Joining the Freemasons
Since the second World war many, many misconceptions have come about regarding the Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons (aka Freemasonry). The most common seems to be how we actually become Freemasons in the first place! Hopefully, the following words which address several of the popular/common misconceptions will help to set the record straight.
You Must be Invited to Join!
Anybody who wishes to become a Freemason MUST approach a Lodge or a suitable sponsor and ask to be considered for membership. American Freemasons have a catchy little phrase “2B1ask1”. Freemasons are instructed not to invite people to join, the most that we (under the UGLE) are allowed to do is mention to someone that they might enjoy membership (and then only twice). This is because a new member must confirm that they have not been approached, co-opted or coerced to join – it must be their own decision as a free man.
You Must be Related to a Freemason to Join!
This one is up there with you must be invited and even Grand Lodge is not sure where this particular idea comes from. However, it may be that a or some non-Masons were aware that a Freemason may have suggested (as per paragraph above) that his son might like it but that is pure speculation! There is absolutely no need for there to have been any of your family connected with Freemasonry in any way if you wish to join. Each man that approaches a Lodge is considered on his own merits and reputation.
If you don’t know a Mason You Can’t Join!
Stories are often heard of prospective members who being unaware of the rule above waited for decades to be invited to join by a Mason they knew while the Mason himself waited for them to ask. Others have spent a lifetime thinking of joining but not knowing anyone to propose them and no other way of voicing their interest. Fortunately, in this modern age of Internet and email this is no longer the case! The reality is that if every man who became a Freemason had to know a Freemason first, Freemasonry itself wouldn’t have lasted as long as it has.
You Have to Be Rich to Be a Mason!
A very silly one this! While it can’t be argued that some Freemasons are well off the reality is that the majority of us are not!
The minimum requirements to become a Freemason are:
•You must be a minimum of 21 years old, except with a special dispensation when you can join aged 18.
•You must have a belief in the Supreme Being by whatever name you know him/her/it. Freemasonry is secular and entirely complements any religion, but faith in the Creator is a non-negotiable requirement.
•You must be free from any criminal convictions and generally an upstanding person.
As well as the above you must be able to easily afford the membership subscriptions (these vary but usually in the region of £300 – 500 per year) as well as attending a minimum of around 5 Lodge meetings per year. The Lodge will also want to be assured that your Partner (if you have one) is happy for you to take on the committment
ONLY Men Can Be Masons!
Freemasonry as practised by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is a male only Fraternity. However, there are two other Grand Lodges (OWF and HFAF) which practise the same system but for women-only (details on our links page). Although they are not strictly connected they do communicate on matters of mutual interest and you’ll find links to their websites on our Links page.
Everything About Freemasonry is Secret!
Well actually no it’s not (in fact this website is a bit of a clue)! We are able to talk about Freemasonry (usually til the cows come home) to anybody who shows an interest and we would usually mention the above rule while talking about Freemasonry. Many Lodges, Provincial Grand Lodges and even Grand Lodge (Freemasons’ Hall) in London hold open days where interested people can visit and chat with Freemasons which makes it even easier for a prospective member to decide for themselves whether it is an organisation that they will be happy to join before they ask.
If you are interested in joining a Lodge, please contact the Webmaster, using the contact form, to register your interest. Please supply a bit of info about yourself including age, location and why you’re interested. This is NOT a registration, it’s just a means for you to make contact and look deeper. You are NOT committing yourself to anything. You will not be placed onto any mailing lists or have your details passed on to other parties. However, we may invite you to an informal dinner that we hold each February (in Central London) where you’ll be able to meet some of our members and ask questions face to face.
To join our particular Lodge you must either live or work in London.