shall be in everlasting remembrance.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.


KT - Cross


8 JANUARY 2021

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have received Covid-19 vaccinations, a Buckingham Palace has reported.

The Queen  Prince Philip

The royal source said the vaccinations were administered by a household doctor at Windsor Castle.  The source added that the Queen decided to let it be known she had had the vaccination in order to prevent further speculation.

The Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, are among more than 1.5 million people in the UK to have had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine so far.

People aged 80 and over in the UK are among the high-priority groups who are being given the vaccine first.

The couple have been spending the lockdown in England at their Windsor Castle home after deciding to have a quiet Christmas at their Berkshire residence, instead of the traditional royal family gathering at Sandringham.



Epiphany is an ancient Christian festival and is celebrated across the world in numerous ways.

The word comes from the Greek έπιφάνεια (epiphaneia) which means the “manifestation” or the “showing forth” of Jesus to non-Jews (the Gentiles) after his incarnation (his birth).
In the Western Church we usually relate this to the arrival of the Magi at the house where the Holy Family were living, some 2 years after the birth of Jesus.
In the Orthodox or Eastern Church the word is Theophany (
meaning the appearance of God.

According to the Holy Bible in the Gospel of St Matthew (Chapter 2:verse 11) they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Epiphany - gifts

The Gospel account indicates that the Magi had been following a star
which led them to the house where they found Jesus, his mother Mary and Joseph:

Epiphany - a star

The star which the Magi followed can remind us of the lovely Epiphany Carol
by William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898):

As with gladness, men of old
Did the guiding star behold
As with joy they hailed its light
Leading onward, beaming bright
So, most glorious Lord, may we
Evermore be led to Thee.

As with joyful steps they sped
To that lowly household bed
There to bend the knee before
Him Whom Heaven and earth adore;
So may we with willing feet
Ever seek Thy mercy seat.

As they offered gifts most rare
 In that homestead plain and bare;
So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King.

Holy Jesus, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.

In the heavenly country bright,
Need they no created light;
Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown,
Thou its Sun which goes not down;
There forever may we sing
Alleluias to our King!


 Or as the Gospel of St Matthew (Chapter 2, verse 10) puts it:

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”


This event is re-enacted by some children:

Epiphany - children

Epiphany could also represent the flight of the Holy Family into Eygpt
in order to escape Herod's anger and the murder of boys under 2 years in Bethlehem:

Epiphany - Flight into Eygpt


 In Eastern churches, Epiphany usually celebrates the baptism of Jesus by St John the Baptist,
in the River Jordan:

Epiphany - Jesus Baptism

Alternatively it also commemorates Jesus' first miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana in Galilee,
where he turned jars of water into high quality wine:

Epiphany - Cana  Magi

All of these celebrations and images seek to illustrate 'Epiphany'
'the showing forth' or 'revelation' of Jesus to non-Jews (that is, the Gentiles) -
on various occasions during His life.



Dymunwn flwyddyn newydd fendithiol a heddychlon i chi
(We wish you a glorious and peaceful New Year)

The first second:

New Year 2021

Here are some words from Minnie Louise Haskins’ poem which the then Princess Elizabeth (now Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) gave to her father, the late King George VI, to say during his Christmas broadcast in 1939:

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:

“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.  That shall be to you better than a light and safer than a known way.”



The last minute:

Big Ben at 23.59 31 December 2020

Great Clock, Elizabeth Tower, London

The last seconds:

  Count down to New Year - 4  Count down to New Year - 3  Count down to New Year - 2   Count down to New Year - 1

Count down to New Year - 0

Count down to New Year - 00


27 December 2019

One of special days (a Feastday) which the Order observes is that of Saint John, the Apostle and Evangelist.

St John the Evangelist

In the first extract from the Holy Bible below we read St John's own accound of his encounter with Jesus.  The second piece is from St John's Gospel.  St John is sometimes depicted as an eagle and similarly used in church lecterns to hold the Bible - carrying the Word of God across the world.

The Epistle

1 St. John 1.1-end

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, That God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all un-righteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

St John the Evangelist - lectern

The Gospel

St. John 21.19-end

Jesus said unto Peter, Follow me. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, That that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which if they should be written every one, I suppose, that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.

St John the Evangelist

A Prayer

Merciful Lord, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon thy Church,
that, it being enlightened by the doctrine
of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John,
may so walk in the light of thy truth,
that it may at length attain to the light of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

KT - Cross



Have you ever wondered whether it actually ever snows at Christmas-time in the Holy Land?

You may remember the Christmas carol usually sung to a tune by Gustav Holst with the words written by Christina Rossetti in about 1872, entitled: "In the bleak mid-winter" :

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ..

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

So the question is whether Rossetti was writing with "poetic licence" or did she know that it did occasi onallysnow at Christmas-time in the Holy Land?

The answer is a definite 'Yes'.  It certainly does snow there and the following photographs taken on 12 and 13 December 2013 show it snowing in Bethlehem and Jerusalem:

Snow in Jerusalem

Jerusalem - Christmas 2013

Snow at the Dome of the Rock

A Palestinian youth throws a snowball in front of the Dome of the Rock
at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the old city of Jerusalem
on 12 December 2013
as a winter weather front hit the region,
bringing early snow and a steep drop in temperatures.

The first Knights Templar believed that the Dome of the Rock was the original Temple of Solomon.  Consequently, when they made the site their headquarters, they came to be known as the Knights of the Temple - in short the Knights Templar - hence our name today.

Snow in Jerusalem

Jerusalem - Christmas 2013

Snow in Jerusalem

Jerusalem - 13 December 2013

Snow in Jerusalem

Jerusalem - 13 December 2013

Bethlehem - 12 December 2013

Snowing at Christmas in Bethlehem

Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity
12 December 2013

Jerusalem Cross

Jerusalem Cross



 We are pleased to send our most heart-felt Good Wishes and Blessings to the hundreds of individuals who read items on this website every day of the year.  On this special day we pray that God will keep you safe in His Love and in the New Year ahead grant us all a Peaceful time in the knowledge that He is ALWAYS with us.

One of our Assistant Chaplains, Tony, has recorded the following carols and we hope that you will enjoy listening to them.

Oh Holy Night


Mary Did You Know

Silent Night




Christmas - 2017

Illuminated Letter 'A' - Venturino Mercati (c. 1450-1500)

At this most Holy and Joyful Christmas time we sent our very Best Wishes and Blessings to all of the
Knights and Dames of the Sovereign and Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem throughout the world
and to the hundreds of others who visit these pages on a daily basis.

A Blessing

May God
(the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - Ever and Only One)

bless, preserve and keep you safe

in His Love and Care today

and in the New Year ahead


The Grand Prior of All Britain and Grand Prior of Wales

In the Holy Bible, the Gospel of St John tells us who the Babe at Bethlehem is - none other than Jesus, the incarnate Word of God, the Creator and Lord of All .....

