What's Involved?

About Freemasonry / What's Involved?

What does being a Freemanson involve?

Freemasonry is open all to men, aged 18 or over, who are of good character ...

... to impress on a Freemasons heart and mind the codes of conduct by which he should strive to live.


Membership of a Lodge under the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is open to all men, aged 18 or over, who are of good character and who have been proposed by two members; University lodges have a special dispensation to initiate men at 18 years old.

We always conduct a ballot for a new Member and the final decision rests with the members of the individual Lodge. Once a Freemason, the same is true should you decide to join another Lodge; You are not restricted to joining just one Lodge.

The Formal Lodge Meeting

As a Member of Loyal Berkshire Lodge of Hope, after your Initiation you will thereafter receive a Summons to attend each subsequent Meeting, about 10 days before the Meeting date. The Summons will detail what we are planning to do at the Meeting in the form of an agenda. We, at Hope Lodge, hold 8 formal or Regular Meetings each year, the Meeting dates are the 1st Tuesday of October through to May inclusive unless the first Tuesday of January is New Years Day where the Meeting slips to the 2nd Tuesday of that month. The October Meeting or Installation Meeting is the beginning of our Masonic season where the new Master is installed and his Officers are invested.

At each Meeting we discuss the business of the Lodge, such as:

  • the minutes of the previous Meeting
  • proposing and balloting for new members
  • the state of Lodge accounts
  • any masonic news and correspondence to & from our Lodge
  • an update on charitable support or assistance we are currently involved in
  • a report on the health of our membership and we appoint a member of our Lodge to act as Almoner

We also conduct formal ceremonies as part of our Lodge Meetings. These take the form of formalised and symbolic presentations (similar to 1 act plays), that use drama to impress on the heart and mind of a Freemason the codes of conduct by which he should strive to live. Each presentation is an important milestone for the recipient Candidate and, as Freemasons, we strive to make them meaningful and accurate. They are conducted from memory and as such require a rehearsal (or Lodge of Improvement), held on the Friday before the Meeting.

After each Meeting we dine together (referred to as a Festive Board), at the Newbury & Crookham Golf Club.

Lodge of Instruction

We run a Lodge of Instruction (or L of I), on the 4th Wednesday of each month (October to May), and is essentially a very informal practice session and should not be confused with the rehearsal. All Freemasons are welcome, and indeed encouraged, to attend L of I whereas the Rehearsal is more for those members conducting the next ceremony.