What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is one of the world's oldest secular fraternal societies.
The following information 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.
Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values.
It's members are taught its precepts (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas - a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart by more experienced members and performed within each Lodge - which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons' customs and tools as symbolic guides.
Freemasonry instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: it seeks to reinforce thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches and practices concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need. Freemasonry is completely non-political and non-religious other than a Belief in an unidentified Supreme Being. It is multi-racial and multi-cultural.
For many years, Freemasons have followed three Grand Principles which represent a way of achieving higher standards in life – Respecting everyone, looking after others and being honest:
* Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to others.
* Freemasons are taught to practice charity, and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving, and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.
* Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives