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OUR LIFE SUPPORT STRATEGY

TAKING A STAND ON CEREMONY

WHEN A PROBLEM IS SHARED


The Masonic Mutual Limited www.themasonicmutual.com A bettel' velue attemathle to corwentional I !\SUre~·.

A mutual 1$ a company owned by and opel'llled for~ benefit of 11$ m em~ The Director'$ of the Ma501'11c MUUMII ere all Freemason$ who ere elected by me membel'$hlp.

Owr 75% of Masonic •ntttke wtlo haw asbd u• for a quot. found wt ofhr battler nlua and hlva Qilflin out COli._.. wftl'l uJ*. We oft'el' COWf' for. but not limited to,1tle following: • Buildings • Corrteuts lnc:ludlng reg11i1

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• Public: 1nd Produc:ts Ll1blllty • Employers' Uablllty

• Trustee and Management Ll•blllty •Mooey

• Person•! Ac:ddent •Based on seven out of nlne quotllllons offered from 01 May 2015 to 30 October 2015.

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Prtrne cliff tap position with panoramic .sea views

The Cottonwood Boutique - Ideal for lnb"rnate ewt1ts with only 30 badroDms and dlnl...rforup to 80 auem

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NI!WI AMD VII!WI

NEWS AND VIEWS

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VALUED SUPPORT FOR PALLIATIVE CARE

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wATE R wAy SN Taste of Bordeaux MA

27TH MAY 201617 NIGHTS ABOARD AMADOLCE

Visiting: Bordeaux I Cadillac I Pauillac I Blaye Bourg I Libourne I Cubzac-Les-Ponts I Bordeaux

FROM

£2,175* ~~~SON

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INCLUDING FLIGHTS &TRANSFERS

wATE R wAy SN Rhone & Provence MA

3RD JUNE 201617 NIGHTS ABOARD AMADAGIO

Visiting: Aries I Avignon I Viviers I Tournon I Vienne Collonges I Lyon

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£2,225*~~~SON

INCLUDING FLIGHTS &TRANSFERS

FREE case of regional wines for Freemasons on these selected departures


NI!WS AMD VII!.WS

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CLASSIC ROUND VOYAGE

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE BEAUTY OF NORWAY A breathtaking adventure through the landscapes that shape Norway

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DAILY DEPARTURES AVAILABLE Call or visit us on line to book your trip YOUR ITINERARY DAYSl-4:

Your adventure begins in the city of Bergen, before setting sail along the Hjeltefjord to the charming town of Alesund. During summer, UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord is next. After visiting Trondheim, we cross into the Arctic Circle, where the 'Midnight Sun' can be witnessed during the height of summer, with 24 hours of uninterrupted daylight. DAYS 5-8:

En-route to Honningsvag you may spot herds of reindeer as we head for Gjesvrerstappan Nature Reserve. Sailing through the homeland of the indigenous Sami people, we dock in Mehamn to see the UNESCOlisted Meridian Column. Voyaging past the Lyngen Alps, we head for Troms121 and a Midnight Concert at the Arctic Cathedral. DAV$9-12:

We cross the Ris0yrenna Channel to Riseyhamn, continuing on to Trollfjord's majestic mountains and the chance to witness the towering peaks of the Lofoten Wall. The experience of crossing the Arctic Circle sees us sail past the Seven Sisters mountains, returning to Trondheim, Alesund, Torvika and Mal121y as our journey draws to a close. WHAT'S INCLUDED?

tl' 12 day Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen Classic Round Voyage in tl' tl' tl' tl' tl' tl'

cabin grade of your choice on a full-board basis Free camera or binoculars offer* English speaking tour guides on excursions 34 ports of call, including 22 north of the Arctic Circle Huge choice of departure dates 7 days (of your 12 day voyage) are spent above the Arctic Circle Full ATOL protection (when booking flights through Hurtigruten)

NOT INCLUDED

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An Iberian River Journey

Princely Treasures on the Elbe

Peniche Provencal

7 nights full board from £1295

8 nights full board from £ 1970

6 nights full board from £1545

Enjoy a leisurely cruise on the MS Douro Prince into the heart ofNorthern Portugal to Spain, on the Douro River. Travel through scenic countryside visiting Regua, Pinhao, Barca d' Alva, Vega de Terron and Porto. VN Special Events- Monastery & Quinto.

