Freemasonry: The Naked Truth

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Freemasonry in Lancaster

Becoming a Freemason in Lancaster

Becoming a Freemason

There are now three strands of Freemasonry in France, which extend into the rest of Continental Europe:-

Liberal, also called adogmatic or progressive – Principles of liberty of conscience, and laicity, particularly the separation of the Church and State.

Traditional – Old French ritual with a requirement for a belief in a Supreme Being. (This strand is typified by the Grande Loge de France).

Regular – Standard Anglo-American ritual, mandatory belief in Supreme Being.

The term Continental Freemasonry was used in Mackey's 1873 Encyclopedia of Freemasonry to "designate the Lodges on the Continent of Europe which retain many usages which have either been abandoned by, or never were observed in, the Lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland, as well as the United States of America". Today, it is frequently used to refer to only the Liberal jurisdictions typified by the Grand Orient de France.

The majority of Freemasonry considers the Liberal (Continental) strand to be Irregular, and thus withhold recognition. The Continental lodges, however, did not want to sever masonic ties. In 1961, an umbrella organisation, Centre de Liaison et d'Information des Puissances maçonniques Signataires de l'Appel de Strasbourg (CLIPSAS) was set up, which today provides a forum for most of these Grand Lodges and Grand Orients worldwide. Included in the list of over 70 Grand Lodges and Grand Orients are representatives of all three of the above categories, including mixed and women's organisations. The United Grand Lodge of England does not communicate with any of these jurisdictions, and expects its allies to follow suit. This creates the distinction between Anglo-American and Continental Freemasonry.

In the early 20th century Freemasonry was an influential semi-secret force in Italian politics with a strong presence among professionals and the middle class across Italy, as well as among the leadership of the parliament, public administration, and the army. The two main organisations were the Grand Orient and the Grand Lodge of Italy. They had 25,000 members in 500 or more lodges. Freemasons took on the challenge of mobilizing the press, public opinion and the leading political parties in support of Italy's joining the Allies of the First World War in 1914–1915. Traditionally, they promoted Italian nationalism focused on unification, and undermining the power of the Catholic Church. In 1914-15 they dropped the traditional pacifistic rhetoric and used instead the powerful language of Italian nationalism. Freemasonry had always promoted cosmopolitan universal values, and by 1917 onwards they demanded a League of Nations to promote a new post-war universal order based upon the peaceful coexistence of independent and democratic nations.

Freemasonry and women

Main articles: Freemasonry and women and Co-Freemasonry

The status of women in the old guilds and corporations of medieval masons remains uncertain. The principle of "femme sole" allowed a widow to continue the trade of her husband, but its application had wide local variations, such as full membership of a trade body or limited trade by deputation or approved members of that body. In Masonry, the small available evidence points to the less empowered end of the scale.

These considerations cause many masonic historians to see him as the guiding intelligence as the new Grand Lodge embarked on an era of self-publicity, which saw the sudden expansion of speculative Masonry, with a corresponding rise in anti-masonic groups and publications. Initiations began to be reported in newspapers. The noble grand masters were often fellows of the Royal Society, but the Duke of Wharton (1722–23) had just had his Hell-fire club shut down by the government, and joined, or possibly formed, an anti-masonic group called the Gormagons almost as soon as he left office. From 1721 the installation of the new Grand Master was the occasion for a parade, originally on foot, later in carriages. This became the subject of some ridicule, until starting in 1740 there were also mock processions by anti-masonic groups, leading to the discontinuation of the practice in 1747. The rapid expansion of Freemasonry also led to many new lodges failing after only a year or two. In addition to attacks from outside the craft, there were now disillusioned ex-masons willing to make money out of "exposures" of Freemasonry.

The City of Lancaster is a local government district of Lancashire, England, with the status of a city and non-metropolitan district. It is named after its largest settlement, Lancaster, but covers a far larger area, which includes the towns of Morecambe, Heysham, and Carnforth, as well as outlying villages, farms, rural hinterland and (since 1 August 2016) a section of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The district has a population of 146,038 (mid-2019 est.), and an area of 222.5 square miles (576.2 km2). The current city boundaries were set as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, and cover an amalgamation of five former local government districts—the municipal boroughs of Lancaster and Morecambe and Heysham, together with the Carnforth Urban District and rural districts of Lancaster and Lunesdale, all from the administrative county of Lancashire. At the 2011 UK census, the City of Lancaster had a total population of 138,375. Of the 57,822 households in the city, 33.5% were married couples living together, 31.9% were one-person households, 7.8% were co-habiting couples and 10.0% were lone parents. These figures were similar to the national averages.

The population density was 233/km2 (600/sq mi) and for every 100 females, there were 91.8 males. Of those aged 16–74 in Lancaster, 26.7% had no academic qualifications, lower than 28.9% in all of England. The city of Lancaster had a higher proportion of white people than Lancashire and England. The table below details the population change since 1801, including the percentage change since the last available census data. Although the City of Lancaster has existed as a district since 1974, figures have been generated by combining data from the towns, villages, and civil parishes that would later be constituent parts of the city. The higher tier of local government is Lancashire County Council. At a lower level, there are many parish councils: See this list of civil parishes in the district. The district comprises two parliamentary constituencies: Lancaster and Fleetwood, and Morecambe and Lunesdale. In the 2010 general election both seats were won by the Conservatives. In 2015, Lancaster and Fleetwood was gained by Labour, whilst Morecambe and Lunesdale was retained by the Conservatives.

Becoming a Freemason in         United Kingdom

Becoming a Freemason in  England

Region          North West England

Ceremonial county Lancashire

City status     14 May 1937

Administrative HQ   Lancaster (Town Hall)

Morecambe (Town Hall)


 • Type           Non-metropolitan district

 • Body           Lancaster City Council

 • Leadership            Leader and cabinet

 • Executive  Labour (council NOC)

 • Leader        Erica Lewis (Labour)

 • Mayor         Malcolm Thomas

 • Chief Executive   Kieran Keane


 • Total           222.5 sq mi (576.2 km2)

Area rank      78th

Population (mid-2019 est.)

 • Total           146,038

 • Rank          146th

 • Density      600/sq mi (250/km2)

 • Ethnicity    97.8% white

Time zone     UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)

 • Summer (DST)     UTC+1 (British Summer Time)

Postcode areas       


Dialling codes          01524 (Lancaster)

015242 (Hornby-with-Farleton)

Vehicle registration prefix P

GSS code     E07000121

NUTS 3 code           UKD44

ONS code     30UH

OS grid reference    SD475615

Motorways    M6


Major railway stations         Lancaster (B)

Councillors   60

MPs    Cat Smith (L)

David Morris (C)

Police area   Lancashire

Fire service   Lancashire

Ambulance service North West