Provincial Grand Lodge Of Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire – The Way Forward

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Gloucestershire – The Way Forward

The Assistant Grand Master, Steven Varley, is carrying out review meetings to see how Provinces are moving forwards and it was Gloucestershire’s turn on the twenty-sixth of March 2024. He was keen to see how we are implementing the UGLE strategy and in particular how we saw the Membership Challenge in Gloucestershire. We are told that he went back to UGLE confident that the Province Gloucestershire is in relatively good health in terms of membership and likely to remain so when the current plans of the Provincial Executive come to fruition. Those plans however are not just for the Executive; they rely on the lodges playing their part in a wider sense than just trying to attract new members.

The Provincial Grand Master, Tim Henderson-Ross, opened proceedings followed by presentations on the Membership Challenge starting with his soon to be successor Ian Davies, then Membership Officer Paul Leadbeater and Mentor Martin Tucker. The most successful lodges in terms of attracting new members tend to be those who are implementing the Members Pathway, achieving a good standard in their ceremonies, holding social events, forming continuing relationships with their adopted charities and maintaining strong bonds with their local communities. In other words giving your members good value naturally attracts new ones.

The first point of call for many prospective candidates is the Provincial website so your lodge profile is what guides their choice of which one to join. Rather than the obvious ‘join us because we are nice’ it is more meaningful to show the number of members, average age, number of initiations the previous year and your supported charities whilst making sure that there are plenty of news items to show what your lodge is doing and that there are five photographs of your social or other events in the Gallery. Have a look at your lodge page now and see how it compares.

The number of Initiations in Gloucestershire has shown a marked increase in January/February 2024. The importance of making the new initiates feel comfortable and welcome is recognised as is the part Prorsum Semper can play in giving them a peer group of newer members, particularly in lodges where the membership tends to be older. The extent to which they become involved, such as going on the ladder of lodge officers, should be driven by their expectations so they feel neither pressured nor frustrated. If they do not settle into the lodge it is better that they transfer to another than be lost altogether. Do remember that Lodges of Instruction exist for the benefit of those who want to learn and progress and that there are no rules to restrict fulfilling that: they can be whatever you need them to be.

Retention of existing members is easier in active lodges as there is more to interest them. It is important to reach out to those members who no longer attend as there could be reasons the lodge can help with, such as difficulty in travelling to the lodge.

Every member, not just the past masters or the committee, should take pride in their lodges and want them to be the as good as they can make them. Think about how the various elements can be improved. How does your local community know where you meet and what you do? How would someone thinking of joining get in touch with you? Is there a relationship with your supported charities or do you just give them a cheque and walk away until next year? Is your attendance increasing or decreasing in terms of your own members and visitors? Why do you think that is? How many social events are you holding and how well are they attended, particularly by potential candidates? Do the wives have social events? Do you read the news items on the Provincial website or on social media to see if there are any ideas you could adopt for your lodge?

If you would like to discuss a ‘health check’ for your lodge why not consider having a chat with Paul Leadbeater or Martin Tucker?

Our photographs show:

  • The Assistant Grand Master, Steven Varley, with our Provincial Grand Master, Tim Henderson-Ross.
  • Front Row: Peter Trotman (Provincial Junior Grand Warden Designate), Peter Watkins (Assistant Provincial Grand Master designate), Paul Leadbeater (Provincial Grand Membership Officer), Martin Tucker (Provincial Grand Mentor)

Rear Row: Tim Henderson-Ross (Provincial Grand Master), Steven Varley (Assistant Grand Master), Ian Davies (Provincial Grand Master designate), Mark Steventon Smith (Assistant Provincial Grand Master designate) and Mark Smith (Deputy Provincial Grand Master designate).

 

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The Assistant Grand Master, Steven Varley, is carrying out review meetings to see how Provinces are moving forwards.
Gloucestershire – The Way Forward