John 1: 1 ─ 14

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 He was in the beginning with God.  3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.  8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.  9 That was the true Light, which gives light to every man coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

12 But as many as receive Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.



[Advent Sunday 29 November 2020 to Christmas]

Advent Candles


O Lord our God,
make us watchful and keep us faithful
as we await the coming of your Son our Lord;
that, when he shall appear,
he may not find us sleeping in sin
but active in his service
and joyful in his praise;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Advent Star

Advent Star


Advent and Candles


Welcome to Advent, our theme for this year is one of light in the darkness.


Light in the darkness 1


Imagine for a moment, the world just before the birth of Christ; a world that was dark, in need of salvation, a world that was lost and believed in its own righteousness, a world of empire and of human laws.

The Light arrived in the most inauspicious of circumstances, born to a carpenter and his bride-to-be in a stable in Bethlehem.  This event was largely ignored by the human world at the time but let’s not rush ahead.  Advent is a special season in which we look at the events that led to the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

The first candle is a candle of hope; the hope that those early prophets such as Daniel and Samuel had in God, the faith that they held, knowing the Holy Spirit would move, and bring a new possibility, a new way, a change for good, a hope that in this moment things would never be the same again.

And so we can light the candle for this first period in Advent:


Advent Candle 1


We hold that hope of change, especially at this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty and increasing secularisation.  But there is good news, we get to be hope-givers to a weary and hurting world.  We get to share our hope so that others are liberated and can also walk free from chains of despair, or addiction, or fear.  We have that faith that God will send the Holy Spirit, His Light upon us.

And so we pray:

Creator God, who saw a world in darkness.  And when you saw your people losing hope, you kindled the flame within them and sent hope to the world that was not an empty hope but a hope that has moved through your people and that has touched the hearts of many the hope that we can bring and live out, that we can inspire others and bring your kingdom closer.  Amen.

Advent 2

Our theme for the second period of Advent is peace.  When I say that word … “Peace”, what comes to mind?  Perhaps a pristine snow-draped mountain, a deserted beach, a quiet fireside and a good book?  Or maybe it’s an image less tangible, or maybe peace is more of a feeling?  A state of being?  A person whose presence brings peace?

Most renditions of the Christmas story begin with the angel Gabriel telling Mary she is to bear a son.  Yet in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus’ birth story parallels that of John the Baptist.  Months before visiting Mary, Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to announce that Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth, would bear a son to be named John.  Because he is so old, Zechariah, not unlike Abraham (see Genesis 18: 10-12), questions whether paternity is possible, like Mary’s initial response to her improbable pregnancy.  But while Mary’s question is answered, Zechariah is chastised for doubting, then struck mute for the duration of his wife’s pregnancy.

Looking at Zechariah for a moment it’s tempting to see him as being punished but I wonder if he was in fact blessed: how many of us would like to just shut out all things for a moment?  Muting the perpetual cycle of thought brings a calm, a quiet, it brings a greater peace.  We are called to mute our own thoughts.  With quiet minds and open hearts, we find rest in the peace that surpasses all understanding.

And so we can light the candles for the second period of Advent.  We hold onto that calm, that peace that the Lord sends, whatever form it takes.  We keep in mind how we don’t just receive the gift of peace from God but we also have a duty and a calling to share that peace with others, not just in our gathering as one family but out in the world also, to let others see it in our lives.


Advent Candle 2

So we pray:

Loving God who knows the world your people are in today, who sees the distractions, the trials and the dangers we face.  Grant us your peace, a peace that comes from the knowledge that you are our God, that you stand beside us all, and that we are beloved in you father.  Amen.

Advent 3

Our theme for the third period of Advent is love.  How do we define love?  Is it nurturing?  Sacrificial?  Affirming?  Poets, scholars, playwrights and artists have wrestled with this question since the time of the Old Testament.  Indeed, we will all have our own ideas of what love is.

What if I said love is freedom?  There is an incredible sense of power and freedom in both giving and receiving love without condition or expectation.  The experience can be so profound that we lose track of whether we’re the giver or receiver.  This is the love Jesus would later preach on in his ministry.  The Love of God.


Love in advent is especially poignant, Mary’s love of God provides her with the courage to give herself to God’s plan.  We sometimes forget that she was a teenager, yet she displays a love and courage well beyond her years.  She, in receiving that gift of love, freely gives it in the purest way in her caring for and journeying with Jesus for his whole life.


Joseph, moved by his love of Mary commits himself to be a guardian, an adoptive father to Jesus.  Indeed we see the very real gamut of emotions that he feels before he returns to Mary’s side.  His love drives him to protect the baby Jesus, to teach him as he grew, to give him a trade and an idea of what it was to be a man.

And as we light a candle for the third period of Advent we think of the love that God showers on us so freely, the profound and limitless love that he gave to come and be among us, to give us the gift of salvation, of hope and to change everything in one loving act.

Advent Candle 3

Let us pray:

Loving Lord, you devoted yourself to us the moment you created us and you reaffirmed that love when you came to earth on a cold night in Bethlehem.  You chose Mary and Joseph, and trusted them with this task.  You helped them to build a family based on love, with you at the core.  We ask Lord that you move in our lives too.  Let us love intently and freely.  Let us love as you love, Lord.  Amen.



Advent 4

Our theme for the fourth period of Advent is joy.  We so often confuse joy and happiness, but is happiness not fleeting?  We can all think of some examples: a delicious meal is interrupted and goes cold; a happy day out ends; a holiday becomes a past event.  Joy though is something that remains.  The moment of joy may pass but the feeling remains long after.

Joy is always so good that it has to be shared.  In telling the Christmas story, think of the last time you felt joy, real joy.  What happened in the lead-up to that moment?  The Gospel writers remind us that when things seem darkest, joy can come in unexpected places and in small packages.

Light in the darkness 2

A lesson I learned in my life before the church, working with children and teenagers is that they have such a unique way of seeing the world, they remind us of the joy of playing, giving, learning, and loving.  In the presence of such joy, our inner child can help us feel joy in a way we as adults are maybe not used to.  In that freedom of feeling, can we reflect the joy we feel back to those we meet daily, that joy that Christ brings?

As we have journeyed together this Advent we have looked at Hope, Peace, Love and Joy.  It’s no accident that they come in this order, they are interconnected and flow from each other.

A special thing happens as we open to the possibility of hope: we realise that we are not alone.  When we live in the understanding of peace, we act as a channel for it, as in the prayer sometimes attributed to St Francis.  When we give love, we are truly doing the Lord’s work and in that we find joy.  We find all of these in each other as we have walked this path together as one people under Christ.

And so as we light the candle for joy let’s remember the joy of the Holy Family.  There is the joy that Mary would have felt as she felt baby Jesus kicking; the joy of Joseph as he watched his beloved wife move throughout the trimesters of pregnancy and the joy that the two of them must have felt the moment they held their new-born son in their arms knowing that their almost impossible journey had led to this moment when they saw the joy for all humanity, who lay in their arms.

Advent Candle 4

Let us pray:

Dear God, thank you for all the joyful moments that we have experienced in this most difficult of years.  Thank you for all the times when we have helped people and been helped ourselves so that we have had a chance to give and receive the joy that comes from the unity of one Christian family.  Thank you for the birth of baby Jesus and the joy that this has given people.  We pray Lord, help us to experience true joy this Christmas.  Amen.



Final thoughts.

