Freemasons' Hall Arthur Square
address pin

19 Arthur Square, Belfast,
BT1 4FF Northern Ireland
+44 (0) 28 9023 4556

txt icon


What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is one of the world's oldest, traditional, fraternal and charitable organisations. Freemasonry is a society concerned with moral and spiritual values, with its main focus being the practice of brotherly love between its members, the promotion of charitable relief to those in need  and the preservation of old customs and traditions.

No one knows with certainty how or when the Masonic Fraternity was formed, Masonic scholars theorise that it evolved in the Middles Ages from stonemasons’ guilds. As centuries passed, many people became members of Masonic Guilds. By the early enlightenment era, Freemasonry had become a social and fraternal institution building upon the traditions and practices of those original guilds.

The degrees of Freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow (now called Fellowcraft), and Master Mason. The candidate of these three degrees is progressively taught the meanings of the symbols of Freemasonry, and entrusted with grips, signs and words to signify to other members that he has been so initiated.

As the name suggests, the Masonic Institution is concerned with building. Freemasonry provides a system of morality this is taught by reference to the stonemasons’ art and by the use of working tools associated with that craft. As speculative Masons, our concern is to build a structure of character to the Glory of God.

Despite opinion, Freemasonry is not a political or religious organisation, in fact, neither of these subjects can be discussed at any Masonic meeting. It enables men from different societal backgrounds to come together and meet as equals, regardless of religion, political views or social standing.

It is often assumed that you must be invited to join the Masonic order, this is not the case. In fact, while members may encourage friends to join, they do not normally recruit or invite individuals to join. Any person interested in joining can simply ask any member.

If you are interested in joining, but you do not know any members, you can email us and we will be happy to deal with your enquiry.