Freemasonry – Your Questions Answered

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT JOINING THE FREEMASONS

These are some of the common questions Burstow Lodge are asked..

Common questions we are asked.

1What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is the world’s largest secular, fraternal and charitable organisation. It teaches moral lessons and self-knowledge through participation in a progression of allegorical two-part plays.
2Who can join?
Men aged over 21 years with a belief in a Supreme Being and of good character and sound judgement.
3What happens at a lodge meeting?
The meeting is in broken down into a number of parts. As in any association there is a certain amount of administrative procedure – minutes of last meeting, proposing and balloting for new members, discussing and voting on financial matters, election of officers, news and correspondence. Then there are the ceremonies for admitting new Masons and the annual installation of the worshipful Master and appointment of his officers during his year. Following on from the meeting Brethren, and their guests dine together known as a Festive Board.
4How much does it cost to join?
The fees to join Burstow Lodge in Croydon are £142 per year. There are also dining fees paid at each meeting of approximately £25 plus whatever you can give without detriment to you family to charity. You will want some spends for refreshments at each meeting.
5Isn’t Masonic ritual out of place in a modern society?
No. The ritual is a shared experience which binds lodge members together. Its use of drama, allegory and symbolism impresses the principles and teachings more firmly in the mind of each candidate than if they were simply passed on to him in matter-of-fact modern language.
6Why do grown men run around with their trousers rolled up?
It is true that candidates have to roll up their trouser legs during the three ceremonies when they are being admitted to membership. Taken out of context, this can seem amusing, but like many other aspects of Freemasonry, it has a symbolic meaning.
7Why do Freemasons take oaths?
New members make solemn promises concerning their conduct in Lodge and in society. Each member also promises to keep confidential the traditional methods of proving that he is a Freemason which he would use when visiting a lodge where he is not known. Freemasons do not swear allegiances to each other or to Freemasonry. Freemasons promise to support others in times of need, but only if that support does not conflict with their duties to God, the law, their family or with their responsibilities as a citizen.
8Are Freemasons expected to prefer fellow Masons at the expense of others in giving jobs, promotions, contracts and the like?
Absolutely not. That would be a misuse of membership and subject to Masonic discipline. On his entry into Freemasonry each candidate states unequivocally that he expects no material gain from his membership of the lodge. At various stages during the three ceremonies of his admission and when he is presented with hiscertificate from United Grand Lodge of England that the admission ceremonies have been completed, he is forcefully reminded that attempts to gain preferment or material gain for himself or others is a misuse of membership which will not be tolerated. The Book of Constitutions, which every candidate receives, contains strict rules governing abuse of membership which can result in penalties varying from temporary suspension to expulsion.
9Isn’t it true that Freemasons only look after each other?
No. From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been involved in charitable activities. Since its inception, Freemasonry has provided support not only for widows and orphans of Freemasons but also for many others within the community. Whilst some Masonic charities cater specifically but not exclusively for Masons or their dependents, others make significant grants to non- Masonic organisations. On a local level, lodges give substantial support to local causes within the community.
10Aren’t you a religion or a rival to religion?
Emphatically not. Freemasonry requires a belief in a Supreme Being and its principles are common to many of the world's great religions. Freemasonry does not try to replace religion or substitute for it. Every candidate is exhorted to practise his religion and to regard its holy book as the unerring standard of truth. Freemasonry does not instruct its members in what their religious beliefs should be, nor does it offer sacraments. Freemasonry deals in relations between men; religion deals in a man's relationship with his God.
11Why do you call God the Great Architect?
Freemasonry embraces all men who believe in God. Its membership includes Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Parsees and others. The use of descriptions such as the Great Architect prevents disharmony. The Great Architect is not a specific Masonic god or an attempt to combine all gods into one. Thus, men of differing religions pray together without offence being given to any of them.
12Isn’t Freemasonry just another political pressure group?
Not at all. Whilst individual Freemasons will have their own views on politics and state policy. Freemasonry as a body will never express a view on either. The discussion of politics at Masonic meetings has always been prohibited.
13Why do you wear regalia?
Wearing regalia is historical and symbolic and, like a uniform, serves to indicate to members where they ranking the organisation.
14Ok I've read enough. Whats next?
Thanks for taking the time to look through the site. We hope you found it both interesting and informative. The next step is to get in contact by calling our Secretary or Lodge Membership Officer or complet the form on the Contact Us Page