Is it me or, with the passing of the old year, does it feel as if we’ve finished one movie and are moving into the sequel?

I was thinking about the season of the New Year, what it means; new beginnings, new starts and the possibilities that brings.  Not much will have changed in the world by the time you read these words, Covid-19 will still be out there, we will still be in lockdown but what if we don’t need the world to be new, what if it us who need to be new?  Hear me out in 2020 we were caught off guard, we didn’t know how to handle a global pandemic but now we have learned to adapt.

Yes, we all miss the normal we are used to, but as St Paul himself tells us: “Be on the alert.  Stand firm in the faith.  Be people of courage.  Be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13)  I don’t know about you but I find those words comforting, there are many lessons we could learn from our brothers and sisters in antiquity.  They were not hiding from Covid-19 but from the Romans, yet they endured, they outlasted their foe.

That’s what I believe 2021 will hold for us, like those who followed Moses into the desert, like those who met in secret in Rome, those who bucked the trend in Corinth, we must walk in faith: that God will be alongside us.  The road we walk in 2021 will not be an easy one but we will walk it together in faith, in love and in fellowship.

As always, my brothers and sisters, my prayers for you are that you are happy and safe.


[Assistant Chaplain]

Advent Star



      Go forth into the world in peace;

      be of good courage;

      hold fast to that which is good;

      render to no one evil for evil;

      strengthen the fainthearted;

      support the weak;

      help the afflicted;

      honour everyone;

      love and serve the Lord,

         rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit; and

      May Christ the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you,

      scatter the darkness from before your path,

      and make you ready to meet him when he comes in glory;


      Mae Bendith Duw Hollalluog,          The blessing of God Almighty,

      y Tad, y Mab a'r                            the Father, the Son, and

        Ysbryd Glân,                                  the Holy Spirit,

      a fo yn eich plith ac                        be among you and

      a drigo gyda chwi yn wastad.          remain with you always.

      Amen.                                           Amen.


KT - Cross



The Time of Remembrancing

Lest We Forget

Armistice Day : 11 November 2020

Poppy Logo - 1      

Remembance Soldier 1Poppy Wreath  Remembance Soldier 2

     1918 - Battlefield, France  2019 - Thiepval, France
                1918 - Battlefield, France                                   2019 - Thiepval, France

                                                  Westminster Abbey November 2020

The Queen paid a private visit to the Abbey and stood at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior:

       HMQ  Westminster Abbey - 1     HMQ  Westminster Abbey - 2

   HMQ  Westminster Abbey - 3    HMQ  Westminster Abbey - 4

Her Majesty bowed her head to honour all those killed while serving their country, as a floral tribute inspired by her bridal bouquet was placed on her grave.

It was the Queen's idea to have a small, private service to mark 100 years since the unidentified British serviceman was laid to rest there on 11 November 1920, in the presence of her grandfather George V and her father, the then future King George VI.

She was driven from Windsor Castle  to Buckingham Palace, where the royal standard briefly flew to mark her first visit to her official London residence since March.

Wearing a black coat, hat and gloves, the Jardine Star brooch pinned under her poppy and a black mask trimmed with white, she then arrived at the Abbey with just her equerry, Lieutenant Colonel Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah.

Inside, she stood close to the black Belgian marble tombstone lined with poppies in the western nave of the building as the Dean of Westminster Abbey, The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, led prayers.

The Queen then moved to look at a bouquet of white and lilac orchids, myrtle and greens, created by a palace florist to reflect the one she carried on her wedding day, touching them briefly before her equerry knelt to place them on the tomb.

After a moment of silent reflection and more prayers, Piper to the Sovereign, Richard Grisdale, played the lament “The Flowers of the Forest” from the organ loft overhead.

Her Majesty’s poignant gesture echoed that of her mother who, as Elizabeth Bowes-Lyonplaced her own bridal bouquet at the same spot in 1923.  The Queen Mother’s touching tribute was made in memory of her brother Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon, who died aged 26 in the Battle of Loos in 1915.  It has inspired many royal brides to leave their own bouquets on the tomb – usually a day after the wedding.

This week marks the centenary of the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and also of the Cenotaphwhich was unveiled by George V during the unknown serviceman’s funeral procession on Armistice Day 1920.

The warrior’s remains were brought back from the World War One battlefields of Northern France and laid to rest in the Abbey, where thousands filed past to pay their respects.  It became a moment of collective mourning for the nation and one that the Queen was determined to commemorate.

A royal source said: “The grave of the unknown warrior is as relevant and poignant today as it was when Her Majesty's grandfather and father stood in the abbey at its side 100 years ago.  It holds enormous significance for the country and the royal family.  The Queen was keen that the centenary was marked appropriately.  A simple but deeply personal act reflecting a tradition started by her mother 97 years ago felt the right thing to do."

Poppy Pin - We Will Remember     Poppy Pin - All Gave Some

KT - Cross

In memoria aeterna erit iustus.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

The just shall be in everlasting remembrance.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them,


KT - Cross


9 November 2020

31st Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

9 November 1989

Berlin Wall - Crowd   Berlin Wall - on the wall

Berlin Wall Celebrations


Covid-19 restrictions, unfortunately, have limited public observances of Remembarnce Sunday so below are some items which may assist you to contemplate, in silence, the sacrifices made by men, women and children across the world due to the wars and conflicts of the last 100+ years:

Silent Remembrance coin

Remembrance Sunday : 8 November 2020

Souls of the Righteous

Poppy Pin

                            A Prayer for the Fallen

                                     Remember, O Lord

             all those who have died the death of honour and
       are departed in the hope of resurrection to Eternal Life,
                   especially the Officers, Men and Women
                          of our Sea, Land and, Air Forces,
               to whom it was given to lay down their lives
                     for the cause of Freedom and Justice.

                          In your heavenly place of Light,
        where pain, sorrow, tears and mourning are no more,
            give them rest, O Lord, the Lover of all people.

                         Grant this for Jesus Christ’s sake.


 Poppy Pin - We Will Remember    Poppy Pin - All Gave Some

                          In Flanders Field       All gave some

In Flanders Fields - in script

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
  That mark our place; and in the sky
  The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
  Loved and were loved, and now we lie
      In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
  The torch; be yours to hold it high.
  If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
      In Flanders fields.

Lt Colonel John McCrae was a Canadian soldier, physician and poet.  He wrote this poem on 3 May 1915.  In the above autographed copy of the poem from In Flanders Fields and Other Poems, his handwritten version ends the first line with "grow", unlike the printed copy in the same book where the first line ends with "blow".

                   In Flanders Fields - Lt Colonel John McCrae      In Flanders Fields - 1921 page 1

In Flanders Fields - red poppies

KT - Cross

In memoria aeterna erit iustus.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

The just shall be in everlasting remembrance.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them,


KT - Cross


All Souls' Tide : 2 November 2020

   Crowned Cross

Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis,
Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam


 At this All Souls' Tide we remember past Knights Templar
and particularly those who have kept the Christian Faith
in their lives, actions, homes, hearts and minds.

Especially we give thanks to God for those who have died for the Faith.

