Early in 2010, North Harrow Lodge No.6557 was faced with a problem. Along with other lodges in our Province, we were experiencing a decline in numbers.
Our situation wasn’t helped by the closure of Pinner Round Table, which had been our main source of members for years. With traditional methods failing to find us any new candidates, and with every other organisation in the world seemingly directing their efforts online, it was clear we needed a different kind of strategy to get new members interested.
So in March 2010, I came up with the idea of a North Harrow Lodge website. Having registered the domain name NorthHarrowLodge.org for the reasonable price of £30, I got to work with creating the website itself using Microsoft FrontPage. In order to attract new members using the internet, we had to make sure we captured our visitors’ attention and answered any questions they might have about Masonry and being part of a lodge.
What would a potential member want to know about our organisation?
I decided to keep it short, simple, and focus on four main points: What we do, where we meet, the costs and most importantly, who to contact to find out more.
After a bit of help from the Provincial Secretary, and a “charter mark” approval from the United Grand Lodge of England, our new website was ready to go live.
All that remained was to keep it updated – there’s nothing worse than a site that is two years out of date – and wait for our potential members to arrive.
It didn’t take long. Within two months, we had our first enquiry and our £30 investment seemed to be paying off already. By January 2011 we had FOUR initiates and to date we have had a further 6 candidates which we will start to initiate in January 2012, along with two joining members. (note: We now have another 4 candidates for 2013)
The increase in new joiners has also lead to a renewed enthusiasm in our original members and given the whole Lodge a new lease of life. It’s been great to see our website and Lodge numbers go from strength to strength.
Now we have come up with an initiative that may help HDMC in particular and Middlesex Freemasonry in general.
Because the Website is setup to attract potential members in the Harrow area, we may be able to help any failing lodges that meet at HDMC in a number of ways.
Any new enquiries would be initially vetted in our usual way.
We would then meet with and introduce any such prospective candidate to a Lodge that is failing.
We would support the candidate by attending the donor Lodge as guests where ever possible thus keeping contact with the candidate through his Masonic career.
This would also be an opportunity for our new members to visit and experience another local Lodge and be more part of the family of Middlesex Freemasonry.