Men considering becoming a Freemason really break down into three categories
The first is a man who is from a ‘Masonic’ family. Then there are those men who have no family Masonic connection but know someone who is a Freemason. The third is a man who would like to become a Freemason but knows no one who he can approach.
There should not be any consideration of how your membership of Freemasonry affects your employment as under the Human Rights Act membership is a ‘non issue’. The only point is how others in your work place may view it. But you do not have to inform them. Many are surprised to find, when they join, that there are already others within their company who are members.
For someone, who has a family history of Freemasonry, the decision to become a Freemason is not so difficult. He has probably been connected with Freemasonry through close family or a relation. He may have possibly attended some Masonic social functions. So he is familiar with the ethos of Freemasonry. Interestingly there are many Freemasons who can trace their family genealogy back many generations through its Masonic links. Therefore for most of this group it is much easier to make a decision whether or not to become a Freemason.
Another group of men join Freemasonry either through a introduction to Masonry by a work or social friend
Most men who join this way, when questioned why they accepted the invitation, said, of their friend, who introduced them to Freemasonry and the subsequent reason they joined.
“I have known him for some time and recognised him to be an honourable person”
“I knew that he would not be a member of a group with questionable morals”.
“I trust his judgement”.
“If it’s good enough for him then I can see no reason why I should not join”.
Again this group have a natural connection into Freemasonry to which they can address their questions.
But it is the third group which could be put of from joining through several misconceptions. The first one is that it is often said that one has to wait to be asked to join. But it is questionable whether this actually applied in the past.
It certainly does not now. In today’s world any man can ask to join.
When a man with a wife, partner, older children, parents and siblings considers joining Freemasonry he may wish to also consider the reaction of those close to him. Freemasonry has no wish to divide families. While the decision to become a Freemason is a personal one, because Freemasonry has a strong charitable and social side, we prefer that a potential candidate’s close family accept, or understand his decision.
For a single man it may not be so difficult as he, in theory, has only himself to please, But there may also be his close family to consider.
But having made that first thought, and if one is keen to pursue Freemasonry one should not be immediately turned off by non masons who paint a negative picture. They have no idea what is involved and have only formed their opinion from negative, uninformed sources. (see our section on anti Freemasonry)
While there are some sites which, we hope like this one, give a balanced view, there are many more uninformed and anti Masonic web sites. Web sites with claims which go beyond the realms of natural reasoning. When reading some of the outlandish descriptions one must ask one’s self that, if some of these claims were true, why has no legal action been taken!
So, what can a man interested in joining Freemasonry do to find out more about an organisation which has survived for over 300 years and is recognised internationally as one of the worlds most charitable and recognised world wide for its strong moral code.
Many Membership and Mentoring Stewards have been approached by a potential candidate who says “I would like to join but my wife/partner is not at all happy”.
Many lodges have a Membership and Mentoring Steward, who would be only too pleased to meet and discuss joining Freemasonry over a cup of coffee in a local restaurant. So one should do as explained below and meet for coffee in a local coffee shop. One’s wife/partner could also attend as this would enable those anti Masonic, and other questions, to be asked. To which they will receive an honest answer
One comment often made is that Freemasonry is too expensive for most men to afford. Well like all organisations there is a cost This can easily be broken down into three elements. First, a one-off joining fee. This can vary but it is not usually more than £100.00. Annual subscription. This varies considerably depending on the Masonic Lodge/Masonic hall. This variance is for many reasons and too complex to go into here but it could be from £50 up to perhaps £300.00. The other aspect is the regalia, or apron. These aprons change with each of the three degrees or ‘joining’ ceremonies. For the initial two ceremonies these aprons will be supplied by the lodge as one will only need them for usually no more than 2 years. After that one purchases one’s own Master Masons apron. This can be from a Masonic shop and would cost in the region of £50.00 But some lodges recycle aprons from deceased brethren and payment, usually a donation to a Masonic Charity, of about £15.00 would suffice.
So having made the decision there are three requirements.
1 Belief in a supreme being.
Freemasonry is multi faith which means you can be of any faith. Or maybe you have not decided but you have a belief in a god who made us and not in ‘evolution from the primeval soup’! It does not mean regular attendance at a place of worship. Of course Atheists and Agnostics would not find it compatible with their view of life.
2 A man of good character.
No criminal record. Parking tickets are not counted. But if you have a situation of which you are uncertain just ask.
3 A man of 21 years and over.
So. Want to know more. Either by phone call, email or letter to a local lodge or, if one is not aware of local lodges, then contact Provincial Grand Lodge in the specific area, which is easy to find on the internet on the United Grand Lodge of England page http://www.ugle.org.uk/about-ugle/ugle-provinces-within-england-wales/.
If not then contact us on this web site. We will answer your questions and, if you are interested, help you to find a lodge local to you..