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ANTIENT FRATERNITY OF FREE & ACCEPTED MASONS

 
 
  Provincial Grand Lodge of Staffordshire
 
 
 
WHAT IS FREEMASONRY ?  

 

Freemasonry is a unique organisation which it is difficult to liken to any other because it offers experiences that are not found anywhere else. Membership is made up of men from all walks of life and religions who share a concern for human values, moral standards and individual’s rights.

Members are offered a knowledge and insight into history and philosophy and an appreciation and involvement in ancient rituals and symbolism. They are also encouraged to develop themselves through service to others and involvement in local, national and international charities.

Freemasonry also provides members with a code of conduct - an important ideal in today’s changing world - which is based on moral and ethical standards.

It is an organisation of like minded men who strive to live their lives by the principles of “brotherly love, relief and truth” or put another way “goodwill, integrity and charity.”

Freemasonry also provides opportunities to meet socially without religious or political barriers.

Many people, because they just don’t know, think of Freemasons as secretive, stuffy and pompous and Freemasonry as an incomprehensible organisation of men who meet in secret, look after themselves and plot! At its simplest, it can be described as a club where members subscribe to high ideals, have fun and do a lot of good.

WHY ARE PEOPLE SUSPICIOUS ?
In the past we have not been as open as we should have been and not always responded to ill advised and unfounded comments. In many ways we have only ourselves to blame for perpetuating the myths.

But things are changing. We are far more proactive and open although, like some other organisations, we do keep some things to ourselves.

The perception of a bunch of grown men parading around in funny clothes with peculiar hand shakes is extreme. We do wear aprons, we do have ceremonies and we do have signs of recognition but there is nothing sinister about them. Each has a part within the overall enjoyment of members and participation in a world wide fraternal organisation.

WHY IS IT CALLED A FRATERNAL ORGANISATION ?
One of the most enjoyable aspects of modern Freemasonry is that men from all walks of life, regardless of religion, race, colour or social status, can come together on equal terms and through membership share a common bond of friendship and fraternity as Freemasons.

Members are expressly forbidden from any religious or political discussions during Lodge meetings, to enjoy peace and harmony. This is illustrated by the historical fact that during the American Civil War, under the banner of Freemasonry, soldiers that were not fighting from the north and south met and practiced the ideals of friendship and fraternity in peace and harmony.

At our lodge meetings formal ceremonies are held during which small plays are enacted by appointed officers, to welcome new members and educate and inform others. These ceremonies take the ancient customs and tools of operative masons and the classical styles of architecture and apply them to standards of morality and principle which all Freemasons strive for. Members are also regularly reminded to improve their daily lives and to help others.

After the Lodge meeting members normally adjourn for a meal together. This is an important part of Freemasonry and allows everyone to get to now each other in a sociable and informal setting. Sometimes this is described as meeting on the level and parting on the square – meeting as equals and parting as friends.

Freemasonry can and does provide members and their families a social life with like minded people and the family and family values are important elements of Freemasonry. Every member is expected to value his family above everything and it even takes precedence over Masonic membership.

Similarly, a member’s family is expected to understand and support him in his Masonic development. Applicants are always asked if they have discussed their interest with their families.

The following Link will answer the twenty five questions most asked about Freemasonry:

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