What Is Freemasonry ?

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry means different things to each of those who join. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances. For others it’s about being able to help deserving causes – making a contribution to family and society. But for many, it is an enjoyable hobby. Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisation. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry. The following information is intended to explain Freemasonry as it is practised under the United Grand Lodge of England, which administers Lodges of Freemasons in England and Wales and in many places overseas. Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its principles (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas - a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge - which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides. Freemasonry instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: its values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches and practices concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.

Who Can Beocome a Freemason?

Any man who is at least 21, is law-abiding, of good character and believes in God, can become a Freemason. The order is not restricted to Protestants: it is open to all men of any faith, such as Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. Contrary to popular belief,  Freemasonry has many Roman Catholics in its membership.  Lodge meetings are opened and closed with a simple prayer wihich is not religion specific, and the discussion of religion, and political matters, is prohibited at Lodge meetings.

Does Freemasonry have Secrets or anything to Hide?

Freemasonry can be thought of as  a 'Society of Secrets' rather than a 'Secret Society'.  Freemasonry definately has nothing to hide, nor are any sinister proceedings carried out during Masonic meetings.  If there were, this web site would not exist and would not be available for public view.   Moreover, the premier position within Freemasonry,  (Grand Master), is held by HRH The Duke Of Kent.

Nowadays, Freemasons are encouraged to speak quite openly about their membership and to educate people about what Freemasonry does for the community.  Like many other organisations though, meetings of Lodges are held privately behind closed doors.

So what happens at a Lodge meeting?

Like many other organisations there is a certain amount of administration to attend to such as minutes of the last meeting, balloting for new members, financial matters, electing and appointing new officers, and dealing with correspondence. The meetings for making and progressing new Masons take up a fair proportion of the time, although these do not happen at every meeting. Sometimes the members will be given a lecture on an issue of Masonic interest, to increase their knowledge of the fascinating history and meaning of Freemasonry.   After the 'work' there is a meal known as the Festive Board where Masons relax and socialise with their Lodge members, or visitors from other Lodges.

Most Lodges meet formally six or seven times a year.  Additionally there are optional meetings known as Lodge of Improvement, (L of I) meetings in which current or prospectctive Officers of the Lodge reherse the workings which are carried out at the formal meetings.  L of I meetings are held once a week for the majority of the year.

Charity

The values of Freemasonry are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Freemasons are taught to practise charity and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole – both by charitable giving, and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.

From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. This work continues today. In addition, large sums are given to national and local charities.

Masonic charity is exercised at every level: individual Lodges make gifts and give aid to their own communities and every Province also gives large sums of money to regional causes. Nationally, our efforts are channelled through four main charity organisations:

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity

Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys

Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution

Masonic Samaritan Fund

Further Steps to Becoming A Mason

After reading through the information on this site, hopefully you will still be interested in becoming a Freemason.  It is advised that you talk to a family member, friend or colleague whom you already know to be a member and approach them showing your interest. They will be able to further explain to you about freemasonry and help you take the first steps to finding a suitable Lodge.

If you don’t know anyone at all who is a member, then please feel free to contact us using the form below and we will happily assist you.  For more information about becoming a Freemason, please download the PDF booklet entitled "Are You Thinking of Becoming A Freemason?"

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