Freemasonry - a way of life - Business Works

Freemasonry - a way of life

The United Grand Lodge, London UK

Freemasonry is the world’s oldest secular fraternal and charitable organisation, with about six million members world wide. Membership under the United Grand Lodge of England is restricted to men but there are two thriving Grand Lodges of women Freemasons in England with whom we have informal contact.

Membership under the United Grand Lodge of England has always been a microcosm of the society in which it currently exists and reflects the great diversity of modern society. The prime qualification for admission has always been a belief in a Supreme Being. Nearly three hundred years of formal organisation English Freemasonry has brought together men of all the various world religions. From its earliest days it has banned the discussion of religion and politics at Masonic meetings, knowing that these are the two subjects that most divide people, thus providing an atmosphere of peace and harmony in which those from different backgrounds and traditions can find out what they have in common and how they can build on that commonality for the good of the community as a whole.

Members are taught its principles by a series of ritual dramas, which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides. A lodge meeting is usually followed by a meal, and other social events involving family and friends are part of the life of a lodge. Meetings offer members a framework for companionship, teamwork, character development and the enjoyment of shared experiences.

The three Great Principles are characterised as Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. In modern terms Brotherly Love is sociability, tolerance and care for the whole community; Relief is charity in all its forms, not just the collecting and spending of money but the giving of time and talents in the service of the community; and Truth is morality and a striving for the highest standards in the individual’s private, working and public lives.

The Grand Lodge

Charity has always been an important part of Freemasonry from its earliest days and has always been outward looking and not limited to members and their dependents. It is believed that Masonic charity falls second only to the National Lottery in the support it gives to charities on a national and local level. As an example the Grand Charity has over the last twenty years given in excess of £6 million to hospices throughout England and Wales. The difference between Masonic and other charities is that all the money is raised within the organisation and no calls are made on the public.

Freemasons are proud of the traditions and standards they have inherited and the work that continues quietly in today’s communities. Those wishing to learn more can visit our web site at which will lead them to other Masonic sites. Those who come to London can visit Freemasons’ Hall, which is open to the public, and is a Grade II* listed building internally and externally and one of the finest example of Art Deco architecture and design in London. It houses a magnificent Library and Museum from which tours of the building are organised on weekdays. If you watch “Spooks” on BBC television you will already have seen the exterior and some of the interiors of the building as in that series we are the headquarters of MI5! The building is often used by film and television companies as a location for drama productions. It is also available for hire for corporate events and has been used for high-profile film and theatre premiere parties, concerts, fashion shows and wards ceremonies.

UGLE crest

To find out more about Freemasonry or hire of the premises, contact:
The United Grand Lodge of England
Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ, UK
T: +44 (0) 20 7831 9811
F: +44 (0) 20 7831 6021

Tweet article
BW on TwitterBW RSS feed