On Saturday 23rd July some 36 Companions led by the MEGS and 2nd Prov. Grand Principal, met at Northfield to discuss what we can do to improve our current Membersghip situation.
The current status being: a) Less than 40% of the current Craft Membership in the Province are Companions of our Order. (947). b) a 5% increase, or 1 Exaltee per Chapter, based on current numbers, would make a significant difference. c) Some 400 Companions residing in the Province are unattached.
The 2nd ProvGPrincipal, leading the seminar, put forward a number of ideas, some already in use and some to consider, and then opened this up to the assembled groups. This led to some very stimulating discussion and ideas covering a myriad of topics many of which will be the subject for discussion at the next 3R's sub-committee meeting of the Executive team. (Recruitment, Retention and Recovery),
One of the important keypoints that came from the meeting is communication. Using all the tools at our disposal, e.g. technology, literature and face to face dialogue. Currently the Communicatios team are looking at the website and its day to day usage with up to date information and perhaps a "Monthly Nugget" for Chapter and more particularly Lodge Reps to use when providing their input at meetings. The devlopment of a Closed to Membership FaceBook or WhatsApp Group to allow for individual point to point communication. The Provincial Executive are re-introducing "Talking Heads" to allow those Lodges who have no work to conduct to consider hosting a presentation; in the past these have proved very successful in recruiting; and finally a form of Business Card, similar to those used by the Solomon Project, to be available for all Companions to use and distribute when discussing the Royal Arch with a possible recruit.
That focuses on Recruitment, but we also need to look at how we Retain Companions, several of whom find the Royal Arch challenging when they first join. How can we involve the newly Exalted Companion in our ceremonies? The new Provincial Ritual Book has been written to allow for a number of participants to take part in each section. Do we establish a Chapter of Improvement to encourage all those involved to improve their knowledge and thereby performance, and finally how can we Recover those who no longer attend their Chapters or have ceased their membership?
It proved to be a stimulating and well worthwhile morning and everyone left feeling they had contributed to identifying many areas where we could improve and thereby persuade the Master Mason of taking that final step in Ancient Freemasonry to learn and understand the full story.