Therefore we recall those Knights Templar who have suffered martyrdom,
including Jacques de Molay (the last medieval Grand Master) and
Geoffroi de Charnay (the Master of Normandy)
who were cruellly burnt at the stake in Paris on 11 March 1314
on the false orders of the King of France, Philip IV (known as Philip the Fair)

Arms - Jacques de Molay
Jacques de Molay - Coat of Arms
Jacques de Molay - Execution
Depiction of the Martyrdom of
Jacques de Molay, Grand Master and
Geoffroi de Charney, Master of Normandy

Nearer to home we remember our Patron Saint, St Thomas Cantilupe (1218-1282),
also known as St Thomas of Hereford.
He was a Provincial Grand Master of the Order
and Bishop of Hereford (including parishes in Wales):

  St Thomas Cantilupe - window    St Thomas Cantelupe - Hereford    St Thomas Cantilupe - Hambleden
                      Credenden Hill Church                                    Hereford Cathedral                                          Hambledon Parish Church

Locally we recall our brother Knights Templar of the Grand Priory of Wales
who have passed from our sight in recent times:

Chevalier H John Sommerin (1946-2020)
Chevalier Brian W Ansen (1941-2018)
Chevalier David Bergstrom (1946-2016)
Chevalier Jonathan Griffiths (1955-2017)

KT - Cross

In memoria aeterna erit iustus.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

The just shall be in everlasting remembrance.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.


KT - Cross


1 November 2020

All Saints Day - 1

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you -
the riches of his glorious inheritance in his saints

[Ephesians 1: 18]

The well-known hymn "For all the saints" is a favourite with Templars.
It expresses our hope and trust in the future and
calls upon us to follow the example of our forebears:

1 For all the saints who from their labours rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

2 Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

3 O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
and win with them the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

4 O blest communion, fellowship divine,
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

5 And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

6 The golden evening brightens in the west;
soon, soon to faithful warrior cometh rest;
sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

7 But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of glory passes on his way.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

8 From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

                                    Words: William Walsham How (1864)
                                     Tune (Sine Nomine): Ralph Vaughan Williams (1906)

Some Prayers:

Let us pray:



God of time and eternity

we give you thanks and praise:

for life in all its fullness,
for love in all its power,
for joy in all its wonder.




Rejoicing at our good fortune ...

we nonetheless pray for those in need:
   the hungry and the thirsty
   the destitute and the homeless,
   the lonely and the despairing,
   the sick and the fearful,
   the individuals and families with or at risk from Covid-19,
   the weak and the oppressed,
   the refugee and those in prison.


Almighty God

 We commend to your loving mercy
all those known and unknown to us
who are not able to pray with us today.

Comfort and encourage them
with your healing Love and Care: …
that each precious life may be redeemed
by love of You and love of neighbour,
that together we may share in one another’s joy.



Dear Father


We pray for those who have no one
who loves them enough to pray for them.

Give them a share of our blessings
and in your mercy let them know
that they are not forgotten.


Merciful God


We thank you for the memory
of your faithful saints and servants
who have departed this life,
who have fought the good fight,
finished their course, and kept the faith.

Help us to imitate their example of holy living,
and to follow them in all virtuous and godly ways.



For ourselves Lord


We humbly place our lives
into your loving hands of mercy and
ask that you continue to bless us and
grant us peace in our hearts and homes.



Finally we pray for Christian Unity:


LORD GOD, we thank you
for calling us into the company

of those who trust in Christ
and seek to obey his will.

May your Spirit guide and strengthen us
in mission and service to your world;
For we are strangers no longer

but Pilgrims together
on the way to your Kingdom.


(The Swanwick Declaration: the Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland, 1987)

Some encouragement from the Bible's New Testament:

1 Peter 2, verses 9 and 10:

9 You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

All Saints Day - 3

KT - Cross


Saturday 3 October 2020


Hereford - Investiture Group - 3 October 20200

For further details see the menu page below: 'Latest Investiture - 3 October 2020'


11 September 2020

It has been announced that the Dean of Hereford, The Very Reverend Michael Tavinor, is to retire in February 2021.  He has been a very good friend to us in recent years and we have valued his support and encouragement.  The Knights and Dames of the Grand Priory of Wales will certainly miss him (at the Cathedral) but as he is only moving 'over the border' to Wales we shall be pleased to welcome him!  He has been able to give us valuable insights into the life and times of St Thomas Cantilupe - one of our Patron Saints and a previous Provincial Grand Master of our Order.

Needless to say we wish Michael "Every Blessing" for the future and look forward to meeting him again before his retirement at our forthcoming Celebration & Investiture in the Cathedral on 3 October, when he is to be our Preacher on that occasion.

jDean of Hereford - Message

Dean of Hereford - Announcement


13 September 2020

400th Anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower
to the Americas.

There is an interesting book coming out in November entitled "Strangers and Pilgrims on the Earth : Remembering the Mayflower Pilgrims, 1620 - 2020":

Remembering the Mayflower Pilgrims

As you can see, the editors are Michael A G Haykin, John Clements and Roy M Paul.  The Revd Dr John Clements is one of our Chaplains.  He is also the pastor of "The Old Meeting House" off Colegate in Norwich.  The church's website is at:  and there is an excellent panorama of it to be found at https// house.htm

Old Meeting House, Norwich


2 September 2020

75th anniversary of the end of World War II

Tokyo Bay - 2 September 1945 - 1

    Tokyo Bay - 2 September 1945 - 2

Japanese officials signing the unconditional Instrument of Surrender
on board the USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay,
on behalf of Emperor Hirohito
2 September 1945 -
6 years (less 1 day) since it started.


27 August 2020

Call to address racial injustice by
The Presidents of Churches Together in England

CTE - Presidents 2020

The Presidents of Churches Together in England

·       Pastor Agu Irukwu, head of Redeemed Christian Church of God UK and CTE Pentecostal President.

·       Archbishop Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury.

·       Archbishop Angaelos of London, Archbishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London and CTE President for the Orthodox Churches.

·       Cardinal Vincent Nichols, The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster.

·       Revd Dr Hugh Osgood, The Free Churches Moderator.

The Fourth Presidency Group comprises Lutheran, Quaker and The Church of Scotland (English Presbytery) member churches.

The Presidents of Churches Together in England (CTE), with the support of the Fourth Presidency Group, have issued the following statement calling on churches to travel together on the journey of racial justice, addressing injustices both within our Church life and in wider society:

We as Presidents of Churches Together in England have responded to the killing of George Floyd in the United States, and the widespread call for real change to combat racial injustice in our world, above all in our own country.  We have spent time over the past few weeks listening to voices of people from the black community, especially the younger generation.  This has been a deeply moving experience and illustrated powerfully the many profound changes of heart and actions that need to be made.  The attitude that regards black people – and indeed other people of ethnic minorities – as inferior is evil and mars our common humanity.  We challenge this unreservedly, recognising the constant experiences of racism, including micro aggression, which black people face.

We believe that churches have a significant role to play in combating racial injustice. If we are to be effective in doing so, we must look at ourselves.

