In this section we try to dispel some of the popular misconceptions in circulation about Freemasonry.

Below are a number of questions which we are most frequently asked: simply click on a question and the answer will be displayed.

If you have any other questions you would like answered, or would like to enquire about becoming a Mason, please contact us via the Form Link. We will to respond as soon as we can.

Answering Questions about Freemasonry

  • Is Freemasonry an open society?

    Is Freemasonry an open society?

    Yes. Our Constitutions (rule book) are available for anyone to read, our meeting places are well advertised and often used by other community groups, our headquarters is open to the public and has free tours, we have web sites for the curious, and you can even ring us up.

    If anyone thinks we are not open, they clearly haven’t been looking very hard! We are, however, subject to the same data protection rules as other clubs and societies and so cannot publish membership lists.

  • What do I stand to gain in Freemasonry?

    What do I stand to gain in Freemasonry?

    It has been said that some people become Freemasons for personal benefit.

    This statement is true, but for the wrong reasons. The personal gain is in experiencing the warmth of an honourable society and being part of an organisation that works hard to help the less fortunate of the world.

    Freemasonry does ask its members to give as freely as they can to charity. How often have we told ourselves that we really should send money to help with some famine or other disaster we have seen on TV, only to forget all about it in the rush of everyday life? Freemasonry provides a structured channel for fundraising from its members and reacts quickly when help is needed urgently, as in the case of the tsunami disaster.

  • Do freemasonry handshakes give an unfair advantage?

    Do freemasonry handshakes give an unfair advantage?

    This is both misguided and contrary to one of the basic principles of the organisation.

    Rather than spend your money on Masonic membership fees, you’d be better off buying a lottery ticket. Has anyone ever used their membership of Freemasonry to try to gain personal benefit? Of course there have been cases. But that is true of just about every group, society or body where men get together. How many business deals are cooked up on the golf course? The difference is that, unlike the golf club, Freemasonry has a system of morality that says no to this.

  • Do Masons help members ahead of others?

    Do Masons help members ahead of others?

    No, like everyone we are taught to help others, especially those less fortunate than ourselves. It is made absolutely clear to every new member that his civil, moral and religious duties take precedence over any obligation to fellow-Masons.

  • Does being a Mason fit in with civic responsibilities?

    Does being a Mason fit in with civic responsibilities?

    Freemasonry supports it. It teaches a moral code which is acceptable to all right-thinking people: to be law-abiding, support the broader community, help those less fortunate than oneself, and discharge one’s public and family duties faithfully.

  • Do wives and partners matter to Freemason?

    Do wives and partners matter to Freemason?

    In the interests of domestic harmony, people interested in becoming Freemasons are strongly recommended to bring their wife / partner into the picture at the earliest possible stage. All Masonic Centres are happy to give guided tours to the general public.

    Visitors can see inside the Masonic temples where the ceremonies take place and ask about the issues discussed in this leaflet. There are also entertaining lectures, held inside a lodge or chapter rooms, for anyone interested in learning more about Freemasonry. These are usually followed by an informal dinner.

  • Why do some churches not like Freemasonry?

    Why do some churches not like Freemasonry?

    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.

  • Does Freemasonry accept Roman Catholics?

    Does Freemasonry accept Roman Catholics?

    Yes. Four Grand Masters of English Freemasonry have been Roman Catholics. Today there are many Roman Catholic Freemasons.

  • Is Freemasonry a religion?

    Do Is Freemasonry a religion?

    Certainly not. We do not even allow discussion of religion at our meetings, as that could be divisive.

    We do require members to believe in God, however, as our ceremonies would make no sense to non-believers. Masonic meetings begin with a non-denominational prayer – so do meetings of Parliament, your local Scout troop and Remembrance Day services.

  • What is Freemasonry relationship with politics?

    What is Freemasonry 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.

  • Is Freemasonry an international order?

    Is Freemasonry an international order?

    Freemasonry exists throughout the world. However, each Grand Lodge is sovereign and independent. There is no international governing body for Freemasonry.

  • Are there women Freemasons?

    Are there women Freemasons?

    Yes. Whilst UGLE, following the example of medieval stonemasons, is, and has always been, restricted to men, women Freemasons have two separate Grand Lodges, which are restricted to women.

  • Why do Freemasons wear regalia?

    Why do Freemasons wear regalia?

    Wearing regalia is historic and symbolic. Like a uniform, the regalia indicates the rank of the wearer in the organisation.

  • Why do Freemasons take oaths?

    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 when visiting another Lodge. Freemasons also promise to support others in time of need but only so far as it does not conflict with their family and public obligations.

  • Are Freemasons expected to give preference to fellow members?

    Are Freemasons expected to give preference to fellow members?

    Certainly not. This would be unacceptable and may lead to action being taken against those involved. On joining, each new member states that he expects no material gain from membership.

  • How many degrees are there in Freemasonry?

    How many degrees are there in Freemasonry?

    Basic Freemasonry consists of three degrees:

    • Entered Apprentice
    • Fellow Craft
    • Master Mason
  • What is the monetary cost of being a Freemason?

    What is the monetary cost of being a Freemason?

    It varies from Lodge to Lodge. Anyone wishing to join will find a Lodge to suit his pocket. There is an initiation fee on entry and in due course regalia will have to be bought. The meeting is normally followed by a dinner, the cost depending on the venue. There is, in addition, an annual subscription.

    Members are invited to give to charity but this should always be within their means and it is entirely up to the individual how much they wish to contribute.

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