What happens at Lodge meetings?

The meetings, like those of similar associations, are restricted to Members and visiting freemasons, dealing with standard administrative issues such as approving the minutes of  previous meetings, balloting for new members, approving annual accounts, announcing masonic news, social and sports activities and correspondence.

Our ceremonies include Initiating new members, progressing members through the higher degrees and, once a year installing the new Master and investing the officers of his year.

Following a short (bar) break we repair to the essential Festive Board (dinner) followed by a series of toasts and short speeches which, with a good story or two, are often highly entertaining.

One can now perceive the gradual and subtle introduction to public speaking and presentation which contributes to promoting and crafting self-confidence in a manner many would not otherwise have anticipated, intended or experienced, mostly with very pleasant consequence.

Why do Freemasons take oaths?

New members make, entirely voluntarily, solemn promises concerning their behaviour both in the Lodge and in society, to keep confidential our means of recognition for visiting other Lodges, and promising to support those in need so far as it does not conflict with personal, family, professional and civil obligations. Taken seriously these promises invariably hold firm for life, creating an invaluable common bond.

Are Freemasons meant to give preference to fellow members?

Definitely not except when there is mutuality, in so far as sharing the same trust and values, which is not inconsistent with observing ones unbiased responsibilities to society. Every new member should be under no illusion that he should not expect any improper material or pecuniary gain or favour from membership and may be subject to disciplinary action in breach of this principle.

What is Freemasonry's relationship with religion?

All Freemasons are expected to have a religious belief, but Freemasonry does not seek to influence or deprecate a Mason's religion or provide a substitute for it. Freemasonry is not a religion. It relates to a man's relationship with his fellow man whilst respecting his religion without trespassing in regard to its perceived merit or otherwise.

Why do some churches not like Freemasonry?

There are elements within some Churches which misunderstand or refuse to understand Freemasonry, its principles and its aims, sometimes confusing secular rituals with religious liturgy. Whilst some Churches are openly critical of our organisation, we have many members who are also members of those Churches and see no conflict; hence Masonry actively encourages members to be active in their religion.

It is of note that Freemasonry, reflecting its historical roots with the stonemasons who built our Cathedrals, makes substantial donations towards their repair and maintenance and provides funding for Choir School scholarships and stonemason apprenticeships. Many cathedrals generously host our Provincial services of Thanksgiving.

Does Freemasonry accept Roman Catholics?

Yes. Four Grand Masters of English Freemasonry have been Roman Catholics. Today there are many Roman Catholic Freemasons.

Is Freemasonry an international order?

Freemasonry exists throughout the world. However, each Grand Lodge is sovereign and independent. There is no international governing body for Freemasonry. Nevertheless, The United Grand Lodge of England is universally acknowledged as being the first, and therefore the 'Premier' Grand Lodge. In fact representatives of 135 foreign Grand Lodges attended the tercentenary celebrations at The Royal Albert Hall in 2017.  Members are encouraged to visit Lodges abroad but only after ascertaining from Grand Lodge they are part of a recognised constitution as there are some that do not comply with our demanding standards.

Are there women Freemasons?

Yes. Whilst UGLE, following the example of medieval stonemasons is, and has always been, restricted to men, women's Freemasonry flourishes under two separate Grand Lodges operating in parallel with our own, adopting our principles and ritual in equal measure.

Why do you wear regalia?

Wearing regalia or uniform is important both symbolically, historically and ceremoniously, hence royalty, parliament, clergy, armed forces, nurses, fireman, police etc. proudly wear distinctive uniform or regalia which also indicate the seniority of the wearer, thereby adding spectacle and grandeur to our beautifully crafted ceremonies.

How many Freemasons are there?

Under the United Grand Lodge of England, there are over 200,000 Freemasons.

Additionally there are Grand Lodges in Ireland, which covers both Northern Ireland and Eire, and Scotland, which have a combined total of approximately 150,000 members.

Worldwide, there are approximately six million Freemasons.

How many degrees are there in Freemasonry?

Basic Freemasonry consists of three degrees:

  • Entered Apprentice
  • Fellow Craft
  • Master Mason

However you are not considered a fully-fledged Freemason until you have taken all three degrees. After having done so many members join other 'degrees' or side orders that further explore other aspects of freemasonry, and additionally there are Lodges that specialise in Masonic 'research' for those with an insatiable curiosity.

Would any member be entitled to support from our charities?

The Masonic charities are primarily to assist members or dependants in distress but, of necessity, are subject to assessment and means testing where applicable. Entitlement is not dependent on proof of having contributed, but failure to comply with basic membership responsibilities may be taken into consideration. Masonic charity is not a low cost insurance policy!

How much does it cost to be a Freemason?

Annual subscriptions vary depending on where Lodges meet, accommodation and dining costs, and include compulsory dues payable to Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge towards managing the organisation.

There is an initial fee payable to the Lodge on entry plus one off registration fees to both Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge. Our secretary will gladly advise what current fees are. The annual subscription to this Lodge is currently £145 p.a. Each meeting including dinner with wine currently costs about £30, depending on the menu. In due course regalia will need to be purchased, but sometimes 'previously owned' regalia is available at reduced prices.

As charity is at the very heart of our aims members are obviously expected to contribute but only within their means and discretion, as members circumstances may vary. Member's individual donations are never disclosed and are not relevant to progression, your conscience being your guide and quiet satisfaction your reward.

As it is possible to be a member of many Lodges or different Orders, this may prove expensive. Caution should always be observed to avoid over enthusiasm resulting in detrimental effects on one's family, financial or professional circumstances. Our aim is to enhance personal and family values, not undermine them!

Where do you meet?

The Twickenham District Masonic Centre, 150 London Road, Twickenham, TW1 1HD via the A316 Chertsey Road, connecting to central London, or the M25, with plentiful free parking. Twickenham Station is just a few minutes walking distance providing excellent services to Waterloo or from Reading/Staines or Shepperton, with multiple buses passing close by (see map).

This Centre is in a quiet residential area fronting tree lined lawns presenting a pleasant aspect. The attractive refurbished period property is home to many Masonic units and private local organisations who share the welcoming bar and banqueting facilities.

When and at what times do you meet?

We have four main meetings a year, being the third Tuesdays in January, March, May and October, which usually start at 4pm and conclude before 10pm after dinner. Additionally, it is customary to hold rehearsal meetings, called LOIs (Lodge of Instruction) on intervening Tuesday evenings depending on what ceremonies are planned.

How do I find out more?

Please contact our Membership Officer who will be pleased to give more information. If you wish to explore freemasonry further please consider the convenience of attending meetings and social events at Twickenham or elsewhere relative to your place of residence or work.

If Twickenham is convenient our Membership Officer will invite you to meet him at the Centre for a guided tour and exploratory discussion, perhaps in the company of several other members, to assist you moving forward.

If Twickenham is not a suitable venue then we shall be pleased to pass your interest to one of our other Centres at Staines, Uxbridge, Harrow or Southgate who will gladly put you in contact with other potential Lodges.