Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find answers to many frequently asked questions about Freemasonry. If you have any more, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and chat to us, we'd be delighted to take your call
Who is eligible to become a Freemason?
- Men who have reached a mature age (in the UK this is 21)
- Men of good morals and character (in practice this generally means no unspent criminal convictions, no criminal convictions for serious offences and not currently awaiting trial)
- Men who come "of their own free will and accord" - ie. it is their personal decision and they are not being forced into it by anyone else
- Otherwise, Freemasonry is open to people from all walks of life, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic position in society.
Is Freemasonry a Christian organisation?
- No, Freemasonry is open to all faiths to come together harmoniously in one brotherly organisation. There are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh Freemasons as well as those belonging to other faiths all over the world
- Freemasonry does not in any way seek to replace your religion or provide a substitute for it. It deals in a man's relationship with his fellow man not in a man's relationship with his God
- Religious (and political) debate is strongly discouraged in a Freemasons lodge; this is so we can all come together in harmony and preserve the friendly atmosphere of the lodge
- You don't have to be baptised, follow any one specific doctrine or attend church (temple/mosque etc) regularly
- You do, however, have to open to the idea of a "Supreme Being" or consciousness in the universe. There are certain aspects of Freemasons meetings that would be totally incompatible for an ardent atheist.
What professions are eligible to join?
- Any at all! In a Freemasons lodge, you will find people from a rich spectrum of all walks of life which is one of the aspects that makes Freemasonry so interesting.
Will I make good business connections?
- Your main reasons for wanting to join Freemasonry should be for the companionship, the mutual social enjoyment, the desire for self-improvement and the wish to be involved with charitable activities
- Anybody wanting to join the Freemasons purely in order to look for business deals, financial advantage, or to "make the right connections" would not be allowed to join the lodge
So, Freemasonry is a charitable organisation?
- Yes, absolutely! Organising charitable events is a huge part of what Freemasonry is all about! Over the years, Freemasons organisations have donated millions to endless good causes both locally and around the world.
Is Freemasonry a secret society?
- No, but nevertheless, it is a "society with secrets". During your time as a Freemason, certain pieces of masonic knowledge will be shared with you and your fellow masons and you must promise faithfully and endeavour with all your heart to keep this absolutely confidential
- Be reassured that Freemasonry encourages moral behaviour and therefore you would never be asked to do anything which is not totally legitimate and honest
- Whether you make your Freemasonry public is a matter of your own personal choice. However, Freemasons are encouraged to speak openly about their involvement, so that they can spread the word of the excellent work that we do
- Famous Freemasons have included Buzz Aldrin, Walt Disney, Rudyard Kipling, Walter Scott, Jackie Milburn, Peter Sellers, Harry Corbett, Oliver Hardy, Nat King Cole, Alf Ramsey and the Queen's father King George the 6th.
Are there any fees?
- There are annual subscriptions which are normally paid between October and December each year
- A Freemason's regular monthly meeting (Forest of Knaresborough lodge has 10 such meetings each year) is usually followed by a meal for which a small fee is charged to cover the cost of the food
- In addition to this, there is usually a small collection (like a church collection) taken during a Freemasons meeting and over the meal and drinks afterwards, there are typically ample opportunities to purchase raffle tickets, sweepstake tickets etc. all of which go towards charitable good causes.
Are women eligible to join?
- Freemasonry is open to both men and women. However, due to historical reasons, lodges are either men-only or women-only lodges. Forest of Knaresborough lodge is a male lodge
- However, wives and partners (including gay partners), friends and family of members are all welcome at all Forest of Knaresborough social events and we would love to see you there
- There are many women's lodges in Yorkshire, further details can be found at the Order of Womens Freemasons (OWF) at owf.org.uk or the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons (HFAF) at hfaf.org
Where can I find out more information?
- If you have any friends or family who are already Freemasons, you will generally find them more than willing to discuss Freemasonry with you. If not, e-mail us at the lodge or give us a call - you'll find all the details on this website
- Be careful using the internet, particularly Google or Youtube. For every ounce of genuine information there is a mass of disinformation and weird conspiracy theory! The United Grand Lodge website at ugle.org.uk is a reliable source of information
Sounds great! So, what next?
- Take a look at the page here on this website about how to join us. It's a very simple process and we would love to see you on board!
Forest of Knaresborough Lodge