Southend Royal Arch Masons Celebrate 75 Years and raise £2,400 for Charity

Over 100 Essex Freemasons met at a special meeting in January to celebrate St Philip Chapter 75th Anniversary 

Over 100 Essex Freemasons met at a special meeting in January to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the forming of St Philip Chapter No. 4221 which meets four times a year on a Wednesday at the Southend Masonic Centre, Saxon Hall, in Aviation Way, Southend. Of the 8,000 Craft Freemasons who belong to 300 plus Lodges in Essex about half are also Royal Arch Masons.

Elliott Chevin, the Provincial Deputy Grand Superintendent, who was the principal guest along with David Wilson, the Provincial Second Grand Principal and twelve more from the Provincial Executive, explains, “The Craft and Royal Arch are the same organisation. New and existing brethren are made aware that the Royal Arch is an essential part of Freemasonry which enriches their Craft experience.”

Founded in 1947 by members of the St Philip Lodge which also meets at Southend, the Chapter first held its meetings at the Halfway House Hotel, Southend-on-Sea but, over the years has had different venues including the Queen’s Hotel, Westcliff-on-Sea and the former Freemasons’ Hall in Woodgrange Drive, which closed in 2005, before moving to the Southend Masonic Centre.

St Philip Chapter, with its 20 plus members and the encouragement of its Charity Steward, Paul Carpenter, has a reputation for raising money to help charities.  To mark this special occasion St Philip gave Elliot Chevin a cheque for £2,400 towards the Essex Freemasons 2022 Festival Appeal which has raised over £5.4 million for the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) which has pledged to donate £7 million to charities and good causes in Essex over the next several years.  This week the MCF also responded quickly in giving £60,000 to the British Red Cross to help earthquake survivors in Syria and Turkey.

Elliot Chevin, David Wilson and others were out and about in December delivering £500 cheques to primary schools as part of the £10,000 donated by Essex Royal Arch Masons, through the MCF, to help with activities which would have been cut back in the run-up to Christmas at 20 schools close to Masonic Centres, including Kingsdown School in Snakes Lane, Southend-on Sea.

To add to the celebrations, the Royal Arch Companions were given a very entertaining and informative talk by Ian Simpson entitled ‘How did we get here?’  - Long serving Chapter member, Dennis Wiles, gave a short history of the first 75 years and everyone received an anniversary booklet and a pen set as a memento of the evening. Richard Goodwin, the Scribe (secretary) of St Philip Chapter said, “It was a day to remember and had made all the planning worthwhile.”



Top: St Philip Chapter Companions celebrating 75 Years

Middle: Front row seated: Elliott Chevin with the three Principals Chris Smith, Ken Pearson, Philip Jacob, and David Wilson - Back row standing: Chapter and Provincial Officers

Bottom: David Wilson (back row right) presenting £500 to Louise Robinson (back row centre) Headteacher Kingsdown School on behalf of Essex Royal Arch Masons