Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest secular fraternal societies. Freemasonry under the Constitution of the United Grand Lodge of England, is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its precepts by a series of ritual dramas, which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides. It offers its members an approach to life which seeks to reinforce thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but importantly Freemasonry also teaches and practices concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.
Membership is open to men of any race or religion who can have a belief in a Supreme Being and who are of good repute. Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. Its essential qualification opens it to men of many religions and it expects them to continue to follow their own faith. It does not allow religion to be discussed at its meeting.
Freemasonry is non-political, and the discussion of politics at Masonic meetings is forbidden. A Freemason is encouraged to do his duty first to his God (by whatever name he is known) through his faith and religious practice; and then, without detriment to his family and those dependent on him, to his neighbour through charity and service. None of these ideas are exclusively Masonic, but all should be universally acceptable. Freemasons are expected to follow them.