Is a Masonic Blog of Interest?
I have pondered the idea of writing a blog since starting this site up 18 months ago. I wondered whether a Masonic blog would be interesting. Would anyone read it? and would be worthwhile?
Today, I’ve decided that I would start my Masonic blog and see, and there’s a specific reason for this;
Oak Tree Lodge numbers have been fairly static over the past few months and probably years. I was initiated in December 2016 and we’ve only had one new member join us since then.
The lodge total membership is small which is good in many respects and not so good in others.
Good and Bad
It’s good because as a young Initiate, I was given lots of attention and coaching. It enabled me to move from Entered Apprentice to Fellow Craft and Master Mason in just over a year which is pretty quick by most lodge standards.
I was quickly able to take up a role within the Lodge. Some people can spend years as a steward before being given a post. As everyone knows everyone else, there are no cliques within the lodge, which can happen from time to time.
On the other hand, some of the Lodges of Instruction have been poorly attended which makes practice difficult. There were fewer opportunities to perform ceremonies and learn the rituals. Meetings were stressful for the Director Of Ceremonies as he wondered if we would have enough attendees to conduct the meetings in full.
Being Made Homeless
Then, last Christmas, it was announced that we were likely to lose the use of the temple on the NRA site in Bisley. This led to a series of meetings and discussions about the viability of Oak Tree Lodge. Some people wondered if now may be the time to close the lodge and hand back our warrant.
That proposal, along with other options, was put on the summons for the 120th Meeting of Oak Tree Lodge that took place last night.
The meeting heard from every member of the Lodge that was present; including four founding members, plus two representatives from Province.
There were many heartfelt and passionate recitations that moved all of those present, and in the end, several things became clear;
- No-one really wanted the Lodge to close;
- We all wanted to continue as Masons and stay together as a Unit. We have built up firm friendships, as have many of the wives, and it would be a pity to lose that;
- The Revised Ritual used for Installation was unique in Surrey;
- With four Master Masons working towards the Chair, there was a progression for several years to come. These might be at risk if we were forced to join another lodge;
- We were financially sound thanks to the excellent work of our treasurer, so there was no need to close from that point of view;
- The current meeting place in Bisley was not conducive to attracting new members or joining members so how about relocating.
The consensus was that Oak Tree Lodge was worth fighting for.
We agreed unanimously that a change of scenery to a new centre might provide the impetus for finding new members and recharging the group – a fresh start beckons.
We now have a couple of months to look at possible new venues for the Lodge and everyone agreed that we would all do our bit to fight for the future of Oak Tree Lodge.
Starting this Masonic blog is a small part of that fight and part of my contribution.
My hope is that prospective candidates and joining members will read what gets written over time, get a flavour of what we are about, and feel sufficiently interested to make contact and find out more.
If that’s you, then please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you and love you to be a part of the future of Oak Tree Lodge.
S&F – Paul C.