There are 250,000 Freemasons belonging to 8,000 Lodges throughout England and Wales, and districts overseas. Worldwide, the figure rises to six million Freemasons, all with their own special reasons why they enjoy Freemasonry. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances. For others, it’s being able to help deserving causes – making a contribution to family and society.
But for most, it is simply an enjoyable hobby. Every Freemason has his own reason for joining. Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. For many, its biggest draw is the fact that members come from all walks of life and meet as equals whatever their race, religion or socio-economic position in society.
Its values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness.
PRINCIPLED FREEMASONRY DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE ON GROUNDS OF RACE, COLOUR, RELIGION, POLITICAL VIEWS OR SOCIAL STANDING.
In an ever complicated world, getting back to our roots, who we really are, is of extreme value. Making Good Men Better is at the Core of what Freemasonry is all about.
The United Grand Lodge of England is the governing body of Freemasonry in England, Wales and the Channel Islands. Built in 1933, Freemasons’ Hall is the headquarters of the Grand Lodge and is a classic example of Art Deco architecture in the heart of London’s Covent Garden.
Freemasonry provides a unique environment for people from all backgrounds to learn skills, make lasting friendships, achieve their potential and, above all, have fun. What is more, the organisation provides a valuable forum for discussion between members in an open environment, helping to build trust.
Freemasonry prides itself on its transparency. Not only are Freemasons completely free to acknowledge their membership, they are encouraged to do so. There are no closed doors in Freemasonry – anyone can visit its headquarters at Freemasons’ Hall in London – and Lodges throughout the UK regularly open their doors to visitors. For everyone, Lodges offer a place of harmony and tranquillity. During London Fashion Week, new and seasoned designers descend upon Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden to promote their collections to a global audience of fashion media, buyers, celebrities and style authorities.
Freemasons make a major contribution to society through their own charities, as well as through donations to UK charities and worldwide disaster relief funds, with members playing an active role in their communities.
The Masonic Charity Foundation has donated over £100 million to a range of charitable causes. It responds when natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and droughts occur anywhere in the world.
Freemasonry is more relevant and important to society today than ever, as it encompasses and embraces all the fundamental principles of good citizenship. Many of these are learnt through traditional rituals that take the form of one-act plays, leading to increased self-esteem and confidence.
Joshua Tonnar is a 21-year-old rower who is pursuing his Olympic dream thanks to funding from TalentAid, a scheme run by Freemasons. It has already helped two hundred and fifty exceptionally gifted young people.
Every Freemason embarks on his own journey of self-discovery when he enters the organisation. With three levels of Freemasonry, the progression through to senior roles within a Lodge can be seen in much the same way as a person progressing in his career – each promotion bringing greater understanding and responsibility.
Whether you want to meet up at a local Lodge to find a quiet haven from the rest of the world or push yourself to your limits, Freemasonry has a breadth that will appeal to anyone who wants to broaden his horizons. It is up to the individual to make his own journey and to find his own understanding. There are many reasons for joining the Freemasons.
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