Mentor FAQs

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OWEN DOE

pgme@berkspgl.org.uk

Twitter: @BerksMentor

Personal Details

Owen a lifelong Reading F.C fan is married to Claire, and lives in Thatcham, they have 3 daughters Cheryl, Emily, and Stacey. Owen and Claire have for the past 10 years owned a successful Domestic Appliance Service repair company, based in Berkshire, with Owen having previously held senior Management positions within both the domestic appliance and motor industry manufacturing sectors, being responsible for Technical After Sales, Product Management and Customer Care.

Masonic History

He joined Reading Lodge of Union 414 in 2005 after resisting temptation to join the Craft for several years, owing to business commitments and now often states that, had he realised earlier how rewarding and enjoyable Freemasonry is then he would have joined long before he did. He is now also a proud member of Berkshire Lodge of Enlightenment 9946, Berkshire Master’s 3684, Victory Lodge 3954, as well as a Companion of Union Chapter 414 where he was MEZ in 2022. In July 2023 he was appointed Provincial Grand Mentor to the Royal Arch.

Home Life

Outside Freemasonry, both Owen and Claire, enjoy spending time with their children and 6 grandchildren, entertaining friends, walking, particularly spending a good deal of their free time in Dorset.

Mentoring

During Owen’s time as lead of the Lodge Support Team it became quite clear to him that Lodges that did not have an effective Lodge Mentoring programme, were those Lodges that regularly needed the services of the Support Team members, as against lodges who had realised and had embraced the importance of having an effective and enthusiastic Lodge Mentoring scheme then the services of  Support Team were very rarely or indeed never called on.

His view on Mentoring therefore is quite simple. If our Lodges and Chapters have an effective and enthusiastic Lodge Mentor and embrace a solid mentoring programme, including appointing Personal Mentors to each of our members, then our Lodges and Chapters will inevitably benefit from enhanced retention of its members, making it that much simpler to attract new members and to grow our Lodge’s and Chapter’s.

In general terms, mentoring is a personal relationship in which a more experienced person helps a less experienced individual to develop and achieve his potential and objectives. In Masonic terms, it is an arrangement in which a Brother who is more familiar and knowledgeable about Freemasonry, its customs, practices and objectives helps another less experienced and knowledgeable Brother to understand these things and supports his development and progression in his Lodge, his Province and the Order.
In our context, the relationship between a Personal Mentor and his mentee is shaped by three factors

  • The establishment and maintenance of a trusting and open interpersonal relationship
  • The timely communication of appropriate knowledge
  • The Personal Mentor’s wisdom and judgement in offering guidance that is in the best interest of his mentee and the Lodge

Mentoring is widely used in many organisations in the induction, training and development of members and employees. It has been found to accelerate and improve the introduction of new people – getting them ‘up-to-speed’ quickly and effectively. It also supports the growth and development of individuals as their roles change and they take on more responsibilities. In some organisations it may be referred to (incorrectly) as ‘coaching’ and in others, more informally, as a ‘buddy-buddy’ system. In former days, when employee training was very informal, it might even have been called ‘sitting by Nellie’ because trainees and apprentices were expected to learn and gain skills by observing more experienced people. The principle is similar.

  • To welcome new members and to help them fit into our organisation
  • To help maximise the satisfaction and benefits that members receive from Freemasonry in general and from membership of their Lodge in particular
  • To understand and guide the expectations of new members – to help them understand their options, develop their Masonic goals and achieve them
  • To support members as they make progress on their Masonic journey
  • To make social introductions and facilitate friendships
  • To avoid or reduce preventable losses
  • To ensure that our ‘ancient usages and established customs’ are understood by explaining: the three great principles and the Masonic project; our ritual, ceremonial and symbolism; our administrative requirements; Masonic etiquette, in all its forms; the organisation of the Craft – its structure and history – and opportunities beyond the Craft
  • To ensure that new members are given the encouragement and support they need to introduce and propose suitable family members, friends, colleagues and neighbours as new members of their Lodge

For the mentee, mentoring offers:

  • A visible demonstration of how he is valued by his fellow members.
  • A source of help, advice and guidance in his masonic development.
  • A regular access to someone with an understanding of the culture of the Fraternity, and the way it works.

