So, just what is freemasonry?

Surprisingly, Freemasonry's aims, rules and rituals can be found in libraries, bookshops and on the Internet. The fact is, there is so much already published about Freemasonry it is difficult to know just what to add here. A good example is an article called "Freemasonry in Plain English" which can be found in the Spring 2012 edition of Insight magazine; see Links.

Freemasonry, simply put, is a worldwide, secular, non-political, fraternal and charitable organization. One of its aims is to “make good men better.” It does this through teaching self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Freemasonry has the following aims:

It is, however, to be understood that to become a Freemasons a belief God is a requirement. And no matter how a man describes his God, a belief in such is seen as necessary for membership. Members, therefore, are welcomed from all religions and we pride ourselves on the harmony within each lodge that this philosophy so readily promotes. Masons must also have reached the “mature age of 21 years” before they can be considered for joining, although there are a few exceptions.

The practice of universal charity remains close to the heart of Freemasonry; not just within their own brotherhood but also for the community as a whole. For more information with respect to Charity click the link opposite.

The United Grand Lodge of England addresses answers to some frequently asked questions; the link to which is opposite.

How do I become a freemason?

All Freemasons are now encouraged to be open about their membership, so do not be afraid to discuss this openly should you be thinking about becoming a Freemason. A booklet entitled “Are you Thinking of Becoming a Freemason” can be found on the United Grand Lodge of England site and the link is opposite; there is further information on the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Provincial site also. You will need a proposer and seconder before an application can be submitted to a lodge. A link to the Provincial site is opposite.

Freemasonry in the Community

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has embarked on a venture called “Freemasons in the Community” which aims to “meet and greet” (among other things) the general public, and a schedule of events can be found opposite.

The Future of Freemasonry

An independent study, the first of its kind by a non-masonic body, has been conducted and the results are interesting. The magazine “Insight” (issue 3) has a summary of this study and it is published for all to read and can be found on the Provincial web pages, link opposite. The link to the full report is opposite, where you will also find yet another magazine to peruse – Freemasonry Today.