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Lincolnshire Freemasons Address the Membership Challenge

Net 5% upward swing in membership growth; resignations slashed by 75%

Lincolnshire’s Pathway Rollout Team show off their branded shirts at a Saturday morning Pathway seminar.


A kaleidoscope of ideas developed by Lincolnshire Freemasons is helping to show the benefits of Freemasonry in a new light to the world at large as the Province rises to the Pro Grand Master's Membership Challenge.

No single idea has the power alone to reverse the decline in membership, says Provincial Grand Master Dave Wheeler, but he's convinced the overall outcome from the work being accomplished in his Province will be greater than the sum of its parts.

He says:

"Lincolnshire Freemasons are relishing the Challenge laid down for us by the Pro Grand Master. We're working hard to change perceptions in all sorts of ways. Just as a golfer has lots of clubs in his bag to suit particular situations, we have lots of ideas to suit different scenarios."

So far, the results are very encouraging; a decline of 2.2% has been transformed into a 3% growth in new members for the Craft, with resignations down from 20% to just 5%. The Province has also achieved a 1.3% increase in Royal Arch membership.

With direction, support, and backing from a Provincial Strategy Working Group led by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, these include, but are not limited to:

  1. Awareness raising 1: The Provincial Senior Grand Warden has provided every Lodge and Chapter with its actual, rather than perceived, membership numbers and trends to raise awareness of its real position.
  2. Awareness raising 2: Business cards have been produced for circulation amongst members to highlight the five key objectives of the 2022 & Beyond Strategy.
  3. The Members Pathway Rollout Team: Led by the Provincial Grand Membership Officer, the team brings together Provincial officials responsible for Membership, Mentoring, the Royal Arch, and the Almoner's role. Wearing branded team shirts, they tour the Province, providing Saturday morning seminars at our centres for the benefit of Lodge and centre officials with responsibilities in those areas. Personal invitations are issued, and every Lodge in the Province is included in the tour. Individual presentations are also made to Lodges 'on request' by smaller groups from the Pathway team.
  4. Open Days: Centres are increasingly keen to stage Open Days, which are proving effective in membership generation. One centre's open day resulted in eight new members; another yielded five new members and four 'joiners.'
  5. Website refresh: The Province is in the process of refreshing to make it more mobile-friendly.
  6. Promotional collateral: The Province has invested in a series of pop-up promotional banners, which are available to Centres on an on-loan basis to accompany a suite of appropriate literature.
  7. Freemasonry on the road: Talks about Freemasonry are offered to community groups.
  8. YouTube channel: A selection of video interviews are permanently available online; search for Lincolnshire Freemasons.
  9. Podcasts: The YouTube channel also includes a series of podcasts talking all things Freemasonry.
  10. Talking Heads: A dedicated Talking Heads team tours the Province using a playlet format to extoll the virtues of Royal Arch membership.
  11. Did you know cards: It can be hard for newer Brethren to explain the values of Freemasonry to non-Freemason friends. Business cards have been produced for them to share in support of their conversations, showing links to places in which the questions can easily be answered online.
  12. MM Nights: Master Masons are invited to attend informal presentations about the Royal Arch to encourage them to join. The Province provides a free supper afterwards.
  13. Welcome events: New Masons are invited to evenings dedicated to them at which they can meet PGM to aid their understanding of Freemasonry and retain them as members.
  14. Archway: The Province will start to roll out Archway in the autumn to offer options to increase RA involvement and retention.
  15. Daily Advancement: Learning and Development presentations are being offered to assist with understanding and engagement.
  16. Light Blues: A 'Light Blues' constitution has been created to provide structure and a framework for this ever-growing group.
  17. Car window stickers: A bold QR code to be applied to the inside of car windows raises awareness and makes the cars a 'window of opportunity'.
  18. Social media: The Province has an active and enthusiastic social media presence, which contributes to the promotion of Freemasonry in general and individual events in particular.
  19. Social events: Members are increasingly encouraged to bring family and friends to a larger number of social events as a conduit to meet Freemasons. Numbers at these events are increasing, led by an active events committee. Other events staged by Freemasons are open to the public, such as our annual classic car meeting at a venue in the centre of the Province where visitors are encouraged to talk about the cars and ask questions about Freemasonry.
  20. …and finally, our Ambassador: Lincolnshire Freemason Chris Jones, meets and talks to hundreds of people in cafes, bars, and pubs as he treks at least 7,500 miles around the entire coast of mainland UK, explaining about Freemasonry in general and its charitable work through the MCF in particular

Dave added:

"I've no doubt our combined efforts will continue to work, but in the highly unlikely event that they don't, no one will be able to say Lincolnshire didn't try its utmost to achieve success." 

Further information about any of the initiatives is available. In the first instance, contact Lincolnshire's Provincial Communications Officer Stuart Pearcey [email protected]

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