Becoming a Freemason is like going on a journey: from joining as an Entered Apprentice, it typically takes one or two years to become a Master Mason, with each of the three stages marked by a special ceremony.
Any man over the age of 21 may join regardless of ethnic group, political views, economic standing or religion although he is expected to have a faith. Students over 18 can join one of the Province’s University Scheme Lodges.
Tolerance, Integrity and Kindness are three words which neatly sum up our approach to daily living. Socially, we learn to be sympathetic towards others and focus on benevolence and charity, the finding-out and relief of misfortune.
What is it all about?
Freemasonry is all about symbolism whilst gaining further knowledge about yourself through ceremonies highlighting specific points in your life. You meet new, interesting and like-minded men hailing from all faiths who come together to work for charitable causes both nationally and equally importantly locally, whilst embarking on their own personal journey through Freemasonry. A lodge is a collection of such men from all walks of life, age groups usually consisting of anywhere between 15 and 50 individuals.
Every lodge has its own unique personality, history and way of going about its Freemasonry. There are lodges in the Province of East Lancashire spread over 11 districts and totals approximately 4000 members. It would be safe to say, there is a lodge to suit every one whether it be close to home or work.
Discover More About Freemasonry
What do you actually do?Beyond the personal development aspects of the ceremonies themselves, members are attracted to Freemasonry for a whole variety of reasons. There are aspects of Freemasonry that appeal to different personalities. Fancy yourself as a bit of a actor? Get involved in the ceremonies themselves and even progress to one of the provincial demonstration teams run by the Learning & Development Committee! Attracted by the charitable donations Freemasonry makes? Aim to make yourself a Charity Steward! Want to learn more about further aspects of Freemasonry then join the Holy Royal Arch.Beyond this the social side of Freemasonry can be quite eclectic. We have Lodges of younger Masons, older Masons, Lodges who enjoy fine dining, others which enjoy pie and peas at their meetings and beer with friends. Traditional Ladies evenings are formal affairs (read: penguin suit) while many Lodges organise social events with charity in mind – race nights, casino nights, sportsmen’s dinners. Some will have weekends away at coastal resorts or where the brethren and families / friends can socialise and enjoy local pastimes from paint balling to clay pigeon shooting or from golf to rock climbing. Wherever possible Masons will try to involve their wives, partners, families, friends and children. Many Halls organise Christmas parties for the children, Burns Suppers, theme nights and much more!
How much does it cost?
A very rough estimate would be in the order of £175 – £270 a year for a lodge subscription.
Beyond this (gasp! yes more) there are calls upon your charity for more local endeavours. This could be from personal support to our own East Lancashire Masonic Charity (ELMC), to lodge specific charities that may be close to the members’ hearts, usually via raffles and collections in a masonic lodge meeting. There is no quantifiable amount that is expected in any way whatsoever. Nobody is counting and nothing is ‘expected’.
The calls upon a member’s charity are wholly personal and private.
East Lancashire Freemasonry
What Our Members Say
No matter what kind of a day I’ve had at work, I have a smile on my face when leaving a masonic lodge meeting. There’s nothing quite like it.
Freemasonry is great way to make new friends and connect with old ones. It gives you the chance grow as a person and share that knowledge with others. It’s more than a brotherhood; it’s a family.
Freemasonry is like being part of a fantastic story, you just want to learn more and more. While doing so, you meet new friends, that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
I joined because my very good friend told me it was a wonderful organisation of men who believed that everyone of us can help everyone else in some small way, not just inside but outside Freemasonry. But that’s only a very small part of the story. It’s not about why I joined, but more about why I’ve stayed. I’ve stayed because I’ve seen with my eyes, and felt with my heart, the love, care, friendship and support that Masons give…
As a 20-year member I became a Mason because I believed I was joining men who thought in a similar way to myself. Very true to a large extent, what I hadn’t realised was that wherever you go when visiting you are immediately among friends you had yet to meet.
The lessons taught have helped me in my personal life and my lodge brethren continue to amaze me in their dedication to each other and our wider community. I’m proud to be a Freemason and would recommend anybody who is curious to come and enquire.
Freemasonry has complimented and helped me to understand my journey in life. I’ve also met new friends who will stay with me for the rest of my journey.
Freemasonary is a guaranteed social life. It’s a great way to make new friend s and stay in touch with old ones. It’s the ability to grow as a person and extend what has been learnt to others seeking similar growth.
For those who really enjoy and ‘get into’ their Freemasonry it can be quite challenging. Sometimes we have to work by learning ritual and assist with successful ceremonies and social occasions. Whatever the challenges may be most Freemasons will say they have ‘grown’ from the experience.
Masonic meetings can be very special and often produce a lift or a ‘high’ So much so that we look forward to our next meeting together. There is a lot of pleasure to be gained in the course of masonic experience. We are proud of it and say so. Indeed, and this may be the nub, Freemasonry at its best produces the conditions by which its members are raised from the mundane into personal triumphs. Yes, a lot of Freemasonry is very pleasant and cordial, but there are special moments to be thrilled by, called up through the chemistry and and art inherent in the masonic ethos and method.