Essex Freemasonry and a tale of Two Cousins

Both work hard to achieve positive outcomes for the Province but each in a different way

When you look at the recently combined Provincial website News, our social media platforms and press releases you cannot help but feel proud to be an Essex Freemason. As the Provincial Grand Master, Paul Tarrant said in March “The numbers joining and having fun are increasing”. Also 2023 looks like another year in which Essex Freemasons will have consistently donated over £1 million to local charities and communities.

There are 15 news stories posted on News ( for November, among these two are about cousins Jamie and David Barton, both members of Henry de Gray Lodge No. 6627. With their positive energy and ability to get on well with people they have encapsulated the spirit of the PGM’s words and are helping to showcase Freemasonry’s values of Friendship and Service. Both work hard to achieve positive outcomes for the Province, but each in a different way.

To complement Essex Cornerstone for young Freemasons aged 41 and under, Jamie Barton organised a night of fun, live music and charity for the inaugural meeting of the Essex Light Blues Association, see No Winter Blues for the Essex Light Blues first official meeting ( A keen ritualist, Jamie enjoys participating in all the degree ceremonies in the Lodge and is on track for a promising Masonic career.

Meanwhile cousin David, whose work ethic is found quoted in Shakespeare’s Macbeth “If it is to be done then best it be done quickly” presented  Promoting a centre point in a circle at Burntwood Lodge (  The recent launch and progress of ‘Get Started Art’ is becoming well known throughout the Province.  Since the Provincial Charity Stewards Lodge meeting, David’s inspirational initiative has spread across six UGLE Provinces and within the Grand Lodge of Scotland, Chapters of The Widows Sons are helping to organise distribution in a number of Provinces from Perth to the north of Scotland.

On just one day, 23rd November, breaking all records for Essex Freemasonry, 10 different Newsquest daily newspapers and three other online sources across the County published the news of 25,000 colouring books being distributed throughout Essex.  In the same week, Get Started Art also received funding from The Essex Community Foundation for 10,000 mini books for Special Educational Needs units in primary schools across the County and Stanford-le-Hope Lodge No. 5217 kindly donated £5,000.

The total number of combined large and small colouring books now stands at Essex: 34,000, Scotland: 4,000, East Kent: 3,000, West Kent: 3,000, plus plans in place for 2,000 each for Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Sussex making a total of 50,000 for hospitals, schools, day centres, care homes, charities and community groups.  David said “It is great to have the involvement of all these Provinces and when they see the results, we can add their Provincial Crests to the artwork in future. The idea is to give them enough books to show it works, in the hope it leads to further funding from those Provinces, their centres and lodges.”

Read the amazing feedback from just two hospitals in different Provinces working together with Essex Freemasons and Get Started Art at A huge thank you to David and... - Valley Hospital Charity | Facebook and #eastkenthospitalscharity #charity #thankyou #arttherapy



Top: David Barton (far right) of Get Started Art at Darent Valley Hospital with West Kent Masons.

Left: Jamie Barton (right) with Dave Hawtin (left), Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, at the Essex Light Blues Association inaugural meeting.

Right (L-R): Cousins Jamie Barton and David Barton

Bottom: David Barton (third from right) delivering to East Kent Hospitals Charity with East Kent Freemasons