Freemasonry's External Relations
Introduction The following information is intended
to expand a topic mentioned in the link 'What is Freemasonry'. It explains
the United Grand Lodge of England's relations with other Masonic bodies.
Freemasonry is practised under many independent
Grand Lodges with principles or standards similar to those set by the United
Grand Lodge of England throughout its history. Standards To be recognised
as regular by the United Grand Lodge of England, a Grand Lodge must meet the
- It must have been lawfully established by a regular Grand
Lodge or by three or more private Lodges, each warranted by a regular Grand
- It must be truly independent and self-governing, with
undisputed authority over Craft - or basic - Freemasonry (i.e. the symbolic
degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason) within its
jurisdiction and not subject in any other way to or sharing power with any
other Masonic body.
- Freemasons under its jurisdiction must be men, and it
and its Lodges must have no Masonic contact with Lodges which admit women
- Freemasons under its jurisdiction must believe in a Supreme
- All Freemasons under its jurisdiction must take their
Obligations on or in full view of the Volume of the Sacred Law (i.e. the
Bible) or the book held sacred by the man concerned.
- The three 'Great Lights' of Freemasonry, (i.e. the Volume
of the Sacred Law, the square and the Compasses) must be on display when
the Grand Lodge or its subordinate Lodges are open.
- The discussion of religion and politics within its Lodges
must be prohibited.
- It must adhere to the established principles and tenets
(the 'Ancient Landmarks') and customs of the Craft, and insist on their
being observed within its Lodges.
Irregular and Unrecognised Grand Lodges 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. These bodies are recognised by the
Grand Lodge of England as being Masonically irregular, and Masonic contact
with them is forbidden.
This web-site created by W.Bro Dave Hodgson
Based on the template supplied by the Provincial
Grand Lodge of Durham