Light Blues Brigade - The New and Young Masons Club on offering engagement and learning

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Dedicated to offering advice on the running and setup of new and young masons, both in the UK and internationally, The New and Young Masons Club (NYMC) acts as a conduit between these clubs and the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE)

Each year, the NYMC hosts a conference organised by a different club in their own Province. Here, a network of committee members from groups far and wide gather to discuss the important issues within their organisations. The sharing of ideas on best practice, learnings to enhance retention and engagement with the wider membership is always on the agenda. The NYMC has successfully supported five conferences with different clubs hosting each time. These events have attracted rulers of the Craft as keynote speakers, providing interesting insight into UGLE and its future. 

Last year’s conference was cancelled due to the pandemic, but the Fleet House Light Blues Club of Hertfordshire is hoping to host one in October 2021. The theme of their conference is ‘Engaging your membership’, where they will showcase speakers from the marketing industry. This will be a fantastic opportunity for clubs to meet and discuss their successes and challenges throughout the pandemic and beyond.

Most Provinces and Districts now have a New and Young Masons Club. These increase involvement with Freemasonry and help engage members of the Craft. Although each club is different, most will offer opportunities for masonic learning, visitation and social events. The key to their success is that members can connect with the wider fraternity, sharing experiences with those who are typically at a similar stage of their masonic journey. The need for New and Young Masons Clubs has become clear, and in the conferences and initiatives. Each one is sovereign and often supported by their provincial executive, so the NYMC acts to provide guidance on best practice, recommended models and constitutions. Feeding back information to UGLE is an important part of the NYMC role. Having been invited, two members gave a presentation at the European Grand Secretaries meeting this year, hosted virtually from London.

RW Bro Gareth Jones is the UGLE Liaison for the NYMC. He said, ‘I have been delighted to act as the senior UGLE liaison point with the growing number of New and Young Masons Clubs across England and Wales and, recently in some of our Districts abroad. Working with newer Freemasons in their conferences, meetings and other discussions has been a real inspiration and has taught me a great deal about how Freemasonry is perceived by less experienced members. New and Young Masons Clubs are clearly an important network of like-minded members who can bolster enjoyment of the Craft, contribute positively to efforts to retain members and help to attract new young men to our lodges, ensuring the successful sustainability of the Craft for the future.'

This network of clubs plays an important role in helping Freemasons connect with each other. The social media scene has been alive during the pandemic, with many clubs sharing pictures and videos. In turn, the NYMC has provided a number of online talks and mini conferences. Topics were varied to appeal to a wide audience of Freemasons keen to learn more. The criteria for joining a club differ in each Province – a full list of clubs is available at www.nymc.org.uk

 

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