Province of Bedfordshire

Old Cedarians Lodge No 8078

Patron Lodge of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution

Grand Patron Lodge of the Masonic Samaritan Fund

Patron Lodge of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys

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What is Freemasonry

Ten frequently asked questions

1 What are the secrets in Freemasonry?

The secrets in freemasonry are the traditional methods of recognition that are not used indiscriminately but solely as a means of proving membership, for example when visiting a Lodge for the first time or where you are not known.

2 Why are you a secret society?

We are not, but Lodge meetings like those of many other groups are private and open only to members. The rules and aims of Freemasonry are freely available and published for public information. Our meeting places are known and in many areas are available to the local community for activities other than Freemasonry.

3 What happens at a Lodge meeting?

Our meetings generally fall into two parts and in common with many associations we conduct a certain amount of administrative procedures, minutes of meetings, proposing and balloting for new members, discussing and voting on financial matters, electing officers, news and correspondence. Then there are the ceremonies for admitting new members and the annual installation of the Lodge Master and his officers. The three ceremonies for admitting new Masons are in two parts - a slightly dramatised introduction of the lessons and principals of the Craft followed by a lecture in which the candidates duties and responsibilities are spelt out.

4 Why do grown men roll up their trouser legs?

It is true that candidates have to roll up their trouser legs during parts of the three ceremonies when they are being admitted to membership. Taken out of context this can be seen as amusing and archaic, but like many other aspects of Freemasonry it has a symbolic meaning that is explained to the candidate.

5 Is Freemasonry a religion?

Freemasonry is not a religion. It has no theology and does not teach any route to salvation. A belief in a God is however an essential for any man seeking to become a Freemason. Freemasonry encourages its members to be active in their religious beliefs as well as in society in general. The discussion of religion and politics is not permitted at any Lodge meeting.

6 Isn't Freemasonry just another political pressure group?

Empathically not. Whilst individual Freemasons will have their own views on political and state policy Freemasonry as a body will never express a view on either subject. The discussion of politics at our meetings has always been prohibited.

7 Is it true that Freemasons only look after each other?

No, from from its earliest days Freemasonry has always been involved in charitable activities. Since its inception Freemasonry has provided support not only for the widows and orphans of Freemasons but also for the many within its community. Whilst some Masonic charities cater specifically but not exclusively for Masons or their dependants, others make significant grants to non Masonic organisations. On a local level individual Lodges give substantial support to local cases of need.

8 Are Freemasons expected to prefer fellow Masons at the expense of others when giving jobs, promotions, contracts and the like?

Absolutely not. Any action of that type would be a flagrant abuse of membership and subject to Masonic disciplinary action. On his entry to Freemasonry every candidate is required to state unequivocally that he neither expects nor seeks any material gain from his membership.

9 Why do you not have women as members?

Traditionally Freemasonry under the Under the United Grand Lodge of England has been restricted to men. The early stonemasons were all male, and when Freemasonry was organising itself the position of women in society was very different from that of today. If women wish to join Freemasonry there are two separate Grand Lodges in England that are restricted to women only.

10 Who can join?

Membership is open to men of all faiths who are law abiding, of good character and who acknowledge a belief in a God. Freemasonry is a multi-racial and multi-cultural organisation. It welcomes men of goodwill from all aspects of society into its membership.

For more information on Freemasonry or Membership enquires please contact:-