an experienced and trusted advisor
A mentor is a person who guides a less experienced person by building trust and modeling positive behaviours.
Mentoring in Wiltshire
The Provincial Grand Mentor
The role of the Province is pivotal to the success of the scheme. Its role is to manage the System locally and appoint a Provincial Grand Mentor to provide support, advice and guidance to Lodges.
The Provincial Mentor has a team of Divisional Mentoring Officers who are each responsible for 14 Lodges. The division of the Mentoring Officers reflects the composition of Lodges in the South, North and Central areas of the Province.
The Members' Pathway provides a systematic methodology for attracting members, and growing Lodges. A key part of the role of the Mentoring Team is to ENGAGE with members of Lodges.
Engagement covers many aspects of a Mentor's role within the Province. Not only does the Mentor have to liaise with the Membership Team, he will also develop a close worjking relationship with the Learning & Development Team especially in organising and supporting Training Workshops for Lodge Mentors, and for Personal Mentors.
A key role of the Provincial Mentor and his team is to monitor all mentoring activities within the Province, to ensure Training Workshops are organised and report to the Provincial Executive. The format of this report will depend upon the amount of information requested by the Executive, but should include the following:
- Number of Lodges actively employing Mentoring within the Province.
- How many Lodge Mentors and Personal Mentors there are within the Province.
- Any training/workshop/road show activities within the last year.
- Any feedback received on such activities.
- Best practice identified.
- Any notable successes to be celebrated.
- Improvements identified for future years.
The Lodge Mentor
The essence of a Mentoring Scheme is the ENGAGEMENT between the Personal Mentor and the new member and it is vital that the Lodge chooses the right man for the job. This is done best in Lodges where a Lodge Mentor/Co-ordinator has been appointed. The Lodge Mentor/Co-ordinator provides an organisational and support role for the Personal Mentors. He is responsible for the smooth operation of the scheme once the Lodge has agreed its adoption. He should select and recommend the Personal Mentor(s) and ensure that he/they fully understand their responsibility and are trained in what needs to be done. To help him select the best PersonalMentor (who may be the Proposer or Seconder) he should meet the candidate before his Initiation in order to gain an insight into the character and nature of the soon to be Brother. It is also the wish of the Provincial Grand Master that the Personal Mentor selected should also meet the Candidate prior to the evening of initiation.
In short the role of the Lodge is to:
- implement the System in their Lodge
- appoint a Lodge Mentor/Co-ordinator who ensures applicants receive a fitting introduction to Masonry
- allocates each Mason a suitable Personal Mentor
- tracks progress of System in Lodge
- liaises with Provincial Co-ordinator
- is willing to take on the role for a number of years.
The Lodge Mentor will have a pool of Personal Mentors whom he will have trained in anticipation of an applicant for Freemasonry. He will also arrange for the EAFs or FCFs to be coached while they are out of the Lodge Room during a ceremony which is being conducted in a higher Degree.
The Lodge of Instruction (LOI) or its equivalent can achieve a lot in terms of helping Brethren feel included. The LOI is also a vehicle for building relationships while enabling a Brother to 'make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge'.
It is the responsibility of every Lodge to look after and care for its members and the Lodge needs to ensure that a Personal Mentor is appointed for every Candidate. The Lodge Mentor has a vital role to play, as it is his responsibility to ensure that the Mentoring process is not only implemented, but that it also works effectively in his Lodge. To do so he must:
- Be fully aware of the Mentoring process, what it is trying to achieve and what ‘success looks like’.
- Make sure that all the members of his Lodge are aware of Mentoring and what benefits it will bring to their Lodge.
- Ensure Mentors fully understand the aims and objectives of the programme.
- Ensure Mentors attend any training courses or workshops provided.
- Match the right Mentor to the Candidate. This will of course vary according to the size of Lodge membership and the availability of suitable Mentors. It would be helpful to be involved at the early stages of a candidate’s application to the Lodge. This will allow him to start thinking of a suitable match. Remember not to disregard the Proposer or Seconder, as they may have the ability to fulfil the role.
