Before you consider joining Freemasonry it is important that you are fully aware what you are committing yourself to and what would be expected of you. The following is a very brief summary of Freemasonry in general and what you can expect and what is expected of you should you wish to apply for membership.
Freemasonry prides itself on its transparency and not only are Freemasons completely free to acknowledge their membership they are encouraged to do so. There are many reasons for joining Freemasonry, and If you have any questions or require any further information you can contact the Lodge Mentor
W Bro Gordon J Ferguson - email@example.com who will be happy to answer any queries you may have.
We hope that the following information will help you decide if Freemasonry is something you want to join and also dispel many of the unwarranted myths that are circulated by those who know little about Freemasonry.
What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is the world’s oldest secular, fraternal and charitable organisation that teaches moral lessons and self-knowledge through allegory and symbolism. It offers its members an approach to life that embodies consideration for others, compassion and benevolence in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things in life. Whilst Freemasonry teaches important lessons on how we can become better members of society, it should always be remembered that Freemasonry is first and foremost a hobby to be enjoyed by those who are privileged enough to become members.
The three Grand principles on which Freemasonry are founded are Brotherly love, relief and truth.
Freemasonry is not a secret society, the Book of Constitutions is openly available to the general public. Its meeting places are also well known and many Masonic venues are used for private functions by members of the general public who are not associated with Freemasonry. Lodge Meetings, similar to those of many other groups, are private and restricted to members. The secrets of freemasonry are the traditional modes of recognition which are not used indiscriminately, but either during our ceremonies or for example as a test of membership when a member is visiting a Lodge where he is not known. Freemason's Hall in London, the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England is open daily to the public and anyone is welcome to visit
The myth that Freemasonry is an organisation intended to give or create personal advantage in business or career prospects is totally wrong. On the contrary, every prospective candidate is required to state unequivocally that he expects no material gain from his membership. The Book of Constitutions, which every candidate receives when he joins, contains strict rules governing abuse of membership which can result in penalties such as suspension or even expulsion from Freemasonry by the United Grand Lodge of England.
How to become a Freemason
It is a common misunderstanding that you have to be invited to join Freemasonry. The correct procedure is, in fact, that you should apply to join. However before taking this step you need to satisfy yourself that it is indeed an organisation that you wish to belong to and that you have no misconceptions as to your expectations of Freemasonry. There are however, certain formal requirements that have to be met before you can apply to be initiated into Freemasonry.
The essential requirements for membership
o The belief in a supreme being irrespective of whatever faith or religion you may follow
o Being of sound character and law-abiding with no criminal record
o Applying of your own free will without any pressure or coercion from anyone else
o Being a Male and the full age of 21-years, unless your father is or was a Freemason, in which case you can apply from the age of 18-years old.
o Completion of a written application form.
Your application form will need to be signed by a proposer and seconded, both being members of the Lodge, who can honestly vouch for your character and the above essential requirements
Following completion of your application form you will be required to attend an informal interview with four or five senior members of the Lodge to determine the following:
o That you have no unreasonable expectations of personal benefit from your membership
o That you have discussed your application with your immediate family and that they understand and support your decision to become a Freemason
o That you understand the basic principles of, and your expected role in, Freemasonry and that you will adhere to them
o That you are able to attend Lodge Meetings, rehearsals etc on a regular basis
o That you are aware of the costs of membership and your expected charitable contributions
o Whether you have any questions that we may answer
Once the above formalities have been completed you will be proposed and seconded as a candidate for initiation at the next regular Lodge meeting and will afterwards will be balloted by the members of the Lodge. If the ballot is successful the Secretary will contact you and inform you of the date of your initiation.
What will be expected of you as a Freemason
A Freemason is expected to learn and show humility through his initiation and advancement in the Lodge.
He is expected to progress through a series of degrees, gain insight into increasingly complex moral and philosophical concepts and accept a variety of challenges and responsibilities that are intended to be both mentally stimulating and extremely rewarding. Like most things in life, it does however, require a commitment and you will only get out of it what you are prepared to put in to it.
Since there is also a certain amount of administrative and ceremonial procedure involved in a Lodge meeting, a Freemason may be elected to hold office in the Lodge and to perform duties related to the various offices. Whilst the thought of becoming a Lodge officer may seem daunting to new members, in most Lodges it will take a number of years to progress through the various offices and you will always have the support from more experienced members of the Lodge. You will also be expected to attend monthly Lodge of Instruction meetings which will provide invaluable experience in learning about Freemasonry and the ceremonies we perform.
A Freemason is required to take various solemn obligations binding on his conscience and his fidelity, not to disclose the secrets and mysteries of Freemasonry and to act and abide by the ancient usages and established customs of the order. However, the Obligations that a Freemason takes are not in any respect incompatible with his civil, moral or religious duties.
Freemasons do not swear allegiances to each other, everyone who enters Freemasonry is strictly forbidden to countenance any act which may have a tendency to subvert the peace and good order of society. A Freemason must pay due obedience to the law of any state in which he resides or which may afford him protection, and he must never be remiss in the allegiance due to the Sovereign of his native land.
A Freemason is expected to be charitable and as a Freemason you will be expected to participate actively in supporting our charitable events.