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Chapter News

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Chapter News

Concecrated 1985




1st PRINCIPAL - Gabriel Gaiu

2nd PRINCIPAL - Costel Butnariu

3rd PRINCIPAL - Ioan Apetrei

The Royal Arch is the continuation of Craft Freemasonry. Members meet in a Chapter which has officers in many respects similar to  craft lodges although Chapters are ruled over by three Principals.
Other than the installation meeting there is only one other ceremony that is performed which is when a new member is admitted.

The Royal Arch is governed by the Supreme Grand Chapter of England and should you wish to further extend your interest we strongly advise that you read the more in depth explanations on it’s website 
Essex also now has its own Provincial Grand Chapter website.

To join a Chapter you must be a Master Mason, of at least four weeks standing. As with Craft  Masonry you will need a proposer and seconder

The Chapter meets at Saxon Hall during the 1st Saturday in February and 4th Saturday's in May & October.

Chapter News BN

Considering joining a Chapter or already a Companion and would like to visit our Chapter then why not contact our Scribe Paul Thurgood

 - you would be more than welcome…

May 2024

22nd & 23rd May: 

Our Romanian project is now well past the half way point to when the Chapter will uproot and move to Romania to be part of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Romania.

The meetings over the two days (Epping Forest held the first day and the Albert Lucking the second) were breaking new grounds with three Romanian companions being installed in the three principal chairs of both Chapters.

If this was not enough a further six exaltations were carried out for Epping Forest and five for the Albert Lucking.

The Essex Royal Arch Support and Presentation Teams, led by Jim Wolfe again deserves praise for the splendid way they carried out the ceremonies especially the installations of the principals as this was considered a 'one off' and possibly not performed before.

Overseen by John Hubbard, the Third Provincial Grand Principal, who said, "That this was history in the making and all those playing a part should be justly proud."

The Thursday meeting was also honoured with the presence of David Robert-Jones from Supreme Grand Chapter who was equally impressed with the ceremonies, complimenting all who took part and closed by saying he looked forward to seeing the project to its final stages once everything was in place.

The newly installed Epping Forest Principals 
End of the first day with Epping Forest Principals and their six Exhaltees sitting. 
Exhaltees from both days with the Albert Lucking First Principal. 
End of the second day with - in the front row - the five Albert Lucking Exhaltees. 
November 2023

29th & 30th November: 

Our Romanian project moved on with another two meetings taking place in exalting 18 more Romanians. These are special meetings in themselves but, on this occasion 18 candidates were exalted in six triple exaltation ceremonies over the two days.

As before, the first day was dedicated to our Chapter and the second to the Epping Forest Chapter No. 4263.

The Essex Royal Arch Support and Presentation Teams, again carried out the ceremonies in a splendid manner with on this occasion the three principals swapping roles for each ceremony which added an additional element of appeal.

In the absence of the second Principal, David Wilson who sadly was unable to attend on this occasion the third Principal, John Hubbard attended all the ceremonies over the two days.

The second day ended with the now hearty festive board enjoyed by all. 

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The end of the first day hosted by our Chapter with our 9 new companions sitting.
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The end of the second day with all in attendance with new Companions sitting.
July 2023

19th & 20th July: 

Two further meetings took place in exalting 12 more Romanians in this now on-going process in our helping Romania establishing its own Grand Chapter. As before, the first day was dedicated to our Chapter and the second to the Epping Forest Chapter No. 4263.

In addition the Essex Royal Arch Support and Presentation Teams, gathered again to carry out the ceremonies.

Progress is being made as several previous exaltees have now been installed in officer positions within our Chapter and Sergeu Cristea (exalted during May) returned and shadowed the duties of Scribe Nehemiah and very confidently took over the duties for two of the ceremonies.

