Freemasonry means different things to each of those who join. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances. For others it’s about being able to help deserving causes, making a contribution and a difference to building a better community and society. But for most, it is an enjoyable hobby. However, for some it is as simple as being good men and doing good for others.
A fraternity with a wonderful history which dates back more than three centuries.
Founded on the three great principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, it aims to bring together men of goodwill, regardless of background and differences.
Members are urged to regard 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 time of need. Freemasonry has always been about making good men better. Individuals within Freemasonry aim to shape their lives round five core principles.
The 5 core principles of Freemasonry
We say what we mean and we keep our promises.
We pride ourselves on openness, about what being a Freemason means for us.
We respect the opinions of others and behave with understanding towards them.
Although our families come first, we believe in playing a key compassionate role in our communities and give time and money to charitable ventures.
We treat everyone as equal – we listen to others, explore any differences and look for common ground.
Freemasonry under the United Grand Lodge of England
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 morally framed ceremonies. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry. The following information is intended to explain Freemasonry as it is practised under the United Grand Lodge of England, which administers Lodges of Freemasons in England and Wales and in many places overseas.
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. Each follows a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge. These two-part plays follow ancient forms and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.
Sir Tony Robson visits Freemason’s Hall and explains freemasonry
To mark the launch of more than 2 million UK and Irish Freemason membership registers on Ancestry 23 Nov 2015
Whilst Freemasonary is universal and holds no social, professional or ethnical distinctions, it is good to know that over time, its membership has been graced with many well know personalities. See below:
"Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must."
"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest."
"We had seen God in His splendours, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man."
"Better to keep a good conscience with an empty purse, than to get a bad opinion of myself, with a full one."
"I've only had two rules: Do all you can and do it the best you can. It's the only way you ever get that feeling of accomplishing something."
"If you can keep your wits about you while others are losing theirs, and blaming you. The world will be yours and everything in it, what's more, you'll be a man, my son."
Freemasons that were well known political leaders from across the world include: Samuel Adams (a US founding father), Winston Churchill, Edward VII, George VI, J. Edgar Hoover, and Jefferson Davis. More than a few famous Masons were also U.S. Presidents including Washington, Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Polk, Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Garfield, McKinley, Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Gerald R. Ford.
Writers of Note
Robert Burns, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Oscar Wilde.
Famous Masonic Astronauts
Include “Buzz” Aldrin, Virgil Grissom, John Glenn. All have the “right stuff” … Freemasonry!
The fight for the Republic of Texas included fellow masons like Sam Houston, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett immortalised in the Film, “The Alamo”.
Dr Bernado and Sir Willian “Billy” Butlin.
Some well known military leaders were also famous masons. These easily recognizable names include: George C. Marshall, Gen. Omar Bradley, John J. Pershing, Douglas McArthur, and Jimmy Doolittle.
Many famous brothers made a good living as actors or entertainers and include, Peter Sellers, Harpo Marx, Jim Davidson OBE, John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Clark Gable, Will Rogers, Louis Armstrong, Count Bassie, Nat King Cole and Audie Murphy.
Other famous and easy recognizable Masons include such names as Isaac Newton, Voltaire, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Lugwig van Beethoven, Moses Mendelssohn, Franz Liszt, Thomas Edison (inventor of the light bulb), Harry Houdine, Col Sanders (yep the man from KFC), Henry Ford (any colour as long as it is black), Walter P. Chrysler, Jack Dempsey, and Arnold Palmer.
Donating just £1 now will help someone in time of genuine need in our community. Lest we forget, charity starts at home.
300 Years of Freemasonry
In 2017 Freemasons all across England and Wales celebrated the tercentenary of the first Grand Lodge that was established in London on 24th June 1717.
SKY® TV screened a documentary series entitled “Inside the Freemasons”. As Freemasonry celebrates its 300th anniversary, the programmes goes beyond the myth and legend to discover what it really means to be a Freemason today through the words and lives of Freemasons themselves.
Celebrating 300 years of Freemasonry
Relevance of Freemasonry in the 21st Century
In a time of changing social standards, fragmentation of society and increasing individual isolation, freemasonry bucks the trend. Freemasonry has not changed much in 300 years, yet, that is one of its greatest strengths.
Freemasonry’s basic tenets are universal, timeless and enduring. Perhaps one its greatest principles is that of brotherly love which is also found in all the major holy books, therefore connecting us to over 3000 years of history.
Freemasonry is still as important today as ever it was, it is current and has relevance. It’s about people, doing good and helping to make and sustain the communities we live in. It’s about bringing the very best out of people, making manners and respect for others genuinely mean something, enabling the light inside a person to shine brightly and radiate outwards.