Becoming a Mason

 

How can you become a Freemason?

There are 250,000 Freemasons belonging to 8,000 Lodges throughout England and Wales, and districts overseas.

Worldwide, the figure rises to six million Freemasons, all with their own special reasons why they enjoy Freemasonry. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances. For others, it’s being able to help deserving causes – making a contribution to family and society. But for most, it is simply a highly enjoyable way of enjoying the company of like-minded men.

Freemasons meet in Private Lodges each of which can have a membership of 15 upwards. In England alone approximately 8,000 men become Freemasons every year. Admission into Freemasonry is a privilege, and in order to be eligible for membership, there are certain pre-conditions, all of which must be met:

        • You must believe in a Supreme Being. There is no distinction between religions or faiths.
        • You must be at least 21 years of age, although special arrangements exist for undergraduate entry. 
        • You must be prepared to take an obligation to preserve the private aspects of Freemasonry.
        • You must be of good character and undertake to uphold the Civil and Criminal Laws of any country in which you may reside.
        • You must be prepared to strictly observe the Laws, Regulations and Constitutions of Freemasonry.
        • You must have the full support of your wife or partner, and family.

 

When a man becomes a Freemason, he progresses through three degrees of Freemasonry, known as the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason degrees. The ceremonies by which he receives these degrees of Masonic development take the form of fascinating dramatic moral playlets which are ancient in origin.

After some years progressing through various 'offices' in the lodge a Master Mason can qualify to be elected as Master of the Lodge. This is the highest honour a lodge can bestow on one of its members.

Many Freemasons do not progress beyond these three degrees and continue to enjoy their meetings in what is generally known as 'Craft' Freemasonry for many years, however all those who have received the third degree are advised of the existence of the Holy Royal Arch. The message of the Holy Royal Arch is the awareness of man's relationship with his God. The Holy Royal Arch is operated as a separate and distinct part of Freemasonry.

You may hear of other Masonic degrees or Orders; there are many of them, with many offshoots and extensions of each however they are not administered by the United Grand Lodge of England.

After joining a lodge and usually after becoming a Master Mason it may be possible to take an office in the Lodge. This means you will be taking part in the dramatic representation of the moral messages mentioned earlier. Officers progress through the offices in a Lodge, usually on an annual basis, until the office of Master of the Lodge is attained.

Having completed your time as Master of the Lodge one becomes a Past Master and after some years may be invited to become an officer of the Provincial Grand Lodge. Eventually, those who show exceptional service and merit may be invited to become officers of United Grand Lodge. All these progressions, as well as being honours, bring with them new duties and responsibilities.

Before every meeting each member of the Lodge receives a printed 'summons' which requests his attendance and advises the date, time and business of the lodge. Members must try and attend on every occasion unless prevented by family, work, business commitments or other unforeseen circumstances.