Keeping in touch

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How lodges could keep in touch with their members and masonry knowledge.

In these testing times of lockdowns and self isolation, keeping in touch with each other and apply some of core principles is essential. This paper sets out some details of how we can use technology to overcome the barriers of little or no external social contact. It also gives you some links to Masonic web tools that can help you keep up your Masonic knowledge and, perhaps, make a daily advancement in knowledge.

Whilst some technology ideas are set out here, it is essential we all continue to follow the advice from Government and not do anything that may put us in harms way. Technology can help, but the paramount aim is for you and your family to stay safe.

Looking at software that can be useful, here is a list with some comments on suitability or ease of use.  This is not exhaustive, and I am sure you know more and if you tap the link please preserve through the adverts – I can’t remove them!

  • WhatsApp: this used by a lot of people and can carry video or voice.  Its relatively simple to use but is restricted primarily to smartphones or tablets.  The desktop version is a little clunky.  It is very good for Group chats and is free
    • An useful video on how to use WhatsApp can be found below and that can lead you to some more information on the more advanced area: https://youtu.be/KMpM0BPkDcs

  • Facebook: A very well known app and used by a number of Lodges.  Unless you’re using a closed user group it is very public.  If you want to set up a private group and require advice, please email the Social media team social@berkspgl.org.uk
    • A simple video on how to set up private chat groups – ideal for lodges to maintain contact and share video or voice calls is:https://youtu.be/JFGAH5X7Rfw

  • Skype: this is a familiar application from Microsoft that enables group calls and video and has the added benefit that its free.  More useful though is that it run across several platforms and works with all computers and smart phones but, unfortunately it doesn’t work with non-smart phones. 

  • Zoom: this a conference call application that allows you to schedule meetings and have either video of just voice call.  The good thing is it is platform agnostic and for those without a smartphone it does have the ability to just dial into the meeting.  This can host over 50 people so good for a lodge call but remember the directive above as there is a record function.

There are several other options you can use from both Microsoft and Google, however, they are slightly more business focused and focused on their software browsers/applications . If you want to use them, please go to the appropriate website.

To help maintain and possibly develop and increase your Masonic knowledge, I suggest you sign up for Solomon. This has been mentioned before in other correspondence from the Province as well as from the Learning and Development team. It is produced, developed and maintain by UGLE and contains a wealth of knowledge about all aspects of Freemasonry. To register and get access to this follow this link: https://solomon.ugle.org.uk/