The ‘Archway effect’ is gaining momentum in Essex

Chapters are becoming more confident as their experience of Archway increases

It is early days yet but there are clear signs, supported by positive feedback, that Archway will indeed have a strong impact on the growth and development of Chapters across the Province.  Following the Supreme Grand Chapter Meeting in November 2023, the new Archway initiative was launched in Essex with each Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals (APGP) writing to their Chapters to introduce the new ‘user friendly’ tool.

With infectious enthusiasm, the longest-serving APGP in Essex, John Crudgington, who has 30 Chapters explained “I am so excited about this new initiative and want all the Companions to be as well. Archway is not a Pathway equivalent but is an app all members can access. It will help with ideas from attraction to enhancing the enjoyment of meetings and so much more.” 

The APGP’s enthusiasm has every right to be infectious, at a time when some Chapters are struggling with membership and need a plan because the simplicity of the Archway app will formulate a plan for the way forward. It really is as easy as that, a simple tool with four stones to click on – SHAPE, GROW, INVOLVE and ENJOY, each of which contains valuable advice and guidance.

Archway is being well received by Chapters in Essex.  The Scribe E of Blackwater Chapter No. 1977, Barry Woodrow, commented “With only three ceremonies a year, one of which is the Installation, Blackwater has had a good run of new candidates but is on the lookout to do something else, so the likes of Archway can help. The app has a mechanism behind it to support you. This is much better than referring to old guides and pamphlets which were designed to be helpful but some are now over 25 years old.”

Barry observed “Archway is the ideal toolbox to help do this and the younger members can easily and quickly follow, which is important especially as we are finding time is at a premium for them. We have plans to set-up an informal group to look at the toolbox and find things the Chapter may use more than others. It is giving us a chance to draw-breath. With Archway, support is much more easily available which was often a difficulty in the past.”

Barry also pointed out that most Scribes E may find some Companions want to seek and find whilst others want to be guided and may then read a little more. A big plus point for Archway is that everything is at each user’s fingertips, so Barry awards top marks for the idea and concept and he summarised by saying “Archway gives what we need for support now but like all apps it needs to be kept up-to-date and current.”

The Scribe E of Abbeygate Chapter No. 4219, Arthur Cooke, forwarded the email he received from his APGP about Archway, with its open-access link and an attached introductory booklet, to all his members as soon as he received it, encouraging them to explore the app with the message ‘Hot off the press’. Although Arthur feels pleased that Archway emphasises much of what Abbeygate Chapter is already doing to make it successful, he also remarked “Archway should not be a problem to any Scribe E and I know a number that are already using the app.”

On 6th February 2024, by which time most Chapters will have met at least once since the launch of Archway, the Provincial Executive is holding a Royal Arch Engagement Call on Zoom for all Companions of the 120 Chapters in Essex which meet at 26 centres, so that they can share what they love about the Royal Arch and what the winning formula is for their Chapter.

The aim of the meeting is to help solve challenges that will make Chapters thrive. With Archway now at everybody’s fingertips, the outcome should be both meaningful and productive, especially as one member of the SGC Membership and Communications Working Party (MCWP) who has had a large input, Elliott Chevin, is the Deputy Grand Superintendent of Essex.  

Useful links:

Click on to the link and see how easy it is to use for yourself! (

The Supreme Grand Chapter | United Grand Lodge of England (


Top: The Archway process blocks

Bottom: John Crudgington, second left, the longest serving APGP in Essex, who is very enthusiastic about the new Archway app.