Learning and Development – a key part of the new UGLE Strategy
The Metropolitan Grand Learning and Development Officer writes
In December, UGLE launched its new Strategy for Freemasonry 2022 and beyond, a seven-year plan to build the firm foundations for the future of Freemasonry. The strategy is represented visually as a Temple:
As you can see, the strategy logically builds on strong foundations of integrity, friendship, respect and charity and intends that we prioritise thriving membership, coherent organisation, and engaging in our communities, 'to cement our reputation as a force for good in our communities and society at large, and as a thriving organisation that people aspire to join'.
The thriving membership pillar reiterates three needs:
- Constantly reinforce the concepts of our unique combination of fun/ sociability and serious and timeless core values,
- Address the 'membership challenge' at all levels encouraging innovation, embracing change and spreading successful ideas,
- Further enhance our members' understanding of our history and values.
Learning and Development (L&D) can play strongly in the second and third of these needs. For instance, the 'membership challenge' in the second need relates to improving recruitment and retention of members, and the Members' Pathway is a key part of this. Continued L&D is one of the elements of the Members' Pathway in the 'Engage Hub'. With the need to help our members understand our history and values in the third need, L&D can also play a huge part.
In London, we have a wealth of physical material at our disposal, as the Library and Museum of Freemasonry are in Freemasons' Hall. It has a library, various databases, and a permanent display, as well as temporary exhibitions. You can find out more here:
However, given the popularity of digital media, then Solomon is potentially our biggest resource. You may well have heard about Solomon, the UGLE virtual learning environment that allows you to learn more about Freemasonry from the comfort of anywhere you can access the internet. You may have worked through a number of modules or have never opened it, but either way, perhaps it is time to give it a fresh try.
Recently Solomon has expanded its content, perhaps most excitingly, a new module, 'Welcome Companion,' which could really increase your understanding of the Royal Arch (I would suggest not trying this module until you have been exalted into the Royal Arch). However, the element of Solomon that you may not have realised existed is the various recordings of 'Solomon Lives' in which experienced and often senior masons discuss topics of interest, including:
- Meet the Metropolitan Grand Master
- Freemasonry in Africa
- Meet the Assistant Grand Master
- Through the Archway: Developing the Royal Arch in the Third Century
- The Brothers of Womens' Freemasonry
These are but a small selection of the topics available, and despite being called 'Solomon Live,' the recordings are still available to watch, giving a really wide range of insights into different topics of interest. Truly a chance to make a 'daily advancement in masonic knowledge'.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 51 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 51 here.