What is a Lodge?
• The term Lodge has two meanings for Freemasons. It is both a place where Masonic meetings are held, and a collective term for the members who meet there.
• A Lodge has various officers that manage and run the Lodge the appointment of all officers, except the Master and Treasurer (who are elected by ballot), and the Tyler, (who is elected if he is not a member of the lodge) is in the discretion of the Worshipful Master and Past Masters of the Lodge.
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. 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. The following information 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 principles (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge – which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.
Freemasonry instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: its values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.
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.
What a candidate should know
• Masonry consists of a body of men banded together to preserve the secrets, customs and ceremonials handed down to them and for the purpose of mutual intellectual. social and moral improvement.
• A basic condition of admission into, and membership of the Order is a belief in the Supreme Being, This is essential and admits of no compromise.
• It recognises no distinctions of religion and while inculcating in each of its members the duties of loyalty and citizenship
• It offers no pecuniary advantages binding one Mason to deal with another, or to support him in any way in the ordinary business relations of life.
• It has certain charities it is not in any sense whatever a benefit society, nor is it based upon any calculations, which would render this possible.
• Masonry teaches that a man’s first duty is to himself, his wife, his family and his connections. No-one should Join the Order who cannot afford to pay the Initiation fees and subscription to his Lodge as well as to the Masonic Charities, and this without detriment to the comfort and well-being of those who have any claim on his support
• That he sincerely desires the intellectual and moral improvement of himself and his fellow creatures. That he is willing to devote part of his time, his means and his effort in the promotion of brotherly love, relief and truth.
• That he seeks no commercial, social or pecuniary advantages. That he is able to afford the necessary expenditure without injury to himself or his connections.
What a Candidate Needs to Know
• Freemasonry teaches its members that their first duty is to their families and its connections, that they should be honest, friendly, and proper in their conduct to everyone. They are urged to be good citizens, obey the law, and maintain the good order of society.
• Freemasonry is a multicultural organisation. Members of all races are welcome to join. Members of all faiths are welcome.
• Freemasonry is not a benefit society. It offers no pecuniary advantage or reward, nor does it require its members to support one another in business or employment.
• No one should join Freemasonry unless he can afford to pay the expenses involved without affecting his ability to support his family and those who have a claim upon his resources.
• A Freemason should be satisfied in his own mind that he desires the intellectual and moral improvement of himself and his fellow citizens; that he is willing to devote part of his time and money to promoting fellowship, charity and integrity and be able to afford it without adversely affecting himself or his family’s responsibilities and that he seeks no commercial, social, or pecuniary advantage by wishing to become a member
The Cost of being a Freemason
The cost varies from Lodge to Lodge, but anyone wishing to join can find a Lodge to suit his pocket.
On entry, there is a one-off joining fee. A member also pays an annual subscription to his Lodge which covers his membership and the administrative cost of running the Lodge. These amounts will vary between Lodges, but on average expect to pay somewhere in the region of £140 for the one-off joining fee, and £220 per annum depending on meetings missed before your initiation a 10% Discount per meeting missed , you can also pay in six installments if you wish. It is usual to have a meal after the meeting; the cost of this can be paid for separately at the time.
It is entirely up to the individual member what he gives to Charity, but it should always be without detriment to his other responsibilities. Similarly, he may join as many Lodges as his time and pocket can allow, as long as it does not adversely affect his family life and responsibilities.
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Freemasonry has an enviable record of providing regular and consistent financial support to individual charities over long periods, while at the same time making thousands of grants to local charities and projects throughout England and Wales each year.
Contrary to popular belief, one does not have to be a Freemason to benefit from Masonic charity. Freemasonry is second only to the National Lottery in the level of money donated to charitable causes in the UK.