What Is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry can lay claim to be the world's oldest secular fraternal society being an association of men concerned with moral and spiritual values.
Members are taught its precepts by a series of allegorical plays or lectures, which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons' customs and tools as symbolic guides.
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 practise 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. Masons gain from Freemasonry only as much as they are prepared to put into it by way of commitment to these three principles. Thereby they gain a feeling of friendship which can only be felt from within the organisation together with a spiritual and moral uplift from a unique and shared common experience.
The essential qualification for admission into and continuing membership of Freemasonry is a belief in a Supreme Being; but Freemasonry is not a religion neither is it a substitute for religion. It has no theology, teaches no route to salvation and offers no sacraments. Freemasonry is a multi-racial and multi-cultural organisation, and is open to all men who can fulfil this essential qualification. They must be of good repute, and are encouraged to follow their own particular faith according to their conscience and individual beliefs.
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.
His duty as a citizen must always prevail over any obligation to other Freemasons, and any attempt to shield a Freemason who as acted dishonourably or unlawfully is contrary to this prime duty.
Freemasonry is non-political, and the discussion of politics and religion at Masonic meetings is forbidden.
From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of young persons, the sick, the aged and the disadvantaged. This work continues today. Large sums are given regularly to national and local charities. Unlike many other organisations, we do not go beyond our own members to collect for charity, although we do donate considerable sums to non-masonic causes. Each member is encouraged to donate what he can afford without detriment to himself or his family.
Find a Lodge
Whether you are thinking of joining or just visiting a new area. Click here for a comprehensive list of our lodges with links to their web sites.