What's Freemasonry?

About Freemasonry / What's Freemasonry?

What is Freemasonry?

... non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisation ...

Freemasonry has always been about making good men better ...

Freemasonry is one of the oldest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations in the world. The governing body of Freemasonry in England , Wales, the Isle of Man & the Channel Islands is the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and the foundations of modern Freemasonry lie in the traditions and ceremonies of the medieval stonemasons who built our magnificent cathedrals and castles. Some rituals are still celebrated today.


Freemasonry has always been about making good men better and Freemasons strive to shape their lives according to these five core principles.

  • Integrity: We say what we mean and we keep our promises.
  • Kindness: Although our families come first, we believe in playing a key role in our communities and give time and money to charitable ventures.
  • Honesty: We pride ourselves on openness, about what being a Freemason means for us.
  • Fairness: We treat everyone as equal – we listen to others, explore any differences and look for common ground.
  • Tolerance: We respect the opinions of others and behave with understanding towards them.

Today, English Freemasonry under the UGLE has over 200,000 members in England, Wales, the Isle of Man & the Channel Islands meeting in nearly 8,000 lodges. There are Grand Lodges in Scotland and also Ireland (covering both Northern Ireland & Eire), with a combined membership of approximately 150,000. There are about six million Freemasons worldwide. Whilst Freemasonry is not primarily a charitable organisation, Freemasons are encouraged to assist those in need whenever and wherever they can. Under the UGLE, there are 47 county organisations that provide support and co-ordination for the lodges meeting in their area. Berkshire Freemasonry is one of those local organisations with close to 100 lodges and more than 3,000 members with Loyal Berkshire Lodge of Hope numbered amongst them.

Is Freemasonry for me?

Freemasonry is a journey - it is often said that there are as many reasons to join Freemasonry as there are Freemasons, thus Freemasonry means different things to each individual. That may include widening your circle of friends, contributing to your local community or following in a long family tradition. Others may be seeking to experience personal growth, taking up a hobby or just simply having fun. Discovering you own reasons for joining Freemasonry is just one of the early steps along that journey.

A Brief Introduction to Freemasonry

Watch this short video and find out more about Freemasonry.

Discover Freemasonry

Watch this short video and find out what it means to be a Freemason.