What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. Its roots lie in the traditions and ceremonies of the medieval stonemasons who built our cathedrals and castles.

Stonemasons were one of the earliest Trades to form themselves into groups (Lodges) to develop, manage and protect their skills. Over time, others admired this Lodge structure so much that they wanted to share it. So they did – and called themselves FREE Masons, perhaps because they didn’t need the practical skills of stonemasons?

They developed a code of conduct – and used the tools of the stonemasons as symbols to illustrate the principles of this philosophy. Today, these principles can be described as Integrity, Friendship and Kindness. Some think that this development could have been a reaction to the high levels of intolerance that developed in the 17th Century towards Religion and Politics and was an attempt to move feelings back towards tolerance, but we don’t really know.

We do know that Freemasonry became something that a lot of men enjoyed – and still do. They continue to adhere to the principles and standards which were so important to those early stonemasons and which are now continued in their Lodges to this day.

Wakefield Masonic Hall G


Freemasonry has always been about making good men better. Individuals aim to shape their lives round five core principles.


We say what we mean and we keep our promises.


Although our families come first, we believe in playing a key role in our communities and give time and money to charitable ventures.


We pride ourselves on openness, about what being a Freemason means for us.


We treat everyone as equal – we listen to others, explore any differences and look for common ground.


We respect the opinions of others and behave with understanding towards them.

Is Freemasonry For Me?

Freemasonry means different things to each individual – making new friends, contributing to society, celebrating a long tradition, experiencing personal growth, taking up a hobby, having fun.

What Do We Do?


From its very earliest days Freemasonry has actively supported charity. Although charity is not its primary function, significant sums of money are regularly donated to national and local good causes.


Freemasonry as a fraternity engages people of all ages. Whatever your status in life, Freemasonry provides an invaluable network of likeminded people with plenty of opportunities for socialising with groups you might not otherwise get the opportunity to socialise with.

Character Building

As you progress through the degrees of Freemasonry, the personal development can be very rewarding. Whilst Freemasonry can help good men become better men, only men of upstanding character are permitted to join.

Wakefield Masonic Hall Lodge Room

Some Common Questions Answered

YES – a candidate’s trouser leg is rolled up as part of the joining ceremony.
YES – particular handshakes are used amongst masons in support of symbolism.
YES – Freemasons do wear aprons to perpetuate the stonemasons’ links.
YES – symbolic oaths are taken by all Freemasons on joining.
YES – discussion of religion or politics is not allowed within a masonic meeting.
NO – there are no business or commercial benefits to be gained in being a Freemason.
NO – it doesn’t open doors in Society generally any better or any worse than anything else will.

Men join Lodges because others they know to be masons are people that they respect. They remain masons because they accept the principles and the friendship and because they can help to make a difference.

So what is the result?