A scenic river journey from Prague to Berlin, cruising through the dramatic Lusatian Mountains on the Vltava and Elbe rivers. Explore Prague's Old Town and Castle District, visit Dresden, Meissen, Wittenberg and Potsdam, and enjoy VN Special Events.

Travel by rail and embark on a unique and leisurely barge cruise along the Canal du Rhone. Visit Etang de Thau, Sete, Mont Saint Clair, Avignon and Aries. Enjoy a traditional Camargue experience, a sailing to Aigues-Mortes and cruise on the RhOne aSete.

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Lost World of the Incas

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Explore the ancient Inca Empire visiting Lima, Cuzco, the Sacred Valley of the lncas, Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo. Travel through the Andes to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, and to the floating islands of the Uros. VN Special Event.

Discover the Victoria Falls and stay in fine tented accommodation at Chobe National Park, one of the most prolific wildlife areas in Africa, and Moremi National Park. Enjoy boat and open vehicle game drives, and environmental presentations.

Discover Ho Chi Minh City, HoiAn, Hue, Ha Long Bay, Hanoi, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Phnom Penh and the temples ofAngkor Wat. Enjoy VN Special Events- a medley of river cruises, a Baci Ceremony, Apsara Theatre and Champey Academy of Arts.

Y!JV

VOYAGES JULES VERNE

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Sales & Information: Monday to Friday Barn to 7pm and Saturdays 9am to Spm


III!NOR INAG In'S

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FIRST PERSON

Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation David lnnes explains how he intends to use the leadership and operational expertise he gained in the military to take the new charity forward

STRONGER VOICE What did you do before entering the charity sector? I joined the army after finishing my A levels in 1971, which was the start of a 34-year career that saw me rise through the ranks and end up a Brigadier and Engineer-in-Chief. During that time my career had two main elements - the first was regimental duty, using leadership, man management and operational planning skills. The other half was in office jobs ranging from strategy, intelligence and budgets through to training, human resources and change management jobs. Consequently, I ended up with a broad spectrum of abilities in a number of areas.

I thought it was a chance for me to use the experience I'd gained and put that back into the charity world.

What was your first charity position? I headed up the fundraising at Canterbury Cathedral, which was very interesting. It's been around for many hundreds of years but has only occasionally had to fundraise. We set up a new campaign, which required working with the Charity Commission and charity lawyers. It was a great start for me in the charity world but it wasn't utilising all my leadership skills. I was approached to put my hat in the ring for Chief Executive at the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) and was successful.

What drew you to the charity sector? Growing up, I'd been in the Cubs, the Scouts and the Pony Club, so I was aware of charitable activities from an early age, but had little chance to volunteer myself. I left the army in 2005 when I was 51, but didn't feel it was time to retire and wanted to have a second career. The military sector is all about people and the motto from Sandhurst is 'Serve to Lead'. You are under intense pressure to deliver on the tasks you're given but you need to look after the people, otherwise you can't deliver those outputs.

20

How did the RMBI compare with Canterbury Cathedral? I started with the RMBI in 2008 and it was very different from Canterbury. It was about delivering an operational output and I realised there were huge parallels between delivering military operations and care operations. We look after 1,100 people in our care homes and we need to make sure each one of them is given the best possible care. There are 1,500 people employed ~


FIRST PERSON

in the RMBI, which is the size of a very large regiment in the military, so it's about harnessing those skills, getting the right people in the right place at the right time with the right equipment, training and motivation, and operating as a team.

How has the RM Bl changed over the past eight years? The RMBI has had to adapt to social and economic pressures. When I arrived, the vast majority of our residents were active and mobile, and many had been with us for five, 10 or even 20 years. Today, the residential sector has shifted to high-dependency and end-of-life dementia care. Residents stay for a much shorter time and their requirements are more demanding. Therefore, the number of staff we need is higher and the unit cost of care has gone up, but local authority or NHS funding has not matched it, so the economic challenges have been very significant. We've had to find a lot of efficiencies, which has proved intellectually stimulating as well as rewarding.

