2021/22 Season Review
The 2021/22 season was our first full season after the suspension of activities was lifted due to Covid. It was also my first full season as District Recorder. Reflecting on our achievements as a District we emerged back into full swing with all 12 Chapters functioning, 5 of which conducted a total of 9 Perfections. That does of course mean that 7 chapters did not conduct a perfection and that is something we must address.
Vivat Chapter led the way with 3 newly perfected Princes followed by Silk and Branxholm both with 2 and Staveleigh with 1. I am confident that the 7 Rose Table events we have planned between October 2022 and March 2023 will help boost this achievement further still. The launch of the Rose Table at our AGM in April was deemed a success and this is an exciting and important step forward.
It is interesting to note that both Silk and Branxholm were, not that very long ago, both very close to surrendering their warrants. Both are now very much on the up and out of danger progressing very well. It shows exactly what can be achieved with hard work, determination and positivity.
The average age of candidates was 54.6 with the youngest 36 and the oldest 81 which goes to show you are never too young nor too old to embrace a new Masonic Order. The average age of our membership in this District is 72. Our youngest member was 34 and the oldest 98.
We have 235 members in our 12 Chapters and we are counted on a non-unique basis. This count is used to determine how many 31st and 32nd Degree collars are available for promotions. It is therefore important to ensure we encourage membership of Toft Chapter for our past Sovereigns as this is an easy way of boosting our membership as well as Perfecting new candidates. The average number of members per chapter is obviously 19.6 with our largest chapter having 40 members and the smallest 12.
To that end we had 9 joining members of our 12 chapters last season, which added to the Perfectees made an increase of 18 in our membership. Toft led the way with 4 joining members but there is a lot of fertile ground here.
Sadly, we had 9 deaths recorded last season. We can of course do nothing about the march of time but we also suffered 11 resignations from 7 Chapters. Clearly, we must ensure that we are perfecting more new Princes than we lose to deaths and doing everything we can to reduce resignations. We also lost 2 subscribing members from 2 chapters who became honorary members. We lose these Brethren from our membership count as honorary membership is disregarded from the membership.
So, our total membership reduced by 1.67% with a net loss of 4. Our aim is to ensure we move forward with a net gain and not a net loss each year. The good news is we are already very close to achieving that and with an extra bit of effort this season I am sure we will.
There were 38 chapter meetings in the District last season including emergency meetings and the District AGM. With 12 chapters we have 12 Enthronements and there were 9 Perfection Ceremonies (some of which took place on nights of Enthronement). There were 2 Chapter anniversaries; a 25th of Silk Chapter and 75th of Cheshire St. Thomas Chapter. We also had the representation of the Patent to our Inspector General by The Supreme Council.
This means there were 16 meetings which were not Enthronements, Perfections or special events. Demonstrations were carried out at 8 of these meetings which means there were also 8 meetings at which nothing really happened, that’s 21% of the total number of meetings in the District.
It stands to reason that if 21% of our meetings in the District do not have the business to keep members engaged we will suffer in terms of attendance, interest and ultimately membership. This is something our Chapter Recorders have been tasked with addressing and the Demonstration Team has been strengthened to help plug the gaps where content for meetings can be provided. And of course this season we have Rose Table evenings.
Either Nigel or I or both of us attended every Enthronement and Perfection in the District as well as the special events and our intention is to continue to do so.
In summary the 2021/22 season was a reset after Covid and a baseline from which we can move forward. Hopefully the 2022/23 season will be a building season when we can start to increase membership.
Our District Recorder looks back at some of the facts, figures and highlights from the 2021/22 season.
At a Glance:
Average candidate age 54.6
Average member age 72
Joining Members 9
Made Honorary 2
Total Gain 18
Total Loss 22
Net Loss 4