I read an article recently over at On the Wight (the site is run by the Isle of Wight news) entitled, “New lodges formed to encourage Freemason boom,” and it presented a rather interesting thought on a way to help grow the fraternity. Under the direction of Provincial Grand Master, Mike Wilks, a number of Lodges have been chartered that embrace the idea of a common interest. From the article:
In the last three years a scouting lodge, rugby lodge and motor sport lodge have been formed and a sailing lodge, football lodge and a motorcycle lodge are expected to follow.
There are many who feel that in order for Freemasonry to continue on we have to go back to our roots. We need to emphasize education and ritual. We need to get back into the communities and support charities.
Yes, we should do all that, but wasn’t Freemasonry founded by men, who wanted to do not only that but also had similar interests, goals, and ideas? Weren’t they brought together by a common bond? Weren’t they looking for Brotherhood?
The huge influx of members that we saw during the World War II time frame was due, in part, to the desire of those men, our fathers and grandfathers, to continue that sense of camaraderie, that sense of belonging to a group of men that not only had shared experiences but also shared interests.
So the question I have, is why can’t this work for Freemasonry again?
Maybe it’s time to move beyond the need to just have a Lodge and build it off of something that all the members already have in common. Whether that’s a sport, a particular hobby, or interest, it would give those Brothers a starting point beyond the traditional Freemasonry that’s practiced most of the world over.
These individuals would already have a bond BEFORE they even took an obligation or put on an apron. The initiation and teachings of Freemasonry would then go on to further strengthen that bond by giving those involved a shared experience.
Wouldn’t that make for a stronger Lodge? Yes, it might be smaller in size (is that a bad thing?) but the Brotherhood, I would tend to think, would be stronger for it.
I’m not saying that we need to abandon everything that Freemasonry is today, I’m merely pointing out that maybe the idea of specialty Lodges isn’t that far from center.
Would you consider a specialty Lodge?