HRH The Duke of Kent explains why recruitment and retention should be your responsibility, whatever your rank
Whether you have been appointed to or promoted in Grand Rank, I want to emphasise that two of your key tasks are recruitment and retention.
It has become clear from the research carried out by the Membership Focus Group, chaired by the Deputy President of the Board of General Purposes, that these tasks are more important than ever before.
I am particularly concerned to hear that very few members recruit at all, and that there is an unacceptably high loss rate after each of the three degrees – and, indeed, during the first ten years of membership.
The Membership Focus Group has been formed to analyse the statistics and to make proposals to stem the loss of members. It is already clear that the mentoring scheme will play a vital role going forward. It is therefore important that lodge mentors appoint appropriate personal mentors to look after each new candidate, rather than trying to do all the mentoring themselves.
Naturally, I expect you will also be good examples to others, whatever their rank – not only in your good conduct and supportive approach but also by demonstrating your enjoyment of Freemasonry.
I hosted a dinner for Provincial and District Grand Masters. The support of and direction from your respective Provincial and District Grand Masters is paramount and I am pleased to hear how closely they, in turn, are working with the centre at Freemasons’ Hall. This inclusive approach is core to the future of the English Constitution.
I continue to hear of the good work done by the Provinces in their local communities and there is no better example than the help given to the victims of the recent floods, especially in the West Country. This good work was supported when I had the opportunity to visit two Provinces – in Gloucestershire, where I also attended their annual service in Gloucester Cathedral, and in Cornwall. I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the members I met in both.