For the Personal Mentor, mentoring offers:

  • Increased satisfaction, sense of value and reward.
  • The opportunity to help and guide others in their masonic development.
  • An opportunity to develop and consolidate his own skills and qualities as an experienced mason.

For the Lodge and Province, mentoring offers:

  • A means of supporting succession planning and the maximising of human potential.
  • Improved communication and a means of introducing new masons to the culture and practices of the Order.
  • By empowerment and enlightenment of its members, the creation of a happy and vibrant Lodge for the future enjoyment of all.
  • Better retention levels and recruitment prospects.

The Lodge Mentor is appointed annually by the newly installed Worshipful Master with his other officers, at the Installation. His role is to manage and coordinate mentoring in his Lodge, to appoint Personal Mentors for all new members and others who may need such support, and to establish a mentoring culture that will survive his own departure from the role. It is not his role to be the Personal Mentor for all those Brethren who need one or to simply be available to answer the masonic questions of newer less experienced Brethren.

Personal Mentors are appointed by the Lodge Mentor. Each Personal Mentor has a one-to-one relationship with his mentee, guiding and educating him through the early stages of his masonic journey. Every proposer is expected to act as a Personal Mentor, in part or in full. If for any reason the proposer is unable to take on the full range of Personal Mentor’s responsibilities, he will work alongside the Personal Mentor to support his candidate. For further information on the distinction between the two roles visit the Mentors’ Download page.

An ideal Personal Mentor is an experienced mason with considerable masonic knowledge. In addition, he will have the time and social skills required to care for his mentee and to help develop his understanding of Freemasonry and its purpose. Put simply – he will be a wise and trusted adviser.

For further information see Choosing a Personal Mentor – A Quickstart Guide on the download page

For a full definition and explanation of the role visit the Mentors’ Download page. Personal Mentors should be knowledgeable members of the Lodge. Length of membership is not always a good indicator of a member’s masonic knowledge. The candidate’s Proposer (or Seconder) may be ideal, if he has the necessary knowledge, mentoring skills and time to devote to the role.

Prior personal acquaintance or friendship with the candidate is a big advantage. If not, a warm and friendly welcome is essential. Meetings between the Personal Mentor and the candidate in social settings before his Initiation are very beneficial to establish the relationship.

The role is about introducing activities and information as the new mason (mentee) progresses. For example:-

  • Meeting him prior to his Initiation and explaining what will happen without spoiling the occasion for him and generally putting him at ease.
  • After the ceremony, congratulating him and seeing that he is ready for the Festive Board.
  • Subsequently, explaining what happened in the ceremony.
  • Preparing him for the next meeting and his next step. This process to be repeated for the 2nd and 3rd Degrees using the appropriate booklets and web materials as a guide.

The Personal Mentor should encourage his mentee to visit other lodges with him, and to attend appropriate lectures, training courses and presentations. The Personal Mentor may need to solicit help and advice from other knowledgeable members of his Lodge when required and this helps them make their own contributions to mentoring.

It is expected that the Personal Mentor will maintain a regular ongoing contact with his candidate during the early years, but it is essential to meet following each meeting and again prior to the next degree ceremony meeting. Also, a week or two after his 3rd degree, meet and talk about his future development and aspirations. By that time a bond of friendship and trust should have developed between the Personal Mentor and the new master mason, which will allow the mentoring relationship to continue throughout the mentee’s masonic career and this is to be encouraged.

For a fuller explanation of the mentor’s role, a browse through UGLE’s masonic mentoring web site’ is highly recommended. The role of Personal Mentor is a very important and demanding one. It requires a great deal of commitment, social skill and understanding. It ultimately has a bearing on the success of mentoring and the future of Freemasonry. Successfully achieved it will bring a huge level of personal satisfaction and the respect from your lodge members and of course your very enlightened candidate.

