What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is the largest secular, fraternal and charitable organisation in the United Kingdom. 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.

What happens at a Lodge Meeting?

The meeting, which like those of other groups, are open only to members, is normally in two parts:
Firstly, 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
Secondly, there are the ceremonies for:
  • Admitting new members
  • The annual installation of the Master of the Lodge and his officer
The meeting is followed by a festive board where members and visiting members share wine and good conversation over a meal.

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.

Are Freemasons expected to give preference to fellow members?

Certainly not. This would be unacceptable and may lead to action being taken against those involved. On joining, each new member states that he expects no material gain from membership.

Who do the Masonic charities donate to?

Whilst there are Masonic charities that cater specifically, but not exclusively, for Masons or their dependants, others make significant grants to non-Masonic organisations

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.

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 Freemasons in churches where their leaders have been openly critical of the organisation. Freemasonry has always actively encouraged its members to be active in their own religion.

Does Freemasonry accept Roman Catholics?

Yes, four Grand Masters of English Freemasonry have been Roman Catholics. Today there are many Roman Catholic Freemasons.

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.

Is Freemasonry an international order?

Freemasonry exists throughout the world. Each Grand Lodge, however, is sovereign and independent. There is no international governing body for Freemasonry.

Are there women Freemasons?

Yes. Whilst the United Grand Lodge of England, following the example of medieval stonemasons, is, and has always been, restricted to men, there two separate Grand Lodges which are restricted to women.

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.

How many Freemasons are there?

Approximately 1800 Freemasons belong to Lodges in the Province of Bedfordshire and there are over 250,000 members under the United Grand Lodge of England.
The Grand Lodge of Ireland (which covers both Northern Ireland and Eire) and the Grand Lodge of Scotland which have a combined total of approximately 150,000 members and, Worldwide, there are approximately 6 million Freemasons.

How much does it cost to be a Freemason?

It varies from Lodge to Lodge. At Wenlock Lodge it is currently £205 per annum with a single one-off fee of £150 payable when you join. In addition you have the festive board, which is around £21 per meeting.  The festive board is an evening meal, where our members and any visiting members can enjoy the social side of Freemasonry. There are also charitable donations but these are voluntary and private. You will also need to purchase some masonic regalia.