- Take time to ensure the Candidate and Mentor form a good initial relationship. One way this could be achieved is by arranging for them to sit together in the Lodge, and at the Festive Board..
- Report his findings to the Lodge.
Mentoring does extend significantly further into caring for our brethren, in lots more ways and on a much more personal level. On occasions the Mentor might well find himself talking with the Lodge Almoner about a Brother. It is important to remember that the Lodge Almoner may be aware of matters which he cannot divulge to anyone.
The Personal Mentor
The role of Personal Mentor is the key position within the whole Mentoring process. It is the Personal Mentor who imparts his knowledge, spends time with the Candidate, and guides and supports him throughout his initial Masonic journey. By helping him take the correct first crucial steps, you will be guiding him on a path that will change his life, and the lives of those around him, for the better.
The responsibilities of a Personal Mentor are great, but the role is also, in many ways, an easy and enjoyable one. Mentoring is not rocket science. It is simply a process of spending time with and caring for a newly made Brother, exposing him to information in a controlled manner, i.e. small understandable chunks that he can easily digest, whilst making sure he starts to understand what is happening around him. Once he has the basic knowledge, your role will then change from ‘Teacher’ to ‘Mentor’. This may involve some elements of counselling, acting as a confidential advisor and being a role model. These are all things you have done successfully many times before, but you thought of it as friendship.
By its very nature, this role will involve continuous review, as the Personal Mentor and Candidate will be meeting on a regular basis to review progress. It is the responsibility of the Personal Mentor to give feedback on progress to the Lodge Mentor. This will include how the mentoring relationship is progressing with the Candidate and will contain such points as:
- How often do they meet?
- Have they met after each of the degree ceremonies?
- Does the new Brother make any positive/negative comments about any aspects of the Craft?
- Has the Brother taken part in any ritual or shown interest in doing so?
- Are there any recognisable skills that the Brother has that may be useful to the Lodge in the future i.e. a head for figures (Treasurer), Compassion (Almoner)?
- Is the Brother shown an interest in visiting other Lodges?
- Does he attend any social events?
- Has he introduced his family to Freemasonry?
You will have plenty of support both from The Lodge Mentor and the rest of the Brethren, for it is in everyone’s interest that you are successful in your role. You may know of other Mentors in other Lodges and, if so, it will be good to speak to them from time to time, to exchange ideas and best practice. Look out for any training opportunities and workshops that may be available for you to attend in the Province, and keep in close contact with the Lodge Mentor who will be very interested in the progress you are making.
The Personal Mentor should, ideally, be formally introduced to his charge in open Lodge at the end of the Initiation Ceremony. A successful Mentor should be:
- a person with stimulating ideas.
- someone interested in discussing the ideas of others.
- supportive of change – personal, institutional, educational.
- able to adapt to change in time to influence and control future developments.
- able and willing to give time to the relationship to allow it to develop.
- ready to share concerns with other Mentors.
- inspiring trust and confidentiality.
- encouraging, helping Candidates to value their own work and development.
- focussed in approach, sharing clear aims, goals or objectives.
- able to inspire confidence.
- deserving respect, but not demanding respect.
- knowledgeable, but not overbearing or pedantic.
The role of Grand Lodge will be to provide continuing sponsorship of the Mentoring System, learn of good practise from Provinces, and provide central support to Provinces. This wil take the form of maintaining and providing an online mentoring toolkit, while at the same time developing further Masonic development material on the web.
The Mentoring Team
Provincial Grand Mentor
This document sets out the framework for a mentoring scheme which meets the need of New Freemasons in Wiltshire during the early part of their Masonic careers. The framework is broken down into five key stages which relate to logical Masonic milestones. Each element within a stage is colour coded to indicate its relationship to the three aspects of development.
This document provides two forms of words, either of which the Master of the Lodge might find helpful when investing the Lodge Mentor with the collar and jewel of their office. The office of Lodge Mentor is deserving of 'words' which accurately reflect the role of the officer and the importance attached to the office in the Lodge and by the Province.