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01200 426272

What is Freemasonry?


Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest fraternal societies. There are over 250,000 Freemasons in England and Wales and around six million Freemasons worldwide. In England and Wales there are over 7000 Lodges and in this Province, East Lancashire, we have more the 250 Lodges. Sir David Trippier (right) is the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of East Lancashire. The Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lancashire has its headquarters at Freemasons’ Hall, Bridge Street, Manchester, M3 3BT. Visit its website at

About Freemasons

When you become a Freemason you are joining a worldwide fraternity with millions of members. We meet together in Lodges and one of the joys of Freemasonry is visiting other Lodges in your local town or area, or in just about every major town or city in England. In fact there are Lodges throughout the United Kingdom and many other countries across the globe.

Wherever one chooses to visit, Freemasons can be sure of a genuine and warm welcome from their fellow members and, as part of the Masonic community, you will always find access to new friends should you move, relocate or are working away from home.

Freemasonry provides its members with countless opportunities to make new friends from all walks of life, all sharing a desire to enjoy their membership and a desire to help others. At a local level you will find many social events such as dining nights, Ladies evenings, garden parties, sportsman’s dinners many charitable events that give Freemasons and their families the opportunity to get involved. Some Lodges arrange weekends away and regional events include annual balls, caravan and car rallies, clay pigeon shoots and so on. All members of the family and our friends are actively encouraged to take part.  Freemasonry therefore provides a rich and diverse mixture of men with an eclectic mixture of backgrounds, occupations and interests making it on all levels, a fascinating institution.

Inside the Lodge

Freemasonry has its origins in antiquity and probably descended from the masons several hundred years ago who built the cathedrals in the Middle Ages. As we know it today, Freemasonry was subsequently brought together in an organised way in England in 1717. The masons’ guilds had evolved from just being for operative Freemasons into accepting gentlemen who were looking for something different in life, containing as it still does today, strong moral lessons for men of all backgrounds and vitally, all faiths. The meetings contained ceremonies or ritual.

Ritual is in fact a series of plays based on moral codes and lessons taken from many cultures and civilizations. It is rich in symbolism, regalia, music and ceremonial work and its purpose is to help men to understand themselves and the world in which they live. We learn how to develop better relationships with others and can become better fathers, husbands, colleagues, friends and citizens.

After the Lodge meeting (which lasts for up to an hour) we usually dine together in a formal or informal setting, normally enjoying a meal with the opportunity to socialise with other members and guests. Most Lodges meet between 4 and 8 times per year in the evening, between September and May. There may be committee and rehearsal meetings in between.

Charity and Care

From its earliest days Freemasonry has promoted charitable work; indeed fundraising and work for those less fortunate represents Freemasonry in action. Nationally, regionally and locally we have well managed registered charities that support both Masonic and non-Masonic good causes. For example the Freemasons Grand Charity has given over £100 million to other charities during the last 30 years (more than any other charity except the National Lottery). It supports every hospice in the country, as well as giving hundreds of thousands of pounds for disaster relief, medical research and for children’s causes.

East Lancashire has its own Provincial Charity which has a community fund to support vital work in and with the community as well asproviding funds to assist Masons or their dependents in distress.

The Lodges across the Province collectively give to help their local community, often donating at ‘Giving Events’ where thousands of pounds are given to the recipient charities themselves. Many Masons are actively involved with these charities. Lodges and the Halls in which they meet frequently run fund raising events—what better way to raise money than  whilst enjoying oneself with family and friends socially. The ‘Feel Good’ factor that comes with assisting those in need in a structured way really can’t be quantified.


Freemasons are the type of people who like to live morally, are good citizens, treasure traditional and family values and desire to make a difference in the world by supporting their communities, particularly through charity. Membership is open to all men regardless of religion, political persuasion, career, wealth or social position. In fact the only qualifications for membership are being of good reputation and having a belief in a Supreme Being, hence allowing men of all faiths to come together. Were you to become a Freemason you would be joining an organisation that, through its commitment to personal development and the understanding of morality through the Lodge ritual, distinguishes itself from nearly all other social groups in society.

Beyond this, every Freemason will tell a different story about what matters most to them out of the social, caring, charitable, traditional and other activities. You, with support from and for your family, would be joining a respected voluntary organisation whose ideals could and should be embraced by all those who believe in tolerance, kindness  and integrity, in a world  today which badly needs tolerance, kindness and integrity so very much.

Discover More

If you are interested in becoming a Freemason, or want to find out more about membership, please contact David Bristol on 01200 426272.
Alternatively you can contact the Provincial Membership Officer, Henry Bentwood, on 0161 766 7492 / Email

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