The Principles of Freemasonry can be discussed quite freely and openly – there is no secret about them. The so–called Masonic secrets relate only to the means of recognition between Freemasons. Freemasonry amplifies the duty owed to God, to a neighbour and to the member himself. It requires the practice in every-day life of every virtue, it neither competes with nor is a substitute for religion. Freemasonry has no part whatsoever in politics – indeed topics of political or religious discussion are specifically forbidden at meetings of Freemasons!
Complete loyalty is required of a Freemason to his country of birth and/or adoption. A Freemason is required to submit willingly to all lawfully constituted authority. Freemasonry forbids and discountenances disloyalty. Freemasonry requires that every candidate for admission shall come of his own free will, prompted by a desire to be numbered amongst the members of an institution whose principles he is willing to embrace. He must profess a belief in a Supreme Being and there is no compromise to this. Great Importance is attached to personal and social contacts in Freemasonry not only in the Lodge itself but also at the banquet and on those special occasions when our Ladies can join us. Great benefit and satisfaction is derived from the association of men impelled by common ideals and goals. It not only enriches our lives as individuals but also makes our Institution a beneficial element of the community to which we belong.
There are bodies styling themselves Freemasons which are quasi-Masonic or imitative of Freemasonry and to visit or be associated with any such body is a serious Masonic offence. When travelling abroad if invited to visit a Lodge you should first make sure that the Lodge is one working under the jurisdiction of, or recognised by the Grand Lodge of England. This should be done by communication with Grand Secretary or District Grand Secretary for guidance. Grand Lodges of other Constitutions in amity with the Grand Lodge of England are listed in the Masonic Year Book. Members of the English Constitution should bear in mind that some of these Grand Lodges may recognise other Grand Lodges not in amity with the United Grand Lodge of England. When visiting a Lodge under another constitution it is possible that there could be present, quite legitimately, so far as it is concerned, members of a Constitution not recognised by the English Constitution. Such a situation calls for tact and diplomacy in withdrawing without giving offence, bearing in mind that it is part of the duty of members of the English Constitution not to associate Masonically with members of un-recognised Constitutions and that this duty transcends the more apparent calls of courtesy and politeness.
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