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Lodge of Guiding Light No. 7539

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry can be practised at differing levels. Different members require differing levels of involvement, and these may vary from time to time as their circumstances change.

For most Freemasons, Freemasonry is more than simply a hobby or a social activity: it is a way of life.

Freemasonry encourages its members to be good members of society, and to lead by example. It offers its members an approach to life which seeks to reinforce thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the community, honesty in our dealings with others, and fairness in all things.

Freemasonry teaches and encourages concern for others, care for the less fortunate, and help for those in need.Freemasons also endeavour to cultivate and exhibit brotherly love and charity, not only to one another, but to the world at large.

That naturally leads to charitable giving (see separate page). Freemasonry has certain charities, including those for widows and children of masons, but it is not in any sense a benefit society. Over the past five years, British Freemasonry has raised more than £75m for a wide range of charitable purposes, including medical research, education, and relief for suffers of international disasters.

Freemasonry attracts those with a sense of social responsibility, and many members are active in their communities and in local charities.

Membership brings warm and supportive companionship, and leads to close friendships which develop over many years. Membership is of an individual Lodge, but these are grouped geographically, and ultimately Freemasonry is practiced world-wide.

Most Lodges restrict their membership to men, but there are mixed and women’s Lodges. There are no distinctions of class, and members of every trade, profession, and occupation are welcomed. Nor is there a restriction on age, apart from a requirement to be 21 or over. Many members join in their mid-thirties, but equally many join as they approach retirement when they find that they have much to contribute.

Freemasonry embraces members of all religions, all races, and all cultures, and it is very common to see Freemasons of widely differing faiths working in complete harmony.

Freemasonry is more than simply the practice of high ideals. All members must acknowledge a belief in a God. Freemasonry is not a religion. It does, however, encourage its members to be active in their own religion.

The teachings of Freemasonry are delivered through participation in allegorical plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge. Masons refer to these plays as “ritual”, a term which perhaps leads to unfortunate and inaccurate interpretation by non-masons.

Freemasonry offers no pecuniary advantages whatever, neither does there exist any obligation nor implied understanding binding one Mason to deal with another, nor to support him in any way in the ordinary business relations of life.

Indeed, Masons undertake not to make use of their membership for personal gain or advancement, and failure to maintain this principle can lead to expulsion (although these are, thankfully, rare).

Freemasonry distinctly teaches that a man's first duty is to his wife, his family, his connections, and himself, and no one should join who cannot afford to pay the fees and subscriptions to his Lodge, as well as contributions to charities, and this without detriment in any way to his comfort, or to that of those who have any claim upon his support.

Associated costs include membership fees, dining charges, and contributions to charity. Fees and dining charges will vary according to local preference, but are generally modest when compared to any other social activity. Members are encouraged to donate to charity but never more than they can afford.

Freemasonry recognises no distinctions of religion, but no one should attempt to enter who has no religious belief, as faith in a Deity must be expressed before any can be initiated, and prayers to Him form a frequent part of the ritual.

Freemasonry, therefore, demands that everyone before offering himself as a candidate, should be sure that:

  1. he sincerely desires the intellectual and moral improvement of himself and his fellow creatures, and that he is willing to devote part of his time, means, and efforts, to the promotion of brotherly love, relief, and truth

  2. he seeks no commercial, social, nor pecuniary advantages

  3. he is able to afford the necessary expenditure without injury to himself or his connections

  4. he is willing to enter into solemn obligations in the sight of his God

Where can I learn more?

There are excellent sources of material about Freemasonry.  A candidate is advised to visit the following web sites:

  1. United Grand Lodge of England  

    UGLE

    http://www.ugle.org.uk/



  2. Metropolitan Grand Lodge 

    Met GL

    http://www.metgl.com/

Copyright © 2005-2010 Lodge of Guiding Light No. 7539
(with grateful acknowledgement to The Universal Book of Craft Masonry, published by Toye Kenning & Spencer Ltd)
This page last updated 04/Jan/2010