W Bro Chris Overall is the Provincial Mentor and his contact details are listed in the Worcestershire Masonic Year Book.
You may also wish to read the his blog or follow him on Twitter.
Chris welcomes correspondence, which he treats with the strictest confidence. Click here to email him.
Duties of the Lodge Mentor
"Lodges are encouraged to innovate and develop mentoring programmes"
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Worcestershire's Mentoring Policy is essential reading for all mentors, as it defines our mentoring strategy, and describes the roles and responsibilities of those responsible for its implementation.
To give the Provincial Grand Mentor oversight of initiatives taking place within individual Lodges, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Worcestershire requests that every Lodge submit a Lodge Mentor's Annual Return with its Provincial Annual Return.
This important document also allows the Provincial Grand Mentor to identify Lodges that require his assistance and support; he is also likely to identify good practice that will be shared for the benefit of others.
"...Lodges are strongly encouraged to appoint a Mentor at their annual installation meeting."
As the office of Mentor is now official and detailed in the Book of Constitutions, Lodges are strongly encouraged to appoint a Mentor at their annual installation meeting. It is hoped that the ritual associated with the investiture of a Lodge Mentor, together with the assignment of a Personal Mentor to his mentee, will be adopted by every Lodge in the Province.
The Provincial Grand Mentor has published guidance and a list of associated resources (see below) that may be consulted by those looking for further detailed information on mentoring. They are particularly relevant to Lodge Mentors wanting to develop and implement mentoring programmes within their own Lodges. He also maintains a blog and Twitter feed, which are used to share news and information in a timely manner.
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Worcestershire has produced a formal mentoring policy to provide clarity of purpose for all those involved in safeguarding the future of Freemasonry in this Province. This policy defines the Provincial Grand Lodge of Worcestershire's mentoring strategy and describes the roles and responsibilities of those responsible for its implementation.
The mentoring policy here presented is not prescriptive, as it does not require a Lodge to implement any particular mentoring programme. Rather, it provides a simple framework under which mentoring can take place, and a structure that will support the sharing of information and best practice between Lodges.
Lodges are encouraged to innovate and develop mentoring programmes that are right for them, given their unique traditions and membership profiles. In doing so, they will receive the full support of the Provincial Grand Mentor, who will offer advice, guidance and encouragement as required.
It is essential that every mentor reads and understands the Provincial Grand Lodge of Worcestershire's Mentoring Policy, as it is under the framework presented in this document that every mentor will perform his most important duties.
The Provincial Mentoring Policy is published in the Mentoring Archive
The most authoritative and informative collection of resources can be found at the United Grand Lodge of England’s Masonic Mentoring website. The information contained on this website will be particularly useful to a Lodge Mentor seeking to implement a mentoring programme within his own Lodge. Reference is made to the following pages:
The Future of Freemasonry report should also be regarded as essential reading, as it considers the relevance of Freemasonry in a modern society. Produced by the highly respected Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC), an independent and not-for-profit organisation based in Oxford, the report suggests that - contrary to some misleading commentary - Freemasonry demonstrates genuine openness and transparency. It concludes that Freemasonry is more relevant today than at any other time in its history.
"...Freemasonry is more relevant today than at any other time in its history."
Those seeking a gentle introduction to Freemasonry are advised to read 'Freemasonry – What’s It All About?' This document is particularly suited for distribution at open-days and similar events. Printed copies are available from the Provincial Office.
Similarly, the accompanying video is highly recommended viewing for those wanting to learn more about Freemasonry.
As described in Rule 104(a) Book of Constitutions, Mentor is now an additional office within a Lodge, together with Almoner, Charity Steward, Chaplain, Director of Ceremonies, Organist, Assistant Secretary and Steward. Every newly-installed Master is therefore able to appoint and invest a Mentor on the occasion of his installation.
It is important to note that no brother can hold more than one regular office (Master, Warden, Treasurer, Secretary, Deacon, Inner Guard, Tyler) in the Lodge at one and the same time, but the Master may appoint a brother who is holding a regular office to one additional office also. Rule 104(d) states that the Lodge Mentor shall take precedence for investiture between Charity Steward and Senior Deacon.
As the office has been newly created, there is no formal ritual associated with the investiture of a Mentor. However, to demonstrate a Lodge's commitment to mentoring and raise the profile of its Mentor, the following words may be used, which were recommended by the Pro Grand Master's Working Party on Mentoring.
"Bro. ..., I appoint you Mentor of the Lodge, and invest you with the collar and jewel of your office which is two chisels in saltire. It is your duty to promote the Masonic development of the brethren within this Lodge by appointing a more experienced brother to guide and support both new Masons, and those taking office, as their Personal Mentor. By doing this you will help to lay that solid foundation which is an essential part in helping them to understand and enjoy their Freemasonry.
In taking this office you are accepting a great responsibility and I have every confidence that you will perform your duties to the utmost of your ability, not only for the benefit of the brethren of this Lodge, but of Freemasonry in general"
Introduction of the Candidate to his Personal Mentor
Having received the Charge after Initiation, the Master of a Lodge may formally introduce a candidate to his Personal Mentor using the following words.
"Bro. ..., that concludes the ceremony of your initiation into Freemasonry. Welcome to the worldwide fraternity of Freemasons and into this Lodge in particular. As was explained in the ceremony, you are now expected to make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge. To help you to do this, we have asked Bro. ... to act as your guide and mentor. He will explain to you and help you to understand the symbols and teachings set out in the recent ceremony and also in the ceremonies to follow. He will also explain the traditions and history of this ancient institution. Both your Personal Mentor and Bro. ..., the Lodge Mentor, are available to answer any questions that you may have."
The Master may then shake the candidate by the hand, before he and his Personal Mentor are shown to their seats. It is advisable for the Personal Mentor to sit with his mentee for the remainder of the meeting.
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