We are painfully aware of the racism that blights the life of our churches.  We are intent upon a process of identifying racial injustice within our churches – current and historic – repenting of it and taking action to effect real change.  This includes the potential for discriminatory behaviour in the way that we make church appointments, which we know can happen at the conscious or unconscious level.  We want to ensure that these processes are just and demonstrate the so often neglected gospel truth of Colossians 3:11 “there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all”.  In this verse Paul makes it clear that racial injustice and discrimination is not only profoundly unjust and an affront to God but also the very denial of Christ who reached out to all human beings.

Some member churches of Churches Together in England have already embarked upon this journey of tackling racial injustice.  The Church of England plans a new action group, and among the Free Churches work by the Methodist and United Reformed Churches, together with Baptists Together, is already under way, as is also true for the Catholic Church.  The Pentecostal Forum has long held this issue in its view, as have the Orthodox churches.

We call upon all churches to travel together on this journey of racial justice so that together, as one community of churches in England, we may reach out in love and respect to one another in pursuit of our common witness.

An area of great concern to us as Presidents is the relationship between the black community and the criminal justice system.  We will therefore be facilitating conversations between young black women and men and senior members of the police service.  We are also seeking to engage both the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice in further considering the day-to-day experience of many young black people in England.

We encourage all churches throughout England to do all they can to build trust and improve accountability between black communities, the police, civic bodies and wider community groups.  In particular we call upon groupings of Church leaders throughout the nation to reach out to their black colleagues in church leadership who are currently absent from their membership, making more inclusive ecumenical leadership.  Our desire is that these groups will create spaces for those in authority to listen, as we have, to the powerful testimony of young black women and men as a step towards greater social cohesion.

We see these issues as matters of gospel and faith for all who follow Jesus Christ, the one who calls every nation and people to the justice of the Kingdom of God.

Extracted from:

We the Knights Templar of the Grand Priory of Wales and the Grand Priory of All Britain confirm that in all of our activities we entirely support and endorse the statement above concerning the evils of racial injustice and intolerance.  We shall endeavour to put into action the suggestions made and, from our own ancient and historic experience, we are well aware that Templars have not always had a good record in these areas but in this 21st century we want to ensure that such failings are not repeated amongst us in future.

Coptic - 9 October 2018
Chevalier Ormond, Chevalier Ian, Archbishop Angaelos and Grand Chaplain-General Graham
8 October 2018


15 August 2020


End of World War II : Victory over Japan


         Burma Star Medal   Veterans Badge   Pacific Star Medal
                 Burma Star Medal                       Veterans Badge                       Pacific Star Medal

When you get home, tell them from us and say:
"For your tomorrow, we gave our today"


Tuesday 4 August 2020

                          5 - British Red Cross Society     5 - British Red Cross Society

The Royal Mint issued this £5 coin today to celebrate the 150th Anniversary
of the
British Red Cross Society


Friday 17 July 2020

Her Majesty knights Tom Moore

Today, at Windsor Castle, Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth graciously 'dubbed' Captain (Honorary Colonel) Tom Moore a Knight Bachelor (KB).

Captain Tom We Salute YouCaptain Tom We Salute You

We, the Knights and Dames of the Grand Priory of All Wales
are delighted to congratulate Tom on this well-deserved honour.


4 & 5 July 2020

This weekend was the 72nd Anniversary of the establishment of the National Health Service

NHS -  at 72

This weekend, people throughout the United Kingdom took part in the biggest ‘thank-you’ the country has ever seen on the birthday of the NHS.  It culminated in an epic pause for applause at 5pm today, Sunday 5th July, 72 years after the NHS was founded by Aneurin Bevan, who was the Minister of Health in the then Labour Government.  He said that the tax-payer funded service was to be free at the point of delivery (which it still is), with treatment based on clinical needs and not on a person's ability to pay.

The Prince of Wales (Tywysog Cymru), His Royal Highness Prince Charles, said today that this founding principle was a "profoundly moving statement of our values" which was never more relevant than now.

He paid tribute to the sacrifices made by the staff of the NHS to provide treatment to more than 100,000 patients who have been treated in hospital for COVID-19.  He said he had been lucky to get away with only mild symptoms from his diagnosis, and was not admitted to hospital.

Prince of Wales

He said, "To all who have given so much during this present danger, I just want to say that it is you who have been our shield.  It is your hands that have held us up."

"Despite all that has been endured, there is deep cause for gratitude, and a true reason for pride."

During the last few months, the NHS has been through the greatest test in its lifetime and will, no doubt, continue to deal with the many challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic for the foreseeable future.  So people came together across the country to thank everyone who has helped to support the NHS, other Support Staff, the Fire Service and Police throughout this period and beyond.

Following the applause many people enjoyed a drink or a cup of tea and reflected with family, friends and neighbours on the bonds that have sustained us in recent months.

NHS - Flag



On Saturday evening, July 4th, everybody was asked to put a light in their windows in remembrance of all those lost during the pandemic.


Many public buildings were lit up in NHS blue, including the Royal Albert Hall, Stonehenge, Number 10 Downing Street and Windsor Castle.:

       NHS - Blue - Royal Albert Hall  NHS - Blue - Stonehenge

       NHS - Blue - No 10  NHS - Blue - Windsor Castle

                                                                  "Here's To The Heroes"

Here's to the heroes
Those few who dare
Heading for glory
Living a prayer

Here's to the heroes
Who change our lives
Thanks to the heroes
Freedom survives

Here's to the heroes
Who never rest
They are the chosen
We are the blessed

Here's to the heroes
Who aim so high
Here's to the heroes
Who do or die

Here's to the heroes
Who do or die.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive, said:

“This year has been the most challenging in NHS history, with staff displaying extraordinary dedication, skill and compassion to care for the 100,000 patients with Covid-19 who needed specialist hospital treatment and many others besides.

“During this testing time our nurses, doctors, physios, pharmacists and countless more colleagues were sustained by the support of the public, not least through the weekly applause for key workers.

“No health service, not even the NHS, could have coped alone with this coronavirus pandemic.

“From bus drivers and teachers to care staff and food retailers and, of course, the public who took action to stay at home to stop infection spreading, everyone played their part.

“The NHS’s anniversary this year not only offers the opportunity for us to say thank you to the nation, but for us all to recognise all the work which has taken place in the last months and say a heartfelt thank you.”

NHS - Flag 2


27 June 2020

diwrnod y lluoedd arfog

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day - Welsh Flag

dewch i gefnogi

show your support

Rotating Cross



The Duke of Edinburgh and I join many around the United Kingdom in celebrating Armed Forces Day, and the efforts of our military both at home and overseas.

Today provides an opportunity for thanks, and a recognition of the dedication and risks faced by those serving our nation.  We also have cause to thank veterans, who continue to contribute to our way of life, long after they leave the Armed Forces.

Having had members of my family serve in each of the Armed Services, I know only too well of the pride Service personnel take in their duty.  As your Commander-in-Chief, I send my warmest best wishes to you all, your families, and the entire Armed Forces community.

Elizabeth R.

Armed Forces Day - 2020

The Knights, Dames & Guild of St Thomas Cantelupe of the Knights Templar Grand Priory of All Wales, many of whom are Veterans, are also delighted to show our support for Armed Forces Day today.

