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  1. 2 points
    And the same invitation applies to you MrSifter - I think you'll be pleasantly surprised; I don't (nor, I suspect, does Jon) hear any such discussions here - and we're both in positions where we would hear of such. I can think of only one lodge in the Province where such talk may occur. I guess it does help when pretty much every member of the Province knows the PGM (he's also GSupt), Deputies, etc personally as between them they attend all Installations, and quite a few ordinary meetings. We are very much a 'family' Province.
  2. 2 points
    Yes, I think that's a pretty good analysis. UGLE only has to look at Whites or the Athenaeum to see how exclusivity works. Not that Freemasonry is a club; it's just the exclusive aspect and that is attractive to the kind who would be acceptable members. A sort of reverse Groucho Marx idea!
  3. 1 point
  4. 1 point
    Wow, so like a "tribute" Lodge in effect. Well I do hope that the Goose and Gridiron Lodge No. 1717 is a great success.
  5. 1 point
    Sentience, Come to Cambridge for a visit sometime, either Sontaran, David or myself can arrange a Lodge meeting. We are a good bunch, the Province is small and happy and you'll enjoy it S&F Jon
  6. 1 point
    I think you have missed the point!? Mr Sifter was not stating that they should be good ritualists, he did say that anyone who has reached and progressed through the Chair should at least be able to perform basic ritual to a high standard. I cannot see that this is wrong, I have always said ritual is only part of Freemasonry but surely we have to expect a minimum of effort and quality? There will always be exceptions especially members who have dyslexia or maybe learning difficulties, we should all be ready to jump in and help, however I have seen far too often recently Masons reaching the Chair and then have done absolutely nothing to justify the Lodge members selecting them to be Master! We all need to push ourselves to be the best we can possibly be, if we do this no one has the right to complain.
  7. 1 point
    There lies the problem. You are assessing a Brother's worth on his ability to deliver ritual. We are not an amateur dramatic society. I judge a Brother on whether or not he is just and upright, i don't give a damn whether or not he can memorise the ritual.
  8. 1 point
    That's exactly my point. I wrote about the principle of "exclusivity" a while ago in another post and that's the logic by joining any kind of particular group. I am firmly convinced that UGLE is using advertising techniques to recruit more members. From a professional point of view, it is very easy to recognise the patterns of modernisation, visual identity, and rebranding. These marketing strategies, are used to promote a product, in this case the product being Freemasonry. This a wrong approach in my opinion, firstly because we are talking about something that is above the mundane aspects of life and it should be treated in a different manner, and secondly is wrong from a professional point of view. In purely marketing terminology, in order to increase demand the product needs to be desirable and selective. As I said in another post, psychologically, people want to belong to something exclusive, not to something where everybody else belongs to. Everybody wants to be part of an elite. For the top notch products, you don't see advertising. They don't need to and also because they know that advertising the product means to cheapen it. This is called the luxury strategy, which aims at creating highest brand value by leveraging all intangible elements of singularity. Instead, UGLE decided to go for the fashion strategy where those intangible elements of singularity do not count; fashion sells by being fashionable, which is to say, a very perishable value. That's why you see the new re-branding campaign. In marketing I would compare Freemasonry to luxury, not fashion. Want to increase demand? You need to use the anti-laws i.e. forget about positions, luxury is not comparative; make it difficult for clients to buy; the role of advertising is not to sell; do not sell; do not hire consultants; do not test; do not look for consensus; do not sell openly. I very much believe that is what Freemasonry has been doing so far and that's why we have survived through the ages. Now they are changing the cards, and what will come will not be very good, in my opinion.
