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Five Questions We're Asked

Answering all of your Masonic Questions

Freemasonry - What it is about

It is a unique organisation which is difficult to like any other because it offers experiences which are not found anywhere else. Membership is made up of men from all walks of life and religions who share a concern of human values, moral standards and individuals rights.

Members are offered a knowledge and insight into history and philosophy and an appreciation and involvement in ancient rituals and symbolism. They are also encouraged to develop themselves through service to others and involvement in local and national charities.

Freemasonry also provides members with a code of conduct - an important ideal in today's changing world - which is based on moral and ethical standards.

It is an organisation of like minded men who strive to live their lives by the principles of brotherly love, relief and truth or put another way goodwill, integrity and charity.

Freemasonry also provides opportunities to meet sociably without religious or political barriers.

Many people, because they just don't know, think of Masons as secretive, stuffy and pompous and of freemasonry as an incomprehensible organisation of men who meet in secret, look after themselves and plot! At its simplest, it can be described as a club where members subscribe to high ideals, have fun, and do a lot of good.

How can I become a Freemason?

If you are 21 years of age or 18 in certain circumstances, of good character and background and believe in a supreme being you can apply to become a Freemason.

If you are known to a Freemason it will help with this is not essential. All potential members are required to provide the names of four friends to whom application can be made for references. If these prove satisfactory they then go through an informal and friendly interview usually at their own home, after which, if proposed, a ballot is held in which all members of the lodge take part. If the ballot proves favourable the candidate is initiated at a regular lodge meeting. He may invite Masonic friends to that meeting to share the evening with him.

Freemasonry is open to men of all faiths.

Men wishing to join must subscribe to the principle of service to others and to self-improvement, rather than look for personal gain. It is not acceptable for freemasons to use their membership for personal gain all business or personal advantage in any way.

If you want to take your interest further please contact the large secretary, details of which are given in the contact section.

How many Freemasons are there?

Under the United Grand Lodge of England, there are 330,000 Freemasons, meeting in 8,644 lodges. There are separate Grand Lodges for Ireland (which covers north and south) and Scotland, with a combined membership of 150,000. Worldwide, there are probably 5 million members.

Where is Freemasonry in society?

In common with most organisations we do regard some of our activities as confidential. However, anyone can buy books on freemasonry will get them from most libraries.

For many years policy was to avoid publicity but nowadays there is a more open and enlightened approach.

The basis of the secrecy accusation lives in the history of Masons in the middle ages when to protect their highly priced technical skills and knowledge they used symbols, handshakes and signs to recognise each other. These signs and passwords were later used by Freemasons to identify each other, a tradition which continues to this day as a ceremonial way of demonstrating membership within a lunch meeting. The protection of the so-called "secrets" is today seen as a way of testing the good character and integrity members, their sincerity and of course confidentiality.

What does it cost to be a Freemason?

Costs are based upon an initiation fee plus Grand Lodge fee of £50. A charitable donation and an annual subscription fee. These fees are correct up to October 2012 whereupon the subscription fee may be changed to take account of inflation.

On becoming a member, the individual is required to attend meetings dressed in a dark suit, with white shirt, black tie and black shoes. Many members go further and purchase a morning suite specially for them a sonic meetings but this is not essential. Upon reaching the rank of a Master Mason he will have to purchase his own apron unless it is provided by the person who nominated you.