Freemasonry means different things to each member. For some, it is about making new friends. Others join because they want to make a contribution to society both locally and nationally. For all, it is an enjoyable hobby.
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations.
Its members are men concerned with moral and spiritual values. They are taught its precepts (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge – which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.
Freemasonry instills in its members a moral and ethical approach to life. It seeks to reinforce thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches and practices concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.
THE THREE GREAT PRINCIPLES
Freemasons follow three great principles:
Brotherly Love Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.
Relief Freemasons are taught to practice charity and to care – not only for their own – but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.
Truth Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives. Freemasons believe that these principles represent a way of achieving higher standards in life.
From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. This work continues today. In addition, large sums are given to national and local charities, with Freemasonry being the second largest contributor to charitable works after the National Lottery.
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