Freemasonry is one of the world's oldest secular fraternal societies. This text
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. The explanation may correct some misconceptions. Freemasonry is
a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. It’s members are taught
its precepts by a series of ritual dramas, which follow ancient forms and uses stonemasons’
customs and tools as allegorical guides.
The essential qualification for admission into and continuing membership is a belief
in a Supreme Being.
Membership is open to men of any race or religion who can fulfil this essential qualification
and be of good repute.
The Three Great Principles
For many years Freemasons have followed three great principles :
Brotherly Love - Every Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinion
of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.
Truth - Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to
achieve them in their own lives.
Freemasons believe that these principles represent a way of achieving higher standards
Charity- Freemasons are taught to practise charity, and to care, not only for their
own, but for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving, and by voluntary
efforts and works as individuals. From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned
with the care of orphans, the sick and aged. This work continues today. In addition,
large sums are given to national and local charities.
The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with its traditional modes of recognition.
It is not a secret society, since all members are free to acknowledge their membership
and will do so in response to enquiries for respectable reasons.
Its constitutions and rules are available to the public. There is no secret to any
of its aims and principles. Like many other societies, it regards some of its internal
affairs are as private matters for its members.
Freemasonry and Society
Freemasonry demands from its members a respect for the law of the country in which
a man works and lives. Its principles do not in any way conflict with its members’
duties as citizens, but should strengthen them in fulfilling their public and private
responsibilities. The use by a Freemason of his membership to promote his own or
anyone else’s business, professional or personal interests, is condemned, and is
contrary to the conditions on which he sought admission to Freemasonry. His duty
as a citizen must always prevail over any obligation to other Freemasons, and any
attempt to shield a Freemason who has acted dishonourably or unlawfully is contrary
to his prime duty.
Freemasonry and Religion
Freemasonry is not a religion, nor a substitute for religion. Its essential qualifications
opens it to men of many religions and it expects them to continue to follow their
own faith. It does not allow religion to be discussed at its meetings.
Freemasonry and Politics
Freemasonry is non-political, and discussions of politics at Masonic meetings is