Armed Forces Day - Cadets

Crowned Cross

Flag - Wales - No border
The Banner of the Knights Templar of All Wales

Armed Forces Day - Show Your Support

Rotating Cross



10 June 2020

Today is the 99th Birthday of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip at 99
Today's official photograph

We are pleased to express and send our Very Best Wishes to His Royal Highness and we pray that his exemplary service for Her Majesty The Queen, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth will long continue to inspire and encourage us.



7 June 2020


This important Christian festival day is best summed up in the words of the great hymn: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty":

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
Which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
Though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
Only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

Holy, holy, holy

The writer of this hymn, Reginald Heber (1783-1826), was born into a wealthy, educated family.  He was a bright youth, translating a Latin classic into English verse by the time he was seven and entering Oxford University at 17.  He won two awards for his poetry during his time there.  After graduation he became rector of his father's church in the village of Hodnet near Shrewsbury in the west of England where he remained for 16 years.  He was appointed Bishop of Calcutta in 1823 and worked tirelessly for three years until the weather and travel took its toll on his health and he died of a stroke.  Most of his 57 hymns, which include "Holy, Holy, Holy," are still in use today.

The usual tune, NICAEA, is named after the Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325), convened in the town of Nicaea in Bithynia, at which church leaders formulated a consensus of belief and practice amongst Christians concerning the doctrine of the Trinity in order to oppose the heresies of Arius.  The result was the well-known Nicene Creed, a document passed down through the ages as one of the pillars of church doctrine.  The primary function of this creed was to establish a firm belief in the Holy Trinity, countering the heresy of Arius, who believed that Jesus was not fully divine and was neither the Creator of all things, nor “being of one substance with the Father …”, as the creed puts it so neatly.

New Knights and Dames, seeking to be admitted to the Grand Priory of Wales, recite the Nicene Creed before kneeling to receive the accolade on behalf of the Grand Master.

It was this creed that inspired Reginald Heber to write this great hymn of praise to the Triune God, with the intent that the hymn be sung before or after the creed was recited in church services, and especially on Trinity Sunday – eight weeks after Easter.

The tune for this hymn is one of the finest tunes composed by John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876) and is also entitled NICAEA in recognition of Heber's text.  The words evoke a sense of awe at the majesty of God and call on all of creation - humans, saints and angels and all living things - to praise the non-divisibilty unity of God, three-in-one and one-in-three.



31 May 2020

Pentecost - 50 days after Easter - is the Anniversary of the Birthday of The Church

So let's celebrate!

Rose of Sharon
A Rose of Sharon (Hypericum) in the Grand Prior's garden today

The reason for celebration is a promise fulfilled by Jesus, made to his disciples, that when he returned to heaven he would ask the Father to send them another Comforter (a helper) to remind them of his teachings.

In St John's Gospel, Chapter 16: verses 26-27, it is recorded that Jesus said:

"When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me; And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning".

Jesus told the disciple to wait in Jerusalem until this event took place.  And duly - 50 days after the Resurrection - the Holy Bible records in Acts, Chapter 2: verses 1-11 ....

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs — we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

                     Rose Red 2       Rose Apricot
                                                                                     Roses in the Grand Prior's garden today

One of the best known and loved hymns which celebrates Pentecost is "Come down, O Love divine", (Author: Bianco da Sienna [1350-1434]; Translator: Richard Frederick Littledale [1833-90]).  It is u
sually sung to the tune "Down Ampney", (Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams [1906]).

1 Come down, O Love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardour glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

2 O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

3 Let holy charity
mine outward vesture be,
and lowliness become mine inner clothing:
true lowliness of heart,
which takes the humbler part,
and o'er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

4 And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the power of human telling;
for none can guess its grace,
till he become the place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.

Flower Not Known and a Bee
An unknown flower & a Bee in the Grand Prior's garden today

HMQ - Pentecost 31 May 2020
Her Majesty the Queen riding on her horse Balmoral Fern in Windsor Great Park today


20 May 2020

Captain Tom We Salute You

It has been announced that Her Majesty the Queen has graciously decided to award Captain (Honorary Colonel) Tom Moore with a Knighthood.  We, the Knights and Dames of the Grand Priory of All Wales are delighted to congratulate Tom on this well-deserved honour.


8 May 2020


VE - Flag

VE - Buckingham Palace

                  VE - Picture Post    VE - Vera Lynn

VE - Flag - Wales

VE - Stamp - 1.63

Free French Flag
Free France Flag


The Message in the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Emergency:

Stay In - Union Jack


22 April 2020
St George's Day

HRH Prince Louis of Cambridge
Second Birthday

   Prince Louis - rainbow hands   Prince Louis - aged 2

Princes Charles  Louis  

Their Royal Hignesses
Prince Charles & Prince Louis


21-22 April 2020

Starlink Satellites

   Grand Priors Garden  Starlink Satellite Train  Grand Prior's garden set for the night's veiwing         25 satellites in a 'train' across the southern night sky at 9.04pm 21.4.20 

                                                        Lyrid Meteors

      Lyrid Meteor - 21-04-2020 - Nottingham      Lyrid Meteor - 21-04-20 - Arizona
  Nottingham (2 hour shot 22.4.20 - star trails, 1 Meteor top left)                  Arizona (Early Morning of 22 April 2020)

     Lyrid Meteor - Massachusetts 22-04-20         Lyrid Meteors - Copenhagen 22-04-20
   Massachusetts (Jupiter & Mars between arms, Mars left, 1 meteor top centre)              Copenhagen (Early Morning of 22 April 2020)


21 April 2020

Her Majesty, The Queen's 94th Birthday.

The Queen  Prince Philip
1947                                                                                             2017

We are delighted to send our loyal and most affectionate Greetings to Her Majesty and Prince Philip on the occasion of The Queen's 94th Birthday today.
We pray that God will continue to richly bless and keep them.

God Save the Queen

Apple Blossom
Apple Blossom in The Grand Prior's garden today

     Starlink Satellites    Lyrid Meteor Shower


19 April 2020
['Low' Sunday]

After all of the 'hype' over the 'high' celebrations at Easter, this Sunday in the Christian Calendar is often referred to as 'Low' Sunday.  Nevertheless the Bible Readings in many churches will have included the following passage from St John's Gospel (Chapter 20, verses 19 to 31).  It follows immediately after Mary Magdalene had reported that she had seen Jesus (alive):

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The Purpose of John’s Gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

It is interesting to note that the Disciples were in a state of 'lockdown' - just as many of us are at this time!  They were fearful and many people today - across the world - are also fearful, especially because of the present Covid-19 (Coronavirus) emergency.  But if we put our trust in Jesus he will bring us Peace and help to calm our fears.

Orange Tip Butterflies
Male (left)and female (right) Orange Tip butterflies in the Grand Prior's garden today

                        Female Orange Tip Butterfly        Female Orange Tip Butterfly

Female Orange Tip butterflies in the Grand Prior's garden today feeding on an Honesty flower
(This was the first appearance of the female
Orange Tip butterflies, the males appeared over 2 weeks ago on 5 April)


16 April 2020


Captain Tom Moore - Finishing Line

Captain Tom Moore - 100 laps

Here is World War Two Veteran Captain Tom Moore approaching and then completing the 100th 'lap' of his garden to raise money for the National Heath Service.  He had originally plannned to raise £1000 but by the end of this day he had raised over £18,000,000 (£18 million!).  He said he would "keep walking" whilst the public continued to support the cause.

