Freemasonry is probably one of the world’s oldest fraternal organisations. It exists to make good men better and along the way it serves charitable, intellectual and ethical aims. Regular Freemasonry in England and Wales is administered by the United Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Master is HRH the Duke of Kent.
HOW DID IT BEGIN?
No-one is certain due to lack of early written records, but the most likely origin is the medieval stonemasons’ guilds. As many masons in those days were illiterate, they gave practical proofs of their craft proficiency and status and lived together in a lodge adjacent to the building site. In the 16th and 17th centuries these guilds began to admit gentlemen of learning, prestige and influence and this steadily transformed what were operative lodges into accepted or speculative ones. Other influences are apparent. In 1717 the first Grand Lodge was formed in London and this began a 300 year evolution that continues to the present time.
WHAT IS FREEMASONRY TODAY?
Currently there are about 150,000 Freemasons in England and Wales organised into Provinces, roughly along county boundaries. Ours is West Kent. Scotland and Ireland have their own Grand Lodges and worldwide there are many others with a membership totalling millions. Each Grand Lodge is autonomous but has strong links with the others. In this country women have their own Masonic organisations.
WHO CAN JOIN?
Candidates must be men of good reputation over the age of 18 years who profess a sincere belief in a Supreme Being. Freemasonry makes no distinctions of race, religion or background. It is not particularly difficult to become a Freemason and the process is both transparent and selective.
ARE FAMILIES WELCOME?
Absolutely. Freemasonry is inclusive and encourages its members to involve their families in the many social events held throughout the year.
HOW DO I LEARN MORE?
Please go to our recruitment page and complete the form. We look forward to explaining more about Freemasonry and exploring your interest further.
W.Bro James Ashmore Lodge Mentor
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