Criterion Chapter of Installed First Principals 6220


With a membership as large and diverse as that of the Criterion Chapter progression to the First Principal’s chair and other offices has always been something of a thorny issue.

Although with the benefit of advice from his Co-Principals and the Chapter Committee, responsibility for appointing the forthcoming year’s officers lies with the incoming First Principal and it has not always been easy to distinguish between those Companions who are quite content (or indeed want) just to attend and drink in the atmosphere of the Chapter, and those who would welcome the opportunity to take a more active role in its proceedings.

As a result the following scheme has been devised :-

  • Applicants for membership and existing members who have not already done so are asked indicate on a questionnaire their hopes and expectations so far as taking office is concerned, particularly as regards that of Principal. Preferences can be altered subsequently and the list is maintained by Alan Thorn.
  • The office of Principal Sojourner will be offered to the most senior Companion in terms of length of membership of the Chapter who has at least a two thirds attendance record over the previous three years.
  • The P S will succeed to the third Principal’s chair the following year. He is then expected to progress to the second and then the first chairs.
  • Acceptance as PS therefore establishes a commitment of at least four years and involves responsibilities which can be onerous, particularly towards the end. It is not a commitment to be taken on lightly.
  •  On installing his successor Z will become IPZ and, the year after that, Janitor.
  • The offices of Scribe N and First and Second Assistant Sojourners will NOT be progressive. These offices will be held for one year only with no expectation of immediate or further advancement 
  • As well as the opening and closing  addresses, for which volunteers are always welcome, there is therefore each year the opportunity for three new different Companions to take a non-progressive office and it is hoped that those who might wish eventually to go through the chairs will offer to take one of those. It will also help those who might not be comfortable with undertaking a longer commitment at a particular point in time.