A series of weekly workshops are currently taking place across Northern Ireland as the Royal Black Institution steers a course for the future.
As part of a wide-ranging consultation with the wider membership, the leadership team of the organisation, led by Sovereign Grand Master Rev William Anderson, are travelling across the Province to listen directly to the views of members, encouraging discussion and feedback on a range of issues.
The responses of Sir Knights will form the basis of a strategic plan for the Institution moving forward.
Interactive workshops, covering recruitment, education and leadership among other matters, have already taken place in counties Antrim and Down, with further events due to be held in Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh and Londonderry over the coming weeks.
Commenting on the initiative, Rev Anderson, who was elected as leader of the loyal order last year, maintained members’ input would play a key role for the Institution as it develops a five-year vision and strategy.
“It is vital that those tasked with leadership understand what makes the average member tick and to draw upon such skills and experiences for the benefit of the Institution,” he said.
Based on initial feedback, Rev Anderson said there were already key learning points emerging from the engagement process so far.
“There are areas we can improve upon but the most important is that of communication to and support for members at preceptory level.”
Rev Anderson confirmed all feedback will be collated and examined before a final report is presented to Grand Council, the organisation’s ruling body.
In the interim, the Sovereign Grand Master also intends to consult with the other loyal orders and members of the bands’ fraternity.
He added: “I am really enjoying the experience of having the opportunity to meet with preceptory members in a less formal setting than our usual meetings.
“Those who have attended the workshops so far have spoken of their delight to meet with the Sovereign Grand Master and to put forward their ideas for the future of the Institution.”