What Is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is the oldest and largest world-wide fraternity dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under a Supreme Being. Although of a religious nature, Freemasonry is not a religion. It urges its members to be faithful and devoted to their own religious beliefs.
How does one become a Mason?
One of freemasonry’s customs is not to solicit for members. Anyone should feel free to approach any Mason to seek further information about the fraternity. Membership is for men (21) years of age or older who are of good moral character, and who believe in the existence of Supreme Being.
If you meet the age and moral requirements, you need only ask a mason and submit an application signed by two members of the lodge as sponsors. If you do not know a mason, you can contact the secretary of the lodge of interest. Use the Contact Us page for our lodge. The London Masonic Association has a referral page for other lodges in the London area.
Is Freemasonry a Secret Society?
No. We are more than happy to share what we know. A good library or internet search will bring a copious amount of information regarding Masonry. Our buildings are all clearly marked and a good number of our members identify themselves by wearing Masonic jewelry.
Freemasonry has secrets, but those secrets are almost exclusively related to ritual and modes of recognition. These permit strangers who share membership in the fraternity to sit together in a lodge anywhere in the world and enjoy each other’s fellowship.
Where Did Freemasonry Get its Start?
Our traditions can be traced directly to the associations of operative masons. They were men of outstanding character and high ideals who built the cathedrals and buildings of the Middle Ages.
With the decline of cathedral building in the 17th Century many guilds of craftsman, called “Operative Masons,” started to accept men who were not working members of the Mason’s craft. It was in these groups called lodges comprised mainly of “Accepted” or “Speculative” masons that Freemasonry as we know it today had its beginning.
In Seventeen hundred and Seventeen 1717 four such lodges in London England united to form the “First Grand Lodge of England” under the direction of a “Grand Master”.
How is Masonry Organized?
The governing body in Ontario is called the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and accepted Masons of Canada in the Province of Ontario. Kilwinning Lodge No. 64 belongs to the London East District, which consists of several lodges that meet in Lodge buildings or Masonic Halls in and around London.
Our Grand Lodge recognizes approximately 140 other Grand Lodges throughout the World. Each of these Grand Lodges is presided over by a Grand Master, assisted by a Deputy Grand Master and a Board of General Purposes. These jurisdictions are usually subdivided into Districts under the custody of a District Deputy Grand Master. Each district consists of a number of individual lodges with each lodge being ruled by a Worshipful Master.
Masonic Grand Lodges also recognize numerous appendant bodies of Masonic origin including Royal Arch Masons, the Scottish Rite, and the Shriners. These bodies
are continuances of Craft Masonry and their members must be Master Masons in order to join.
Is Freemasonry a charity?
No. Charity is a basic tenet of Masonry and a Lodge or a member may practice charity in their community, but lodges are not registered charitable organizations. However, the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario sponsors a number of formal charitable foundations.
Freemasonry supports many charitable institutions such as, the Hearing Health Foundation (formerly The Ontario Deafness Research Foundation), Autistic Homes of Ontario, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The Masonic Foundation of Ontario has a bursary program for university and college students and an awareness program to educate youth on the hazards of drugs and alcohol.
We offer the following resources for Masonic information: