Nine hundred years after the founding of the Order of the Temple, the Grand Priory of England (O.S.M.T.H. England) is among the Templar organisations keeping alive the noble and ancient Knights Templar traditions in the present day.Knights Templar are not new to England. There has been a strong Templar presence in this country since the early years of the Order, and the Templars played a pivotal role in the history of mediaeval England. Indeed, in June 1215 the Master of the English Templars, Aymeric de St Maur, was a key person involved in the production and sealing of Magna Carta – the Great Charter – at Runnymede, by King John. The Temple area of the City was the headquarters of the English Templars from 1160 until the Order’s suppression.We are part of a worldwide network of Knights Templar organisations within OSMTH actively promoting knowledge and understanding of Templar history, and we strive at all times to uphold the original Templar ideals of chivalry, faith and honour. The Grand Priory of England stands in defence of the nation’s Christian values and heritage, and our members pledge to defend Church and Crown.
In 2012, the Grand Priory of England was at last fully restored, having been first established in 1960 when the Grand Master recognised the need for a priory in England which was not exclusively Roman Catholic.The Statutes of the Order provide that there can only be one Grand Priory in any given country and no Grand Priory can claim to have simultaneous jurisdiction in two adjoining countries. So, for example, there is not a Grand Priory of 'France and Monaco' nor a Grand Priory of 'Germany and Luxembourg' and so on.An Advent Carol Service - already planned for 2 December 2012 - which was to be held at the Parish Church of St Luke in Kingston upon Thames was rapidly modified to take account of this momentous decision. A knight was invested - the first such investiture by the Grand Priory of England since the last knights were martyred or dispersed all those years ago, although many other knights had been invested in the period between 1960 and the restoration.Plans were then commenced for a full Celebration of the Restoration of The Grand Priory of England and, by kind permission of the vicar and churchwardens of the Church All Hallows by the Tower (the oldest church in the City of London), this took place on Saturday 6 April 2013.
The Chinon Parchment absolving the Knights Templar