Discover Freemasonry in London
Reports by W Bro Omaid Hiwaizi PAGDC, MetGCO
We are in an era when Freemasonry actively projects a positive view in the wider community and media, with a focus on being open and with a view to attracting more of the right members. A major pillar of this is the National Digital Marketing Campaign (NDMC), which has been running this autumn/winter for the second year.
This year’s campaign was built using the insights from last year’s and so has been more effective and efficient, resulting in more enquiries, at a lower cost, with refined messaging. At the time of writing, the NDMC had delivered to Metropolitan Grand Lodge around 1,200 initial enquiries from Facebook and Instagram, with a prediction of around 1,500 by the time the campaign ends in December.
In London, we decided that we would invite people to a big open evening and host as many as possible in the Grand Temple on 20th October. The event’s organisation was overseen by AMet VW Bro Jonathan Hillman, and driven by MetGInsp W Bro John Parry and supported by a retinue of MetGStwds.. The presentations were arranged by W Bro Charlie Griffin (with a diverse team of men and women sharing their experiences). W Bro Harry Benham and his events team were responsible for all the activities that took place in the vestibule (including drinks, banners and stands). W Bros Ray Ride and Mike Binsted of the Membership Team organised the booking and logging of attendees, and W Bro Omaid Hiwaizi coordinated the advertising and transfer of enquiries with the UGLE Comms Team.
At 6 pm, on 20th October, there was an electric buzz in the air. 420 people had booked, and they started to flow in from 6 pm. Around 200 attended and were welcomed in the vestibule, chatting with the events team. At 7 pm, the Met Grand Tyler was escorted to the doors of the Grand Temple and dramatically knocked to be let in, followed by a stream of attendees.
The proceedings were introduced by the MetGM, RW Bro Sir Michael Snyder, followed by W Bro Charlie Griffin and a selection of eight new and young masons (including three women) discussing different aspects of Freemasonry – covering our traditions, values, creating confidence, impact in society, women’s Freemasonry and a focus on how London Freemasonry is special.
At 8 pm, the presentations concluded, and the guests were invited into the vestibule to ask more questions (there was a lot of conversation), enjoy a drink and complete enquiry forms. At this stage over 120 have expressed an interest in progressing and are being interviewed by the membership team.
With many of the prospective members not able to attend in person on 20th October, it has been decided to host a webinar on 13th December to give an alternative way to find out more about Freemasonry. Results are pending!
Given the success of the event in the Grand Temple, we plan to host another in the Spring, when we hope to welcome many more prospective members to Metropolitan Grand Lodge!
Discover Canterbury Lodge – a great initiative by a London Lodge
The Membership Officer of Canterbury Lodge No 1635, Bro Ben Harper, used his experience in the world of start-ups to create a “funnel” to build a pipeline of Candidates for the Lodge over the last 12 months. They started by building a Lodge website on WordPress: canterburylodge1635.com (using content from UGLE and MetGL), then had some advertisements designed on the website FIVERR before placing them on Facebook.
To engage prospective candidates, they organise regular social events in London. These vary from a simple meal to an activity like Crazy Golf or Go-Karting. On average, they host ten people per event – with a mixture of prospect and current members.
This approach has resulted in a very strong pipeline of candidates for the Lodge, with an investment of just a few hundred pounds.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 50 December 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 50 here.