A Coffee Morning & Christmas Market with a difference
Paul Simpson’s Kodak moment was the catalyst for Newark’s ‘Christmas Market of Progressive Orders’. Paul, a member of The St. John’s Lodge No 8972, opened this unique ‘No obligation to buy’ Market. In fact, there was nothing on sale except for the Mince Pies, Cheese Scones, tea & coffee (with free refills), graciously supplied by Linda Simpson and Faith Tindall, for a single £1 donation to the Hall. Thanks to Linda and Faith, £40 was raised for the hall, well-done ladies!
Paul’s twist on the Christmas Market theme was that instead of stalls selling Christmas Fayre, Christmas goodies, bric-a-brac, etc., the stalls were manned by members of Newark’s ‘Progressive Orders’ all in the full regalia of their respective Orders and Offices.
Each stall represented a different Order and information was freely available on all manner of subjects related to the Orders, with questions being answered in a friendly, informative, and non-threatening way. Attendees found the laid back approach far less intimidating than the usual thrusting out of an Application Form with the demand to “sign here!”.
The event was open to spouses, partners, family, and friends – with a Craft stall catering to the questions from non-Masons in attendance. The event organisers had a great deal of encouragement from the Provincial Grand Master and Leaders of the other Orders, and judging by the positive reaction and feedback from the 30 plus attendees, the format seemed to be on point.
The importance of attracting new members to the Craft and the Orders beyond is vital if we are to bring new lifeblood to our wonderful organisation and, due to the success of this ‘first’ by Newark, perhaps other centres will be hosting similar events in the near future. Well-done Paul!
Photo shows L to R:
W. Bro Nick Scott; W. Bro. Brian Spilsbury; W. Bro. Andy O’Hagan; W. Bro. Steve Haberton; W. Bro. Adrian Crampton; W. Bro. John Deis; W. Bro. Mike Harbron; W. Bro. David Hubbard; W. Bro. Doug Ing; V.W. Bro. Geoff Tindall