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What is Freemasonry

The short answer is, it is one of the oldest social and charitable organisations in the world. Read on to discover more.

What is Freemasonry - more detail...

Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that traces its origins back to the Medieval era, where working Stonemasons would use various grips, words and or signs in order to distinguish the level of their qualification, remember this was back in a time pre-telephone, email, so Stonemasons used these methods as they moved around the country / world working on various Cathedrals/buildings to determine their working skill and of course payment scale. In todays society you no longer need to be a working stonemason to join the fraternity, it is open to men of all faiths and backgrounds. Freemasons, often simply called Masons, are members of the organisation who come together in lodges for fraternal activities, moral and philosophical discussions, and charitable endeavours.

Here are some key points about Freemasonry and Masonic lodges:

  1. Principles and Values: Freemasonry is based on a system of moral and ethical teachings that emphasize brotherhood, personal development, and the improvement of society. Its principles include the belief in a Supreme Being (although specific religious affiliations are not required), brotherly love, relief, and truth.

  2. Degrees and Rituals: Freemasonry is structured around a system of degrees. The three foundational degrees are Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason. These degrees involve ritualistic ceremonies that symbolically impart moral lessons and teachings.

  3. Masonic Lodges: Masonic lodges are the basic units of Freemasonry. They serve as meeting places for Masons to conduct their business, perform rituals (the 3 degrees discussed previously), and engage in discussions. Each lodge is usually numbered and has its own unique name, we are number 726. Lodges are governed by a Worshipful Master and other officers elected by the members.

  4. Grand Lodges: Every Masonic Lodge is under the banner a Provincial Grand lodge who oversee that high standards of ritual and conduct are maintained, ours is the Provincial Grand Lodge of Staffordshire The United Grand Lodge of England oversees all of us and is located in Great Queen Street london -

  5. Membership and Secrecy: Membership used to be by invitation only (proposed and seconded by two members of a lodge), however you are now able to express an interest via the internet without knowing any other Masons. To join, an individual must usually be over 21 years (18 in some circumstances), have a belief in a Supreme Being, and possess good moral character. Freemasonry has traditionally maintained certain elements of secrecy, such as the use of symbolic rituals and passwords, although thanks to the internet, much of these are widely available. We strongly encourage anyone thinking of joining Freemasonry to avoid reading about such secrets as firstly, the internet is not always correct and secondly, part of the enjoyment of being the candidate in a ceremony is the drama of it, which is lessened if you already know what is about to occur.

  6. Charity and Community Service: Freemasonry places a strong emphasis on charity and community service. Masonic lodges undertake philanthropic activities, such as supporting hospitals, schools, and other charitable causes. The Masonic charitable foundation also provide relief to Masons and their families in times of need. 

    Funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons and their families, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country.

It's important to note that Freemasonry is a diverse and multifaceted organization with variations in practices and rituals across different countries, jurisdictions, and even individual lodges. Therefore, specific details and customs may vary depending on the Masonic lodge in question.

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