Provincial News May 2019
Somerset Masons attending Yeovilton International Air Day
Saturday July 13th is the date of Yeovilton International Air Day and Somerset Freemasons will be out in force! Scott Gibbons from Royal Naval Lodge 2761 (and the Area Communications Officer SE) with help from the Brethren of 2761 and the Provincial Team, will be manning the Somerset Freemasons Stand.
The Air Day is a fantastic day out for the whole family so book your tickets NOW and, while you’re there, make sure you visit Scott and the boys. They will be delighted to see you.
Tickets from: https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday
Provincial Communications Officer
Somerset Masons support Ramadan
Ramadan is the most important month of the year in the Muslim Calendar when Muslims around the world abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours. At a recent Ramadan Festival held in Weston-s-Mare, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Martin Slocombe was pleased to support two local Charities. He presented cheques for £250 to Sayd, Chairman of the North Somerset Black and Minority ethnic network (BME), and to Miriam, Chairman of the Multi-cultural Friendship Association. These donations were match funded by Cllr David Jolly in his position as Chairman of North Somerset Council. The presentation was followed by a plentiful banquet to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Area Comms Officer NW
Photo – (L – R): Cllr Mark Canniford - Mayor of W-s-M; Miriam - Chair. Multicultural Association; David Jolly -Past Chair. North Somerset Council; Sayd - Char. BME; Martin Slocombe - APGM Somerset.
Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge
Provincial News April 2019
Over 700 Brethren attended the AGM at the Webbington Hotel to Witness the Installation of W Bro David John Medlock as the new Provincial Grand Master for Somerset.
The RW Deputy Grand Master, Jonathan Spence conducted the Installation and after the Deputy Grand Secretary had read the Patent the New Provincial Grand Master was placed in the chair.
He then Installed his new Deputy Provincial Grand Master W Bro Benjamin G. W. Batley ( Ben) and then reappointed his two Assistant Provincial Grand Masters W Bro Barry L. T. McCormack and W Bro Martin C Slocombe. The New Provincial Grand Master then appointed and invested the Provincial Grand Officers for the ensuing year before awarding Past Provincial Grand Rank and promotions. The RW Provincial Grand Master then addressed the brethren and received a rapturous applause , he urged everyone above all else to enjoy their Freemasonry and wished for a happy Province.
The agenda being complete the Provincial Grand Lodge was closed and the first verse of the National Anthem was sung. The RW Provincial Grand Master and the RW Deputy Grand Master retired in procession.
After a well earned break 450 Brethren reassembled for a well prepared lunch and with both the RW Deputy Grand Master and the RW Provincial Grand Master addressing the brethren the day closed with everyone having witnessed a very special event.
Please click on photo for gallery
Provincial News January 2019
The Launch of Solomon - An online learning resource to make a daily advancement a reality in Craft and Royal Arch
Sir David Wootton, Assistant Grand Master and Chairman of the Improvement Delivery Group, wrote in the last issue of FMT that the requirement to learn ritual by rote and then present it without any attempt at providing the most basic of context and understanding fails the candidate, because it overlooks the important messages that lie within.
Member surveys have highlighted learning as a major unmet need and a potential reason why members leave. Solomon has been created as an accessible online resource to stimulate interest and meet current and future needs.
WHO IS SOLOMON FOR?
Solomon will support the wants and needs of at least three groups:
- Those who want to learn more about their masonry.
- Those with programme planning or member development responsibilities in a lodge or chapter.
- Provincial or District Officers charged with promoting and providing learning resources and activities.
Solomon will support personal inquiry or study, irrespective of experience or prior knowledge. It brings together material from many sources to help answer common questions and improve masonic knowledge and understanding. The online resource can be accessed on multiple platforms such as smartphones, tablets and computers and currently contains more than 350 items.