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The end of the first day hosted by our Chapter with our 6 new companions sitting.
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The end of the second day with all in attendance and new Companions of Epping Forest Chapter, sitting in the front row.
May 2023

24th & 25th May: 

During Wednesday 24th & Thursday 25th May, our Chapter was involved in a unique ‘International’ collaboration event, as being joined by Epping Forest Chapter No. 4263, together with many members of the Essex Royal Arch Support and Presentation Teams, we gathered for the purposes of Exalting 12 Romanian freemasons into the Royal Arch, to commence the process, for Romania to establish its own ‘Grand Chapter.’

The end of the first day hosted by our Chapter with our 6 new companions sitting.

Our Chapter now has 6 new Companions with Epping Forest receiving their 6 as part of ‘three double ceremonies’ being performed each day.

The end of the second day with all in attendance and new Companions of Epping Forest Chapter, sitting in the front row.

There were two ‘call-offs’ within each meeting, in which refreshments were provided culminating in a combined Festive Board taking place during the second evening with 48 in attendance.


The meetings were attended by the Deputy Grand Superintendent, Elliott Chevin, the 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, David Wilson (who was overseeing the event) and 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, John Hubbard.


David Wilson, at the Festive Board welcomed all the new Companions of the Order, for what has been, a momentous event. He extended his thanks to all involved and in particular, Jim Wolfe for organising the Teams and Offices and he’s sure, a multitude of other things.


A response on behalf of the Romanian party, was given by Comp. Andrei Motoc and received a rapturous applause.


For those attending both days it was somewhat mentally tiring but, the end result was very worth it, for excellent displays of RA ritual, a very warm welcome to many new friends and being part of Romania’s history in the building of a Grand Chapter.

In addition our Chapter also welcomed four Joining Members to assist over the next few years in following this process through and so we welcome:


Mark Turner, Richard Goodwin, Emlyn Carter and Jim Wolfe


The following are just some of the pictures from the Festive Board...

February 2023

23rd February: Due to difficulties the Convocation had to be changed to this date by dispensation. The meeting included a lecture by Ian Simpson entitled '‘So… why are we here?’

October 2022

22nd October:

The convocation included a lecture from Mike Notley entitled ‘The Three Epochs of the Royal Arch.’ 

June 2022

17th June:

Our founder member John Jones at his meeting of the Thames Mouth Chapter 6994, was surprised with the sudden appearance of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Paul Tarrant to present him with his 50 year Chapter Certificate.


For the full story click this link:

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A splendid honour, justly deserved - very well done John!
May 2022

28th May: Convocation...

Following the pandemic upsets and abandonments of earlier convocations it was agreed and confirmed that the Principals and all officers were to remain in office for a further year. 

February 2022

11th February:

At the Thames Mouth Chapter 6994 our founder member, John Jones received a celebration of 50 years in the RA. Amongst several presentations - including a vintage bottle of port - was a Thames Mouth certificate honouring his meritorious services over the years but alas not the official Provincial certificate as John's actual anniversary date is not until Friday the 25th February - he will collect this certificate during their June convocation. However, a cake made by a Chapter companion (and Master Baker) was eaten by all during the festive board.

Photo of John with the First Principal Ian Simpson and visiting APGP Martin Cook also a photo of that 'fantastic' cake! 


5th February:

Our Convocation which included the installation of Robert Hadlow-Mount.

Also a welcome return visit from E Comp. Bruce Mapson (left) with Robert and Kevin Wealthall our new companion. 

October 2021

23rd October:

Successful installation convocation followng such a long absence.

Principals: Austin Latham, Stuart James & Paul Marshall - Stuart acting 'First Principal' in the absence of Robert Hadlow-Mount.

June 2021

Congratulations are awarded to our worthy companion Terry Thurston who has received promotion to PPDepGReg and will be officially conferred later this year at Great Queen Street, London, during September 9th, 2021. 

March 2021

Congratulations to our worthy companion Derek Childs who has been awarded with the Distinguished Service to Essex Masonry. The honour recognises the fact that he has devoted almost 30 years to the running of Rochford Masonic Hall

Derek is not our only member to receive this award during our Chapter's short history as our now 'Honoury' member, Clem Britton received the award during 2012 for his services in Masonry and in particular, introducing a vast abundance of new members to the Craft and Royal Arch.  

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