Also pictured are men from the succesor unit of Tom's original - the West Yorkshire Regiment - forming a well-deserved Guard of Honour.

West Yorkshire Regiment cap badge

Appearing on BBC "Look East" the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge added their congratulations to Tom.  Prince William has also made a donation to Tom's project.

William  Kate - Look East
William & Kate on "Look East"

Tom's "thumbs up" inspires us all to thank the NHS staff, Care Workers, the Police, Fire Service and many other agencies and charities at this difficult time:

Captain Tom Moore - Thumbs up


13 April 2020


Gnomes - Rhiwbina, CardiffRhiwbina, Cardiff - Wales Online, Easter Monday 2020

Gustav hatted   Lanb with bonnet


DAY-BY-DAY .....


12 April 2020


Χριστός ἀνέστη!
Christós Anésti!


Christ is Risen


Ἀληθῶς ανέστη!
Alithós Anésti!

Here is the account in the Holy Bible of the first Easter Morning from the Gospel according to St John, Chapter 20, verses 1-18.

The Empty Tomb

1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.

Noli me Tangere - Titian c.1514
Noli me Tangere - by Titian c.1514

Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Dandelions & Stone
Dandelions 'awake' & a rolling stone in the Grand Prior's garden 12 April 2020

God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him,
should not perish,
but have everlasting  life.
[John 3: 16]

Jesus said:

“I am the resurrection and the life.  Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.  Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die."

                                                                                                                                                                  [John 11:25-26]

        Grape Hyacinths       Tulips and Heather


                         Berberis       Honesty

                A Prayer:

Lord God, the resurrection of Jesus
gives us new life and renewed hope.
Help us to live as new people
in pursuit of the Christian ideal.
Grant us wisdom to know what we must do,
the will to want to do it,
the courage to undertake it,
the perseverance to continue to do it,
and the strength to complete it.

Fish symbol


11 April 2020

Yellow Archangel
Yellow Archangel in the Grand Prior's garden 10 April 2020

Here is a summary of the Biblical account of the first Good Friday evening and Holy Saturday:

That Friday evening Joseph of Arimathaea, a member of the Jewish Governing Council but also a follower of Jesus, asked Pilate if he might have Jesus’ body.  Once Pilate had given permission, the body was taken down from the cross and wrapped in a linen sheet.  Then it was laid in a tomb cut out of the rock, which Joseph had prepared for himself, and a large stone was rolled in front of it. Some of the women who had witnessed the crucifixion watched over the grave.

Dandelions asleep
Dandelions "asleep" & a rolling stone in the Grand Prior's garden 11 April 2020

The next day the Jewish leaders asked Pilate if they could protect the tomb with a guard, lest the disciples should come, steal the body and then falsely claim that Jesus had risen from the dead.  Pilate agreed to their request, and the tomb was sealed and guarded.

KTW - Holy Saturday

A church near to the Grand Prior's home,

Here is a Biblical prophecy from the book of Isaiah, written approximately 700 years before the birth of Christ:

He was despised, and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering; as one from whom men hide their face, and we despised him and we did not value him.  Surely he has borne our sufferings, and carried our pains; yet we considered him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions.  He was crushed for our iniquities.  The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed. [Isaiah 53:3-5]

Easter - Celandines

God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him,
should not perish,
but have everlasting  life.
[John 3: 16]

A prayer:

            Almighty God as the body of the crucified Jesus lay in the silence of the tomb;
            May we give ourselves some quiet time in the current Covid-19 crisis
            to still our hearts and minds to contemplate the mystery of death.

Holy Saturday


10 April 2020

Good Friday

 The events of the first Good Friday

During the night Jesus’ guards insulted and tormented him. They blindfolded and beat him, saying mockingly: ‘If you are a prophet, tell us who hit you’. When morning came Jesus was brought before the Jewish Governing Council, which consisted of the chief priests, elders and teachers of the Law. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.’ His reply, ‘It is you who say that I am’, was regarded as sufficient evidence for his condemnation for blasphemy. He was taken before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, and accused of claiming to be King of the Jews and thus of subverting Roman rule. After interrogating him Pilate concluded he had done nothing wrong, and was inclined to release him. When however he discovered that Jesus came from Galilee, he sent him to be judged by the ruler of that province, Herod son of Herod the Great, who happened to be in Jerusalem.

Herod had heard a great deal about Jesus and had long wanted to meet him. He questioned him at length, but Jesus refused to reply. Eventually Herod sent him back to Pilate arrayed in a gorgeous robe, thereby making up a quarrel between them.

Pilate still believed that Jesus was being falsely accused, and his wife sent him a message to the same effect. So he decided to take advantage of a custom by which a prisoner chosen by the people was released at Passover-tide. He was holding another well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas, and he asked the crowd which had gathered: ‘Which one would you like me to release - Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ The chief priests and elders had worked on the crowd, so they responded ‘Barabbas’. ‘What then am I to do with Jesus called Messiah?’ asked Pilate. The reply came repeatedly and with increasing emphasis: ‘Crucify him!’

When Pilate saw that his efforts to save Jesus were fruitless, and that there was a danger of a riot breaking out, he took water and washed his hands, saying; ‘My hands are clean of this man’s blood.’ He released Barabbas and had Jesus flogged; then he handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers made sport of him, stripping him, dressing him in a scarlet cloak, and putting a reed in his hand and a crown of thorns on his head. They paid him mock homage, spat upon him, and beat him. Then they put on his clothes again, and led him away.

(see: Luke 22.63 - 23.12; Matthew 27.15 - 31)

Euphorbia in the Grand Prior's garden 10 April 2020

The Crucifixion

By then Jesus was too weak to carry his cross to the place of execution, so the soldiers compelled a man named Simon from Cyrene in North Africa to carry it for him.

 Periwinkle  Wood
Periwinkle & Wood in the Grand Prior's garden 10 April 2020

Among the great crowd which followed him were many women, who wept for him. Jesus told them to weep for themselves and for their children because dreadful times were coming.

When they reached the place called ‘The Skull’ the soldiers crucified him and two criminals, one of them on his right and one on his left.

   Good Friday - 3 Crosses
In a churchyard near to the Grand Prior's home

Jesus said: ‘Father forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.’ Above his head was an inscription saying ‘The King of the Jews’. The soldiers shared out his clothes by casting lots; they and the crowd, which included Jewish leaders, jeered at him, saying: ‘He saved other people; now let him save himself if he really is God’s chosen Messiah’. Even one of the criminals crucified with him joined in the taunting; but the other reproached him, saying: ‘We are getting what we deserve, but this man has done nothing wrong’. Then he said to Jesus: ‘Remember me when you inherit your kingdom’. Jesus replied: ‘Today you will be with me in Paradise’


From midday darkness fell until three o’clock in the afternoon. Then Jesus shouted: ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’ Some of the bystanders thought he was calling upon Elijah; one of them offered him wine in a sponge held on the end of a stick, and said: ‘Let’s see if Elijah will come and help him’. Jesus then gave another loud cry and died; and at that very moment the curtain dividing the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple building was torn in two.