For a full definition and explanation of the role visit the Mentors’ Download page. The Lodge Mentor has essentially an organisational and support role, he is responsible for the operation of the scheme within the Lodge and:-

  • To make sure that all members are aware of the mentoring scheme and the contribution they can make in its success.
  • Outline the benefits it can bring to their Lodge for the future, ie Recruiting.
  • To select and appoint individual Personal Mentors for candidates; to monitor and support their progress.
  • Encourage the use of the mentoring literature and booklets, and the use of the masonic mentoring web site.
  • At each Lodge meeting, to report on progress and enlist assistance if needed.
  • Attend new candidate interviews, Lodge committee meetings, give report on the effectiveness of the scheme in his Lodge and if necessary make recommendations for changes in its implementation.
  • If possible attend Mentoring talks or seminars and encourage others to join him.
  • In conjunction with the Lodge Care Team, monitor attendance levels for wavering or missing members and react accordingly.
  • In conjunction with his Personal Mentors, to monitor and keep an accurate record on the progress of each candidate to ensure effective progress is being made.
  • It is important to try and make sure that this is all done in good heart and with fun. Mentoring exists to help develop good masons to progress, who will support and enhance the Lodge activities and enjoy himself in the process. If it works, everyone wins, and the Lodge Mentor has the enviable position in making that happen.

The role of the Province is pivotal to the success of Mentoring in Berkshire. The Provincial Grand Mentor is responsible for managing and implementing the scheme and to:

  • Encourage and support Lodges to operate the mentoring scheme.
  • Provide advice, guidance and training to Lodge Mentors & Personal Mentors.
  • Arrange Mentoring awareness and development seminars.
  • Provide supporting mentoring documentation.
  • Reflecting with Lodges on their experiences and provide feedback.
  • Encourage the use of the Provincial web site and the Grand Lodge web site.
  • Assess the effectiveness of the scheme in the Province.
  • Provide data and feedback to the Executive and, if appropriate, Grand Lodge.

When Grand Lodge announced the Mentoring Initiative in 2008, the website was introduced as part of the package for the implementation of the scheme.

The masonic mentoring web site is a compilation of masonic information, a library for mentors. It is a library for all – no restrictions (except to new masons, EAs and FCs)

Amongst other matters, there is material and content about the three core values of the Mentoring initiative:

  • Recruitment – to encourage well informed good men to join.
  • Retention – keeping new and existing masons active – through Mentoring
  • Retrieval – to encourage ‘lost’ Masons to stay / return

For all who are involved or interested in the Mentoring scheme this web site is invaluable and is highly recommended but if you are an Entered Apprentice or a Fellowcraft you should seek the advice of your Personal Mentor, Proposer or Seconder before visiting the site.

The information that will be useful for a newly initiated brother, including the Charge after Initiation, the Working Tools, an Initiate’s Guide, Odes and Grace, and the questions for the 2nd Degree before Passing, can all be found as downloads here:

First Degree Pack

The documents can also be found on the Almoner’s Downloads and Resources as a folder (First-Degree-Pack). The entire folder can be downloaded as a zip file.

The information that will be useful for a newly initiated brother, including the Working Tools, (short and extended versions), a Fellow Craft’s Guide, and the questions for the 3rd Degree before Raising, can all be found as downloads here:

Second Degree Pack

The documents can also be found on the Almoner’s Downloads and Resources as a folder (First-Degree-Pack). The entire folder can be downloaded as a zip file.

The information that will be useful for a brother who has just bee raised to the 3rd Degree, including the Working Tools, an Master Mason’s Guide, the Traditional History, and an introduction to the Royal Arch, can all be found as downloads here:

Third Degree Pack

The documents can also be found on the Almoner’s Downloads and Resources as a folder (First-Degree-Pack). The entire folder can be downloaded as a zip file.

Read more: Mentor FAQs