To express an interest in joining Wessex Lodge, please contact our lodge Secretary. His role includes having responsibility for providing information to you as a prospective member of the lodge as well as guiding you through the joining process, which typically consists of the following stages:
- Your initial enquiry via this website
- Informal chat by telephone, email or in person to establish personal contact. This is an ideal time to ask questions about both Freemasonry and Wessex Lodge in particular. Should you then wish to proceed with your application for membership of Wessex Lodge, this part of the process is a great opportunity to identify a Proposer and Seconder in support of your petition.
- A short meeting with the lodge Committee
- The Committee meeting having been a success, during a Lodge meeting your Proposer and Seconder formally announce your wish to join Wessex Lodge
- A minimum of one calendar month having elapsed since you were Proposed and Seconded for membership, a ballot is held among the members of Wessex Lodge
- The ballot being successful, you attend your first meeting as a candidate for Initiation into Wessex Lodge. You are a Freemason!
If you would like a good insight into one man’s experience of the process, below appears his account of researching Freemasonry in general, before approaching Wessex Lodge for further information, and ultimately deciding to join our Lodge.
To be, or not to be? ….
I had thought about getting into Freemasonry for many years before I actually went ahead and did something about it. In fact, I am only sorry that I didn’t do something about it sooner as it was something that I really wanted to do, yet for some strange reason, was wary of taking the initial step of contact with this ‘strange’ fraternity of people. I’m not really sure why I was worried; I think it may have been the possibility of failing in my attempt to become involved in something I was really interested in. I am sure that what made it worse was the fact that I didn’t know any Freemasons in my town and had only ever met one person in my life who admitted to being a Freemason. As they lived in a completely different County to myself, I didn’t really see them often and there was no real opportunity to get together with him to discuss how to go about joining this ancient and honourable institution.
So, how did I get involved?
After checking many websites and finding just as many bad and contradictory sites of information as useful ones, I decided to do a search for Freemasonry in my hometown. Not expecting to find anything of use, I was surprised to find a website dedicated to Freemasonry in my hometown of Basingstoke, written by Freemasons, with information for those interested in it and those already part of it. I spent a great deal of time searching all parts of the site, reading all the information on the different pages about the history of Freemasonry in general or this the Wessex Lodge No. 50734 in particular. I was able to look at when and how often they had their meetings and was even able to look into the social side of Basingstoke Freemasonry through the various Masonic and Social meetings they have throughout the year. I was also able, through the site, to access the ‘head office’ website of the United Grand Lodge of England in the famous Great Queen Street, London (used as the façade for the supposed MI5 building in the BBC series Spooks).
After deciding that I definitely needed to make further progress, I used the link on the site to send an email asking for more information. It was strange, as I had previously been worried about making contact, but through the impersonal medium of the Internet, and the great deal of useful information contained on the site, I had absolutely no qualms about asking for information on how to join.
The first step….
I received a sincere, warm reply to my email, offering advice and giving me the chance to attend the Lodge to meet ‘out of hours’ with the Secretary. Obviously, I thought of this initial meeting as a chance for him to also see if I was of a character befitting someone who was the right sort of person to become involved in Freemasonry. So, although I was told it was an informal chat, to me it was a kind of interview. In the mean time, the secretary had posted to me; some information about Basingstoke Freemasonry as well as material produced by UGLE the United Grand Lodge of England, which contained several booklets with historical information as well as question and answer sections about the truths and fallacies surrounding Freemasonry.
I went along to the meeting with the Secretary and was met by a very genuine, warm and friendly stranger, who I can honestly say made me feel totally at ease. By the end of our chat, he had given me a sense of relief that the initial contact had been made, a sense of almost impatient anticipation in looking forward to the next step in my journey and that after having talked to him, a feeling that I had known him longer than just our initial meeting that day. His demeanour of true warmth, friendship and his obvious passion for Freemasonry really gave me an insight into the type of people who are Freemasons and the enjoyment they get out of being part of it. I was then also invited to some of the social events where my Fiancée and I met with other Freemasons who shared the same warm, friendly outlook. Not long after, I was in the position of having gained both the friendship and trust of both a proposer and seconder for my application to join.
The second step…..
After my application form was duly processed I had an interview with the committee at the Lodge, which they tried to make as informal as possible in order to remain approachable. I remember feeling really nervous, as it’s not like a job interview where you know what the job is about and can prepare for job related questions before turning up, there was a chance that everything I had heard about or researched in Freemasonry, was wrong. I decided that, after everything I had read about the moralistic outlook of Freemasonry and my experience of meeting Masons socially, that I would relax and just be myself. I thought that I was right for Freemasonry and that if, after being true to myself and answering questions truthfully that they didn’t want me, then maybe it wasn’t right for me anyway.
I passed the interview and was told that I would be contacted with a view to setting up my time to come in for my First Degree ceremony of entrance into Freemasonry.
The third step….
The night of my First Degree came and I was really nervous. I had, by this time become quite close friends with my proposer who I trusted totally, and so trusted him when he said that I would not come to harm during the ceremony, that I would enjoy it and that everyone who was a Freemason has gone through exactly the same ceremony as I was about to. In fact, it has remained largely unchanged for over 300 years! Every ceremony in Freemasonry has been thought about and designed to operate on many different levels. It would not be remiss of me to say that those that formulated the ceremonies, fully understood the need for improving and coordinating Mind, Body & Spirit, but as with Martial Arts, it is a personal journey with different aspects picked up at different times by different people and too much information too soon would ruin the experience and what you learn from it.
I have now completed my three degrees and am also starting to look into and join other ‘side orders’ to widen my experience within and deepen my understanding of Freemasonry. I would say that if you are interested in finding out more about Freemasonry, even if you are not sure you want to join, then please do contact the secretary who will give you all the necessary information and guide you through the whole process. It has so far been an excellent new chapter in my life and I would not change it for anything, in fact my life is truly richer for having taken this path.
Like to know more? If you are interested in becoming a Freemason, please contact our Secretary – [email protected]