Is the Masonic Charitable Foundation going to operate differently? In the RMBI, I insist that everyone speaks about the residents first, the staff second, the relatives third and everyone else fourth. That way the primary focus is on the residents. Similarly, with the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) I will encourage people to talk about our beneficiaries first because looking after them is the single most important thing we will do. By bringing the four charities together we are improving the service by providing a single point of contact and a single process. Whether it's advice or financial grants, we're trying to make support easier to access. We are also providing increasing support to the masonic community- to Provincial Grand Almoners and Provincial Grand Charity Stewards. I'd like to see that strengthened as a result of being a single organisation.

Will the MCF have more of a voice? When we bring all the charities together, we will be a sizeable organisation in the UK charity sector and. as such, we should be recognised. We should be a voice contributing to the third sector in giving our point of view. The masonic community has not been well represented because it has comprised many small elements. One of the things that I hope the MCF will do is bring them together and be a strong voice in an important sector.

freemasonrytoday.com

tWe have more than 400 years of history and that will be the foundation for the MCF.'

What challenges do you face as a charity with a membership organisation behind it? There are very few charities that operate across quite such a broad spectrum. Many tend to focus on one area, whereas we provide whole-life support to the masonic community, at whatever age the help is needed. That's one of our strengths, but we also have to be mindful that, as our funds come from the masonic community, we spend those funds on causes that the community supports.

How is the MCF affected by the need to recruit and retain more masons? By the end of this decade, 50 per cent of Freemasons will be over 70. Clearly those masons will be relying on their pensions and savings, so we need to be mindful that income to the charities may well go down. We must look for efficiencies wherever we can, to get as much as we can out of every penny. I do believe, however, that by working with UGLE in supporting its future strategy for Freemasonry, we will be able to stem the decline in membership.

What is planned for the MCF? Between the four charities, we have more than 400 years of history and that will be the foundation for the MCF. There is a lot of work to do and the integration will have an impact on staff. That will take a bit of time so I've allocated 2016 to getting us fully operational in our new organisation. As 2017 is the Tercentenary year, our focus will be on supporting a huge number of exciting initiatives. In 2018-19l'm looking to start growing the MCF, to provide services where we currently don't and to reach out to more beneficiaries. We need to build our brand, and our single name will make it easier to get that out into the community. The MCF has an exciting future and I feel hugely privileged to have been selected to lead it during these early years.

23


/ Cou11tdown to the 111ain eve11t f

The Coordinator of Planning for the 300th . anniversary celebrations at UGLE, Keith Gilbert, explains how preparations are progressing in the run-up to October 2017

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As the Masonic Charitable Foundation builds on a proud history laid down by the four charities, two families tell their stories about the masonic support they have received

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1t wtu a very .frighUnJng time. Without help I simply couldn't htnte coped.' Sruulra .1\mg


MEMBERSHIP FOCUS GROUP

SOCIETY OF CHOICE In 2016 the Membership Focus Group will build on its strategy to ensure that members have a rewarding experience, with expectations met by reality in our lodges

0

ver the past two years the Membership Focus Group (MFG) has reviewed aspects of Freemasonry that come under the remit of the United Grand Lodge of England, seeking the views of members through surveys, consultation meetings and interviews. The group has considered how Freemasonry is perceived, what its image should be and what Freemasonry has to offer in the 21st century. The MFG surveys canvassed the opinions of present members and it is clear that while many lodges offer what good men seek, there is often a gap between expectation and reality. We need to communicate clearly and confidently what Freemasonry is and try harder to ensure that we select the right men, as well as offering a rewarding and enjoyable experience to the new member and his family. The MFG has identified five areas where we must ensure the quality of what we do, and work is in progress to take these forward. Image: As an initial step, we have a new logo and want to use 2017 as an opportunity to communicate more clearly the benefits of membership and demonstrate that, through practising our values, Freemasons contribute to the well-being of others. A concerted effort is achieving many more positive articles and reports in the media. Our plans include an expansion of our use of social media to extend our reach and profile. Filming is under way to produce a television documentary to be shown later this year. Members have identified their concern regarding the quality of many masonic centres and the value of their offering. These should offer a positive impression, value for money and be an asset rather than a financial millstone to members. A project team is considering how to develop advice and support for those with property concerns. Attracting and selecting: Provinces are appointing Provincial Membership Officers as a prelude to improving the way in which we identify and select those who would add value to a lodge and appreciate our approach to life. This year we will be piloting a selection process in lodges in 10 Provinces to ascertain how best to assist them in this task. Improving retention: We lose too many members, some through poor selection, others because we have not met their needs and expectations. This is very much to do with lodge culture and balancing the needs of the lodge with those of its members. Many survey respondents made suggestions about the need to get back to the core of why we are masons. The sentiment was that