  9. 1 point
    That may be your opinion (about Grand Lodge) and you're entitled to it but I can tell you based on my own interactions with friends and acquaintances who are staff and officers of UGLE that when we talk about such things, and we do a lot, not one of them has ever said we need more Masons regardless of quality. Even the statement that started this topic which is an official pronouncement of Grand Lodge does not support your contention. It may be that because you're pretty new to Freemasonry that you don't realise that English Freemasonry was very much in the "public eye" from its very beginnings and even more so following the foundation of the Grand Lodge in 1717 and that it ONLY fell from public view during the second world war. Prior to that people didn't believe mad conspiracy stories about what was a very open and public organisation and had been for over 200 years and this is what UGLE is trying to combat. Any complaints that you have about how a Province deals with its recruitment have to be laid at the door of that Province because each of them is free to find its own way of doing things and they invariably do. I often poke fun at Provinces when giving presentations by pointing out that "the 47 Provinces plus London are very adept at finding 30 plus different ways of doing the same job or implementing the same initiative". Grand Lodge's direction ends with the Provincial Grand Master as he is the Grand Lodge Officer who takes it into his own Province where everyone does what he says. The same is true of private Lodges, they decide who they wish to accept into membership no one else does it for them and definitely not UGLE. I would also point out that Grand Lodge has made great progress since it first gave (back in the late 1980s) the instruction to drop the unnecessary and excessive secrecy employed by some of our brethren since the 1940s. You won't realise but we used to see evidence of the damage that had been done to the Craft on the first iteration of this very Forum, back in 2000, fighting (and it was fighting which is why the Forum Rules were devised) with those who had no idea what Freemasonry was but believing the most ridiculous trash being spouted on telly, newspapers and the newly burgeoning Internet about us.
  10. 1 point
    Its called "Dabbing" and has nothing to do with Freemasonry. There was a picture a few years ago of Prince Harry doing this and the following months were full of "Prince Harry is a Freemason" posts.
  11. 1 point
    I don't get involved with politics
  12. 1 point
    I think you misunderstand me; I'm fully aware that conspiracy theorists won't change their tune. What I meant was that if they are the only ones making sounds, then potentially interested (and qualified) individuals can be put off unless they have somewhere to go to ask what's truth and what isn't.
  13. 1 point
    Ironically that is the point of the statement from Grand Lodge. Although Grand Lodge and Provinces are making great efforts to get the public profile of Freemasonry back to where it was before WWII it still remains the duty of individual Lodges to ensure that they are not Initiating Candidates who are not going to be a good fit for Freemasonry.
  14. 1 point
    I totally disagree with this recent tendency of advertising Masonry as if it were just another club. I'm also totally against the new UGLE marketing and re-branding campaigns. I believe they have nothing to do with Masonry. Quality over quantity please, we don't need thousands of lodges to survive. The Masonic light will never be extinguished. I've joined because I did a personal research and came to the conclusion that Masonry has something invaluable to offer, not because I was bombarded with advertising.
  15. 1 point
    I fully understand the concern but it's not a numbers game. As Bootlebuck says it: 'has to be quality over quantity'. If new members don't engage and commit, they will, understandably, leave and not recommend others to enjoy what we have to offer. As I've said elsewhere, I've instituted the interviewing of proposers, to see how well they know the person they are recommending. Further, directing the attention of all members new and second-hand to the information resource 'Solomon' to help them understand what and why we do what we do. All this is fairly recent so I don't expect to see much result for a while. In the forty years that I've been in this part of the country I'm experiencing many lodges large and small. The large ones in multi-occupancy masonic centres are forever bemoaning their reduction in numbers and the increasing accommodation costs. The smaller ones of less than a couple of dozen members are happy to keep to that level, have inexpensive village halls in which to meet, dine at local hostelries and have a family atmosphere absent in the larger lodges. A number of lodges, large and small, formed soon after great conflicts, may have outlived their purpose and struggle from year to year. The struggling usually brings unhappiness, so why carry on being unhappy? In fact, during recent years we have seen a thinning out of lodges that have failed to adapt to their changing circumstances. Two of my lodges have been going for over 200 years apiece and another is approaching 150 years and they have survived by adaptation. When I look around, survivors evidently do so by adapting. I also see once-populous lodges where the 'old guard' has made the lodge unattractive to younger prospective members. They will close, they know it - but not this month! The lesson I draw is to keep select, keep the numbers small, foster a genuine and caring family atmosphere, rent your own meeting place and keep costs down by avoiding the need for licensed and inspected catering facilities.
  16. 1 point
    Or even worse, why some lodges would neither close nor amalgamate, but just die slowly.
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
    Thanks God they finally realise that! In my province it was all about increasing membership no matter the quality of the candidates.
  19. 1 point
    Dear Brother, you are a Mason and nobody can take that from you for as long as you shall live. You must appreciate that lodges differ from one another and what may be a perfect fit for you may not be for others. Pay your dues and if you are not "feeling" the brotherhood, move to another Lodge where you feel more at 'home'. Don't let one experience paint a picture of a broken brotherhood. Freemasonry is alive and well.
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