Many misconceptions continue to surround the fraternity of Freemasonry. One of those misconceptions concerns how people become Freemasons. So firstly, let’s set the record straight.

“It’s invitation only…!” FALSE ! A prospective new member MUST approach a Lodge or a suitable sponsor and ask to be considered for membership. Masons do not to invite people to join. The main reason for this is that a new member must attest that they have not been approached, co-opted or coerced to join – it must be their own decision as a free man.

Freemasonry is a companionship. Each member undergoes a journey. It would be unfair to spoil the journey, so we don’t tend to give away spoilers. Masons are taught how to demonstrate their membership to other masons, but even this is more of an allegory based around ancient stonemasons proving their qualifications than any clandestine intent. It is a reminder of membership whenever we meet. It is this element – the means of proving ones membership that is restricted to members only. Nothing else is implied.

“It’s a religion…!”FALSE ! Sorry, but you’re wrong again! Freemasons believe in a God. No specific deity, religion or belief is required. One of the most enduring aspects of Freemasonry is the fact that faith is important, but non-specific and that discussions about religion are strictly forbidden within lodges. So no, it’s not a religion, but belief in a Supreme Being is a pre-requisite for membership.

What qualifications are required to become a Freemason?

  • Lodges under the United Grand Lodge of England are male only.*
  • You must be a minimum of 21 years old, unless you are the son of a Freemason, in which case, aged 18.
  • You must have a belief in a supreme being. Freemasonry is secular and entirely complements any religion, but faith in a ‘Supreme Being’ is a requirement.
  • You must be free from any criminal convictions.

*Freemasonry as practised by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is a male only organisation. There are other organistaions that practise a unisex (co-masonic) or women’s only Freemasonry but the UGLE has no connections with them and being a member of a UGLE Lodge would preclude you from attending any other organisation not recognised by the UGLE.

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