ITC 28 In The Chair Masonic Podcast – LIVE! The Future of Freemasonry

Today’s guest is once again James Birdseye, current Junior Deacon of Old Sunning Lodge (5987). James was last on In The Chair on Podcast 10, where he was joined by Mark Davis, also from Old Sunning Lodge.

Today is a first for In The Chair as the whole show was recorded live at Sindlesham Masonic Centre near Reading, Berkshire (hence the fluctuating sound quality – apologies!) Not only that, a film crew from Emporium Productions filmed the recording as they are currently producing a 4-part documentary which will hopefully be shown on a major TV network in the UK later in the year.

Masonic Documentary Filming
Filming at Sindlesham Masonic Centre

James and I pick up from our last conversation about how Old Sunning was getting very close to handing back its warrant, to how it’s now suffering from the problem of having too many new members!

This has meant they are now putting together a 10 Year Plan to project into the future and start mapping out the progression of the Master Masons, as well as who will fill the non-progressive offices in the Lodge.

They are also embracing using social media (In The Chair looked into using social media in Podcast 12), not just to promote the Lodge externally, but also to promote communication between the Lodge members and increase the social aspect of its members; and how the Lights Blues (and Connaught Club) are already doing this.

This leads us onto how the psychology of the membership at large of Freemasonry has changed over the years. A 30 year old Freemason twenty years ago is a different type of person to a 30 year old Freemason nowadays; and how the outside sources now affect a person’s view of Freemasonry.

I also play Devil’s Advocate (actually, quite a bit in this episode!) and ask James if there was one single thing he could change in Freemasonry, what would it be? His answer is quite surprising, though very logical!

We then look at where Freemasonry could be in 10, 20 and 100 years time. It’s interesting then going forward to these times and looking back to how future Freemasons would view what we’re currently doing, especially the Tercentenary Celebrations in 2017.

I then draw some comparisons between the Tercentenary in 2017, and how the London Olympics in 2012; and how the events are capitalised on to create a legacy that the organisation can make the most of in the long term.

Would there even be virtual Lodges? There’s definitely some controversial ideas covered!

Links from the show

Kennet Lodge, 4414 (My Lodge) Website
James’s Twitter: twitter.com/masoninberks
Old Sunning Lodge, 5987 Website
Berkshire Provincial Website

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