Frequently asked questions
Who can become a Freemason?
Any man over the age of 21 (or 18 in the case of University Lodges) can apply to join the Freemasons, regardless of race, colour, religion, political views or social or economic standing.
It should also be noted that Freemasonry is a non-religious and non-political organisation, and discussion of politics and religion are forbidden at lodge meetings.
What about conspiracy theories?
Conspiracy theories are just that - conspiracy with no truth or grounding. Part of the reason for our current activity is to dispel all the myths and conspiracy theories attached to Freemasonry.
What is the point of being a Mason?
There are many different reasons why people join - one of the main reasons is camaraderie. Many friendships made through Freemasonry endure for life, and lodge dinners which follow our formal meetings offer members the opportunity to enjoy each others' company in a more relaxed and informal environment.
Other reasons put forward during the research for The Future of Freemasonry report include a sense of belonging and structure - which are not always easy to find in today's fragmented society - and a desire to help other people by getting involved in the local community.
Most importantly of all though, Freemasonry is all about enjoyment - if members didn't enjoy Freemasonry they would not remain part of the organisation in the way that they do.
If the policeman was a Freemason, would he bend the rules if another Freemason broke the law?
Absolutely not - networking within Freemasonry and trying to use it for personal gain is completely forbidden.
Do magistrates have to declare their membership to the Masons, as well as other judges within the Ministry of Justice?
No, none of them do and we are also working hard in other professions to stamp out discrimination.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2007 that in a modern democratic society it was discriminatory to single out Freemasons from the many voluntary organisations an individual can belong to and require them to register their membership with their employers.
Is Freemasonry compatible with humanism?
The prime qualification for admission into Freemasonry is a belief in a supreme being. Having some form of religious belief is the one thing that all Freemasons have in common, whatever their backgrounds might be. As humanists do not believe in any form of higher power they cannot fulfil that prime qualification.
Is Freemasonry linked to craft trades?
Organised Freemasonry, as we understand it today, began with the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 - hence our tercentenary celebrations in 2017.
While not directly linked, we have taken a lot of our symbolism from stonemasonry.
As with stonemasonry, Freemasonry is about moving from level to level as you gain further knowledge and experience, starting with being an apprentice.
How can I become a member?
Members can be recommended, or they can put themselves forward. There is detailed information about becoming a Freemason on the United Grand Lodge of England's website. If you don't know anyone who is a member, they can either contact a Masonic Office in their area, or contact the United Grand Lodge of England via the website.
Are there other Masonic orders I can join??
Once an individual has become a member of a Craft Lodge, he is entitled to join other Orders of Masonry. These are numerous. The main order a Craft Mason is positively encouraged to join is the Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. Others include Mark Master Masons, Knight Templar, Rose Croix, and Priory.
Details of these and other movements available are all available to see via links from the Grand Lodge website.