Published: Sunday, 17 May 2015 11:54
Over the last few weeks questions have been put to our Deputy District Grand Prefect Steven Warwick in the District of London, here’s the question and answer session
Q1: What attracts you to the Allied Masonic Degree over other ‘side degrees’?
A: Primarily, the bringing together of 5 degrees that have no obvious link, making for a diversity of subject matter not found elsewhere in Masonry.
Q2: Describe your typical Masonic week?
A: Typical Masonic week – there isn’t one! I tend to go through periods of intense Masonic activity followed by relative calm. Most weeks contain at least one Masonic meeting and some are almost filled with Masonry.
Q3: What is your favourite part of being a member of the Dist Exec?
A: The opportunity not only to visit Councils in our own District but to also to be invited to other District meetings throughout the country. It is always enjoyable and instructive to see how other Districts approach their Allied Masonry.
Q4: Moving forward, could you describe the vision the Exec has for the Dist and how are you planning to implement it?
A: As has already been demonstrated, the vision is for a strong and vibrant District attracting increasing numbers of members. We have already conducted successful awareness events and we will continue to build on this foundation to attract non members into our wonderful Order. Our innovative communications team play a vital part in communicating the delights of our Order to those who haven’t yet taken the plunge!
Q5: Which is your favourite of the five Degrees and why?
A: My favourite has to be the Knights of Constantinople. It has an important moral and Masonic message that should be something we all strive to achieve – to treat all people with respect as human beings sharing this world, whatever their status or background. At the same time, it is a very enjoyable ceremony which lends itself to a fun interpretation, especially in the hands of some of our more theatrical Brethren!
Q6: When, why and how did you become a FM?
A: I became a Freemason in 1977 when I was Initiated into my Old School Lodge. I was attracted to Freemasonry by seeing others from my school who were clearly enjoying their involvement enormously.
Q7: Describe your life outside FM?
A: Apart from work, quite a lot of time is taken up with my role as Greater London Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses. This involves me in a wide range of activities in London and I sit on several committees representing the views of small businesses. I very much enjoy my garden and play golf to an increasingly bad standard! I also enjoy socialising with my non Masonic friends.
Q8: Recruitment, being the biggest challenge of any ‘side degree’, what is the ‘second’ biggest challange?
A: I think the question cannot be divided into different parts of Masonry – all of Masonry has recruitment as a primary challenge and I think all of Masonry has retention as the second. The challenge is to introduce changes that make Masonry more compatible with modern life. The start time of meetings is just one example as today people can’t just “slide away” from their workplace as easily as they perhaps once could. I don’t think we have yet fully grasped the issue of changes in society and the way they impact on the ability to be an active Freemason. Retention is, I think, is the second biggest challenge for Masonry and, of course, it is bound up with the first challenge of recruitment as our sometimes old fashioned practices can both prevent people from joining and cause them to leave.
Q9: The Dist Council Mtg is the highlight of the season. For you, what makes it so special?
A: It is the time to reward the hard work of those who make our Councils both fun and successful and an opportunity to enjoy the company of so many Allied friends from within the District and from other Districts. It gives a clear focus to our efforts throughout the remainder of the Masonic year.
Q10: If you were to choose one word to describe the AMD, what would it be?