Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry.
Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its principles (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge – which follow ancient forms and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.
Every Masonic Lodge instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: its values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Members are instructed to put the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.
This information is intended to explain Freemasonry as it is practised under the United Grand Lodge of England, which administers Freemasons Lodges in England and Wales and in many places overseas.
Freemasonry is founded on three great principles:
- Brotherly Love – Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.
- Relief – Freemasons are taught to practise charity and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.
- Truth – Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives. Freemasons believe that these principles represent a way of achieving higher standards in life.
Just in case this all sounds too earnest, we must also emphasise the social nature of Lodge membership. We are extremely sociable and Lodge meetings are both convivial and rewarding. Many life-long friendships are made and sustained in our lodges. We enjoy helping others and enjoy our freemasonry! We are people just like you and people you’ll like.
Freemasonry is based on a set of long-standing values and principles; these are as relevant today as they have always been. Freemasonry has always been about making good men better.
Individuals aim to build and shape their lives round four core values:
Building good people:
Freemasons are focused on building themselves as people of integrity and membership provides the structure to help achieve that goal.
Freemasonry provides the common foundation for friendships between members, many of which will last for life.
Freemasonry brings people together irrespective of their race, religion or any other perceived differences that can divide us as a society.
Kindness and charitable giving are fundamental principles of Freemasonry and the organisation provides the structure for members to make positive contributions to their communities and various causes.