WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR JOINING?
There are certain criteria that men must meet in order to be accepted into any Lodge belonging to the largest governing body of freemasonry in England – the U.G.L.E., or ‘United Grand Lodge of England’. These are set out as fundamental requirements in the Book of Constitutions, and are as follows:
YOU MUST BELIEVE IN A SUPREME BEING
Although freemasonry is not a religion, it is a necessity that all members must believe in a Supreme Being. This however is not restricted to the traditional Abrahamic God popularised in Christianity – it may be that you believe in the Muslim God Allah, or you follow the teachings of Shiva. Alternatively, you may profess your belief in the Universe as the creator, or study the words of Guru Nanak. To become a freemasonry, having that is belief is what matters, not what the belief is.
If you are to become a freemason, a copy of your traditional book will be open in any Lodge which you are present, and you will be expected in your masonic ceremonies to take an oath sealed by your faith
YOU MUST BE JOINING OF YOUR OWN FREE WILL
It is a common misconception that you must be invited to join freemasonry – in fact, it is against our rules for members to ask or cajole men to join our fraternity. If a person wants to become a freemason, they must seek out membership themselves – historically, this would have been by asking a masonic relative, but in more modern times the internet has proven to be quite a useful tool for potential members to find out about how to join.
In fact, if you decide to join and are successful in gaining membership, in your first ceremony you will be asked in a formal manner that you sought to join ‘…of your own free will and accord’
YOU MUST BE A MAN
Whilst there are some other constitutions that accept women as members, Lodges under the ‘United Grand Lodge England’ do not. Women in England who wish to become Freemasons can join the ‘Order of Women Freemasons’, or the ‘Honourable Fraternity of Antient Freemasons’.
It is however expected that all members who which to join Beacon Lodge discuss the commitment with their partners and close family. Partners and other family members play a key role in supporting members of Beacon Lodge, by accompanying them on trips away, speaking at meetings, advising new members, and by simply letting our members out of the house to enjoy their masonic activities!
YOU MUST BE FREE-BORN
This means to become a freemason you must not be a slave, or be bound to another man. Historically, when slavery was more common, this proved to be a stricter requirement, but nowadays can be translated to mean that a person who is seeking membership cannot have any unspent convictions.
YOU MUST BE 21 YEARS OLD
To join Beacon Lodge, you must be 21 years old. This does not mean you cannot express your interest in freemasonry when you are of a younger age, say 19 or 20, but you will not be admitted as a member until you become 21. Some specialist lodges in England, particularly those in the Universities Scheme, admit students of between 18-21 years, in order to promote freemasonry to the professionals of tomorrow.
If you are between 18-21, and have an interest in joining Beacon Lodge, please contact the Secretary – you would be more than welcome to meet our members and spend time with us after our meetings, to discuss your future in freemasonry.
Please remember there is no upper age limit for joining, so if you fancy a new interest in your life, or maybe you wish to spend time with others now that you have retired, then please contact the Secretary.