Masters and first principals

Chorley Group hosted the masters and first principals question and answer session this year. With 80 brethren and companions from the Leyland, Wigan, Leigh and Chorley Groups the meeting was well attended.

Peter Lockett (left) receives a Patron's Certificate from Philip Gunning.

Peter Lockett (left) receives a Patron’s Certificate from Philip Gunning.

The idea was to give those who have recently become masters of their lodges or first principals of their chapters the opportunity to meet senior representatives of the Province of West Lancashire.

An informal get together started the evening, followed by a question and answer session. The questions were wide ranging and the answers straight from the horse’s mouth so to say. Members of the panel were Chorley Group Chairman Peter Lockett, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Stewart Seddon, Deputy Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning, Provincial Grand Secretary Peter Taylor, Provincial Senior Grand Warden David Asbridge and Provincial Junior Grand Warden Peter Allen.

Pictured left: Members of the audience. Pictured right: From left to right, are: Peter Lockett, Stewart Seddon, Philip Gunning, Peter Taylor, David Asbridge and Peter Allen.

Pictured left: Members of the audience. Pictured right: From left to right, are: Peter Lockett, Stewart Seddon, Philip Gunning, Peter Taylor, David Asbridge and Peter Allen.

The questions were wide ranging and thought provoking. They included: “What is the impact of the ‘Enough is Enough’ publicity campaign?” “How many Masons are there in West Lancashire (8,000 to 9,000)?” “Why is it that the major retention problem is people resigning within the first two years of membership?” “Are we moving recruits through the offices in the lodge too quickly?” “Is eight years the optimum length of time to get from initiate to the master’s chair?” “We are focusing on recruiting younger men; are we missing an opportunity to recruit retirees (who are living longer and have more time to contribute)?” “Do we need to start our meetings later to allow more working men to attend them?” “What is happening with the new data protection laws?” “What is the situation with the Leyland Masonic Hall?” – and many more.

After a lively and very informative discussion, it was time to proceed to the festive board where the very interesting discussions continued.

Philip Gunning had the double pleasure of presenting a Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival Patron’s Certificate to Peter Lockett for the Chorley Group and a Vice Patron’s certificate to Malcolm Bell Snr for the Royal and Select Masters.

An informative and interesting evening ended with good food, good wine and excellent company.

Pictured from left to right, Peter Lockett presents flowers to Philip Gunning, Stewart Seddon, Ian Higham and Peter Taylor.

Pictured from left to right, Peter Lockett presents flowers to Philip Gunning, Stewart Seddon, Ian Higham and Peter Taylor.

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