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Recruitment, Retention & Reinvigoration

All organisations, from time to time, experience difficulties in maintaining a well balanced approach to continuity within their ranks. This can be due to a number of factors outside of their control, but by taking appropriate action and maintaining a will to succeed, these difficulties can be overcome. In this respect, Freemasonry is no different to any other business organisation. It requires a willing membership, who are all working towards a common goal, to achieve the main aims and principles of the Order and the happiness of the Brethren. Over recent years, we have endured a serious set of circumstances that have significantly challenged our members, membership and the Fraternity in general. Our aim, now, is to work diligently and effectively and reestablish membership levels. For Masonry to continue to flourish and Mark Masonry in particular, we must all work together to attract new Members into the Fraternity. Without the support of the Craft, Mark Masonry will find it very difficult to continue to be the third biggest Order in Masonry.



Recruitment


Work continues, to attract and recruit new Members into Craft Masonry and thanks to the work of the Members Pathway, enquiries and recruitment are now showing positive results. From this, as Mark Master Masons, we have the opportunity to share our own unique insight into Mark Masonry with our fellow Craft Masons. At the June meeting of Grand Lodge the Mark Master Mason video, The Magic of the Mark was unveiled, which comprehensively promoted the Mark Degree. For those of you who attended Provincial Grand Lodge in June 2022, you will have seen the video playing in the entrance hall. You will have also received a business card in your welcome pack, on the reverse there is a QR code, which, once scanned, takes you directly to the video and on the obverse, a QR code for the Provincial Website. The business card is an ideal way of promoting our Order and gives any potential candidate the opportunity to reflect on the video at their leisure.This is also hoped to encourage dialogue within Craft Lodges and should they have any further questions, we will be happy to provide that advice. There are additional cards available and these can be supplied, on request. We have contacted, RW. Bro Stephen Wyer, The Provincial Grand Master for Craft Masonry in Worcestershire, with a view to promoting our Order. RW. Bro Stephen is open to see how he can assist us to promote our Order within Craft Masonry. As an integral part of our Provincial Team, we also have a Membership Officer, the main responsibility will be to engage and liaise with both Craft Lodges and Mark Lodges and promote the Mark Degree. Therefore, we would like to discuss with Lodges, the introduction of a Liaison Officer as a representative, who would be the Membership Officer’s point of contact for each unit. Ideally, but not necessarily, the Liaison Officer would be a Grand Officer. Their Masonic knowledge would be invaluable and their support for newly advanced Brethren in promoting the principles of the Order, would be a benefit to the Lodge and the Order. A newly advanced Brother, should also have the full support from his proposer and seconder and they should maintain close contact with him, ensuring that they have a seamless transition into Mark Masonry.


Retention


Retention is a key factor in maintaining membership. We show encouragement and support to new Brethren once they have joined our Order and in turn, this should help them when they return to their Craft Lodges, to discuss and promote the Mark degree with their fellow Craft Brethren. We should also continue to support each other and encourage attendance and participation. A happy Lodge, is often, a vibrant Lodge and working towards shared goals and ideals builds a close relationship within the Membership. Staying in touch with each other and maintaining dialogue, even when we are not meeting, is an invaluable way to ensure that we are aware of any issues that a Brother may be experiencing. For example, a Senior Brother may have difficulty with driving to a meeting at night and this shouldn’t exclude him. By maintaining regular contact we can make sure that arrangements can be put in place to pick up Brethren and get them to the meeting. It is essential that all Lodge decisions include all members and just because a Brother is unable to attend, they shouldn't feel that their involvement isn’t valued. If for any reason they can’t attend, make contact, ask for their feedback and share this with the Brethren. Utilise Zoom for those times when meeting together in person is not an option, 10,000 business meetings took place during the lockdown. Being valued is so important to the harmony of the Lodge and by ensuring that a Brother is encouraged and feels integrated into the Lodge, he will begin to feel more involved and valued for his participation and contribution. Perhaps this could be summed up quite simply as ensuring a Brother feels at home and respect is given to those who have various family and business commitments and ensure that they are educated in Mark Masonry and are fully involved in all Lodge affairs.


Reinvigoration


So, how can we Reinvigorate our Lodges and build on all the fine work that has already been undertaken? How can we give new strength and energy to our Lodges and Members? We should look to encourage new Brethren to put themselves forward to take a more active role. Positive encouragement is an important factor, no-one should feel that they are being pressured in any way to do something they don’t want to. Lodges take pride in the standard of their ceremonial and positive feedback can give an enormous boost of confidence to the Brethren within the Lodge. So when visiting, be complimentary and look for all the positives and share this with the Brethren, they will appreciate it. Being part of a vibrant and successful Lodge and by actively engaging in social events, we can all work towards establishing, strengthening and underpinning the true values of Mark Masonry. Ongoing monitoring will review the statistical information of membership levels via Keystone on Line and look at how we can learn from that information throughout the Masonic year. We will be analysing the reasons for existing members leaving and will review and address any of the reasons of dissatisfaction that may be reported. We will also take the positives within individual Lodges and learn from them. We will review how they have increased their level of membership and see how we can utilise their particular good practices across the Province. The more we share good practices and work together, the more we can achieve. We all know that the Mark Degree is know, as the Happy Degree. Brethren have commented on the fact that they wished they had joined Mark Masonry sooner. The vision is to see the Mark Degree surpass the levels of membership prior to the Pandemic and we hope that we can bring our members along with us on the journey.


W.Bro Paul Alan Yarnell PGJD RAMGR

Deputy P.G.M Worcestershire MMM & RAM

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