Freemasonry was beginning to feel more like a charitable organisation than one that promotes the idea oflearning and personal moral development, which in turn leads us to be charitable. Of the members surveyed, 75 per cent indicated that the aspects of Freemasonry that give the greatest help or value are: to feel part of a movement with history and traditional values; to make friends outside their normal social circle; to be part of something that supports those in need; and to achieve a sense of personal progress. Understanding and knowledge: The MFG sought views on the importance of masonic knowledge, with 67 per cent citing it as very important to understand the symbolism and moral/ philosophical issues underpinning Freemasonry. More than 50 per cent reported only average or poor understanding. This is a core issue. In consultation with Provincial Grand Masters, a project has been established to consider how we might help, encourage and promote the development of educational activity and provide resources to underpin the three degrees ofthe Craft and the Royal Arch. Supporting those that lead at all levels: The future of Freemasonry depends on identifying those with the potential to lead at lodge, Provincial and Grand Lodge levels. It is also recognised that opportunities for development and the degree of support could be far better. We intend to consider how better to prepare and support those that volunteer for lead roles within our lodges so that they receive the assistance they require.

NEXT STEPS There are no quick fixes. The process of change and development will take 10 or more years to bring Freemasonry up to date and reverse the membership trends of the past 30 years. The priority for UGLE is quality, not quantity. If the experience is one of quality and genuine care and concern for one another, then the prospects for retention and growth are good. Equally, the traditional ceremonies and standards are of great importance and need to be retained rather than diluted. UGLE recognises that one size does not fit all. Lodges vary in their style, approach and interests. We encourage them to be open to the guidance that is offered but to also adapt it in a way that best suits their requirements. By doing this, we can create a successful future together that embraces Freemasonry's rich values and variety.

'Of those surveyed, 75 per cent said the aspects ofFreemasonry that give the greatest value are: to feel part ofa movement with history and traditional values; to make friends in other social circles; to be part ofsomething that supports those in need; and to achieve a sense ofpersonal progress:

36


MEMBERSHIP FOCUS GROUP

How important is it to understand the symbolism and moral/philosophical issues underpinning Freemasonry?

Not at all Important

Reuonably Important

Essential

21.3 %

24.2 %

9.8 %

1.7 %

Fairly Important

Very Important

How well do you understand aspects of Craft and Royal Arch Freemasonry? The history and traditions or the Craft

0.5% I 6.0% • 48.2% 39.7% 5.6%

Not at all well Not particularly well As well as most Batter than most

The moral lessons and underlying meaning and symbolism ofthe Craft

Very well

The history and traditions of the Royal Arch

Not at all wall

42.5%

0.5% 20.2%

Not particularly well

6.5% As well as most

27.5%

5.3%

4.4%

49.2% Better than most

39.3% Very well

4.5%

Not at all well

Not As wall as Better than particularly most most well

Very well

The moral lessons and underlying meaning and symbolism of the Royal Arch Not particularly well

Not at all well

Better than most

As well as most

Very well

FUTURE ARTI CL ES AND PUBLI CATIONS WIL L KEEP MEMBERS INFORM ED OF WHAT THE MFG IS DO ING. IF YOU HAVE A NY FEEDBACK, LET US KNO W ON WWW.FR EEMASO NRYTODAY.COM/CONTACT-U S

freemasonrytoday.com

37


COTTON '!Will, CHINOS

ONLY£30 PRICE HALF (WAS£60)

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JUST LIKE MOVING HOME? Can personal experience of selling a house equip people to deal with what selling a masonic centre involves? Grand Superintencleot of Works John Pegella notes the similarities and differences

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40


Members of Thorpe Bay Lodge in Southend have been making and selling their own bitter to raise money for charity. lmogen Beecroft raises a glass to Lest We Forget

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Safe, secure &very, very strong - the revolutionary

very gardener knows that it pays to plan ahead. If you are one of the thousands of people who watched helpless, as winter winds battered their garden, it will not be a surprise that garden fences are almost always the first casualty. Whether you have previously patched, painted or simply prayed to keep your fence going, there's no escaping the fact that traditional fences will always fall victim to the weather.

