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Monday, August 8, 2016

Older freemasons told to smile and stop criticising in bid to attract millennials...

London Independent
August 7, 2016
Older freemasons are being told to smile, look like they are enjoying themselves, and avoid criticising as the movement seeks to keep millennial masons happy and halt a decline in membership that has seen lodges closing at a rate of nearly 100 a year for the past decade.
Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes, second only to the Grand Master the Duke of Kent, the Queen’s cousin, told senior brethren gathered in the Grand Temple, wearing white gloves, aprons and, if suitably qualified, the Royal Arch Breast Jewel: “I am not for one minute suggesting we try to turn our meetings into a pantomime, but most certainly I am saying there is no harm in being seen to enjoy ourselves.”
Mr Lowndes, 68, an Old Etonian chartered surveyor, issued his plea as English and Welsh freemasonry takes the extraordinary step of welcoming in a documentary film crew while preparing to celebrate its 300th anniversary against a backdrop of steadily declining membership numbers.
Figures seen by The Independent show that the number of lodges on the register of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body of English and Welsh freemasonry, has gone down from 8,389 in 2006 to 7,401 today – equivalent to a loss of almost 99 lodges a year.

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