Another dip into the UGLE Annual Report

by Brian Page

In an earlier post, I gave a brief rundown of the contents of the UGLE’s first annual report, a second post examined its implied mission statement. In this post, I look at the improvements in communications reported and mention how our Province is also evolving.

The report from our CEO, the Grand Secretary, mentions the streamlining of communication between the various departments in Great Queen Street, achieved by adopting up-to-date information technology and administration methodology. The move away from archaic paper records and communications has not only speeded up the exchange of information, but given cost savings as well. The use of technology has made it possible for staff to be productive while working from home during the pandemic.

In addition to the improvements in communication within Freemason’s Hall, the interaction between the UGLE, the Provinces and local Lodges is also being made much more effective. The need for paper forms, letters and returns will be all but eliminated once project Hermes is rolled out. Top-down lines of communication have been modified with the introduction of Regional Communications Groups (RCGs). Our Province of Berkshire is in RCG5, along with our neighbours, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex and Oxfordshire, covering the Thames Valley.

The UGLE report includes details of how the more open nature of communication with both the media and general public has improved public perception of Freemasonry by as much as 25 points. It is also estimated to have received £1.35M of favourable national media coverage during the year.

During the pandemic, the UGLE has kept us all informed by introducing and regularly circulating The First Rising to all members via email. In our Province, The Berkshire Hart is also regularly distributed by email in place of The Link, to keep us up-to-date on Provincial matters.

The Solomon team has continued to develop and improve this invaluable learning tool and hosted webinars. The Berkshire Learning and Development Team and The Berkshire Lodge of Enlightenment have both held successful online webinars attracting many participants.

Each Province now has a Communications Officer (PCO), in our case, WBro. Pat Whelan. WBro. Whelan is supported by several Brethren from around the Province and has responsibility for the implementation of the UGLE guidelines for the format of Provincial media output. There are guides on the use of websites and social media by individual Lodges which can be downloaded from The Provincial Communications Team page of the Berkshire Provincial Grand Lodge website. Registered users will find the appropriate page here

As plans are being made to relaunch our regular meetings, the UGLE wants to build on the improvements mentioned above and ensure that, at every level, there is a common message in all our external communications, to which end it is intended that we all implement the rebranding exercise. The leaders in this are:

I will take another dip into the UGLE Annual Report later.

(As within the previous post, I must add the caveat that these are my perceptions).

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