What is freemasonry?
Freemasonry is a fun hobby, giving you the chance to make new likeminded friends, the chance to build self condifence and enjoy a vibrant social scene, as well as the chance to get involved in charitable efforts, both locally, nationally and internationally, which is a very rewarding. Membership means different things to different people. Some join for the friendship and camaraderie, others for the chance to do some good within their local community and for some it is self improvemment and to gain self confidence in a friendly environment. Whatever the personal reason it has a lot to offer the modern man.
Freemasonry itself is one of the world’s oldest and largest fraternal and charitable organisation, boasting over 6 Million members worldwide. In England it is governed by the United Grand Lodge of England, established in 1717 in London, it is also non-political and non-religious. The Freemasons Grand Charity has, since 1980 made over £100 Million in grants, funs exclusively raised by Freemasons themselves.
The days of secrets and conspiracy theories are over, members are encouraged to be open about their Masonry and to be proud of the work we do. Freemasons Hall is open every day to visitors and you can book guided tours of the halls and building which boasts stunning Art Deco architecture and history.
What happens in the Lodge?
There is a set format to a meeting, some lodges meet in the evenings, a few are daytime/weekend lodges.
Firstly there is the basic admin and 'paperwork' side of the meeting where votes are taken, correspondence read etc. After that comes the ceremonial aspect of the meeting. It is based on a series of allegorical plays depicting various aspects, and points in history of the Building of King Solomon’s Temple. All are learned off by heart and teaches the principles that Freemasonry is founded on, namely Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. It also builds personal confidence as you learn more.
The principles within each ceremony can be applied allegorically to one’s own life, teaching Integrity, morality, kindness and charity. It really does provide the tools to make good men better.
After the ceremony there is a dinner which we call the Festive Board, there we enjoy each other’s company both at the bar and whilst dining together. This usually consists of a variety of courses, toasts, speeches and usually a raffle. The Festive Board is always light-hearted and a lot of fun!
How do I join?
Freemasonry is open to men of all walks of life and from all backgrounds, regardless of race or religion. To join Freemasonry you must be at least 21 years of age (18 in a University Lodge) be in good standing and believe in a Supreme Being by whichever name it is known to you.
You can either be recommended (proposed) by another member or apply to join. There is a process for joining, as in any private members group. It consists of an application form being supported by a Mason and seconded by another. You would be invited to get to know members in social settings, including your wife/partner, this gives you the opportunity to know more about Freemasony in a relaxed setting. You are encouraged to discuss joining with your partner or spouse as well as family.
There is an interview to get to know the candidate before joining, held in a relaxed and semi-formal manner. The candidate is then invited to join the Lodge and is initiated into Freemasonry during one of the previously mentioned ceremonies (plays)
If you are interested in joining, or would like more information about Freemasonry in general, head over to our 'Join us?' page.