Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations, providing an environment for people from all backgrounds to make lasting friendships, achieve their potential and, above all, have fun. Through the Lodge of Gratitude, the province, and Freemasonry in general we make a major contribution to society through our own charities, as well as through donations to UK charities and worldwide disaster relief funds.
Freemasonry is founded on the three principles of Love, Relief and Truth (see below). It aims to bring together men of high moral and spiritual values regardless of class, creed or culture.
Freemasonry is one of the oldest fraternal societies and its ceremonies take the form of a series of plays with wording related to stonemason’s customs and tools. Originally it was a society of stonemasons only, who formed themselves into lodges to protect their skills and to pass on knowledge to their apprentices. As the large building projects diminished worthy men with other professions and occupations were accepted. The wording for the ritual plays (or ceremonies) is learnt by heart and each ceremony is enacted by the officers of the lodge.
There is a progression of offices held for brethren who wish to advance their Masonic career, but these are not compulsory. There are also more long term offices such as Secretary, Treasurer, Organist etc, so there is a wide choice available.
The Three Main Principles of Freemasonry
- Love: A Freemason is expected to show respect and understanding for the opinions of all whom he comes into contact with. He is to behave with kindness and tolerance to all his fellow creatures.
- Relief: A Freemason is taught to support all charities both Masonic and non-Masonic. Freemasonry cares for orphans and the sick. It operates schools for girls and boys and has several retirement homes for the aged, one of which is Devonshire Court (pictured right), based in Oadby, Leicester. Every 5 years or so, the Province of Leicestershire & Rutland submits a major donation to the Grand Lodge Charity in London. The last presentation was made on the 19th May, 2012 when a cheque was presented to Grand Lodge amounting to £1.6m. The Province is now raising funds for the next Grand Lodge Festival. A good proportion of this money raised will be given to non-masonic charities where public benefit is clearly demonstrated, such as medical research, youth opportunities, vulnerable people, hospices and emergency grants.
- Truth: A Freemason strives for truth and has high moral standards. The ritual in the ceremonies seeks to instill in its members a moral and ethical approach to life.
Freemasons look to these three main precepts of the Order as a way of achieving an increase in the fulfilment of their own standards and conduct in life.
So, who becomes a Freemason?
Freemasonry is open to all men of over 21 years of age, regardless of social economic background, race, or religion. The very nature of freemasonry is to regard the whole human species as one family. You do not need to be a professional in any way shape or form, we have a diverse selection of people in our lodge, from carpenters to dentists, sales people to engineers, unemployed to retired.
Personal satisfaction, not personal gain
Rumors and false information are rife in all walks of life, Freemasonry is no different. It has been said time and time again that some people become Freemasons for personal benefit. The only personal gain our members enjoy is sense of well-being in being part of an honourable society, and part of an organistation who work tireless to help those that are less fortunate.
Freemasonry is one of the most charitable organisations in the land, and as members we give as freely as possible to local, national, and international causes. We provide a structure for fundraising and charitable giving through the province of Leicestershire & Rutland or through individual lodges.
All i read about is funny handshakes and peculiar dress styles!
Freemasonry has been in existence for over 300 years, and during that time we have developed the masonic ritual through symbolism, following the patterns of progression as once were known and practiced by the stone masons of old. Everything we do is fun, and you chose to be involved in as little or as much as possible. Becoming a Freemason you will soon understand the masonic symbolism and how they form part of our meetings.
Is it time consuming, and does it cost much?
As we have mentioned before, you can be involved as much or as little as you like. Our lodge meets just eight times a year. Within the year are certain social events, such as Sunday Lunches, Fish & Chip suppers, or the annual Ladies Festival, all of which are completely down to the individual if they wish to attend. We also hold rehearsals and instructional sessions for those members who wish to learn more, and visiting other lodges is always a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Membership is an annual subscription, which compares favourably with everyday sports and social clubs. Freemasonry is certainly not a rich mans hobby, but an affordable and rewarding way having fun.
Check out our “links” page for more information on who we are and what we do, or get in touch in one of the many ways mentioned throughout this website.