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Education, Learning and Development

Picture of Richard Dixy, a visiting volunteer standing next to the MCF banner

Introduction 

ucation. Learning & Development has been identified as a key aspect of the engagement element of the Members’ Pathway and an important element of recruitment, engagement & retention.  Research suggests that the modern Freemason has a strong interest in the history of the Craft and its ritual.  The vast wealth of Masonic wisdom and, now written material makes for an immense amount of subject matter to cover and organise.    The term “lifelong” learner has never been more appropriate.  Added to this cannon of work available, we have the audience of men joining at different stages of their life and experiences all with varying similarities of style in embracing this knowledge or received wisdom.

Clearly, we must embrace the old & the modern at every level.   The Solomon VLO is enormous and there is little chance of fully embracing all materials before progressing to the next ceremony.   The intention is to structure activities and events to embrace the individual’s particular research, mentors’ programme, Lodge, centre, group & Province wide opportunities.   As Solomon provides more interactive features, so to our offerings have embraced this variety.

The programme for East Kent dovetails with the Mentoring programme and provides opportunities to learn and develop in almost every aspect of the Masonic journey.  The materials now available can be overwhelming & we have been at pains to embrace a varied approach to all that is on offer.   We have adopted face to face presentations, a debate, on tradition versus modernity, several webinars & podcasts covering issues as diverse as the VO scheme to advice to a new Freemason, how to learn & deliver ritual, how to navigate & best use Solomon.   A meeting for newer brethren was very popular.  We have been blessed with quality speakers all willing & happy to give of their time freely & share their experience & thoughts openly.  I am grateful to W Bro Tony Harvey, a Prestonian Lecturer & all of the executive.  We have two webinars yet to come on 22nd May a webinar on getting The Best out of Solomon, aimed at individuals researching & for Mentors entrusted with developing a programme for their lodge.   We also have a webinar on the topic of Overcoming Learning Difficulties in Learning Ritual.

Perhaps most exciting has been the creation of a demonstration & commentary team comprised solely of “Light Blues”.  They have delivered the First Degree twice so far once at Nicholas Ridley & once at Dane John lodges respectively.  The responses have been fabulous and enjoyed by the participants and lodges extremely favorably.  The quality of delivery is a testament to their skill and ambition to perform good ritual well.  The commentary we offer allows for pauses & time to reflect on the wording & symbolism inferred.  We have another “First” to deliver Monday 14th October at Snar Gate Lodge in Dover and booking forms will soon be available.  This is undoubtedly popular amongst newer brethren acutely aware of their own recent experience.  A wonderful by product has been the friendships already forged and strengthening by their visits to each other’s units.     The plan to deliver each of the ceremonies twice per Masonic year may seem optimistic but if invited, I am confident they will deliver.   Their joy and energy are infectious.

It may, therefore, be the case that the mentor and mentee learn much together as they progress.  Our own YP2 site has broken ground by focusing on the core elements in an approachable format.

The programme is ambitious, varied and growing.  It aims to cover all elements with varied levels of interest whilst allowing time to digest & enjoy the journey.  We are in the process of considering workshops for aspirant as well as current progressive and permanent officers. Learning circles have proven popular elsewhere and we plan to trial some.  The positive response to these initiatives outlined above illustrates the eagerness & genuine desire to explore the history, symbolism & etiquette of modern Freemasonry there is much to be optimistic about.  I hope that younger & established members find something to inspire, challenge & engage their interests on this most illuminating of journeys.  I hope to see you at future events or hear from you about elements you would like to see us cover.

Steve Salisbury

 

Education@ek.province.org

We need your stories, so please let the comms team know of the the good work your Lodges and Chapters are doing throughout East Kent. Just drop us a line on news@ekprovince.co.uk