E

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any garden, with or without decorative trellis, the highly skilled installation team make short work of their dramatic transformations. Your sad old fence will be efficiently cleared and replaced, leaving you to get back to enjoying your rejuvenated garden. Pricing is just as straightforward and equally attractive. Starting costs are in line with inferior timber systems but with Colourfence your investment saves you time and money each and every year. For those of us who love our gardens, Colourfence promise a lifetime of hassle-free enjoyment. For more information and to arrange a

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'We wld out'frlenfh and they rold their&, and 1uddenly we '14/tn selling out:

Gordcn Goodall

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- wen gotngonwiUtb and upward&' Andy RDgm

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A Tribute to a Legend of British Aviation History New commemorative strike, layered with 24-carat gold No other aircraft quite encapsulates the British spirit as well as the Secure yours now and save over £40 Supermarine Spitfire. Also known as the 'Spit', the fighter was the brainchild of Supermarine's chief designer Reginald Joseph Mitchell. The elegant, aerodynamic aircraft had a linear engine, retractable landing gear, elliptical wings and an enclosed cockpit. The fighters' strength lay in their speed, flexibility and power. Although it was just one of the aircraft involved in WWII, it achieved its legendary status defending our shores and securing Britain's aerial victory in one of the war's most decisive battles -The Battle of Britain. lt is now 80 years ago since the Spitfire's first flight- a significant anniversary, honoured with a stunning new strike.

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YOUR ORDER INFORMATION:

ORDER COUPON

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Title

Mastercard VIsa

r--...---.---.---, Please debit my card for this delivery and any subsequent despatches

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Address All orders are subject to our Terms & Conditions, available on request or at www.windsormint.co.uk

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Please fill in your details above and post in an envelope to: Windsor Mint, 11 Lowesmoor Wharf, Worcester, WR1 2RS • Or, for faster delivery, order by phone: 01905 330991


Come full circle Stonehenge's history has inspired many outlandish theories linking Freemasons and druids. John Hamill recounts the real life of Freemason Cecil Chubb, who bought the landmark on a whim 100 years ago


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C O L L E C T I O N

Original design of Freemasons Ring and Cufflinks

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LODGE PROFILE

Bridging the gap The Iron Bridge Lodge in Shropshire is attracting younger members with a blend of social media, streamlined ceremonies and core masonic values, as Peter Watts discovers n 1 February 2016, something happened in Shropshire for the first time in more then a century. At a meeting room in Telford town centre, three new members were initiated into Freemasonry at one lodge on the same day. This was so exceptional it required a change in the rules. 'The laws say you can only initiate two at once,' says Andy Delamere of the meeting at The Iron Bridge Lodge. We had to seek special dispensation from the Provincial Grand Master.' What makes it more extraordinary is that one of those new masons was only 20 years old Could the future of Freemasonry be blossoming in this corner of England? It has been an impressive first 12 months for The Iron Bridge Lodge, No. 9897, which is named after a local landmark and created specifically to cater to the preferences ofyounger masons. In January 2015, The Iron Bridge Lodge became the 34th lodge to be consecrated in Shropshire and the first new lodge anywhere to join the Universities Scheme. Launched in 2005, the scheme was created to attract students into Freemasonry, an idea inspired by the existing lodges at Oxford and Cambridge. While The Iron Bridge Lodge is not affiliated with any university, it welcomes all students to join its meetings.

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One of The Iron Bridge Lodge's new masons is student Tom Perring, 28, who says he has been 'interested in Freemasonry for as long as I can remember' - an interest nurtured by reading copies of Freemasonry Today donated to him by an elderly mason. Tom explored various options until he heard about The Iron Bridge Lodge being set up. 'I followed them on Twitter and they followed me back, saying thanks for the follow and if I was interested in Freemasonry I should ask,' recalls Tom. 'I told them I was, and it went from there.'

