A few select questions we are often asked in the Province about Freemasonry.
Do get in touch if you need more information.
WHAT IS FREEMASONRY?
Freemasonry means different things to those who join. For some, it’s about making new friends. For others it’s about being able to help deserving causes – making a contribution to family and for society. But for most, it is an enjoyable hobby.
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies known as Degrees. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly to others about Freemasonry.
I AM THINKING OF JOINING BUT I DO NOT KNOW ANY FREEMASONS?
If you do not know anyone who is a Freemasons explore the website for more information.
Once you have made the decision that you want to join complete this form to register your interest.
We will find out a little about you and where your nearest Masonic centre is located. – Note: Barrow, Ulverston and Grange are part of the Province of West Lancashire.
We will then put you in touch with a lodge that would suit your existing commitments.
WHAT HAPPENS AT A LODGE MEETING?
The meeting, which like those of other groups, are open only to members, is normally in two parts. First, there are normal administrative procedures such as:
• Administration matters such as the confirmation of minutes of the previous meeting
• Proposing and balloting for new candidates
• Discussing and voting on the annual accounts
• Masonic news and correspondence from the Province or United Grand Lodge of England and
• News about charitable work and donations
Second, there are the ceremonies for:
• Admitting new members into Freemasonry
• Progressing members to the next Degree
• The annual installation of the Master of the Lodge and his officers
Generally a meeting will end with a Festive Board where members and their guests dine together.
WHY DO FREEMASONS TAKE OATHS?
New Freemasons make solemn promises concerning their behaviour both in the Lodge and in society.
Members also promise to keep confidential the way they recognise each other when visiting another Lodge.
Freemasons also promise to support others in time of need but only so far as it does not conflict with their family, work commitments and public obligations.
ARE FREEMASONS EXPECTED TO GIVE PREFERENCE TO FELLOW MEMBERS?
This would be unacceptable and may lead to action being taken against those involved.
On joining, each new member states that he expects no material or commercial gain from his membership.
WHO DO THE CUMBRIA FREEMASONS DONATE TO?
There are Masonic charities that cater specifically, but not exclusively, for Freemasons or their dependents.
Lodges also make significant grants to non-Masonic organisations. This may be to a local hospital in need of equipment or medical research.
WHAT IS FREEMASONRY’S RELATIONSHIP WITH POLITICS?
Freemasonry, as a body, will never express a view on politics or state policy.
The discussion of politics at Masonic meetings is not permitted.
WHY DO YOU WEAR REGALIA?
Wearing regalia is historic and symbolic. Like a uniform, the regalia indicates the rank of the wearer in the organisation.
HOW MANY DEGREES ARE THERE IN FREEMASONRY?
Basic Freemasonry consists of three degrees:
• Entered Apprentice
• Fellow Craft
• Master Mason
There are other Degrees of interest which a Mason can explore.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BE A FREEMASON?
It varies from Lodge to Lodge. Anyone wishing to join will find a Lodge in Cumberland & Westmorland to suit his pocket.
There is an initiation fee on entry and in due course regalia will have to be purchased. The meeting is normally followed by a dinner, the cost depending on the venue. There is also an annual subscription to the Lodge.
Freemasons are invited to give to charity at each meeting but this should always be within their means and it is entirely up to the individual how much they wish to contribute.
ARE THERE ANY SOCIAL OR SPORTS EVENTS?
Freemasons in Cumberland & Westmorland receive information from lodge secretaries providing information on events and social activities that Masons and the family can get involved in.
The Province of Cumberland & Westmorland has its own social media page on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with news and events.
Lodges will also have their own social events such as summer BBQ’s, Ladies Nights, quiz evenings or white table events where Freemasons invite friends and family to the lodge to enjoy the Festive Board once the meeting has finished.
CAN WOMEN JOIN FREEMASONRY?
This is a very popular question and one that can be answered with ease…. Yes!
The Order of Women Freemasons is the oldest and largest Masonic organisation for women founded in 1908.
The second is Freemasonry for Women, founded in 1913 as The Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons, is a masonic fraternity for women.
United Grand Lodge of England have produced an article about women’s Freemasonry which you can read here.