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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We at Worcestershire PGL understand that your privacy is important to you and that you care about how your personal data is used and shared online. We respect and value the privacy of everyone who visits this website worcspgl.org.uk ("Our Site") and will only collect and use personal data in ways that are described here, and in a manner that is consistent with our obligations and your rights under the law.
1. Definitions and Interpretation
In this Policy, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
"Cookie" means a small text file placed on your computer or device by our Site when you visit certain parts of our Site and/or when you use certain features of our Site. Details of the Cookies used by our Site are set out in section 13, below;
"Personal data" means any and all data that relates to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified from that data. In this case, it means personal data that you give to us via our Site. This definition shall, where applicable, incorporate the definitions provided in the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 ("GDPR"); and
“We/Us/Our” means The Provincial Grand Lodge (PGL) of Worcestershire an organisation whose registered address is 94 Birmingham Road, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, B61 0DF.
2. Information About Us
Our Site is operated by volunteers. Their details can be provided by contacting us.
3. What Does This Policy Cover?
4. Your Rights
4.1 As a data subject, you have the following rights under the GDPR, which this Policy and our use of personal data have been designed to uphold:
4.1.1 The right to be informed about our collection and use of personal data;
4.1.2 The right of access to the personal data we hold about you (see section 12);
4.1.3 The right to rectification if any personal data we hold about you is inaccurate or incomplete (please contact us using the details in section 14);
4.1.4 The right to be forgotten - i.e. the right to ask us to delete any personal data we hold about you (we only hold your personal data for a limited time, as explained in section 6 but if you would like us to delete it sooner, please contact us using the details in section 14);
4.1.5 The right to restrict (i.e. prevent) the processing of your personal data;
4.1.6 The right to data portability (obtaining a copy of your personal data to re-use with another service or organisation);
4.1.7 The right to object to us using your personal data for particular purposes; and
4.1.8 Rights with respect to automated decision making and profiling.
4.2 If you have any cause for complaint about our use of your personal data, please contact us using the details provided in section 14 and we will do our best to solve the problem for you. If we are unable to help, you also have the right to lodge a complaint with the UK's supervisory authority, the Information Commissioner's Office.
4.3 For further information about your rights, please contact the Information Commissioner's Office or your local Citizens' Advice Bureau.
5. What Data Do We Collect?
5.3 contact information such as email addresses and telephone numbers;
5.4 demographic information such as post code, preferences, and interests;
5.5 IP address;
5.6 web browser type and version; and
5.7 operating system.
6. How Do We Use Your Data?
6.1 All personal data is processed and stored securely, for no longer than is necessary in light of the reason(s) for which it was first collected. We will comply with our obligations and safeguard your rights under the GDPR at all times. For more details on security see section 7, below.
6.2 Our use of your personal data will always have a lawful basis, either because it is necessary for our performance of a contract with you (e.g. by applying to join our organisation), because you have consented to our use of your personal data (e.g. by submitting forms), or because it is in our legitimate interests. Specifically, we may use your data for the following purposes:
6.2.1 Replying to emails from you;
6.2.2 Supplying you with emails that you have opted into (you may unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of each email or you may opt-out at any time by emailing us directly);
6.2.3 Analysing your use of our Site to enable us to continually improve our Site and your user experience.
6.3 With your permission and/or where permitted by law, we may also use your data for marketing purposes which may include contacting you by email with information, news and offers on our services. We will not, however, send you any unsolicited marketing or spam and will take all reasonable steps to ensure that we fully protect your rights and comply with our obligations under GDPR and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.
6.4 Third parties whose content appears on our Site may use third party Cookies, as detailed below in section 13. Please refer to section 13 for more information on controlling Cookies. Please note that we do not control the activities of such third parties, nor the data they collect and use, and we advise you to check the privacy policies of any such third parties.
6.5 You have the right to withdraw your consent to us using your personal data at any time, and to request that we delete it.
6.6 We do not keep your personal data for any longer than is necessary in light of the reason(s) for which it was first collected.
7. How Do We Store Your Data?
7.1 We only keep your personal data for as long as we need to in order to use it as described above in section 6, and/or for as long as we have your permission to keep it.
7.2 Data security is very important to us, and to protect your data we have taken suitable measures to safeguard and secure data collected through our Site.
8. Do We Share Your Data?
8.2 We may compile statistics about the use of our Site including data on traffic, usage patterns, user numbers, sales, and other information. All such data will be anonymised and will not include any personally identifying data, or any anonymised data that can be combined with other data and used to identify you.
8.4 In certain circumstances, we may be legally required to share certain data held by us, which may include your personal data, for example, where we are involved in legal proceedings, where we are complying with legal requirements, a court order, or a governmental authority.
9. How Can You Control Your Data?
9.1 In addition to your rights under the GDPR, set out in section 4, when you submit personal data to us via email or via our Site, you may be given options to restrict our use of your data. In particular, we aim to give you strong controls on our use of your data for direct marketing purposes (including the ability to opt-out of receiving emails from us which you may do by unsubscribing using the links provided in our emails, at the point of providing your details and by contacting us).
9.2 You may also wish to sign up to one or more of the preference services operating in the UK: The Telephone Preference Service ("the TPS"), the Corporate Telephone Preference Service ("the CTPS"), and the Mailing Preference Service ("the MPS"). These may help to prevent you receiving unsolicited marketing. Please note, however, that these services will not prevent you from receiving marketing communications that you have consented to receiving.
10. Your Right to Withhold Information
10.1 You may access certain areas of our Site without providing any data at all. However, to use all features and functions available on our Site you may be required to submit or allow for the collection of certain data.
11. How Can You Access Your Data?
You have the right to ask for a copy of any of your personal data held by us (where such data is held). Please contact us for more details using the contact details below in section 14.
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12.3 Certain features of our Site depend on Cookies to function. Cookie Law deems these Cookies to be "strictly necessary". Your consent will not be sought to place these Cookies, but it is still important that you are aware of them. You may still block these Cookies by changing your internet browser's settings as detailed below, but please be aware that our Site may not work properly if you do so. We have taken great care to ensure that your privacy is not at risk by allowing them.
12.4 In addition to the controls that we provide, you can choose to enable or disable Cookies in your internet browser. By default, most internet browsers accept Cookies but this can be changed. For further details, please consult the help menu in your internet browser or the documentation that came with your device.
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13. Contacting Us