Your Questions Answered

As members of a Masonic Lodge we are often asked questions about Freemasonry by our friends and family. On this page we have tried to answer some of those questions.

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. Although its roots lie in the traditions and ceremonies of the medieval stonemasons who built our cathedrals and castles, modern Freemasonry is about making friends with like minded men from all faiths and backgrounds who follow a moral and ethical approach to life. It is an organisation of men who believe that the worth of a man can be measured . . . not by wealth or by fame, but by his deeds, character and by his love for others.

Who can become a Freemason?

Freemasonry is open to all men of all faiths over the mature age of 21, who are law-abiding, of good character and who acknowledge a belief in a Supreme Being. Freemasonry is a multi-racial and multi-cultural organisation. There are similar organisations for women.

How can I become a Freemason?

This is not a difficult as you might think. Firstly if you know someone who is a Freemason talk to them.  They will be able to explain the fraternity to you and help you find a suitable Lodge. If you don’t know anyone who is a member then contact The Lodge of Unity via our contact page and we will  arrange to meet you socially to find out more about you, and to give you a chance to find out more about us.

Following this meeting you would then, in due course, be invited to meet a committee of members, prior to being balloted for membership of the Lodge and all being well, a date would then be fixed for your admission.

How much does membership cost?

Costs vary depending on which Lodge you join.

  • The Lodge of Unity 567 has an annual membership fee which is currently £170.00
  • A one off Initiation fee is paid by new members. This fee is currently £100.00
  • A one off Registration fee is paid by new members. This fee is currently £50.00
  • We have seven regular Lodge meetings each year followed by a three or four course meal (called The Festive Board) which costs approximately £18.50

 

What is Freemasonry for?

Freemasonry is not for anything. Freemasonry has no grand designs, apart from ‘being happy and communicating happiness’ as we say in our ritual. Freemasons are forbidden to discuss religion or politics in Lodge and so men from widely different backgrounds and with very different interests can meet as friends in Freemasonry. Freemasonry provides companionship and social activities for its members and, often, for their families. It emphasises charity, which extends beyond its own people and their dependants. It teaches, by means of ritual, morality or the practical basis of living in civilised society.

Source: Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire Guidance Notes

What do you do in meetings?

Lodge meetings consist of a mixture of ritual and business.  As in any organisation there is a certain amount of  routine matters which must be attended to. These are usually conducted by the lodge secretary and communicated to the members during the regular lodge meetings. Reports are also given from other lodge officers including the Charity Steward and Treasurer. There are also a number of other matters and rituals including initiating new members into Freemasonry and passing and raising them to different degrees through a participation in a progression of allegorical two-part plays, which are learnt by heart and performed within each lodge. Other items may include lectures, demonstrations and presentations by members or visitors to the lodge.

Visiting is a very important part of Freemasonry and The Lodge of Unity welcomes visitors from many other lodges situated not just in Britain but from around the world.

What are the Three Degrees?

The ceremonies are best described as the candidate’s progress through life, by means of ritualised plays (recited from memory) similar to the old morality plays. The candidates goes through three ceremonies, or ‘degrees’ before becoming a Master Mason. This process may take several years to complete.

How many Lodges are there?

There are some 8,253 lodges under the United Grand Lodge of England. There are 196 lodges in Warwickshire with The Lodge of Unity being one of the oldest.

Source: What is Freemasonry Booklet  issued by: The Grand Secretary, The United Grand Lodge of England 

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest secular fraternal societies. The information below is intended to explain Freemasonry as it is practised under the United Grand Lodge of England, which administers Lodges of Freemasons in England and Wales and in many places overseas.

Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its precepts by a series of ritual dramas, which follow ancient forms, and use stomemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.

The Essential Qualification For Membership
The essential qualification for admission into and continuing membership is a belief in a Supreme Being.

Membership is open to men of any race or religion who can fulfil this essential qualification and who are of good repute.

Freemasonry and Religion
Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. Its essential qualification opens it to men or many religions and it expects them to continue to follow their own faith. It does not allow religion to be discussed at its meetings.

 

The Three Great Principles
For many years Freemasons have followed three great principles.
Brotherly Love – Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.
Relief Freemasons are taught to practice charity and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving, and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.
Truth Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives. Freemasons believe that these principles represent a way of achieving higher standards in life.

 

Charity
From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. This work continues today. In addition, large sums are given to national and local charities.

