Cheshire Masters’ and Masons’ Forum – How it all began

Paul Massie explains about the origins of the MMF, how it has evolved over the years.
The initial idea for the MMF began in September 2010 when two Cheshire brethren
discussed between them the feasibility of creating and developing a platform for Cheshire
Master Masons to air their thoughts and views on Freemasonry. From their initial
discussion the concept for the Cheshire Master Masons Forum (MMF) was formed.

Following meetings with the Provincial Leadership, approval of the operating structure and
Terms of Reference were agreed and invitations to join the new group were sent to all
Master Masons in Cheshire. From the range of applicants, a committee of MMF members
was formed. In August 2011 the inaugural meeting of the Cheshire Master Masons Forum
took place at the Masonic Hall, Manor Road, Wallasey, Wirral.

This was the first initiative in the country to actively engage new and less experienced
Masons and it was happening in Cheshire, the oldest Province in the English Constitution. It
would empower ‘light blue’ Freemasons with the opportunity to relay their ideas via the
Master Masons Forum to the Provincial leadership team, thus having an input into the
future of the Province and possibly Freemasonry as a whole. It was agreed that no
membership fee would be charged and that all running costs would be raised internally by
the members holding fund raising activities.

The Province of Cheshire is divided into 5 Areas, with two MMF representatives in each
Area. Their principal roles being to promote the Forum to the membership and to
communicate the events which would be held in the future. They meet several times per
year with the MMF Chairman to discuss what social and Masonic events the Forum will
promote over the year ahead and what the future strategy will be to help and support all
new Master Masons.

Since the inception of the MMF the Province has adopted several initiatives brought to light
by the members, including the development of social media and its presence on the World
Wide Web. There is The Rough Ashlar Club, (highlighted in the summer 2013 edition of
Freemasonry Today) which is a social club for all junior Freemasons where they can meet at
events and have fun with other like-minded people and more recently a travelling
presentation of ‘Preparing the Candidate for Initiation’ which is a playlet, explaining in
detail, each step of the preparation of a Candidate for Freemasonry.

The Forum’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are a constant source of interest to its
members, keeping them informed of forthcoming events and news items.

The Cheshire Master Masons Forum constantly develops new ideas and ways to progress in
the future. Since its inception, membership of the MMF has been restricted to those
brethren from Master Mason through to being Installed as Worshipful Master. After due
consideration and with the approval of the Provincial Grand Master of Cheshire, from
January 1st, 2018, this eligibility was extended to include all Brethren from Master Mason
up to when they receive their first Provincial appointment.

The extended period of membership allows Brethren to contribute a greater degree of
experience and knowledge to the MMF over a longer period of time and keeps Past Masters
involved once they have progressed through the Chair of their Lodge.

This extension to the membership period led to a re-definition of the abbreviation, ‘MMF’
and is now known as the Masters’ & Masons’ Forum.

A new modern logo for the MMF was approved in August, 2018.

A wide variety of events have been held over recent years including Question and Answer
evenings with the Provincial Grand Master, lunches for MMF members and non-masonic
guests, visits to different Lodges and to Quarterly Communications at UGLE, Curry nights
etc., raising considerable sums for charitable organisations along the way.

The Masters’ and Masons’ Forum will continue to develop over the years to come, with
fresh ideas and new events to be organised both within and outside of the Province,
enhancing its reputation and that of Cheshire, the oldest Province in the English
constitution.