Lodge Membership Plan

September 23, 2021.
Br Alex Cleland


A masonic lodge, like a rugby club, is only as strong as its membership. Whilst the Rugby Lodge of Sussex is a new lodge with a strong and active membership, it is imperative that for the “team” to survive and flourish, careful consideration must be given to the long term health and prosperity of the lodge. This document is intended to be a dynamic action plan focussed on the long term viability of the lodge and its membership and should be owned by the whole lodge, but managed by the Lodge Membership Committee, chaired by the Lodge Membership Officer.
The focus will be on the attraction, engagement and retention of lodge members.

Lodge Profile

The Rugby Lodge of Sussex was founded to celebrate and promote the game of Rugby within a Masonic environment. Its goals are

  1. To promote Freemasonry among Sussex Masons and qualifying brethren who share a common interest in Rugby.
  2. To celebrate the game of Rugby in a Masonic environment.
  3. To establish close links with the Rugby community within the Province of Sussex and beyond.
  4. To raise money in support of Masonic Charities, Local and National Charities that promote the development of Rugby in the community and particularly the involvement of youth in the game and Local and National Charities to the benefit of our fellow man.

All the talent in the world won’t take you anywhere without your teammates.
The strength of the team is each individual member.
The strength of each member is the team!

Lodge History

The Rugby Lodge of Sussex was consecrated on Saturday 7th March 2021 at the Sussex Masonic Centre, Queens Road, Brighton by V.W.Bro Maurice G.Adams, PGSwdb, Deputy Provincial Grand Master. There were 39 founding members, with W.Bro John E. Hornblow, PSGD installed as the Primus Master of the lodge. Sponsorship of the lodge was provided by Eastbourne Lodge No.7057. There were 175 brethren present at the consecration ceremony, with Brethren attending from across the UK to witness this momentous occasion.

The lodge will meet on a regular basis four times per year:

  • 1st Saturday in March (Installation)
  • 3rd Wednesday in May
  • 3rd Wednesday in June
  • 1st Saturday in November

The lodge has a number of specific characteristics that make it unique:

  • Socks: By dispensation from the Provincial Grand Master, members are enabled to wear rugby socks to meetings of the team(s) of their choice.
  • International Caps: All members of the lodge are awarded their International cap upon joining the lodge. The cap must be worn at all times during the festive board, on pain of a fine from the Director of Ceremonies.
  • Procession out of the lodge: At the end of every lodge meeting the procession will form up, but will then invert to form a tunnel which all members of the lodge and visitors must process through and be thanked for their attendance.
  • Gavels: The lodge gavels are bespoke rugby balls.

The lodge membership is diverse in age range, geography across the province, and in masonic progres, with many junior brethren volunteering to join the lodge who did not meet the criteria to be founder members. There are a mixture of nationalities within the lodge membership, each supporting different club teams and national sides which creates the positive rugby environment of banter and friendship, anti English Rugby sentiment from the other “home nations’, and the enjoyment of the English fans of being the only Northern hemisphere side to have won a world cup – which is regularly commented on.
It is anticipated that the lodge will be an active social Lodge with multiple engagements and visibility within the local rugby community, with Lodge members being assigned to the 34 adult clubs situated across Sussex as representatives of the lodge. There is an expectation that members of the lodge will be active within the lodge in supporting its four goals. The lodge has a Provincial approved website and an active FaceBook account to communicate with potential new members.

Membership Plan

The membership plan is a dynamic document that should be reviewed at least four times a year to ensure that it remains current, relavanet and is positively impacting upon the lodge. The membership plan should be owned by everyone within the lodge, with the Membership Officer being the lead officer for the lodge, but supported by a lodge membership committee.

Membership Officer:

The Purpose of the lodge membership officer for the Rugby Lodge of Sussex is:

  • To encourage all members of the lodge to identify suitable candidates for membership
  • Support the brethren who introduce potential candidates for the lodge
  • Respond to enquiries from potential candidates who do not have a sponsor and assist them in learning about freemasonry/Rugby Lodge of Sussex
  • Help guide prospective candidates through the membership pathway
  • Provide a smooth transition to the lodge Mentor once initiated
  • Be the Chairman of the Lodge Membership Committee, and manage the lodge membership plan.


Membership Committee:

The membership committee is combination of short term and long term elements to enable planning of the lodge in its current format and succession planning and continuity over multiple years. It is to be chaired by the Membership Officer who will be responsible for the Lodge membership action plan, and reporting to the General Purpose Committee and wider lodge on what is happening in regards to membership.
The committee should meet four times per year to review the lodge membership action plan, and ensure that candidates are well informed, in close contact with the lodge and included within the lodge, events permitting.

Committee Members

    • The Membership Officer, Mentor & Almoner all have defined roles and responsibilities within the Members Pathway and are likely to be in their offices for a defined period of time and will have the most impact on membership.

Membership Commitee

  • The Junior Warden Should be involved to allow for continuity in approach should any of the lodge officers change and to be a part of the long term success of the lodge, especially when they will be Master.
  • Stewards are usually new brethren and should be encouraged to be part of the committee as it begins their long term involvement in lodge planning, integrates them within the lodge amongst senior brethren, and they will hopefully bring a new perspective to the lodge and advise what worked for them, or potentially what should be changed.
  • The Worshipful Master, Secretary, and Director of Ceremonies are in position to provide current guidance and advice on potential initiates and will be required for the administrative elements of joining the lodge.

Membership Pathway

Members Pathway

Specific Action Plan

Action Plan








Membership Plan & Lodge Profile to be submitted for review

Alex Cleland



Membership Plan Approved by WM/GPC

John Hornblow



Convene first Membership Committee Meeting


November 2021


Plan the next 24 months of meetings



Current Lodge Membership


Ensure that all initial joining members have progressed to joining the lodge


November 2021


New Members


Identification of potential joining members within the existing Province 


November 2021


RLOS in the Community


Identify and assign  a lodge member to each of the 34 adult rugby clubs in Sussex


Q1 2022


Create physical leaflets to give out at the clubs


Q2 2022


Sponsor a man of the match




Identify Sussex based rugby tournaments/events, that RLOS can attend with the provincial stand


Q1 2022


RLOS Communication


Identify additional administrators for Social Media


Q1 2022


Identify content creators to grow social media base


Q1 2022


What Rugby sites can content be directly lifted off of to create social presence  - Is this a strategic approach we want to do?


Q1 2022


What frequency of original posts do we believe is optimal to grow both our presence and success in the non-masonic community?


Q1 2022


Branding/uniform: Do we purchase some polo or shirts branded to enable us to be more visible at Rugby clubs


Q1 2022


Should we provide “Player Packs” with literature?


Q1 2022


Aim to get a PR piece out at least quarterly in local media


Q3 2022




Aim to have at least one article in Sussex Matters each month to highlight to existing Brethren what we do




Create an interactive social calendar ensuring  Membership is included






Recognition of those brethren that are actively working towards growing membership at meetings, and in written correspondence




RLOS lapel pin/tie for a member that brings in three joiners/initiates