W Bro Julian Smith (Jules the Bit) would be the better man to answer this question as he has rescued some failing Lodges, but I will give you my thoughts and suggestions:- (I can only speak for UGLE Lodges- matters are different in other areas such as Scotland)
First question to ask is why is the Lodge failing? Yes, older Members die off, that's part of Life. However, why are younger men not following them into the Lodge? Apart from the general bad and false publicity that Freemasonry has suffered over the last 10 years or so, are there other reasons?
1 Are the Meetings too early?
This is often a problem. In the Golden Days of the 1950s and 60s if a man had a Managerial position he could simply leave work early on Lodge days and nobody dared say him nay. Nowadays even Senior Managers cannot simply up and leave , they are wage slaves like most of us and have to answer to someone for their time off etc. Thus a 4.30pm Weekday Meeting is useless to many younger men and 6.00pm is the earliest realistic time to commence if not 6.30pm.
2 Is it too expensive?
With many calls upon both time and money can the younger man afford to give both? Not only will he have to devote an evening (and possibly take a half day or a day's leaves as mentioned in 1 above) to attend the Lodge Meeting itself but even if he does not visit other Lodges on a regular basis he will be expected to attend LOI on at least one other evening between Meetings if he wishes to progess to the Chair. Unlike the Meeting itself this is all work and no play and can be made less inviting if the Preceptor is a harsh taskmaster as some unfortunately can be.
As to the costs it is not uncommon for Annual Subs at least in London and the Home Counties to be as high as £200 or more these days and for a man with a family, mortgage etc this can be significant, especially if he is expected to chip in another £60 or more for Masonic Charity . Is the Lodge pricing itself out of the market? Should it consider finding ways to reduce costs as far as it can, e,g meeting at a Hotel which will give a very cheap room rent as long as a minimum number dine after the Meeting, or having either no Festive Board except perhaps for Installations etc, or a less formal and cheaper meal after the Meeting? Is an expensive Ladies Night still a good idea, particularly if it is held away from home in some resort such as Bournemouth with the attendant rise in costs? Would simpler and cheaper Social Functions be a better idea, if the Lodge needs to hold any at all?
3 Is the Lodge's attitude unwelcoming?
What may have held a great attraction for the generation of WW2 and post War National Service may not appeal or even be a big turn off to the modern man born from the mid 1970s onwards. Attitudes are more individualistic, informed by the meritocratic paradigm from 1979 which persists to this day. I know I harp on about this matter but I really think we have a bloody cheek to expect a man if a Steward to pay £25 to £30 (not uncommon in London) for a meal then let it go cold and be ruined while he serves wine at the Festive Board when the waiters are already serving the food and being paid and even tipped for so doing. I consider this a servile relic of bygone times and feel that it should be abolished, (see my thread about no longer making the meal at Festive Boards inclusive of wine). There is also the prevalence of "Buggins Turn" regarding Offices and ultimately the Chair for a generation which has been conditioned to ongoing assessments at School as SATs etc, and to a six monthly assessment at work and being rewarded or otherwise on the basis thereof.
4 Is it too samey and boring?
This has been touched on elsewhere but does the modern man want more for his annual subs than First, Second, Third, Installation , repeated each year? Would he prefer more Lectures, Papers, Discussions on the History, Symbolism and purposes of Freemasonry?
5 Is rote learning still necessary.
Those of my age and older can still remember learning Multiplication Tables, Mathematical and Scientific Formulae, Dates in History and of course Poetry and Prose off by heart at School. This has not been the case for many years, students are now taught to understand the application but that such facts can be looked up either in books or via the Internet. Can we seriously expect them to learn off by heart and then recite from memory long passages of prose, in some cases written in difficult language, then "tut tut" then when they get the odd word wrong and substitute another of like meaning in its place? Why not accept that some men many be happier reading the more difficult passages of Ritual as is tacitly condoned in many of the Higher Degrees.
Of course in addressing these problems to attract the younger men as potential Members there is the danger of driving away the older Brethren who enjoy things just as they are. That is the gamble one has to take and I'm afraid that sometimes a Lodge has to admit that the situation is irrecoverable and either amalgamate with another Lodge or surrender its Warrant.
I find your posts and your questions quite confusing and for several reasons.
You seem to be a little confused as to whether you are a Mason or not. Some of the questions you have asked would indicate that you are a Mason already.
And your use of English is quite fascinating.... I give extracts from some of your post below......
"Because someone suggest me to contact with editor of this website But i cant find him."
"I am not freemason and I am really surprise why you dont open in the public like lion rotary or other club or open your meeting for non-freemason and I think..."
""50: 50 i dont make sure"
This is a really good effort for someone trying to communicate in a foreign language. But below you seemed to have grasped the language quite well and in a very short period of time.
"Do you think we should be more "out there", as it were, or more traditionally reserved in our public face?"
"Some Masons like to be very open about their membership in the fraternity, while others prefer to be more discreet.
Where did this idea come from? Is there any basis to this? Some quote Morals and Dogma where a line says something about Lucifer being God or something. Why is there many people that think Freemasons worship the devil? I just don't get it. This must have started somewhere."
I must say I am quite surprised that you have read Morals and Dogma if you are not a Freemason - even some of us find that tough going.
"masonic is good and have many information / forum for ask and clear every question But why many people try to against the Freemasons and said "masonic is bad"
Why do some people feel the need to post outright lies about Masons and Masonry?
And dear username why is it that your posts seem to dwell on these negativities?
My lodge has revitalized over the last 5 to 8 years as a result of two very simple principles. First, no matter what a member wants to do for a project, activity, public relations program, or outreach technique, no matter how stupid it sounds, as long as it is not immoral, illegal, or prohibited by Masonic law, DO IT! Second, if it succeeds beyond your wildest dreams or fails dismally, the ONLY comments about it are POSITIVE comments. Nothing is failure because any activity at all brings life and members to the lodge. Open your minds and hearts and give this a try. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results!
freemason is never die and masonic have exciting history for a long time Some lodge very active and some lodge dying and dont have any sign to growth
Therefore Hypothetical question
Your lodge is dying
- most of the members are getting older - there's only a few younger - the meetings are boring not funny like other club - the lodge isn't really doing anything. - Dont have new member for a long time
What are you going to do Please share ...............
My special favour goes for initiatic ceremonies, for innovative theatrical actions with acting and surprised members participating. I would work on that with a lot of ideas, experience and involving different artistic directions.
The Ancient: sbs59: Were you suspended for non payment of dues? if so, square up and petition the lodge for a restatement vote. If your dues are current, your still a member. In this case, it is all about the Benjamins.
May 27, 2019 0:49:07 GMT