Frequently asked questions

1

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 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.
2

Can anyone become a Freemason?

Yes – Freemasonry is open to people from all walks of life, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic position in society.
3

What happens at a lodge meeting?

The meeting, which like those of other groups, are open only to members, is normally in two parts. First, there are normal administrative procedures such as: • Minutes of the previous meeting • Proposing and balloting for new members • Discussing and voting on the annual accounts • Masonic news and correspondence • News about charitable work Second, there are the ceremonies for: • Admitting new members • The annual installation of the Master of the Lodge and his officers
4

Why do Freemasons take oaths?

New members make solemn promises concerning their behaviour both in the Lodge and in society. Members also promise to keep confidential the way they recognise each other when visiting another Lodge. Freemasons also promise to support others in time of need but only so far as it does not conflict with their family and public obligations.
5

What is Freemasonry’s relationship with religion?

All Freemasons are expected to have a religious belief, but Freemasonry does not seek to replace a Mason’s religion or provide a substitute for it. It deals in a man’s relationship with his fellow man not in a man’s relationship with his God.
6

Why do some churches not like Freemasonry?

There are elements within churches who misunderstand Freemasonry and its objectives. They confuse secular rituals with religious liturgy. There are many Masons in churches where their leaders have been openly critical of the organisation. Masonry has always actively encouraged its members to be active in their own religion.
7

What is Freemasonry’s relationship with politics?

Freemasonry, as a body, will never express a view on politics or state policy. The discussion of politics at Masonic meetings has always been prohibited.
8

Is Freemasonry an international order?

Freemasonry exists throughout the world. However, each Grand Lodge is sovereign and independent. There is no international governing body for Freemasonry.
9

Are there women Freemasons?

Yes. Whilst UGLE, following the example of medieval stonemasons, is, and has always been, restricted to men, women Freemasons have two separate Grand Lodges, which are restricted to women. For more information, please contact the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons [HFAF] and the Order of Women Freemasons [OWF].
10

Why do you wear regalia?

Wearing regalia is historic and symbolic. Like a uniform, the regalia indicates the rank of the wearer in the organisation.
11

How many degrees are there in Freemasonry?

Basic Freemasonry consists of three degrees: • Entered Apprentice • Fellow Craft • Master Mason
12

How much does it cost to be a Freemason?

There is an initiation fee when you join and each lodge charges an annual subscription to cover its running costs. Each meeting is normally followed by a dinner, with the cost depending on the venue. However, there is no requirement to attend the dinner if you are unable to. You will also be expected to wear a dark suit, white shirt, and black, or other suitable, tie and in due course you will need to buy your own regalia. Members are invited to donate to charity, but this should always be within your means and it is entirely up to you how much you wish to contribute. Costs can vary considerably from lodge to lodge, particularly for the dining, and your proposer and seconder should make them clear to you before you join.

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