I’ve been asked by many of you – where are today’s Knights Templar? Well, here is an interview with Sir Mark Borrington – Grand Master of The Grand Commandery of Knights Templar and he explains the organisation and the work that it does:
> Tell me what The Grand Commandery is, for those who don’t know?
I probably don’t need to do any more than point you to the foundation statement I wrote for our Rules & Constitution which states: The Grand Commandery of Knights Templar is a chivalric order of like-minded individuals who demonstrate seven core principles: Chivalry, honour, integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom & charity. Members take their inspiration from the highest ideals of the medieval Order of Knights Templar, originally founded by Hugues de Payens and eight fellow noblemen in Jerusalem circa 1118. These core principles have strong correlations to the Latin Rule of Templars, adopted by Hugues de Payens and others under the guidance of St Bernard of Clairvaux and Council of Troyes on 13th January 1129. It is expected that members commit themselves to these core principles at all times.
> What charitable work are you currently involved in?
We have numerous projects on the go at any one time. Currently, we are raising money for Cancer Support Services, UNICEF, Water Aid and pretty much anything that fits in with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Some of the senior members of the Order are currently undergoing training in readiness for a 26 mile hike to raise money for the MacMillan Cancer Support charity in the UK. In situations like this, we tend to set targets with all donations being sent direct to the charity. So far we’ve raised £840 out of the £1000 target. As a chivalric order, members tend to get involved with our ARK project – that’s Acts of Random Kindness. These endeavours can be as diverse as donating financial aid to a member’s local hospice, donation of food to food banks, clothes to clothes banks or toys to orphanages. Members also volunteer time and energy to local projects around the world such as helping in cleaning off graffiti from public places, marshaling and supporting charitable events, handing out sleeping bags & blankets to the homeless or just baking in Medieval Templar Armour at summer fayres whilst collecting money on behalf of numerous worthy causes.
>What is your relationship to the original Knights Templar?
We don’t claim to have any relationship to the original Knights Templar other than what has been mentioned in our foundation statement. Just like Hugues et al., the founding members of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar came together for a specific purpose whilst wishing to live by a certain code. Compared to our medieval Templar brothers who ended up with over 650 rules by the turn of the 14th century, we narrowed these down to our modern seven core principles which means, quite simply put, doing the right thing, by yourself and others, and seek the truth at all times. We founded a new Templar Order to try to show that convictions such as chivalry and honour, commitment and dedication still have a place within the modern world – following exactly on the same principles the original nine noblemen had back in 1117. Thankfully, however, gone are the days when Templars were charged to take up arms and fight in Holy Wars. The world is packed full of diversity, different ideals, philosophies, good and evil. Our battles today are not military in nature against those who do not happen to follow the same religious beliefs. We are no longer told that it is God’s will to kill our fellow brothers or sisters. Our modern day battles are more spiritual in nature and we actively fight against hatred, intolerance and prejudice within the world whilst helping our fellow mankind by promoting peaceful co-existence and acts of humanitarian work and aid.
>How does one become a member?
Individuals can join the Order by completing an initial enquiry form online at www.knightstemplar.gckt.org/apps/initial. Once we’ve reviewed an applicant’s resume and agreed an application in principle, references are sought from someone of professional standing to vouch for the applicant’s character and suitability in joining the Order. If everything is acceptable, the applicant is granted entry into the Order at Preceptor level. Normally after two years of proven merit and charitable action, the member is promoted up to the rank of Knight Templar.
- Burial place of Templar Grand Masters (thetemplarknight.com)
- Templars’ Lost Treasure – on National Geographic (thetemplarknight.com)
- Barnes & Noble stocks ‘Quest for the True Cross’ – a great Templar adventure (thetemplarknight.com)