Frequently Asked Questions About Freemasonry
Freemasonry means different things to different people and different reasons to join. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances who share the same moral compass. For others it’s about being able to help deserving causes – making a contribution to family and to society. But the underlying purpose of Freemasonry is to embark on a journey of inner knowledge, to improve as a person as part of an ongoing system of self-development.
What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisation. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies.
What happens in a lodge meeting?
Our lodge meetings are open only to members and visitors from other ‘regular’ Freemason Lodges and are normally in two parts.
First, there are administrative procedures such as:
- Minutes of the previous meeting
- Proposing and balloting for new members
- Discussing and voting on the annual accounts
- Masonic news and correspondence
- News about charitable work and social events
Second, there are the ceremonies for:
- Admitting new members
- Progressing members to a higher degree
- The annual installation of the Master of the Lodge and his officers
All meetings are followed by a ‘festive board’ where we eat and drink, do toasts and speeches.
Why do Freemasons take oaths?
New members make solemn promises concerning their behaviour both in the Lodge and in society. Members also promise to keep confidential the way they recognise each other. Freemasons also promise to support their brothers in time of need but only so far as it does not conflict with their family and public obligations.
What is Freemasonry’s relationship with religion?
All Freemasons are expected to have a religious belief, but Freemasonry does not seek to replace a Mason’s religion or provide a substitute for it. It deals in a man’s relationship with his fellow man not in a man’s relationship with his God.
There are elements within churches who misunderstand Freemasonry and its objectives. They confuse secular rituals with religious liturgy. There are many Masons in churches where their leaders have been openly critical of the organisation. Masonry has always actively encouraged its members to be active in their own religion.
What is Freemasonry’s relationship with politics?
Freemasonry, as a body, will never express a view on politics or state policy. The discussion of politics at Masonic meetings has always been prohibited.
Are there women Freemasons?
Yes. Whilst the United Grand Lodge of England (and the Grand Lodge of Spain) are following the example of medieval stonemasons, the order is, and has always been, restricted to men, there are lodges for women Freemasons.
There are two separate Grand Lodges in the UK which are restricted to women. These orders have also branches on the Costa del Sol.
Why do you wear regalia?
Wearing regalia is historic and symbolic. Like a uniform, the regalia indicates the rank of the wearer in the organisation.