The Chapter Mentor provides a vital role in ensuring that each Candidate is looked after properly.
Although there is some overlap with the role of Almoner, the Mentor is more focused on the Masonic development of Candidates and new Companions, ensuring that they are given every opportunity to understand and appreciate the Royal Arch.
Each Candidate is an individual, has different needs, learns in a different manner and has unique skills to bring to the Chapter.
The Mentor imparts his knowledge, gives time to the Candidate and supports him throughout his initial journey in the Chapter. The Mentor can be viewed as a coach and trusted advisor.
Although this role may naturally fall to the Candidate’s Proposer or Seconder (or, indeed, another Companion within the Chapter), it is the responsibility of the Chapter Mentor to ensure that that support is being given appropriately, be it directly by him or by another ‘Mentor’.
Whilst the reaction of many Candidates to their Exaltation ceremony is very positive indeed, followed up by an immediate thirst for knowledge, this is by no means universal: some Candidates can be confused.
If the Mentor does not help the latter Candidates, there is a danger that they will soon become disillusioned (“nobody ever took the time to explain it to me!”) and, sadly, may lapse into non-attendance and, ultimately, resignation.
By helping a Candidate take the correct first crucial steps, the Mentor can help guide him on a path that will realise his full potential within the Chapter, a journey that will be rewarding and fulfilling both for him and his Chapter.
This may seem like a daunting set of responsibilities but, rest assured, the Mentor is not alone. As mentioned above, all members of the Chapter should consider themselves to be Mentors and the Chapter Mentor can make best use of the Companions around him to match the right “buddy” to a given Candidate.
Additionally, there are many resources available in the form of leaflets and papers which explain everything from the underlying meaning of the Exaltation ceremony, its structure, the form of the Chapter to the significance of the Officers and the regalia.
You will find links to such resources on this webpage. These can be given to Companions for them to read but Mentors should make sure they are familiar with the contents and take the Companions through the information as they will undoubtedly have questions.
The Mentoring Checklist will be invaluable to help you make sure you are doing the right things at the right time.
Provincial Chapter of Surrey
With acknowledgment to Provincial Grand Chapter of Cumberland & Westmorland.