What is Freemasonry?

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All members would answer this by saying it was an important and enjoyable part of their life.

Every person who joins Freemasonry does so with different expectations. Some are attracted by the opportunity to widen their circle of friends and acquaintances, others by its history. For some it’s about being able to help others and making a positive contribution to society.

Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, social and charitable organisations. It aims to empower members to be the best they can be, both for themselves and for society around them. Its values are based on integrity, friendship, respect and charity. Members are encouraged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasons are concerned for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.

The questions of when, how, why and where Freemasonry originated are still the subject of intense speculation. The general consensus amongst Masonic scholars is that it’s roots lie in the traditions of the medieval stonemasons who built our cathedrals and castles.

The earliest written record of an initiation of a non-operative mason in England was that of Elias Ashmole in 1646, although there exist earlier records in Scotland. The first Grand Lodge in the world was established in London in 1717. The United Grand Lodge of England was formed 1n 1813 with the amalgamation of the  then two English Grand Lodges. This union led to a great deal of standardisation of ritual, procedures and regalia.

For more information please visit the United Grand Lodge of England website .