Solomon is also designed to support the interests and requirements of lodges and chapters. The Lodge Mentor or Director of Ceremonies will be able to find material to help a member learn about or understand a topic or issue, or may introduce learning content into regular meetings. Solomon material comprises short ‘nuggets’, papers and demonstrations, as well as longer items for presentation and discussion. A regular presentation of these nuggets at meetings will stimulate a desire to learn more.
Solomon materials will complement material collected locally by Provinces and Districts and will guide and support them in the advancement of their learning.
WHAT WILL I FIND?
Solomon is devoted to the Craft and Royal Arch. It is organised into three categories:
- Seek & Learn: for individual exploration or presentation.
- Share & Encourage: for use by lodges and chapters.
- Support & Promote: for Provinces and Districts.
The first two categories have eight modules covering the Craft, the Royal Arch and more general areas, such as symbolism and history. This arrangement will enable users to focus and drill down to individual nuggets, papers and presentations. It will also help to confine the inquirer to those areas appropriate to his masonic progress.
Once registered, you can login and enrol in one or more modules and explore Solomon to your heart’s content. It is intuitive and has been designed to foster curiosity and draw you in to seek answers. You can use various search tools to find and refine your inquiry. You may then read or download as much or as little as you wish. With smartphone access, Solomon can readily provide an answer to a question at a Lodge of Instruction.
Solomon provides a range of interesting material that will complement or even replace a ceremony.
HOW WILL SOLOMON BENEFIT A LODGE OF CHAPTER?
Solomon complements the Members Pathway and individual mentoring programmes. These encourage a personalised approach to development. This approach should be extended to develop the interest and enjoyment of all members, enabling them to benefit from a deeper understanding of our ritual and traditions. The result will be improved performance of ceremonies, better mentoring and greater confidence in explaining Freemasonry to others.
Solomon provides interesting and accessible material that, if well chosen and well delivered, will complement or even replace a ceremony. It is designed to be popular, boosting attendance and interest. Ideally, learning activities will become an appreciated and regular feature of lodge and chapter meetings.
A ‘nugget’ is a five to ten-minute item of interest that can be presented by a member. It will easily fit into a meeting; perhaps to set the scene, or to act as a conclusion, or even when the candidate retires. It is also suitable for personal study and can be a resource for lodge quizzes. It may also lead to a presentation that expands on a topic of interest.
While there may be some who feel there is no time at a meeting, it’s hoped that by making time for learning, the benefits will become clear and members will increasingly value time devoted to it. A well-organised lodge or chapter will have a programme that reflects the needs and interests of all its members, one which they enjoy and which encourages them to attend. Learning may also extend beyond the regular meeting to a Lodge of Instruction or special masonic events.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
As the success of the UGLE Learning and Development programme depends on local support, the Programme Support Team wishes to work collaboratively with Craft and Royal Arch Provinces and Districts. Solomon therefore includes resources to support local development.
In launching Solomon to Provinces, Stuart Hadler, the Programme Lead, emphasised the key importance of presenting and delivering material in an understandable and engaging way. This takes skill and so Provinces are being asked to identify suitable members to be presenters, to develop their skills and to promote their use. The skilled presenter will draw attendance and overcome the negative stereotype of the boring lecture.
The team also wants to share good examples; these include specialist lodges and working with light blue clubs. A collaborative approach between the Craft and the Royal Arch is encouraged.
Solomon is still in its early stages and will expand in volume, range and diversity. There will always be a need to commission and source new and credible material and the team looks forward to receiving the views and suggestions of Solomon users. For able members eager to write material for inclusion, Solomon provides guidance on the style and other format requirements.
Early feedback on Solomon has been positive from new and experienced masons alike. David Pratt, Provincial Grand Master for Yorkshire, West Riding, remarked that the nuggets are ‘solid gold’, packed with interesting topics to educate even experienced Freemasons. ‘They are so easy to access and use. Any lodge member can lead the activity… I shall be strongly supporting and promoting the use of Solomon within my Province.’
To access Solomon, go to https://solomon.ugle.org.uk