The day was a Friday, the eve of the Sabbath, and the Jews were anxious that the bodies should not remain on the crosses once the Sabbath had begun. Pilate therefore agreed that the legs of the condemned men should be broken, to hasten their deaths. This was done in the cases of the two criminals but when the soldiers came to Jesus they found he was already dead. They did not break his legs, but one of them thrust a spear into his side, causing a flow of blood and water.

(see: Luke 23.26 - 43; Mark 15.33 - 39; John 19.31 - 37)

Photinia in the Grand Prior's garden 10 April 2020

Probably the most famous hymn for Good Friday is one which Isaac Watts (1674-1748) wrote in 1707 and perhaps a reflective reading of this provides an excellent prayer for today:

When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ my God:
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down:
did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
spreads o'er his body on the tree;
then am I dead to all the globe,
and all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a offering far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,

demands my soul, my life, my all.



8 April 2020

Maundy Thursday

The Thursday in Holy Week is usually referred to as Maundy Thursday.  The word 'maundy' comes from the English word derived through Middle English and the Old French word mandé, and the Latin mandatum (also the origin of the English word "mandate") which is the first word in St John's Gospel, Chapter 13 verse 34 in Latin of the phrase "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" where Jesus gave to his disciples: "A new commandment  ...

         "That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another."

The fact that this was given as a "Commandment" and not merely a 'suggestion' or a 'good idea' added to its vital importance then and continues to apply to his followers today.  We Knights Templar do our best to obey.

Also, during the evening meal with the disciples, as recorded by St Mark (Chapter 14 verses 22-25) :

22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”

23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

24 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Flowering Cherry
Flowering Cherry in the Grand Prior's garden, 9 April 2020

By these actions Jesus instituted what we know as 'The Lord's Supper' or 'Holy Communion' or 'The Mass' or 'The Eucharist' and so on, when Christians all over the world, in their different communities, churches and traditions usually gather together to celebrate and bring to mind the sacrifice of his life which he gave freely for our salvation.  This year, with the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) crisis affecting peope everywhere and most church building closed many innovative ideas to celebrate this meal (especially in family settings at home) are being used.  Do let us know if and how you have managed - use our 'Contact Us' page.

Following his account of the Last Supper, St Luke records (Chapter 22 verses 39-46) :

39 Jesus left the city and went, as he usually did, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples went with him. 40 When he arrived at the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

41 Then he went off from them about the distance of a stone's throw and knelt down and prayed. 42 “Father,” he said, “if you will, take this cup of suffering away from me. Not my will, however, but your will be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 In great anguish he prayed even more fervently; his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

45 Rising from his prayer, he went back to the disciples and found them asleep, worn out by their grief. 46 He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

From this account there arose a legend that a plant growing where Jesus prayed in the 'Garden of Gethsemane' was splattered with his blood, causing its leaves and flowers to have dark spots on them.  That flower is the Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula) : 

              Early Purple Orchid - group    Early Purple Orchid - close up

The Early purple orchid is one of the first orchids to be seen in the spring.  Its pinkish-purple flowers appear from April, when bluebells still carpet our woods and glades.  Its leaves are dark green with dark spots.

Early Purple Orchids  Blue Bells

A prayer:

            Lord Jesus Christ we thank you for our salvation through your self-sacrifice;
            We pray that you will continue to protect us from harm and keep us in Eternal Life.

Fish symbol


8 April 2020

Weeping Cherry
Weeping Cherry in the Grand Prior's garden, 8 April 2020

Unofficially Holy Wednesday is sometimes referred to as 'Spy Wednesday' since one of the main Gospel readings is from St Matthew, Chapter 26 verses 20-25 (also Mark 14:17-25, Luke 22:14-30, John13:21-30).  This passage recounts the event when Jesus reveals that one of his own disciples would betray him.  Judas left the 'Last Supper' and went off to make arrangements to identify Jesus to the authorities.

The Biblical account of Judas agreeing to Betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16) :

14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

A prayer:

            Almighty God keep us firm in the salvation hope which you have set before us;
            That we may never betray Jesus in our hearts, thoughts, words nor actions.

Note: After Jesus was crucified Judas Iscariot, realising his error, attempted to return the money but the authorities refused to take it.  And as a result Judas hanged himself ..... 

Pink Moon at 5.19am 8 April 2020
A tree in the Grand Prior's garden, photographed at 5.19am today, 8 April 2020

Fish symbol


7 April 2020

  Daffodil in the Grand Prior's garden on 7 April 2020

One of our Honorary Chaplains has told us that the tradition of giving thanks for meals has long been linked to Saint Margaret, Queen of Scotland (1045-1093).

St Margaret of Scotland


So as we look ahead to Holy Thursday when Jesus and his disciples met together at what we now call the ‘Last Supper’ let’s revisit mealtime prayers as, perhaps, being confined at home during the present Covid-19 (Coronavirus) crisis we’re having more meals together with other family members.


At formal dinners and on other auspicious occasions one may hear the Grace said in Latin.  Here is a typical text with the translation into English below each line:


Benedic, Domine, nos et haec tua dona

Bless Lord us and these Your gifts


quae de tua largitate sumus sumpturi

which from Your bounty we are about to receive


per Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum.  Amen.

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.



This is another well-known version:


Before the meal:


Benedictus benedicat, per Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum.  Amen

Blessed blessing [the meal, to be received], through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen


After the meal:


Benedictus benedicato, per Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum.  Amen

Blessed blessing [the meal, having been received], through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen



An explanation of the different wording is that the grace at the beginning gives thanks for the coming blessing:

Benedictus benedicat [blessed blessing - in the future tense].


The grace at conclusion gives thanks for having been blessed by the meal, that is, having received the blessing:

Benedictus benedicato [blessed blessing - in the past tense].



Other versions include:


Benedictus Benedicat

[May the Blessed One bless]




Benedic, Domine, dona Tua in usum nostrum, et nos in servitium Tuum, per Iesum Christum, Dominum nostrum.

[Bless, Lord, Your gifts in our use, and ourselves in Your service, through Jesus Christ our Lord.]




Quidquid nobis apositum est, aut quidquid aponetur, Benedicat Deus haec Sua dona in usum nostrum, necnon nosmet ipsos in servitium Suum, per Iesum Christum, Dominum nostrum.

[Whatever has been, or may be set before us, may God bless these gifts of His in our use, and ourselves also in His service, through Jesus Christ our Lord.]

Daisies in the Grand Prior's garden on 7 April 2020


However, here's a simple version in English:


Almighty God –

We give you thanks and praise:

   for our family lives and friendships;

   for our health and well-being;

   for our homes and gardens; and

   for the food we have to eat.

We pray that you will bless our homeland;

   and continue to bless all of us

   with your abiding Love and Care;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Our Grand Prior’s usual prayer is very simple: