Craft Masonry of East Lancashire
Craft Masonry of East Lancashire

Recommended Readings

There are thousands of masonic texts available. Indeed the East Lancashire Museum and Library Committee are custodians of hundreds of texts and manuscripts currently housed at the John Rylands University of Manchester Library at:

One of the aims of our Mentoring Programme is to let all masons in the Province gain access to resources which will enable them to develop a working knowledge of basic Freemasonry and improve their understanding of our Craft and Royal Arch ritual. We hope that some will be stimulated to further investigation and that most will develop their own interpretations of our ritual and its moral teachings and apply their learning to the way they conduct their lives.

It is only by developing a scheme of self improvement that we can become better, more loving, family members, colleagues, friends and members of society.

1 The Peterborough Booklets (after the 1st Degree etc)
A series of booklets are to help candidates with a progressive understanding and interest in Freemasonry and to encourage them to make ‘a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge’. They can be obtained from QCCC Ltd at Freemasons Hall, 20 Gt Queen St. London WC2B 5BE 020 7405 7340 – Very cheap and recommended.
2 I just didn’t know that – Rev Neville Barker Cryer
The first of a series of books written by this well known Masonic author which answer many of the questions Brethren ask themselves ‘Why do se have different kinds of clothing’ Why is a lodge called a lodge’. Written in a easy to read style and very popular.
3 Did you know this too? – Rev Neville Barker Cryer
The second in the series which continues the theme of giving the answers to many of the questions brethren ask including ‘The Churches’ involvement in Freemasonry’ ‘The different origins of English and Scottish Freemasonry’ Very readable.
4 What do you know about ritual? – Rev Neville Barker Cryer
This book concentrates on the various degree ceremonies and the author gives a commentary at various points. It includes a commentary on the Installation ceremony (except the Board of Installed Masters) The Mark Degree and the Holy Royal Arch ceremony. Highly recommended.
5 What do you know about the Royal Arch? – Rev Neville Barker Cryer
This book in the series concentrates on the Holy Royal Arch. Written as a series of short lectures when there is no candidate for Exaltation. It covers many of the unexplained features of the Royal Arch. Highly recommended.
6 The Royal Arch Journey by Neville Barker Cryer
Once again Neville starts us off on a journey of understanding, this time the origins of the Royal Arch and why it is an essential step for a truly Free and Accepted Mason.The is the second book in the series for those who wish to understand more about the Royal Arch
7 Did You Know this Too by Neville Barker Cryer
This book is about the Churches’ involvement with Freemasonry and some of the criticisms levelled at the Craft, yet through his lifetime commitment to both he shows us how involvement in both is entirely compatible.
8 Belief and Brotherhood by Neville Barker Cryer
The Reverend writes with sincerity and conviction and the reader will discover both the breadth of his theological understanding and the fruits of his long researches into Freemasonry
9 The Stairway of Freemasonry – Julian Rees
For any enquiring mind, whether Freemason or not, this little book sets out to help answer questions – not so much: ‘What does it mean?’ but rather: ‘What can it mean?’, since the journey is concerned not with learning other people’s answers, but in working out answers for yourself.
10 The Entered Apprentice’s Handbook – JSM Ward
This handbook is designed to introduce the new Entered Apprentice to the vast body of knowledge associated with Freemasonry in a meaningful and understandable way. It is intended that through the intellectual study of Freemasonry the Entered Apprentice will come to understand that the application of Masonic teachings in daily life is the most rewarding aspect of his new journey. The best way to use this handbook is to read through it as soon as possible, but also to continue to use it as a reference source in one’s continued Masonic development and study of the Masonic mysteries.
11 The Fellow Craft’s Handbook – JSM Ward
In the second volume we are dealing with the degree of Life, in its broadest sense, just as in the first degree we were dealing with the degree of birth, and as life in reality is educational for the Soul, we are not surprised to find that throughout the whole degree the subject of education is more or less stressed. We should, however, realize that each of the degrees builds on the one which has gone before, and the ingenuity with which the lessons inculcated in the first degree are carried forward and developed in the succeeding degrees is one of the most striking characteristics of our Masonic ritual.
12 The Master Mason’s Handbook – JSM Ward
The last great lesson which Masonry presents to the mind of the Craftsman. Among the manifold blessings that Freemasonry has conferred on mankind none is greater than that of taking the sting from death and robbing the grave of victory. No man can be called Free who lives in dread of the only event that is certain in his life. Until emancipated from the fear of death, he is all his life long subject to bondage. Yet how miserably weak is this phantom king of Terrors who enslaves so many of the uninitiated.
13 The Freemason at Work – Harry Carr revised by F Smythe
Most certainly one of the best ever Masonic books. Written by the late, great Harry Carr it answers a multitude of questions and should be on the book shelf of every Freemason. Highly recommended.
14 Beyond the Craft – Guide to Masonic Orders – Keith B Jackson
If you want to know what orders exist beyond the Craft, then this is the book. Easy to read and fascinating. It will give you an insight into the many others facets of Freemasonry. Recommended.
15 A Guide to Masonic Symbolism – Duncan Moore
