The Provincial Communications Officer for the Province of Warwickshire is W Bro Ian Slesser
Guidelines for Lodge Communications Officers can be seen here
You can contact Ian as follows,
tel: +44(0)7917 117079
Address: Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire, Yenton Assembly Rooms, 73 Gravelly Hill North, Erdington , Birmingham B23 6BJ.
A generation of silence after the end of the Second World War and a bland 'No comment' from Grand Lodge on any matter were perhaps the causes of suspicion and allegations of secrecy that surrounded Freemasonry for the whole of that time. In 1984 the Grand Master HRH The Duke of Kent decided that the traditions and principles of Freemasonry were robust enough to withstand the attacks of the insidious as they had for two and a half centuries before. He therefore embarked on the policy of 'Openness' to destroy the myths that critics such as Stephen Knight had published in his book 'The Brotherhood'. The best national examples of this new policy are perhaps the special Communication of Grand Lodge held at Earls Court in 1992, when ladies, the media and other non-Masons were present, and the celebration of 'Freemasonry in the Community Week' in June/July 2002.
In the 1990's Freemasonry came under the most intense scrutiny that the Order had ever endured. It was the subject of two far-reaching inquiries by the Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons and Freemasons will long remember the shameful treatment meted out to Michael Higham, the then Grand Secretary, by the Chairman of the Committee in full public gaze. It came as no surprise to Freemasons that the Committee found no evidence of wrongdoing by Freemasons or Freemasonry. Sadly, however, the Committee recommended the registration of Freemasons in certain areas of the public sector and the Government has accepted and in part implemented that recommendation.
Grand Lodge published a whole variety of leaflets and videos for public consumption, appointed John Hamill as its Director of Communications and enlisted the support of a Public Relations company. Encouraged by all this Provincial Grand Lodges started throwing open their doors to the public by holding open days. These have featured in Warwickshire for a number of years and have been outstanding successes. Private Lodges have done the same at their own venues. Many Lodges hold Gentlemen's Evenings when non-Masons (men and women) are given an explanation of Freemasonry – it is not unknown for gentlemen to come forward after such events and ask to become Freemasons. A notable event in Warwickshire is the Annual Service and senior Freemasons in full Masonic regalia walk in procession in public view to the Church.
Provincial Grand Masters were asked to assist in the process of openness by appointing Provincial Communications Officers. Ian Slesser performs this function in Warwickshire.
His principal duties are:
- To act as the spokesman of the Province on all matters relating to Freemasonry in the Province
- To promote Freemasonry
- To respond to critics in newspapers and elsewhere
- To arrange interviews for the Provincial Grand Master by the media
- To appear on radio and television when required;
- To publish a newsletter for all the Brethren in the Province
- To highlight events in the Province
- To report on the achievements of individual Freemasons
- To challenge public authorities where there is evidence of discrimination against Freemasons
- To keep up to date with the policies of Grand Lodge and to see that the same are disseminated within the Province
- To exercise editorial control over and promote the Provincial website
- To encourage greater use of the Internet and email for the transmission of matters Masonic
- To support Lodges who hold Gentlemen's Evenings by providing speakers or material
- To support Lodges or Masonic venues who hold Open Days by the provision of suitable material
- To encourage Lodges to produce their own web sites
- To encourage Lodges to publish their own Newsletters
- To encourage Brethren to submit items of interest for publication to a wider audience
- To produce leaflets about the Province for public consumption.