FAQsYour Questions Answered
1. What is Freemasonry?
2. Where and when did Freemasonry start?
3. Are you a Secret Society?
4. So what exactly is a Masonic Secret?
5. How do you do a secret Masonic Handshake?
6. Is Freemasonry a Religion?
7. Why do some established Churches dislike Freemasonry?
8. What are the Politics of Freemasonry?
9. Why do you roll your trousers up?
10. Why can't Women become Freemasons?
11. Do Masons favour one another in business dealings?
No! One of our fundamental rules on joining is that Freemasons agree that they are not seeking to gain personal, financial or material advantage. However, in any other club or society (golf, bridge, rugby, football etc.) people will naturally prefer to do business with those they know, like and trust and in this respect Freemasonry is no different. Using Freemasonry for financial benefit is strictly forbidden.
12. What happens at a Masonic Meeting?
Meetings are in two parts. The first part is concerned with the administrative business that any organisation has, such as the minutes of the last meeting, discussing Lodge charity and finances and so on. The second part is usually devoted to ceremonies either for admitting new members, or the annual installation of the Master. The three ceremonies for new members take the form of a one-act play, to introduce the candidate, in a dramatic way, to the principles of Freemasonry.
13. Why do you meet in a Temple?
Freemasons’ ceremonies are based around the re-enactment of supposed events surrounding the building of King Solomon’s Temple, and the way in which stonemasons of the time would have progressed. It refers, therefore, to the place of work of these people, rather than a place of worship. We retain that symbolism in our one-act plays.
14. Why do Masons wear aprons?
The aprons hark back to working stonemasons, on which our ceremonies are based. Even today stonemasons still wear lambskin aprons to protect themselves and their work. In Freemasonry, they also represent badges of rank, signifying different stages in a Masonic career. As a rough guide, the colours can be likened to participation in sport. The light blue can be considered as playing at club level, dark blue for the county, and dark blue with lots of gold as playing for the national team.
15. Why do Masons call God 'The Great Architect of the Universe'?
Freemasonry is open to men of all faiths and denominations. It is therefore important to refer to a higher Being in terms that are non-denominational, and that all Freemasons will recognise. As Freemasonry uses stories about building a temple, we think of the highest individual involved as being the person who designed the whole structure. We therefore refer to the highest Being as the Great Architect of the Universe, as there can be no-one superior.
16. Is it expensive to be a Freemason?
There are some costs in the first year, such as joining and initiation fees, and the cost of regalia. Overall, this might total around £300 or so. You would also need a dark lounge suit. After that, the costs would be annual membership fees, which vary from Lodge to Lodge, the costs of dining, together with charity collections and so on. Overall the total might average out at between £5 and £10 per week.
17. What are the three Degrees?
The three Degrees are a series of traditional dramas, re-enacting the supposed events connected with stonemasons in the building of King Solomon’s Temple. The tradition is over 300 years old, and helps members to learn by direct experience, teaching them the history and philosophy of Freemasonry
18. Can just anyone become a Freemason?
Freemasonry is a multi-faith, multi-cultural, multi-racial organisation. It is open to all men who are over 21, law abiding, of good character, and who believe in a Supreme Being. We will only accept men who fulfil all of those four essential requirements.
19. How do I go about joining a Lodge?
If you know someone who is a Freemason, just ask him! If not, simply complete the form on the “How to Apply” page and we will contact you to to assist in finding a suitable Lodge in your area.
20. If I do join, what's in it for me?
You will find it a worthwhile and fascinating way to invest some of your spare time. For most, it provides a sense of belonging to a pastime that gives a structured and formal part of life which many feel is missing in today’s world. In addition your Lodge’s social programme offers numerous opportunities for socialising which in turn allows you to form new friendships that will last a lifetime.