West Kent Mentoring - Part 1 - Overview

Masonic Mentoring

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 At the start of the Initiation Ceremony the candidate is told that he can "follow your leader with a firm but humble confidence" and so begins a symbolical journey from darkness to light, from ignorance to Masonic Knowledge. The work of the Mentor is to be the new mason's guide, leader and coach once the ceremony has finished - to explain not only the workings, traditions and organisation of our Institution, but also to lift the veil of allegory and reveal the meaning behind the symbols so that the new mason can enjoy and understand the organisation that he has joined.

 

 

 

Mentoring schemes put personal Masonic development at the heart of Freemasonry, promoting the lifelong development of every Freemason by providing informed, accessible support materials whilst recommending the most effective personal Mentoring arrangements. Mentoring underpins the retention of brethren as active members and helps reduce the overall decline in membership.

 

 

Who should be the Mentor?

 

It can be seen from the above that there has to be a special relationship between the new mason and his Mentor. This is a one-to-one relationship and except in the case of very small or special Lodges the concept of a single 'Lodge Mentor' for all candidates is not the best way forward. The obvious choice of Mentor may be the candidate's Proposer or Seconder but, even so, the brother must be carefully chosen and have particular qualities. It has been observed many times that the greatest difficulty in a Mentoring scheme is to find suitable Mentors. The first and most important attribute for a Mentor is that he relates to his charge and that they get on well together and enjoy each other's company. The Mentor will then introduce the new mason to his friends in the Lodge and immediately increase his circle of friends. 

 

 

It may be, but not necessarily, that the Mentor will be of a similar age group to the candidate. It therefore follows that it is possible that the Mentor may himself have only become a mason quite recently, perhaps in the last five years or so, and may not have the in-depth knowledge to fulfil his task. If the view is taken that only knowledgeable masons can be Mentors then it is likely that they will be of a different generation to their charges and while they may relate, the new mason could find himself in the company of men much older than, and of different interests, to himself. If, as suggested, the Mentor is relatively new to masonry himself he will need 'considerable support' from his Lodge and the Province. On occasions such as this it may be worth the Lodge considering the task/appointment as that of a Masonic Friend rather than that of a Personal Mentor. Quite obviously by definition a mentor is a skilled and knowledgeable person and in this example the appointed person would not be. The Masonic Friend will however be able to settle his charge into the Lodge and, within a suitable timeframe, be able to introduce the Mentee to his circle of friends and of course any subsequent Personal Mentor. By which time the Mentee's trust will have been gained and the more experienced Personal Mentor can take charge, remembering that the Personal Mentor's task is to to explain not only the workings, traditions and organisation of our institution, but also to lift the veil of allegory and reveal the meaning behind the symbols.

 

 

 

The West Kent Provincial Mentoring Scheme

 

 

The West Kent Provincial Mentoring scheme focuses in two key areas. The first area of focus is on the "Mentee", whilst the second area supports the "Mentor".

 

 

As stated previously:

 

It has been observed many times that the greatest difficulty in a Mentoring scheme is to find suitable Mentors. The first and most important attribute for a Mentor is that he relates to his charge and that they get on well together and enjoy each other's company. The Mentor will then introduce the new mason to his friends in the Lodge and immediately increase his circle of friends.

 

It may be, but not necessarily, that the Mentor will be of a similar age group to the candidate. It therefore follows that it is possible that the Mentor may himself have only become a mason quite recently, perhaps in the last five years or so, and may not have the in-depth knowledge to fulfil his task. If the view is taken that only knowledgeable masons can be Mentors then it is likely that they will be of a different generation to their charges and while they may relate, the new mason could find himself in the company of men much older than, and of different interests, to himself. If, as suggested, the Mentor is relatively new to masonry himself he will need 'considerable support' from his Lodge and the Province.

 

With this in mind the West Kent Mentoring scheme is determined to provide Lodges, Personal Mentors, Masonic Friends and Mentees with that 'considerable support', in the first instance by providing relevant information appertaining to various subjects in direct relation to the various stages of a member's masonic path/career and in the second by providing a network of experienced individuals who can provide further personal guidance and/or support (to either the Mentor or the Mentee) on an ad-hoc basis, or as deemed appropriate.

 

 

In real terms this looks something like this:

 

 

 

West Kent Mentoring - Part 1.1 - 'Considerable Support' (Information & Network) 

 

 

  

 

 

West Kent Mentoring - Part 2 - Mentors