Province of Shropshire

 Teme Lodge No 4267

Questions & Answers

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry means different things to each of those who join. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances. For others it’s about being able to help deserving causes – making a contribution to family and for society. But for most, it is an enjoyable hobby. Freemasonry is one of the World’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry. A typical Freemason will be a member of a Masonic Lodge which will meet a number of times per year. The Teme Lodge meets eight times per year. As with any Society there are Officers of the Lodge, the most important being the Master of the Lodge. Members work their way up to being Master, and for many this is one of the highlights of their Masonic career. Other Officers include a Treasurer and Secretary.


What happens at a lodge meeting?

The meeting, which like those of other groups, are open only to members, is normally in two parts.

First, there are normal administrative procedures such as:

• Minutes of the previous meeting

• Proposing and balloting for new members

• Masonic news and correspondence

• News about charitable work

Second, there are the ceremonies for:

• Admitting new members

• The annual installation of the Master of the Lodge and his officers


Why do Freemasons take obligations?

New members make solemn promises concerning their behaviour both in the Lodge and in the Society. Members also promise to keep confidential the way they recognise each other when visiting another Lodge. Freemasons also promise to support others in time of need, but only so far as it does not conflict with their family and public obligations.


Are Freemasons expected to give preference to fellow members?

Certainly not. This would be unacceptable and may lead to action being taken against those involved. On joining, each new member states that he expects no material gain from membership.


Who do the Masonic Charities donate to?

Whilst there are Masonic Charities that cater specifically, but not exclusively, for Masons or their dependants, others make significant grants to non-Masonic organisations.


What is Freemasonry’s relationship with religion?

All Freemasons are expected to have a belief in God, or at least in the existence of a Supreme Being, but Freemasonry does not seek to replace a Mason’s religion or provide a substitute for it. It deals in man’s relationship with his fellow man and does not try to influence a man’s relationship with his Supreme Being.


Why do some churches not like Freemasonry?

There are elements within some churches who misunderstand Freemasonry and its objectives. They confuse secular rituals with religious liturgy. There are many Masons in churches where their leaders have been openly critical of the organisation. Masonry has always encouraged its members to be active in their own religion.


Does Freemasonry accept Roman Catholics?

Yes. Four Grand Masters of English Freemasonry have been Roman Catholics. Today there are many Roman Catholic Freemasons.


What is Freemasonry’s relationship with politics?

Freemasonry, as a body, will never express a view on politics or state policy. The discussion of politics at Masonic meetings has always been prohibited.


How much does it cost to be a Freemason?

It varies from Lodge to Lodge. Anyone wishing to join will find a Lodge to suit his pocket. There is an initiation fee on entry.

     

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In due course regalia will have to be bought.

The meeting is normally followed by a dinner, the cost depending on the venue. There is, in addition, an annual subscription. Members are invited to give to charity, but this should always be within their means and it is entirely up to the individual how much they wish to contribute.


How many degrees are there in Freemasonry?

Basic Freemasonry consists of three degrees:


How many Freemasons are there?

Under the United Grand Lodge of England, there are over a quarter of a million Freemasons.

There are Grand Lodges in Ireland, which covers both Northern Ireland and Eire, and Scotland, which have a combined total of approximately 150,000 members. Worldwide, there are approximately six million Freemasons.


Are there women Freemasons?

Yes. Whilst the United Grand Lodge of England, is, and has always been, restricted to men, women Freemasons have two separate Grand Lodges, which are, of course, restricted to women.

Freemasonry exists throughout the world. However, each Grand Lodge is sovereign and independent. There is no international governing body for Freemasonry.


Why do you wear regalia?

Wearing regalia is historic and symbolic. Like a uniform, the regalia indicates the rank of the wearer in the organisation.


Why become a Freemason?

Every Freemason has his own reason for joining. For many, Freemasonry acts as a ‘constant’, providing them with a unique combination of friendship, belonging and structure, with many Freemasons saying they have made valuable lifelong friendships. Above all, and for most, Freemasonry is simply an enjoyable hobby.

Other reasons include:

     Achievement – progressing through the offices in the Lodge to become Master.

     Brotherhood – making new friends from all walks of life.

     Charity – contribute to deserving causes, both Masonic and non-Masonic.

     Education – learning from peers and mentors by practicing and making speeches.

     Knowledge – finding out about the history and mysteries of Freemasonry.

     Self improvement – making a contribution to your family and society.


What benefits will I get out of Freemasonry?

Meeting people from very different walks of life.

The satisfaction of helping others less fortunate than yourself.

Your self-confidence and ability to learn will increase.


Who can join the Lodge?

Any male, normally at least 21 years old, who has a belief in a Supreme Being (all religions are welcome and respected). There are special circumstances where those aged 18 years and above such as University students can join.


How do I join the Teme Lodge?

We always welcome new members who live and work, or study, in the area and wish to join. You might think that to become a Freemason is quite difficult, but it’s actually straight forward. You do not have to wait to be invited. If you wish to become a Freemason and join the Teme Lodge then simply contact the Secretary, details on the Contacts page, and he will be in touch to arrange a meeting with you to answer any further questions you may have about Freemasonry and to discuss the procedure of joining the Lodge



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