Rainham Lodge turn the corner with the help of Members Pathway

Losing their way Rainham Lodge re-ignite their Masonic passions back to a vibrant new future

With low morale, reducing numbers and an ageing core membership Rainham Lodge No. 3079 that meets at the Orsett Masonic Hall had arrived at a crossroads but found momentum from the Members Pathway.

From a Military beginning meeting at the Phoenix Hotel in Rainham, Essex in May of 1905 the Lodge, from a modest 20 members slowly grew over the years and achieved an impressive 84 members in 1925 but, following two world wars and more recently a world pandemic and currently very modern times offering a greater variety of other entertainments the Lodge had dwindled in numbers and was losing its way.

There was a new reality that while Pathway had been a catalyst to get people talking, to direct people in a direction of self-reflection, there had to be commitment and some action, a willingness to be open to change and challenge old practices, listen to weaker members thoughts, look at past leaver’s comments, learn but more importantly, CHANGE.

They took a deep look at their present practices with a view to a possible priority change to increase membership and decrease loss. The Lodge already had a social calendar with regular annual BBQ’s, dinners, and Ladies festival and so what else could be done?

Firstly, they concluded that the Lodge can’t be helped if no one (including Pathway) knows about them, so a brief ‘Lodge Profile’ was drawn up stating their work ethos and fundamental information regarding meetings, dates, costs etc., Essential for anyone looking for joining a lodge. They then looked at what the Lodge could be known for other than ritual and identified their members had a vast range of hobbies, to name a few, model train enthusiasts, golf, clay shooting, classic cars, darts, bowls and a retired chef who loves making chocolates. What is there not to like!

By identifying their strengths and weaknesses a Lodge membership officer was installed and key members came together as a membership committee.  

Personal mentoring was increased in particular, with any unattached member joining and recognising every brother has a strength that can be put to good use.

Communication was enhanced with a website and a WhatsApp group together with an emergence of a breakfast club whose members have taken the lead in visiting the local community to give inspirational talks about members passions and interests generating enthusiasm, both inside and outside of the Lodge. Publicising cheque presentations and inviting charity representatives to attend prior to their meetings also proved enlightening.  

These are just a few of the path changes enacted in the past year and as a result Rainham’s last two meetings both had a new joining member.  Pathway member Ryan Jones said, “I joined as I had always been intrigued by the mysteries and history of freemasonry and every time, I went on Facebook there was an advert about joining freemasonry which had to be some sort of a sign, so I put my details in and here I am!”

The Rainham Lodge members can be justly proud of their achievements in revitalising their meetings ‘as doing nothing was not an option.’

This is an overview of the Rainham Lodge experience with the Pathway process which they have recorded in a 3-part trilogy which can be viewed by clicking the following links:

Part 1: ‘Where did it all go horribly wrong for the Lodge.’


Part 2: ‘The journey of discovery and a new view of the Members Pathway.’


Part 3: ‘This Pathway thing really works.’


Rainham Lodge website: https://rainhamlodge.wixsite.com/rainhamlodge


Top (L-R): Recent Initiation with Len Oakley (proposer), Alan Webb (initiate), Ryan Jones (pathway member) and Anil Shastri (Worshipful Master).

Left: Rainham members in 1910.

Right: Rainham members present a recent donation to Gold Geese Charity.