This book sets out a clear and easy to understand explanation of Masonic symbols primarily for the new Mason and interested general readers, although long serving Masons will find much of interest in this new look at symbols and what they mean. The author looks in detail at the origins and derivations of the symbols used and shows how they got into operative and then speculative Masonry. While concentrating on Craft and Royal Arch symbols, the author also describes the three degrees of Craft Freemasonry and gives reference to the symbols in the Lodge, on the Tracing Board and the officers’ collar jewels.
16 Freemasons Guide and Compendium – Bernard E Jones
This book is filled with detailed information on a wide variety of subjects related to Freemasonry. Written with the interests of rank and file members in mind, it provides key facts about Masonic History, tradition and lore. Highly recommended.
17 A Reference Book for Freemasons – Frederick Smyth
This book is the result of several years research work by the author to provide an up to date source of reference for the modern Freemason. Highly recommended.
18 Masonic Etiquette Today – A modern guide to Masonic protocol and practice – Graham Redman
Written by the Assistant Grand Secretary, this book is a valuable source of reference for those involved in the administration of the Craft. The author has a wealth of experience in matters of Masonic ceremonial, custom and practice and protocol, an excellent supplement to the Book of Constitutions. Well recommended, a more advanced read.
19 The Transformation of Freemasonry – ‘The Revolution of the World’ – David Harrison
The author sets about trying to paint a picture of Freemasonry in the first half of the nineteenth century, not at Grand Lodge level but at lodge and individual brother level in the context of the Industrial North-West of England. Well recommended.
20 The Lodge Mentor – Richard Johnston
This book will be a valuable resource for the Lodge Mentor and the author has brought together a wide range of subjects which will be a great help to mentors in their work with new Masons. Recommended.
21 The Craft – A history of English Freemasonry – John Hamill
This book is an attempt to provide a simple and, it is hoped, readable account of the origins and development of Freemasonry in England. Recommended.
22 York Mysteries Revealed (Understanding and Old English Masonic Tradition ) – Neville Barker Cryer
For the more serious Masonic research student this book is rapidly becoming a classic for the study of Freemasonry not only for the data it contains but also for the conclusions it provides. Highly recommended.
23 Workman Unashamed – The Testimony of a Christian Freemason – Christopher Haffner
A serious work by senior Freemason and Christian who has carefully examined the accusations levelled at Freemasonry and gives reasoned answers and explanations to the issues raised by anti-Masons and exposes their lack of substance. Well recommended.
24 The Complete Lodge Secretary by Gordon G Hunt
Brother Hunt provides us with an analysis of the processes which a lodge secretary must follow and will provide a valuable guide to the rules and standards by which a secretary must abide
25 The Transformation of Freemasonry by Dr David Harrison
David sets about trying to paint a picture of Freemasonry in the nineteenth century and chooses not to do so at Grand Lodge level but at lodge and individual brother level. He also chooses the industrial North West of England as his setting and the Masonic connections with international trade
26 The Liverpool Masonic Rebellion and the Wigan Grand Lodge by Dr David Harrison
This book follows on nicely from the previous one which looked at the social impact which Freemasonry had on society. This one is about the last great rebellion in English Freemasonry and examines the men behind this rift in the Society
27 The Masonic Union of 1813 by John Belton
John’s book takes a thought provoking reappraisal of the relationship between the Premier Grand Lodge of 1717 and the Antients Grand Lodge of 1752 and the circumstances which prompted their Union in 1813
28 Fred’s Five Minute Talks by Fred Lomax
This book is the result of a successful series of papers published in the SQUARE Magazine and in each talk there is a wealth of knowledge for the new or less experienced Mason or even those with more experience, especially lodge mentors
29 Emulation pocket Series
This series of booklets by the Deputy Grand Secretary, Graham Redman, is based upon his book Emulation Working Today. They cover the work of Inner Guard, Junior Deacon, Senior Deacon, the Wardens, the Worshipful Master and the Installing Master and are designed to accompany the Emulation Ritual Book The Primary purpose of these booklets is to enlarge on, and give greater clarity to, the finer points of the ritual and ceremonial. Each have a title e.g The Wardens Work Today.Obtainable from Lewis Masonic.
30 The Arch & The Rainbow by Neville Barker Cryer
The Arch & The Rainbow by Neville Barker Cryer. This book is for a wide range of readers and it covers such things as the Mark Degree and the Royal Ark Mariner degree and explains their origins. It also explains why the Scottish and Irish Masons insist on the Mark before one can enter the Royal Arch. A fascinating book by this world renowned author and one which you will repeatedly return to.
31 The Meaning of Masonry by W.L.Wilmshurst
This book discloses the real purpose of modern Masonry and clearly states the true body of teaching and practice concerning the Esoteric meaning of Masonic Ritual. Written by a great mystic to promote a deeper understanding of Freemasonry.

Recommended Websites

The Internet is a wonderful source of information but there is a downside. Some masonic sites are poorly maintained, factually incorrect or based on material and information from other Constitutions, which may not be relevant to or applicable to East Lacashire and UGLE Freemasonry. The attached list of websites encompasses many that may be of value. Some contain basic information or are very specific on what they offer. Others may cover a much wider breadth and increased depth of information, for those who have developed a hunger for knowledge or who are genuinely stimulated to further exertion. If you come across an sites which you would like us to examine and include on future lists, then please contact your Lodge or District Mentor.