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 for society. But for most, 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.
Yes, Freemasonry is open to people from all walks of life, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic circumstances.
Meetings are open only to members and are broadly split into two parts.
Administrative matters such as:
- Minutes of previous meetings
- Elections of officers
- Masonic news and discussion
Ceremonial such as:
- Admitting new members
- Ceremonies including the annual election of the Master and installation of his officers.
Costs vary considerably from lodge to lodge and your proposer and seconder should make them clear to you before you join.
There is an initiation fee as well as an annual subscription to cover running costs.
Meetings are normally followed by a dinner, the cost of which will vary depending on the venue. However, while the dinner forms an important informal part of the meeting, there is no requirement to dine.
Members are required to wear a dark suit, white shirt, a black or other suitable tie, as well as their own regalia.
Members are encouraged to donate to charity, but this must always be within their means and is a matter entirely for individual members.
New members make solomn promises concerning their behaviour in lodge and in society. They promise to keep confidential the way they recognise each other when visiting another lodge. They also promise to support others in time of need, but only in so far as it does not conflict with their family and public obligations.
Wearing regalia is symbolic and like any other uniform that indicates the rank or status of the wearer in an organisation
There are three degrees, symbolic of the status of an operative mason, namely:
- Entered Apprentice
- Fellow Craft
- Master Mason
All Freemasons are expected to have a religious belief, but Freemasonry does not seek to replace or substitute that belief. Freemasonry deals with man’s relationship with his fellow man, not a man’s relationship with his God. The discussion of religion at Masonic meetings is prohibited.
Freemasonry as an organisation is apolitical. The discussion of politics at Masonic meetings has always been prohibited.