'Write about being Provincial Communications Officer', said Lincolnshire's Simon Noden, on the hunt for material for the Mentor’s Chisel, a newsletter circulating amongst all those with an interest in mentoring within Freemasonry. How could I refuse? He says I’m his favourite Provincial Communications Officer. Mind you, that’s not so much of an accolade; drill down into the statement and you discover I’m the only one he knows…
Anyway, this is a tricky article for me to write. Not because I don’t understand the role, but because I’ve always guarded against the messenger becoming more important than the message.
It’s like this; how well or how badly I do my job is down to Freemasons doing great things in our Province. It’s my job to shine a light on as much of their good work as I can. Without them - you - providing grist to the communications mill, I couldn’t do my job.
What’s more, I don’t do it alone. I’m loathe to start doing lists, because there’s a danger I’d miss someone off. If you're on it, you know who you are. But that said, Simon himself has put a great deal of hard graft into pushing up the number of people reading about Lincolnshire’s Freemasons on Facebook to a rolling 28-day average of about 50,000. Wow. And Chris Bradley continues to look after the nuts and bolts of Lincolnshire's Provincial website, without which we couldn’t communicate half as effectively.
Being Provincial Communications Officer is much more demanding than it was; my predecessors would readily agree with that. That’s because the times, they are a-changing. Freemasonry has stepped out from the shadows and said: ‘hey, we’re here, and we’re proud of who we are and what we do’. My job is to amplify that message as much as I can, with responsibilities to be the simultaneous voice of the Provincial Executive and our members, with close links to a busy and dynamic communications team at UGLE.
Being Provincial Communications Officer is also an extension of what I’ve done for 50 years; writing articles and taking pictures, publishing them in newspapers and magazines I’ve designed and websites I’ve populated. I’m what you might call a ‘jobbing hack’; a writer and designer on any topic for clients as diverse as, amongst others, the Rolls-Royce nuclear business, the Vintage Motor Cycle Club, Trent Bridge cricket ground, business magazines, a heritage railway, and a lovely Indian couple whose expenses management app is used in 96 countries, and for whom I’ve written almost 800 blog posts. My next job will be to write a foreword for a cookbook.
Masonically speaking, the Covid years have kept me busy. Robbed of meetings at which we could share information, news of most of the things we did and the messages from Province passed over my desk to be shared as widely as possible. That meant there was hardly ever a day off. I produced an extra edition of Masonic Lincs, kept our website news pages fresh, and made sure news stories from Lincolnshire got onto the Freemasonry Today web site too. I also look after the Provincial Twitter feed, where we have more than 4,600 followers.
Still the stories come. Freemasons continue to do great things, and we’ll continue to shout about them. I hope we can do it loudly enough for everyone to hear. And in the meantime, sign up for the members’ area on our web site. Just click on the ‘register’ button. It's the future. Lots of important stuff’s on there, and I wouldn’t want you to miss it…
by Stuart Pearcey