Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. It 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 society. But for most, it is an enjoyable hobby.
Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its principles (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge – which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.
The first point of entry into Freemasonry is known as “The Craft” where members can become “Master Masons“. In the Craft, Freemasons meet together in “Lodges” which are held in Masonic Halls and other similar venues. Closely allied to the Craft is the “Holy Royal Arch”, where the members meet in “Chapters” also in Masonic Halls.
Freemasonry instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: its values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.
Becoming a Freemason
If you are new to Freemasonry and would like to learn more about the fraternity, the Kent Museum of Freemasonry in Canterbury is well worth a visit. There you will learn about Freemasonry in general and its development in Kent.
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 non-Masonic charities.
300 Years of Freemasonry
In 2017 Freemasons celebrated the tercentenary of the first Grand Lodge that was established in London on 24th June 1717.
To mark the tercentenary Freemasons organised many events both locally and nationally culminating in a large gathering of Freemasons from all over the world at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on 31st October 2017.
Substantial charitable donations were also made both locally and nationally. The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) awarded £3 million in grants to 300 local and regional non-masonic charities, including eight good causes in East Kent which received a total of £79,000. In addition Freemasons from Kent, Surrey and Sussex raised over £300,000 to help finance the restoration of part of Canterbury Cathedral.
A documentary series entitled “Inside the Freemasons” was screened in 2017 by SKY® TV. The programmes went beyond the myth and legend to show what it really means to be a Freemason through the words and lives of Freemasons themselves.
Beyond the Craft
This website is concerned mostly with Craft and Royal Arch Masonry. However there are many other orders and degrees of Freemasonry, membership of which is restricted, at the least, to Master Masons. These orders and degrees are autonomous and quite independent, although most of them are in amity with, and recognised by, The United Grand Lodge of England. The intention of this page is to give a brief explanation of those Orders and Degrees, recognised by The United Grand Lodge of England, which operate within the boundaries of East Kent, where they are and how they may be contacted.
Click on any of the links below for further information:-