What is Freemasonry?Freemasonry means different things to each of those who join. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances. 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.
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:
• Minutes of the previous meeting
• Proposing and balloting for new members
• Discussing and voting on the annual accounts
• Masonic news and correspondence
• News about charitable work
Second, there are the ceremonies for:
• Admitting new members
• The annual installation of the Master of the Lodge and his officers
Why do Freemasons take oaths?New members make solemn promises about their behaviour in the Lodge and in society, the way they recognise each other when visiting another Lodge, and supporting others in times of need (but only so far as it does not conflict with their family and public obligations).
Can anyone become a Freemason?Yes – Freemasonry is open to people from all walks of life, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic position in society
Is there a dress code?Most Lodges will have a dress code, including Canterbury Lodge. Members are required to wear a dark lounge suit, shirt with a white collar, a black tie, and black shoes. In time, certain items of regalia will be required, which initially will not be expensive, and often, there is the opportunity to buy used regalia at very little cost.
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
How much does it cost to be a Freemason?There is an initiation fee when you join and each lodge charges an annual subscription to cover its running costs.
Each meeting is normally followed by a dinner, with the cost depending on the venue, however there is no requirement to attend the dinner if you are unable to. You will be expected to wear a dark suit, white shirt, and suitable tie, and in due course you will need to buy your own regalia.
Members are invited to donate to charity, but this should always be within your means and is entirely up to you how much you wish to contribute.
Costs can vary considerably from lodge to lodge, particularly for the dining, and your proposer and seconder should make them clear to you before you join.