Freemasonry

Freemasonry is a fraternal society that expects a high standard of personal conduct of its members and it promotes Fellowship, Charity and Integrity as well as care and concern for the family and the wider community.

For centuries Freemasons have followed these three great Principles:

Brotherly Love:

Means that every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and will behave with compassion and understanding to his fellows.

Relief:

From earliest times Freemasons have been taught to help, to the best of their ability, those in distress. without detriment to any who are dependent upon them, and to give their support to outside Charities.

Truth:

Freemasons strive for truth both in their view of themselves and in their dealings with others. Masonry requires high moral standards and its members endeavor to uphold these principles in their public and private lives.

Freemasonry is one of the world's oldest secular fraternal societies. It is a world-wide organisation based on the principle of the Fatherhood of your God and the Brotherhood of man. It is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. It seeks to make good men better and thereby make the world a better place in which to live.

Freemasonry has been in existence in its present form for nearly 300 years, and today enjoys a total membership of about 340,000 Freemasons throughout England and Wales who are engaged in many philanthropic and charitable projects. Freemasonry is further explained through answers to some specific questions as indicated below:

  • Freemasonry seeks to make good men better.
  • It encourages the practice of the moral virtues of Temperance, Fortitude, prudence and Justice.
  • It inculcates obedience to your God & observance of the Laws of the country.
  • It is committed to extend the hand of fellowship & provide Relief to those in distress.

What Freemasonry is not?

It is not a Religion.

However, it emphasises secularism by teaching respect for and tolerance towards all religions. It is open to all men of all faiths, such as Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. Contrary to popular belief, the Order has many Roman Catholics in its membership.

It is not for personal gain.

Members must never use their Freemasonry as a means of gaining preferment for themselves or any other person. Any attempt to do so could, and does, result in expulsion from membership.

It is not a political party or organisation.

It reminds you of the affection one should always have for the Land of your birth, to remain loyal to the laws of the land which, for the time being, may be the place of your residence, or afford you protection. Lodge meetings are opened and closed with prayers, as are the daily sessions of the House of Commons, but discussion of religion, and indeed politics, is prohibited at Lodge meetings.

Does Freemasonry have anything to hide?

Freemasonry does not conceal the time and place of its meeting nor does a member hide the fact of his membership.

Like many other Societies it regards some of its internal affairs as private matters of concern only for its members.

There is nothing hidden about its aims & principles. Most people know where the meeting places are, the ritual of the ceremonies and the many books written about Freemasonry can be read in public libraries. Members are encouraged to speak openly about their membership.

It is not a social club.

However, it provides the means of socialising among its members, which consists of a cross section of society drawn from all walks of life who meet on an equal footing. It also involves the families of members on various social occasions. Freemasonry is an enjoyable association of like - minded men who work towards a common goal of being happy themselves and communicating happiness to others. This is achieved by work in the Lodge, largely based on a series of ritual ceremonies, with much in common with the old passion plays, which follow ancient forms and use stonemasons' customs and tools as allegorical guides. These seek to instill morality in all men: by teaching and practicing high standards of conduct in society. These aims are furthered at the dinners held after lodge meetings and at other social occasions.

How does Masonry get its membership?

Freemasonry does not canvass for members. The person must seek for membership of a Masonic Lodge of his own free will and accord. He would however, be provided all information he wishes to know.

Who is eligible to become a Mason?

Any man who is of good moral character, over the age of 21 years, believes in the existence of an Almighty God and a belief in the Supreme Being, no matter by what name He is called, or what faith the person professes, is eligible. No atheist can become a Mason.

Isn't Masonic ritual out of place in modern society?

No. The ritual is a shared experience , which binds the members together. Its use of drama, allegory and symbolism impresses the principles and teachings more firmly in the mind of each candidate than if they were simply passed on to him in matter-of-fact modern language.

What does Freemasonry expect from one who joins it?

He must understand and appreciate its high ideals and objectives and put to actual practice its motto of "Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth".

Patriotism & Loyalty to one's own country and the Fraternity at all times.

It expects that a Freemason should do unto others, as he would wish others would do unto him.

Charity is the predominant characteristic of a Freemason's heart. He is always expected to "give" to Freemasonry rather than expect to "receive" anything from it for personal benefit.

That he will practice outside the Lodge those duties & virtues that he is taught inside the Lodge.

Freemasonry Teaches:

  • Kindness in the home
  • Love for one another
  • Courtesy in society
  • Resistance towards evil
  • Help for the weak
  • Pity and concern for the unfortunate
  • Forgiveness for the penitent
  • Fairness in work
  • Honesty in business

To strive to be good citizens, to practice the highest moral and social standards, and to be men of friendship, charitable disposition, and integrity. It is often said that Freemasonry makes good men better. and above all, reverence and love for your God. In fact Freemasonry offers guidance for a Way of Life.

How much does it cost to become a Freemason?

On entry, there is an initiation fee and an apron to buy. A member pays an annual subscription to his Lodge which covers his membership and the administrative cost of running the Lodge. It is usual to have a meal after the meeting; the cost of this is usually paid before the meal. It is entirely up to the individual member what he gives to charity, but it should always be without detriment to his other responsibilities to his family and his business.

Applications for membership

There is no canvassing of membership. Candidates for membership are expected to come of their own free will and accord. Whatever information is required will be furnished. Applications duly Proposed and Seconded by members are entertained by the Lodge and are scrutinised and balloted in the Lodge. If approved, the candidates are initiated into Freemasonry according to ancient custom.

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