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Mentoring within our Province

The process of Mentoring has been successfully promoted and implemented in the Province of Durham, following both local and national initiatives. However, the Province, like Freemasonry nationally, is finding it increasingly difficult to attract new members of an acceptable calibre, and to then consistently retain them.

Demands on recruitment may not so much be a reflection on Freemasonry itself, but rather a consequence of external pressures and changing values within the community. However, our ability to retain new members is well within our control. Losing brethren is often a reflection of an inadequate recruitment process, an indication of how well we support brethren once they have joined, or both. The importance of retention is illustrated by the fact that, if we had retained all the Freemasons that had been initiated in the last ten years, then the craft would be expanding, not contracting and the need for additional recruitment would not be an issue.

Our new Mission Statement says:

“The purpose of our Mentoring Programme is to ensure that every member of a lodge and Chapter in The Province of Durham enjoys being a mason, understands what it is about and becomes involved in his lodge and chapter, both in the work and it’s activities”.

Let us consider, for a moment, that you had an interest in photography and were contemplating joining a club. Having been asked by a member to go along and meet the group, my guess is you would first consider, “Did those members make me feel welcome, and would I fit in with them?  Secondly, you would want to learn something about photography, thus maintaining your interest and increasing your knowledge. Thirdly, having been made welcome and becoming more knowledgeable, you may take a more active role and encourage others to join.

This approach can apply to many organisations and is the basis for our new mentoring scheme.
1. We want our brethren to be made welcome and to feel as though they BELONG in masonry.
2. We want our brethren to UNDERSTAND our ceremonies and ritual, to ensure they get the most out of freemasonry.
3. We want our brethren to GET INVOLVED and become ambassadors for the craft.

The mentoring process will be delivered and facilitated by the Provincial Grand Mentor at a Provincial level, and provided locally by lodge and Royal Arch Mentors, with the support of their Area Mentors.

The objective is to take what is best of our existing mentoring scheme and expertise and, where appropriate, extend its delivery to brethren by the use of personal mentors, who will act under  the supervision of the Lodge Mentor. This, combined with a more consistent approach to delivery and a higher visibility of the mentor and mentoring process itself, is anticipated to re-enforce that which is already in the DNA of all brethren–simply being a good brother and freemason.

As we have all heard many times in the ‘Address to the Brethren’ during the Ceremony of Installation:

“I therefore trust that we should have but one aim in view ……To please each other and unite in the grand design of being happy and communicating happiness.”

And, as our Provincial Grand Master has occasionally been heard to say, “Brethren, Enjoy Your Masonry”.

Mentoring Contacts List

  • TLC Teddy Initiative……

    “thank you Freemasons for the thousands of teddies donated to children’s casualty departments”

  • Community Support Grants…..

    “The grant from Durham Freemasons has made an enormous difference to our service users”

  • Provincial Annual Meeting….

    “The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”….

  • Masonic Widows……

    “My husband would be so proud that you still contact me so many years after his death, thank you for remembering me”

  • Provincial Meeting…..

    “The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”

  • The Royal Arch…..

    “I feel that I have a much better understanding of the whole Masonic story after joining the Royal Arch”

  • What have you gained?

    “I’ve made wonderful friendships with people from all walks of life who I wouldn’t otherwise have even met”

  • In respect to the TLC Teddy initiative

    “A child patient copes with medical treatment so much better when they’ve been given a TLC teddy”

  • What Freemasonry has done for you?

    “The teachings of the masonic ceremonies helped me to be a better father, better husband, better son and better neighbour”What Freemasonry has done for you

  • One of the best things I have ever done…

    “Along with getting married, the birth of my children and Sunderland winning the FA Cup, becoming a Freemason is one of the best things I’ve ever done”

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