Following an extensive consultation process across the Provinces and Districts, the MFG has launched a new strategy paper aimed at securing Freemasonry’s long-term future
The Membership Focus Group’s (MFG’s) new paper, Our Strategy 2015-2020, sets out Freemasonry’s core strategic objectives over the next five years, introducing plans for the organisation’s governance, membership and masonic halls.
Key to Freemasonry’s future will be the development of effective governance at all levels. The MFG aims to review, overhaul and clarify responsibilities, accountabilities, reporting relationships, leadership style, terms of reference and succession planning at every level. Proposed changes include reviewing performance in key masonic roles and the creation of a succession-planning model that meets modern-day needs.
The MFG wants lodges to be more rigorous in their leadership selection and development programmes, and will provide training to help grow masonic skills in key lodge positions. There will also be a review of rules and regulations, with a consideration of a rewrite of the Book of Constitutions to better reflect the future needs of Freemasonry.
Attracting and retaining members is a central plank in the new strategy and the MFG will be introducing a membership pathway programme as well as Membership Officers in each Province, lodge and chapter. Their role will be to help improve attraction, selection, mentoring, care for members and retention rates.
The pathway programme will assist lodges and chapters to attract and retain members by evolving the interview process so that candidate expectations are in line with lodge culture. Lodges will therefore need to demonstrate transparency by providing detailed costs of membership and ensuring that candidates are aware of the need to support a lodge’s social and charity activities.
Crucial to retention will be developing a mentoring culture in all existing members as well as ensuring Almoners are proactive in contacting members that do not attend a meeting to ensure they still feel included and cared for. Provinces will also be encouraged to implement a retrieval strategy with exit interviews and to assist disaffected members to find a lodge that meets their expectations.
Fit for purpose
Masonic centres have much to contribute to the future of the Craft. Surveys, however, indicate that many are not considered fit for purpose by the members that meet in them. UGLE will therefore seek to collaborate with masonic centre management to provide expertise, if required, and assist those that need help. Going forward, proposals include hosting a masonic centre summit at a national level to establish what help is needed. Assistance will also be given in identifying ways of growing revenue streams within centres.
The membership is Freemasonry’s most vital commodity and the MFG’s aims can only be achieved if the vast majority is committed to supporting the new strategy. A successful future where Freemasonry thrives means everyone getting involved.
To get a more in-depth view and regular updates, visit www.ugle.org.uk/mfg