Freemasons - St Bees Lodge
St. Bega Lodge was formed in November of 1977 and has recently celebrated 25 Years of Freemasonry. Although it was originally formed as a village Lodge it now has Members from in and around St. Bees, Egremont and Whitehaven.
The Members meet in the Lodge Room at the St Bees Village Hall every second Wednesday of each month at 7:00pm excluding July and August (every body needs a holiday – even Masons!). We usually have a gathering of thirty to forty fellow Masons at each Meeting with quite a few visiting from the surrounding town and village Lodges.
If you want to know more read on.
It is a most happy association of friends which provides interest, a discipline of life, many social activities for men and their families and has a long history of Charitable support for the less fortunate members of our society. All this combined with a fascinating history going back almost three hundred years. To be more specific:
Freemasonry is open to men of good reputation, irrespective of race or creed, provided they believe in the Supreme Being. This belief is an essential qualification for admission and continued membership.
Freemasonry teaches moral lessons and self knowledge through participation in a progression of allegorical two-part plays, which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge.
Freemasonry 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 practises concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.
Freemasonry is not a secret society. Members are perfectly free to acknowledge their membership and will do so in answer to any reasonable enquiry. There is no secret about the aims and principles of the Order.
The Constitutions and rules are freely available. The local Public Library holds many fully descriptive Masonic books, available on enquiry. The internet has hundreds of web pages of information from all over the world.
Lodge meetings, like meetings of many other social and professional associations, are private occasions open only to members. Freemasons are encouraged to speak openly about their membership while remembering that they undertake not to use their membership for their own or anyone else’s advancement.
Freemasonry is emphatically not a religion.
Freemasonry requires a belief in God and its principles are common to many of the world’s great religions. Freemasonry does not try to replace religion or substitute for it. Every candidate is exhorted to practise his religion and to regard its holy book as the unerring standard of truth. Freemasonry does not instruct its members in what their religious beliefs should be, nor does it offer sacraments.
Thus, Freemasonry brings men of different faiths together in a unique way to share a happy and rewarding fellowship with one-another.
On his entry into Freemasonry each candidate states unequivocally that he expects no material gain from his membership. At various stages during the three ceremonies of his admission he is forcefully reminded that attempts to gain preferment or material gain for others or himself is a misuse of membership which will not be tolerated. Abuse of membership can result in penalties varying from temporary suspension to expulsion.
Nor may Freemasonry ever be used to protect a fellow Freemason, or anyone else, who has behaved dishonestly or unlawfully.
Freemasonry is wholly unconcerned with political matters. Discussion of politics or religion is expressly forbidden at lodge meetings. The organising body of Freemasonry refuses to express any opinion, one way or the other, about domestic or foreign State policy.
From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been involved in charitable activities, and since its inception it has provided support for many widows and orphans of Freemasons as well as others within the community.
All monies raised for charity are drawn from amongst Freemasons, their families and friends, while grants and donations are made to Masonic and non-Masonic charities alike.
Over the past five years alone Freemasonry has raised more than £75 million for a wide range of charitable purposes including those involved in medical research, community care, education and work with young people.
Freemasonry is fun as well as having its more serious side. It provides a wonderfully happy social life for its members and their families with a wide variety of events run by local Lodges as well as larger events bringing many people together. Very many enduring friendships are made.
Thus, being a Freemason, becomes a very comfortable, happy and satisfying experience with great opportunities to become involved, while catering for a wide variety of talents and interests.
Lodges meet monthly, usually for eight or nine months of the year; Meetings are followed by a supper and by a banquet once a year following the annual meeting. Membership allows a Mason to visit Lodges in all parts of the country and abroad, provided the Lodge is recognised by our own Grand Lodge, thus providing great opportunities for social contact.
STILL WANT TO KNOW MORE?
If you have a friend who is a Freemason, get him to tell you more about it. Alternatively, you can obtain more information from the Masonic Cumberland and Westmorland Provincial Web Site by clicking Cumberland and Westmorland Masonic Halls or email the St. Bega Lodge Secretary with your enquiry.
(Text provided by Cumberland and Westmorland Masonic Halls).