St. Helena Conclave No.378
Conclave History
In 1984, Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and Ronald Reagan had been re-elected for a second term of office.  London said goodbye to the threat of floods as the Thames barrier swung into action for the first time.  The miners were on strike and there were violent clashes with the police.  A young policewoman, Yvonne Fletcher was gunned down in St. James’s Square by a gunman firing in a crowd of protesters outside the Libyan Peoples’ Republic Embassy.  The IRA detonated a bomb which devastated the Grand Hotel at Brighton, where the Prime Minister and her cabinet members were staying.  It was also the year in which Prince Harry was born.
There was also a new beginning, near to home.  The Consecration, Dedication and Constitution Meeting of St. Helena Conclave No. 378 was held at 3.00pm on Saturday 29th September 1984 at Prescot Masonic Hall, High Street, Prescot.
The Constituting Sovereign was Right Illustrious Knight Sidney Burgess, K.C.C., Intendant-General of the Division of West Lancashire.  The Consecrating Eusebius was Very illustrious Knight Thomas Winstanley, P.G.Reg., Deputy Intendant-General of the Division of West Lancashire.
There were 21 Knights Petitioners, or founding members, of whom 3 are still very active members:-
Very Illustrious Knight Ken Tickle, P.G.H.Chanc.
Very Illustrious Knight Ralph Dumbell, P.G.H.Chanc.
Very Illustrious Knight Cliff Pownall, P.G.H.Alm.
There were 62 Knights present at the meeting.  Very Illustrious Knight Cliff Pownall, at that time a Puissant Knight holding the rank of Past Divisional Sword Bearer, was the Most Puissant Sovereign Nominate at that meeting and was duly Enthroned as the first Sovereign of St. Helena Conclave.
Worthy Knight Ken Tickle was appointed Deputy Marshal and Worthy Knight Ralph Dumbell was appointed as 2nd Aide.
The First Regular Meeting of the Conclave was held on Wednesday 16th January 1985 at Prescot Masonic Hall, in the presence of the Intendant-General, Sidney Burgess and the Divisional Viceroy, Puissant Knight Gordon Warne Tucker.  The main item of business was to Install as a Red Cross Knight, Excellent Companion Ronnie Pardoe, now Illustrious Knight Ronnie Pardoe, P.G.W. of R.
The Second Regular Meeting commenced with a sad announcement, the passing to Higher Service of the Senior Founding Member, Very Illustrious Knight Jack Metcalfe.  The evening continued with the KHS ceremony for Worthy Knight Ronnie Pardoe.
The Conclave continued to meet at Prescot Masonic Hall until the Fifth Regular Meeting on Friday 12th September 1986, which was held at St. Helens Masonic Hall, where it has remained ever since.  The Regular Meeting Day changed to the second Friday in January, May and September, the latter being the Enthronement meeting.
There have been 24 Companions Installed as Red Cross Knights.  Admittance of candidates has fluctuated over the years.  There have been lean periods when there have been no candidates but on one occasion, 4 Companions were Installed on the same evening.
The Conclave has usually performed the KHS ceremonies for its candidates, except on one occasion when Sovereign’s Unity Conclave No. 406 was invited to perform the Ceremony.  In recent years, when the number of candidates has been small, Prescot Conclave No. 291, our mother Conclave and a member of our Cluster Group, has kindly invited St. Helena Conclave to perform the KHS Ceremonies for the Prescot Knights.
The Conclave has contributed members to some of the highest offices in the Division, for example, there have been 4 Divisional Viceroys, 2 Divisional Marshals and a Divisional Recorder.  There have also been 2 Acting Grand Std.Br.(C).
Current membership of the Conclave stands at 16 members.  There were originally 2 Royal Arch Chapters meeting at the St. Helens Masonic Hall but one of these has recently become an Installed Principals’ Chapter, which moves between Masonic Halls.  However, the Hall has recently welcomed a Chapter which has moved out of Hope Street in Liverpool.  Between the 2 Chapters, this gives a potential recruiting pool of roughly 40 members.
Most recently it has been suggested that 378 become a Conclave for those in, past members of or aspiring members to the Sepulchre Guard. It is fervently hoped that by these and other measures the St. Helena Conclave will overcome the present dearth of candidates and be able to look forward with confidence to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its Foundation in 2035.