Nigel Brown, Grand Secretary, answers many of the questions asked of Masons and addresses common misconceptions.
So What’s it all about ?
Who can become a Freemason?
Freemasonry is open to all men of all faiths over the mature age of 21, who are law-abiding, of good character and who acknowledge a belief in a Supreme Being. Freemasonry is a multi-racial and multi-cultural organisation. There are similar organisations for women.
How can I become a Freemason?
This is not a difficult as you might think. Firstly if you know someone who is a Freemason talk to them. They will be able to explain the fraternity to you and help you find a suitable Lodge. If you don’t know anyone who is a member then contact the Compass Rose Lodge via our contact page and we will arrange to meet you socially to find out more about you, and to give you a chance to find out more about us.
Following this meeting you would then, in due course, be invited to meet a committee of members, prior to being balloted for membership of the Lodge and all being well, a date would then be fixed for your admission.
How much does membership cost?
Costs vary depending on which Lodge you join.
- The Compass Rose Lodge has an annual subscription fee which is currently £115.00
- A one off Initiation fee is paid by new members. This fee is currently £196.45
- We have four regular Lodge meetings each year followed by a meal with wine (called The Festive Board) which costs approximately £22.00
What is Freemasonry for?
Freemasonry is not for anything. Freemasonry has no grand designs, apart from ‘being happy and communicating happiness’ as we say in our ritual. Freemasons are forbidden to discuss religion or politics in Lodge and so men from widely different backgrounds and with very different interests can meet as friends in Freemasonry. Freemasonry provides companionship and social activities for its members and, often, for their families. It emphasises charity, which extends beyond its own people and their dependants. It teaches, by means of ritual, morality or the practical basis of living in civilised society.
Source: Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire Guidance Notes
What do you do in meetings?
Lodge meetings consist of a mixture of ritual and business. As in any organisation there is a certain amount of routine matters which must be attended to. These are usually conducted by the lodge secretary and communicated to the members during the regular lodge meetings. Reports are also given from other lodge officers including the Charity Steward and Treasurer. There are also a number of other matters and rituals including initiating new members into Freemasonry and passing and raising them to different degrees through a participation in a progression of allegorical two-part plays, which are learnt by heart and performed within each lodge. Other items may include lectures, demonstrations and presentations by members or visitors to the lodge.
Visiting is a very important part of Freemasonry and The Compass Rose Lodge welcomes visitors from many other lodges situated not just in Britain but from around the world.
How many Lodges are there?
There are some 8,253 lodges under the United Grand Lodge of England. There are 196 lodges in Warwickshire with The Compass Rose Lodge being one.
Are Freemasons required to donate regular amounts to charity?
No. At each meeting Members are invited to give as much or as little as they can for charity according to their circumstances. However if a member does not wish, or is unable to offer anything then no pressure or comment is ever made. The Compass Rose Lodge holds a raffle at its festive board (meal), the proceeds from which go to charity.
The Three Great Principles on which Freemasonry is founded
For centuries Freemasons have followed these three great Principles:
Means that every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and will behave with compassion and understanding to his fellows.
From earliest times Freemasons have been taught to help, to the best of their ability, those in distress. without detriment to any who are dependent upon them, and to give their support to outside Charities.
Freemasons strive for truth both in their view of themselves and in their dealings with others. Masonry requires high moral standards and its members endeavour to uphold these principles in their public and private lives.
Source: Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire Website