FINDING NEW CHANNELS Embracing social media is just one way that The Iron Bridge Lodge is trying to appeal to a younger generation. When Shropshire's Deputy Provincial Grand Master Roger Pemberton found that 27 per cent of new masons in his Province resigned within five years, he knew that making changes to recruit and retain young masons was key, but wanted to do so without diminishing the gravitas of the ceremony. Roger was among those trying to find a way to marry the procedures of Freemasonry with the responsibilities of contemporary life. We want to make Freemasonry attractive to young men and students in Shropshire, and one way to do that is to make it possible for them to be there,' he explains. ~


1'1


LODGE PROFILE

'Society is very fast and unstable; Freemasonry offers a strong, decent core that can help people.' TomPerring

Lodges traditionally meet at Spm, when many people are still at work or looking after children. 'We therefore start at 7pm and finish by 9.45pm so people can get home at a reasonable hour. We've also made it a more attractive, simpler ceremony,' says Roger. Proceedings have been streamlined by circulating reports and minutes by email before the meeting, rather than reading them out A buffet-style Festive Board has also replaced formal meals. This is more relaxed and provides an opportunity for masons to socialise. Roger was convinced that these measures would bear fruit. 'Ifyou have a market stall and you put it where people can't see it then nobody will buy anything,' he explains. 'But if you have something attractive that's easy to see, then people will be interested. It's about presentation - making sure people feel welcome when they join and that this welcome is maintained. None ofit affects the central tenets of Freemasonry, which are brotherly love, relief and a personal journey to truth.' Ray Dickson, The Iron Bridge Lodge Secretary and a member of the founding conunittee, explains the journey that Shropshire Freemasons have been on, 'We could see younger people live in a very busy environment where everything is needed yesterday, so finding time simply to attend meetings is difficult. We looked at how we could a provide a meeting place that accommodates modern life.'

STUDENT RECRUITS As well as identifying ways to simplify the ceremony, the lodge founders contacted the Universities Scheme. 'It sat with our ideals - bringing in young people, embracing and encouraging them,' says Ray. 'It seemed to be a good match with the principles we had started to build at The Iron Bridge Lodge and how we were organising and structuring things.' The founders visited three Universities Scheme lodges in Leicester, Oxford and Nottingham to see how they operated, and contacted others via Twitter and Facebook. The results have been impressive. The Iron Bridge Lodge had 70-odd

52

attendees at each meeting in 2015 and initiated seven new masons, some attracted by social media. The Iron Bridge Lodge was the first Shropshire lodge on Twitter, with its young members eagerly sharing information with their friends. 1t puts it out there, the good we do, and that sparks an interest and shows this is a vibrant lodge,' says Andy. The younger masons have also brought ideas of their own and new members into the fold. 'Young people bring other young people. They bring enthusiasm and they also bring innovation,' says Ray. 'We don't have a physical banner or tracing boards, we use projections - little things like that come from having younger people around They are very enthusiastic with social media. That's good for the lodge, Shropshire and Freemasonry in general.' Tom is a fine arts student with an interest in film, so he's made reels for the lodge and plans to make another for the Universities Scheme. He feels Freemasonry has much to offer men of his generation: 'Society is very fast and unstable; Freemasonry offers a strong. decent core that can help people,' he says. For Tom, Freemasonry provides young men with the opportunity to give something back. 'We're learning confidence and manners, becoming better people and meeting people we'd never otherwise rub shoulders with. It makes you want to return the favour, using whatever talents you've learnt at work and university.' Tom is just one of the new recruits who will take Freemasonry forward. Harvey Greatrex is a 21-yearold student who discovered The Iron Bridge Lodge via the website. He is looking forward to finding out more about the Craft and its values. 'Some of the older masons tell us that we are still going to be in Freemasonry in 20 years,' he says. Harvey's journey in The Iron Bridge Lodge is something that Roger hopes will be emulated elsewhere in Freemasonry. 'A lodge needs experienced people to start it off and run the main office until you get a cohort of masons who understand what it is about. We are two or three years away from that but in about five years, this lodge will be entirely run by new young men.'


MASONS IN HIS IORY

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Freemasonry Today - Spring 2016 - Issue 33  
Freemasonry Today - Spring 2016 - Issue 33  

The Official Journal of the United Grand Lodge of England