Regular Grand Lodge of England
Masonic High Council for England, Wales and the Channel Islands
Q - What is the purpose of the Regular Grand Lodge of England?
A - The purpose of Masonry and the Regular Grand Lodge of England is to make good men, who are willing and capable of it, become better citizens. It achieves this by bringing men together, who otherwise would never have met. We come from different faiths, origins and all social backgrounds. We meet on the level and treat each other as equals.
Masonry teaches us tolerance and mutual respect. We befriend and hold each other in high estimation. No matter what our background may be, we quickly become Brothers amongst Masons.
Although we never discuss sectarian religion or party politics, topics which may cause division or disharmony, we all believe in a Supreme Being and are taught to respect each other's opinions, even if they are different from our own. We are encouraged to improve ourselves by learning from each other.
Although we trace our lineage directly from The Old Grand Lodge at York of 1705, today's Regular Grand Lodge of England derives its regularity from the "Act of Regularity" issued at Freemasons Arms, Covent Garden, London on the 25th January 2005.
Financially independent, the Regular Grand Lodge of England is created and founded by Lodges held under the jurisdiction of the Masonic High Council for England and Wales, the Mother High Council for the rest of the World. Its members are all male, and work traditional Masonic Rituals to the Glory of the Great Architect of the Universe, always in the presence of the Volume of the Sacred Law.
Q - What Rites or Ceremonies are worked in the Regular Grand Lodge of England?
A - The Regular Grand Lodge of England works, and is wholly responsible for the three Craft Degrees in Freemasonry. These may be conferred upon suitable candidates by Lodges practicing: Old York Rite; Ancient English Rite; Rectified Scottish Rite; Ancient and Accepted Rite; Emulation, Bristol or Schroeder Working; Modern or French Rite, Primitive Rite; Adonirum Rite; or any other truly Masonic Rites, Rituals or Workings.
Q - Does the Regular Grand Lodge of England recognise other bodies which claim to be Grand Lodges?
A - The Regular Grand Lodge of England is truly an independent and self-governing Masonic body, with full authority over Craft Masonry, i.e. the symbolic degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. Having its own jurisdiction in both England and Wales, it is independent, and does not subject itself to, or recognise, any other Masonic authority.
As such, the members of our Lodges, and any visitors from other recognised Lodges, open the meeting with a very Ancient Ritual or Ceremony inspired by Ancient Biblical Texts and the Ceremonies of the Ancient Operative Masons. These Rituals or Ceremonies, mark the distinction between the sound and fury of the outer World, and the Masonic World, where tolerance, serenity and brotherly love should reign supreme.
In addition to our Regular ceremonies, the opening is sometimes followed by an original lecture or paper. Prepared and presented by a member of the Lodge or by a visitor, this may include a Masonic, historical, spiritual, philosophical or symbolic subject, occasionally even scientific or literary. Under the chairmanship of the Master of the Lodge, the paper or lecture is followed by a disciplined discussion where no Brother raises his voice or interrupts any of his Brethren. The Brethren of the Lodge take turns to ask questions, comment, bring additional clarification, or simply give their opinion on a particular subject.
At the end of the proceedings, the Orator of the Lodge draws the conclusions of the paper or lecture, and of the ensuing discussion. The Orator's work being done, a closing Ritual or Ceremony takes place, marking our return to the "profane" World.
After the formal ceremonies, we usually share a table, a glass of wine and a meal together. This may be a dinner or a buffet, depending upon the occasion or circumstances of the Lodge. This is called the "Agape". We toast each other, and enjoy Fraternal friendship.
Q - What do Mason's do in their normal day-to-day lives?
A Mason of the Regular Grand Lodge of England does the same as any other law-abiding citizen. He works, takes care of his family, reads a book, watches the television, goes out, has fun, relaxes, eats, sleeps.
The difference being that a Mason at work, with friends, family, and elsewhere, always tries his hardest to put in to practice those essential Masonic principles of tolerance, honesty, integrity, goodness, spiritual and intellectual open-mindedness.
Q - What are the charitable activities of the Regular Grand Lodge of England?
A - Each Lodge pays a certain amount at the beginning of each year to the Regular Grand Lodge of England, for membership. Some of this money is apportioned towards Masonic Charities (Masonic Schools, Care Homes etc.).
At each meeting of our Lodges , as a part of our ceremonies, the Charity Steward passes the Charity Column around the Lodge. Whatever a Mason can genuinely afford is confidentially put in to this column. We insist that Masons do not donate so much that it works to the detriment of their families or connections.
At the beginning of his year of office, the elected Master of the Lodge will publish his Master's List of charities, whether national or local. These monies are apportioned by the Master towards his Master's List. Cheques are sent out by the Lodge Treasurer at the end of the Masonic year. These charities may be Masonic, but they are most often, non-Masonic, local charities. Our Masons are encouraged to donate to charity and support their local communities, confidentially, and through their Lodges, without engendering unnecessary or garish publicity.
Q - Do I have to believe in God in order to become a Mason in a Lodge held under the jurisdiction of the Regular Grand Lodge of England?
Masonry is definitely not a religion. The Regular Grand Lodge of England, and its Lodges work to the Glory of the Great Architect of the Universe, which our Rituals and Ceremonies interpret as a "Supreme Being". This includes most of the World's known religions. Our Masons are not expected to be members of any specific religion, or to attend for instance, their church, synagogue, temple or mosque. However, it remains obvious that one could not claim to be engaged in a spiritual search on this Earth without having a belief in the existence of a Spiritual World beyond.
Q - How can I join the Regular Grand Lodge of England? Do I need to know another Mason?
A - No, just write to:14 Clarendon Street,
CT17 9RE, England
Phone : 00 44 + (0)7909 653 984
Phone : 00 44 + (0)1304226033
E- mail : contact(at)rgle.org.uk
You will be sent an application form.
Don't forget to visit our website as often as possible, where our newsletter is published on a regular basis.
Irregular and Unrecognised Grand Lodges
The Regular Grand Lodge of England reminds all Members of the Craft that they should take great care before joining any organisation which purports to be Masonic. If in doubt a written enquiry should be made of the Grand Secretary. There are some self-styled Masonic bodies that do not meet these standards, e.g. which do not require a belief in a Supreme Being, or which allow or encourage their members to participate as such in political matters and some of these self-styled Masonic bodies have even become little more than social clubs. These bodies are regarded by the Regular Grand Lodge of England as being Masonically irregular and Masonic contact with them should be avoided at all times.
The Regular Grand Lodge of England