Worcestershire is encouraging the
establishment of Provincial Lodge of
Instruction Festivals to be held annually,
where Entered Apprentices, Fellowcrafts
and Master Masons and elders in the Craft
work together to present an interesting and
stimulating evening of Masonic interest.
Richard Goddard has
driven the programme
An example is the training and education
programme of the Masonic Province of
Worcestershire, which has one prime aim –
to help Masons understand, enjoy and be
confident in their masonry, and by this to
retain them in the Craft.
Over the last ten years the Province has
developed a programme with an emphasis
on helping brethren understand, perform
and be comfortable in the various offices and
roles in which they will find themselves in
their progression towards the chair.
Many brethren find ritual and the
associated learning difficult and they can
often be the most dedicated and committed
Masons. But someone who is nervous,
uncomfortable and unsure is not going to
enjoy his Masonry and is certainly not going
to convey any enjoyment to others.
Thus seminars have been introduced
entitled “Towards the Master’s Chair, “The
Role and Work of the Junior Officers”,
“The Director of Ceremonies” as well as
training sessions for treasurers, secretaries
and almoners. These programmes are well
attended and very popular.
A history of the Craft and the Provincial
Grand Lodge of Worcestershire, entitled
Freemasonry - Fact not Fiction written by
Joe Grainger, is presented to every initiate,
and provides the basis for an ongoing
programme of training and education
throughout the Province.
The Guild of Worcestershire Preceptors
has been formed consisting of all the
Preceptors, present and past of all the Lodges
in the Province, as a forum for the members
to discuss and disseminate information on
good practice within those Lodges.
By its nature it focuses on the practicalities
of the ceremonies, but is also charged with
stimulating a culture of learning and to
advance the knowledge of the history,
meaning and purpose of Freemasonry.
Last year saw the launch of the
A Daily Advancement in
Masonic Knowledge – Fifty Short Talks on
the Craft – see www.masonicshortalks.com
The response and sales are now worldwide.
As the possessor of an historian in
Richard Goddard as Provincial Grand
Master, the implementation of these
objectives is driven from the highest level.
With what is said to be the finest Masonic
museum outside of Grand Lodge, the
Province regularly arranges guided tours of
the museum. The many precious artefacts,
jewels and books, are always on show.
Visitors are always welcome.
Worcestershire Provincial Grand Stewards
Lodge No. 9142 is actively engaged with a
series of presentations that are intended to
stimulate discussion about the content of our
ritual, and a deeper and more fully understood
appreciation of Freemasonry.
Worcestershire Installed Masters Lodge
No. 6889 is extremely active and provides
another forum for a programme of continuing
Masonic education, being host over the years
to a glittering array of speakers and
A recent initiative in many Lodges in
the Province is to charge a senior member
of the Lodge to be what is called a Master
of Novices, or the Mentor. His role is to
accompany junior brethren when they
have to leave the Lodge room for some
ceremonies or parts of ceremonies.
They talk to them and prepare them
for their next ceremony and help them
understand the background and meaning
of Masonry. A Seminar is being prepared
to deal with the role and duties of such
It is planned to produce a set of three
booklets so that every Lodge can introduce
a properly structured programme of
informative training to run in parallel with
the traditional LOI activities.
This will provide a guide in the form of
a series of informative notes about each of
the three degrees. This publication will be
expanded later to include a guide for every
office in the Craft, thus providing the basis
for an ongoing programme of training and
In such ways Worcestershire is trying to
balance both education and training. In the
narrowest sense, training is the preparation
for the duties brethren hold or will hold in
Education is the broadening of the mind,
the stimulation to a deeper understanding
of the foundations of the temple Masonry
strives to build in all men’s hearts.
Ray Hollins has been a Freemason for 50
years, and was formerly both Senior Lecturer at
the University of Central England and Principal
Examiner in Management subjects for the
Chartered Institute of Building