Since the early days of speculative Masonry the Craft and the Royal Arch have enjoyed a very close affinity. Today, the two Orders are administered side-by-side at Freemasons’ Hall in London and the regulations governing both are published together in the Book of Constitutions. The Grand Master, if an installed First Principal, automatically assumes the office of First Grand Principal in Supreme Grand Chapter. In addition, if likewise qualified, the Craft Grand Registrar, Secretary, Director of Ceremonies and Treasurer also hold the equivalent offices in Supreme Grand Chapter. The majority of Royal Arch Chapters are attached to a Craft Lodge and at least bear its number, if not its name.
The Royal Arch is the culmination of "pure ancient masonry". The Craft gives its members eminently practical rules by which they can live their lives in the service of both God, however they worship Him, and the community as a whole.
Man however, is not simply a practical being but has an essential spritual aspect to his nature. This is taken up in the Royal Arch, in which the candidate, without trespassing on the bounds of religion, is led to contemplate the nature of God and his personal relationship with Him.
Thus the Royal Arch leads the candidate from the practical to the spiritual and completes "pure ancient masonry", a fascinating journey of self- knowledge and self - discovery beginning with the Entered Apprentice degree and culminating in the First Principal's chair of the Chapter.
Freemasons, of all faiths, who have been Master Masons for at least four weeks can apply for membership of any Chapter, but must be proposed, seconded and balloted for by the members of the Chapter to which they seek admission. The interval between becoming a Master Mason and his exaltation into a Chapter is however a matter for each individual, and will largely depend on his circumstances and readiness for its teachings. Early application however, ensures a greater opportunity to participate in the work and to understand its teachings.