 

Freemasonry and Society
Freemasonry demands from its members a respect for the law of the country in which a man works and lives.

Its principles do not in any way conflict with its members’ duties as citizens, but should strengthen them in fulfilling their public and private responsibilities.

The use by a Freemason of his membership to promote his own or anyone else’s business, professional or personal interests is condemned, and is contrary to the conditions on which he sought admission to Freemasonry.

His duty as a citizen must always prevail over any obligation to other Freemasons, and any attempt to shield a Freemason who has acted dishonourably or unlawfully is contrary to this prime duty.

Secrecy

The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with its traditional modes of recognition, all members are free to acknowledge their membership and will do so in response to enquiries for respectable reasons. Its constitutions and rules are available to the public. there is no secret about any of its aims and principles. Like many other societies, it regards some of its internal affairs as private matters for its members.

Freemasonry and Politics

Freemasonry is non-political, and the discussion of politics at Masonic meetings is forbidden.

Other Masonic Bodies

Freemasonry is practised under many independent Grand Lodges with standards similar to those set by the United Grand Lodge of England.

There are some Grand Lodges and other apparently Masonic bodies that do not meet these standards, e.g. that do not require a belief in a Supreme Being, or that allow or encourage their members as such to participate in political matters.

these Grand Lodges and bodies are not recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England as being Masonically regular, and Masonic contact with them is forbidden.

Conclusion

A Freemason is encouraged to do his duty first to his God (by whatever name he is known) through his faith and religious practice; and then, without detriment to his family and those dependent on him, to his neighbour through charity and service.

None of these ideas is exclusively Masonic, but all should be universally acceptable. Freemasons are expected to follow them.

Source: What is Freemasonry Booklet  issued by: The Grand Secretary, The United Grand Lodge of England

 

Is Freemasonry a Religion?

Questions about religion are straightforward to answer – Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for a religion. It demands of its members a belief in a Supreme Being but provides no system of faith of its own.

Freemasonry is open to men of all religious faiths. The discussion of  religion at its meetings is forbidden.

The Supreme Being

The names used for the Supreme Being enable men of different faiths to join in prayer (to God as each sees Him) without the terms of the prayer causing dissension among them.

There is no separate Masonic God; a Freemason’s God remains the  God of the religion he professes.

Freemasons meet in common respect for the Supreme Being, but he remains Supreme in their individual religions, and it is no part of Freemasonry to attempt to join religions together. there is therefore no composite Masonic God.

Volume of the Sacred Law

The Bible, referred to by Freemasons as the Volume of the sacred Law, is always open at every masonic meeting.

The Obligation of Freemasonry

The Obligation taken by Freemasons are sworn on or involve the Volume of the Sacred Law, or the book held sacred by those concerned. They are undertakings to help keep secret a Freemason’s means of recognition, and to follow the principles of Freemasonry.

The physical penalties, which are purely symbolic, do not form part of an Obligation. the commitments to follow the principles of  Freemasonry is, however, deep.

Freemasonry Compared with Religion

Freemasonry lacks the basic elements of religion.

a) It has no theological doctrine, and by forbidding religious discussion at its meetings will not allow Masonic theological doctrine to develop.

b) It offers no sacraments.

c) It does not claim, to lead to salvation by works, by secret knowledge or by any other means. The secrets of freemasonry are concerned with modes or recognition and not with salvation

Freemasonry Supports Religion

Freemasonry is far from indifferent to religion. Without interfering in religious practice it expects each member to follow his own faith, and to place above all other duties his duty to God, by whatever name He is known. Its moral teachings are acceptable to all religions.

Freemasonry is thus a supporter of religion.

Source: What is Freemasonry Booklet  issued by: The Grand Secretary, The United Grand Lodge of England

 

Are Freemasons required to donate regular amounts to charity?

No. At each meeting Members are invited to give as much or as little as they can toward the charity ‘bag’ according to their circumstances. However if a member does not wish, or is unable to offer anything then no pressure or comment is ever made.  The Lodge of Unity often holds a raffle at its festive board (meal), the proceeds from which go to charity.

Throughout the year we also organise a number of events, some of which are fundraising events while others are purely social. As a result of these, at the end of each year we are usually able to donate several thousand pounds to a number of charities.

Any other Questions?

If you would like to know more please do not hesitate to Contact Us.