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The Old Pauline Lodge

About Freemasonry

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What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is the UK’s largest secular, fraternal and charitable organisation. It teaches moral lessons and self-knowledge through participation in a progression of allegorical two part plays. It is emphatically not a religion, but welcomes only those who believe in a deity. Freemasonry is non denominational for men of all religions, a belief in God is essential but topics of political or religious discussions are not allowed at lodge meetings or at the after proceedings. Under the United Grand Lodge of England there are 330,000 Freemasons meeting in 8,600 Lodges and world wide there are over 5,000,000 members. The Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England is HRH the Duke of Kent.

The Three Grand Principles

Freemasons undertake to follow three grand principles in their lives:

  • Brotherly Love: Tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and to behave with kindness and understanding to their fellows.

  • Relief: To practice charity and to care for others in the community both by charitable giving and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.

  • Truth: To strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their lives.

What are the origins of Freemasonry?

The earliest recording of the making of a Freemason in England is that of Elias Ashmole (the founder of the Ashmolian Museum at Oxford) in 1646. The true origins are lost in time but Freemasonry probably originated from the Old City Guilds. One belief is that the original stonemasons who built the great cathedrals and castles had lodges, initiation ceremonies and adopted secret signs and words to demonstrate they were qualified Masons when they moved from site to site. In the 1600’s these operative lodges began to accept non-operatives, as gentlemen masons who gradually took over the lodges. During the 18th Century, a period known as the Age of Enlightenment, a great many scientists and other men of note became Freemasons, including Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, William Hogarth, George Washington, Sir John Soane, etc. Among those of the 20th Century who were Freemasons were HM King George VI, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Ernest Shackleton, Captain Scott, Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher, Rudyard Kipling, Duke Ellington, Clive Lloyd, etc.

How do I become a Freemason?

In general: the website of the United Grand Lodge of England  addresses this question.

Old Paulines, specifically: we meet 4 times a year at the School in January, April, July & October.  We have an annual “white table” dinner, usually at our July meeting, where non Masonic guests are invited.  

How much does it cost to be a Freemason?

The annual subscription to the Old Pauline Lodge is currently £70.  In addition, the fees for initiation amount to approximately £120.  We pay for meals at cost, currently £40 with wine.  Members are expected to make donations to the Lodge charity fund and this will be as much as members choose but should be without detriment to their other responsibilities.

Last updated 19th November 2012  

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