* in some circumstances, we can consider membership from University students aged 18 and over.
Your family is very important to Freemasonry and we encourage all of our prospective members to discuss joining with their wives and partners before committing themselves. At certain times throughout the year, we run family events and we really encourage our members to bring their wives, partners and children to these occasions. Some may be quite formal, like our Ladies Nights that are really a special night out, others are quite informal like our open and entertaining talks on non-Masonic or Masonic topics, typically followed by an informal dinner. It is not compulsory for families to be involved, but we encourage it as it fosters wider fellowship and understanding.
Some Freemasons are interested in the important charitable work of the movement; some of these funds are used to assist Freemasons and their dependents in times of need, particularly the sick and the elderly, but most goes to non-Masonic charities – local, national and international. Freemasons also carry out voluntary work to help the local community. Others join Freemasonry because of the special fellowship it offers; members can visit any Masonic lodge anywhere in the country – or even worldwide – and they will be warmly greeted as if they were an old friend. Freemasonry is a community where all are equal, it matters not whether you are a King or a Cobbler, you are primarily a Freemason and you will always be shown friendship and goodwill.
In a way, but no more so than you would join a golf club to better your skills at golf! The ‘personal gain’ that you achieve from being a Freemason is better described as ‘personal satisfaction’ of being part of a worldwide organisation that works tirelessly to help those who are less fortunate in the world. It is sometimes suggested that Masonic handshakes will give you an advantage over others who are not Freemasons and this is not only untrue, it also goes against one of the basic principles of the movement. Masonic handshakes are part of our ritual and, whereas they can be used in everyday society to acknowledge fellow Freemasons, the expectation of ‘favour’ or ‘preferment’ goes against the strict morality of Freemasonry.
Freemasonry has nothing to hide; it is not and never has been a ‘secret’ society, although it may be a society with secrets! All of our centres from Freemasons’ Hall in London, to the lowliest centre in a far-flung province are open for guided tours to the general public. The so-called ‘mysteries’ or ‘secrets’ of Freemasonry are revealed to members as they progress through the various stages of development and are little more than good, sound advice on how to lead a fruitful life in the community. Learning is based on history and the rituals of Freemasonry are based on sound moral guidance set in historic context; taking it step-by-step makes it easier to learn and understand.
That really depends on you. In Middlesex, most of our Lodges meet four times a year, but there is also a weekly session where members can get instruction and learn more about the principles of Freemasonry, at the same time as learning and understanding the ritual that we use in our meetings; we encourage all of our members to attend these very useful sessions, if they are able. Our meetings are scheduled to start late in the afternoon, normally at 5.00pm, and will run until early evening; afterwards, we eat together at what is called our ‘festive board’, which is usually a three-course meal. Our festive boards typically finish by about 9.00pm, but members may choose to stay behind and meet other Freemasons in the relaxed setting of the centre. One of the best aspects of Freemasonry is the ability to visit other Masonic Lodges and we encourage all our members to visit, seeing how other Lodges work and making new friends… but we always stress that your family and work comes first before Freemasonry.
Hardly anything is the quick answer. You have to be male, aged 21* or over and be of good character. You must also believe in a Supreme Being, but Freemasonry is nota religion; men from a variety of faiths are Freemasons.
You are invited to join Fremasonry by a member of a Masonic Lodge. “But I don’t know any Freemasons!” is often the response to that notion - this is not a problem as, nowadays, it is quite common. On receiving your membership enquiry, a local member of Sutton Court Lodge will contact you and arrange an informal meeting; at that meeting any remaining questions that you may have can be answered. The member that you meet will then sponsor your membership and you will be invited to meet with other members of the Lodge in a relaxed setting. There is nothing daunting and everything is conducted in a very friendly manner… the purpose of the meetings is for you to decide whether Freemasonry is right for you. The first step is to make an enquiry, and we have made it easy… all you need to do is fill out our enquiry form that you can find here.