Welcome to the Mentoring section of this Web site. In my role as Provincial Almoner / Mentor I would encourage all Chapters to provide a Chapter Mentor. It is vital that each Candidate is looked after and whilst there may be some overlap with the role of Almoner, the Mentor is more focused on the Masonic development of the Candidates and new Companions, ensuring that they are given every opportunity to understand and appreciate the Holy Royal Arch.
So who would make a good Mentor? The Mentor can be viewed as a coach and a trusted adviser. This role may fall naturally to the Candidates Proposer or Seconder or indeed any other Companion in the Chapter.
The essence of mentoring is a one to one relationship between the Mentor and the Candidate and it’s his responsibility to ensure that support is being given appropriately, be it directly by him or by another Mentor. The main thing is to ensure the Candidate does not get disillusioned. Whilst the reaction of many Candidates to the Exaltation ceremony is positive some may find it bewildering and it’s important that time is given to explain the Ceremony to the Candidate. The worse case scenario is to leave him bewildered, confused and disillusioned. This may well lapse into non attendance and, ultimately resignation.
By helping the candidate take the correct crucial steps the Mentor can help and guide him on a journey that will be rewarding and filling.
Now this may seem like a daunting set of responsibilities for the Mentor but the Mentor is not alone. I firmly believe that all members of the Chapter should consider themselves as Mentors and the Chapter Mentor can then use the skills of the Companions around him to not only match the right person to guide and help the new candidate but find the right person who can also help those Companions who want to progress through the various Offices in the Chapter and give them encouragement and support.
There are many resources available in leaflets and papers which explain everything from the very meaning of the Exaltation ceremony, its structure, the form of the Chapter, the significance of the Officers and the regalia. The Paper “Setting the Scene” is an excellent piece of work and if shared with other members of the Chapter will enhance the ceremony.
The website Solomon is an excellent source of information and I strongly recommend it to you and to the candidates there is an abundance of information which you will find really helpful and will expand your understanding of the Royal Arch. Go to: solomon.ugle.org.uk
So you may ask that’s ok for an individual but what about my Chapter? we are struggling to get candidates, we are fed up of practising and rehearsing and its getting to the stage where members aren’t bothering to come.
There are several ways of improving a Chapter that appears to be ailing. The Suffolk Installed First Principals Chapter has a team who will visit you and give demonstrations of the ceremony with in depth explanations that you will find entertaining. They also have a playlet called “In Camera” which again is very informative and there is another production called “Adding Theatre”, these are all designed to enhance the Royal Arch Ceremonies and of course make the meetings more enjoyable.
Another very useful way to encourage non Royal Arch companions, lapsed Companions and those who have lost the enthusiasm for the Royal Arch is to hold a Red Table Event. This can be organised by one, two or several chapters. It very similar to white table events where you are trying to inform without spoiling the enlightenment of the order, enhancing the enthusiasm of those who have shown an interest without having any strong arm tactics, and hopefully you will find someone who has decided that he really is interested in joining and that’s when you advise on the what will suit him. The Festive Board following the meeting can be the usual setting or even a buffet.
Any interested Companions or Chapter who wish to know more please get in contact with me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01728 663699 I have the full support of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent David Boswell and the Deputy Grand Superintendent Dave Lillis and I will help you out.