1. What is happening?
The Province is administered through 5 Area Committees. Their Remit is:
To sustain and strengthen Freemasonry within the Province of Cheshire through improved engagement and communications and by drawing upon the knowledge and experience that exists at all levels of the Masonic governance structure.
2. Who does what in the Provincial Structure?
The 5 Area Committees have a defined Terms of Reference which sets out their scope, composition, required skills, target review process and programme along with the roles, accountabilities and responsibilities of the appointed members of the Committee. The Area Committees will provide the communication link between the Craft and Royal Arch Executive and the Lodges and Chapters. In addition, lateral communication across the Area Committees through their respective specialist members will be undertaken to ensure the Province benefits from transparency and best practice.
The Craft and Royal Arch Executive will establish objectives which will be passed down to the Area Committees who, in a coordinated manner, set strategies to achieve those objectives. Continuity from the Executive is achieved by the APGM being part of the Executive and Leader in the relevant Area. Each Area will engage with Lodges and Chapters who will, in turn, produce plans of action with specific tasks and targets to meet the required strategies, and thus achieve the objectives. Lodges and Chapters will each have a representative aligned with Area Committee.
The hierarchy of direction used in the context of the Area Committees is illustrated in the pyramid below:
Definitions (used in the context of the diagram):
VISION Where the Province of Cheshire wants to be in the future
OBJECTIVES What needs to be done to achieve the VISION
STRATEGY Process of determining appropriate courses of action (strategies) for achieving the OBJECTIVES
TASKS & TARGETS Execution of the tasks with relevant targets and measures to achieve the determined STRATEGIES
3. The role of the Steering Group
The Steering Group has both accountability and responsibility for setting the vision as to where it wants the Province of Cheshire to be in due course. The Group consults with the Craft and Royal Arch Executive on the objectives developed to achieve the vision and is informed on the strategies set by the Area Committees. The vision has largely been set in the ‘Briefing Note for PGM Divisions and Halls 29th July 2011’ and this should be the starting point.
4. The role of the Craft and Royal Arch Executive
The Craft and Royal Arch Executive will take the vision and directions set by the Steering Group and produce pragmatic objectives to achieve the vision.
5. The role of the Area Committees
The Area Committees have overall responsibility for the management of the objectives set by the Executive. Area Committees will develop a set of common strategies to achieve the objectives set by the Executive. The Area Committee must provide direction and leadership, deal with non-compliance issues, have a shared sense of purpose and take collective responsibility in what it undertakes.
The initial Objectives set by the Executive are:
• Introduce the new Area Committee Structure
• Reverse loss in membership
• Establish solvency within each Lodge
• Introduce a sound business approach to the on-going management for sustainability of Masonic Halls to meet the criteria of financial viability and suitability for purpose
• Introduce the Royal Arch into the new governance structure
• Maintain and increase the percentage of members who take out gift-aid payments to Masonic
• Establish communication channels to ensure knowledge and good practice within the Province becomes available from and to all Lodges and Chapters
• Implement an effective and comprehensive approach to supporting poor and distressed members, their dependants and widows from existing and closed Lodges
The Area Committee shall consist of the APGM, Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Royal Arch Representative, Mentor, Almoner, Charity Steward, Master Masons Forum Representative, and TLC Officer. The appointed Area Committee members will have a mixture of skills to be able to meet their responsibilities. These will include, as a minimum, sound management experience with good communication and organisational skills.
Each Lodge and Chapter shall appoint a single Representative to work with the Area Committee and act as the conduit for contact and communication.
Objectives, Strategies and Tasks will have agreed measures developed and monitored to establish whether success in achieving them has been made. Reporting guidelines will be established to ensure good awareness and communication as to progress. The frequency and format of meetings will be determined by the Area Committees to ensure communication and the execution of strategies associated with individual Lodges and Chapters are developed to achieve the required outcome.