As you will know from previous Arenas, the Members’ Pathway contains examples of good practice that will assist lodges to thrive, including how they might better engage their Members.


The Metropolitan Grand Learning and Development Officer writes…


One of the threads of the Members’ Pathway in this area is ‘fun and enjoyment’ and it is perhaps one of the areas that gets less attention, so I will be using this column to suggest some ways in which lodges can improve their fun and enjoyment, and thus (one assumes) improve attendance and retention of Members. As part of writing this article the author has spoken to Members of three lodges, here are some of the many practical examples that might (or indeed might not) work for your Lodge:

Bowes Park Lodge No 3119 has developed a formula that works well for them, including agreeing as a Lodge that every visitor, candidate and established Brother should be greeted as an old friend when they visit or join the Lodge. This has paid dividends as it has engendered a tangible warmth in the Lodge which all appreciate. Bowes Park Lodge has also developed a real reputation for enjoying their Festive Board, including singing ‘Downtown’ (made famous by Petula Clark) which ensures the Festive Board culminates with great merriment.

Evening Star Lodge No 1719 has created a Lodge tartan, and has purchased a sufficient stock to enable Members and future Members to have either a kilt or trews made for them, the intention being that this fosters a strong sense of shared identity, and a real sense of belonging, especially for newer Members, and promotes an espirit de corps. Evening Star Lodge also really support their Members with learning, as one of their tenets is to promote high quality ritual, and this informal mentoring appears to work.

Venture Adventure Lodge No 6022 habitually meets at 3pm on a Wednesday, meaning Members who are still working need to take either a half or whole day off to attend. Rather than wasting the day, Members are invited to an informal lunch together. Given (like most Metropolitan Lodges) Venture Adventure meets four times a year, these lunches really promote friendship and fun within the Lodge family.

One approach to promoting fun and enjoyment would be to really look after the newer Masons, I can remember being quite confused much of the time in my early Masonic journey, and that was with the benefit of an excellent sponsor into Masonry who mentored me brilliantly. Bowes Park Lodge has a smart process here.

After their initiation, new Brethren are presented with the Initiate’s Guide and other standard Masonic literature, like most Lodges. But furthermore, within a few weeks of initiation, the Membership Officer will contact the Initiate and ask how he enjoyed the day and how the Lodge Brethren engaged with him (which is key). Could they have made their introduction to the Lodge easier? The Lodge then acts on feedback for future initiations. Initiates are also sent:

1. Links to Rosetta and Solomon and an introduction to these valuable resources

2. A copy of the ritual they have just experienced

3. A broader explanation of the Degree that they have just achieved

4. An invite to the next suitable Lodge of Instruction

5. The Q&A for the next degree

6. Details of their personal Mentor

Over successive months, new Brethren are asked if they would like to do more in the Lodge – for example, a piece of ritual or supporting the stewards at the Festive Board. This developmental process is continued for all Brethren – including preparation for the various offices and eventually honours and active office for those with the desire to progress. This requires that we identify all their individual talents, skills, experience and ambitions so that Brethren can be signposted towards training, learning and experiences appropriate for their personal development.

This has worked well for Bowes Park: over the last 12 years, their Membership has grown from 16 Brethren to over 30; more importantly they have built a Lodge where Brethren have fun, feel welcome and are fully involved.

All three of these Lodges also actively promote the Royal Arch, which is another thread in the Engage Hub of the Members’ Pathway. Two of the Lodges (Venture Adventure and Evening Star) do not have a sponsored Royal Arch Chapter, and they have tackled this issue in completely different ways.


Venture Adventure has historic links with the Royal Air Force and many of its Members are current or former Members of the RAF family. The Lodge is a proud member of the Circuit of Service Lodges (CSL), and Venture Adventure has worked with the leadership of the CSL to find Royal Arch connections.

Evening Star has Members from a diverse range of professions, but had lost touch with its Royal Arch Chapter. The Lodge therefore worked with one of its Honorary Members who happened to be a former Scribe E of a Chapter with a complementary ethos. After several years of informal partnering, a number of Evening Star Brethren have either been Exalted into (or joined) the Chapter, and there is a significant commonality of membership and a great deal of inter-visiting.

The Members’ Pathway ‘Fun and Enjoyment’ and ‘Introduction to the Royal Arch’ threads have further examples that will help your Lodge to thrive. We recommend that every Lodge’s Membership Team reflects on the enjoyment that their Lodge offers, putting themselves in the mindset of a new Mason, and work out what will be most attractive. It seems obvious that there is no downside to Members enjoying their time in the Lodge, and from the friendships they develop with the other Members. Members that are experiencing fun, enjoyment and friendship are far more likely to remain, and share the logistic burden of running a Lodge, as well as being a magnet for Initiates and joining Members.


L&D quick links


Fun & Enjoyment thread on the Members’ Pathway

Introduction to the Royal Arch on the Members’ Pathway



The Circuit of Service Lodges