About Basing Lodge

Basing Lodge No.5500 is a Craft Freemasons Lodge in the Masonic Province of Hampshire & Isle of Wight. We were consecrated and warranted in 1934 under charter from The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE).

Our 55 male members are from all walks of life and ages span from their twenties through to their eighties. During lodge nights, we strive to ensure high standards of Emulation Ritual in our ceremonies conducted in the Lodge room. Our after proceedings, held in the dining room and lounge are relaxing and sociable with good quality food and drink, served from modern, on site kitchen and bar facilities. Hence we receive many visitors to our meetings.

Outside of lodge nights, we hold social events to raise money for local and national charities. These are always well supported with many masonic and non masonic families and friends attending.

Basing Lodge meets every 4th Thursday in January (Installation 16:30), February, March, April, May, October and November, at 18:00 and the 3rd Thursday in December, at 18:00.Lodge Open front door

Our regular meetings are held at:

The Masonic Centre
Victoria Street
Basingstoke
Hampshire 
RG21 3BT    (location map)

 

 What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry means different things to each of those who join. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances. For others it’s about being able to help deserving causes – making a contribution to family and society. But for most, it is an enjoyable hobby.

Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry. 

Our Provincial Grand Lodge of Hampshire and Isle of Wight have produced this short You Tube video which helps to explain what Freemasonry is about. Alternatively, please read on for a more detailed explanation.

Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its principles (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge – which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.

Freemasonry instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: its values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.

The Essential Qualification for Membership

The essential qualification for admission into and continuing membership is a belief in a Supreme Being. Membership is open to men of any race or religion who can fulfil this essential qualification and are of good repute.

The Three Great Principles

For many years Freemasons have followed three great principles:
  • Brotherly Love -- Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and                                    behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.
  • Relief -- Freemasons are taught to practice charity, and to care, not only for their own, but also for the                      community as a whole, both by charitable giving, and by voluntary efforts and works as                                individuals.
  • Truth -- Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their                    own lives.
Freemasons believe that these principles represent a way of achieving higher standards in life.

Charity

From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. This work continues today and additionally large sums of money are given to other national and local charities. A little known fact is that after the National Lottery, Freemasonry is the largest donor to charity in the country. Nationally, the Freemasons Grand Charity is one of the largest donors to the British Red Cross, with over £1.8M donated since 1998. Neighbourcare photo at Open Day

In a local context, Basing Lodge support many charities and contribute to groups in the Basingstoke area via our fundraising activities. Recent examples include Basingstoke Neighbourcare (see image on right), Helping Hands for the Blind and Saxon Wood School

 

 Freemasonry and Society

Freemasonry demands from its members a respect for the law of the country in which a man works and lives. Its principles do not conflict with its members' duties as citizens, but should strengthen them in fulfilling their private and public responsibilities. The use by a Freemason of their membership to promote his own or anyone else's business, professional or personal interests is condemned, and is contrary to the conditions on which he sought admission to Freemasonry. His duty as a citizen must always prevail over any obligation to other Freemasons, and any attempt to shield a Freemason who has acted dishonourably or unlawfully is contrary to this prime duty.

Freemasonry and Politics

Freemasonry is non-political, and the discussion of politics at Masonic meetings is not allowed.

Other Masonic Bodies

Freemasonry is practised under many independent Grand Lodges with standards similar to those set by the United Grand Lodge of England. There are some Grand Lodges and other apparently masonic bodies which 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 in political matters. These Grand Lodges and bodies are not recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England as being masonically regular, and masonic contact with them is forbidden.

What we do

We meet at Basing Lodge 8 times a year, at the Basingstoke Masonic Centre in Victoria Street. During the meetings we, like any other charitable organisation, read the minutes, discuss propositions, discuss charitable and philanthropic matters. We also perform ceremonies as required within the Craft Freemasonry to advance members by merit to the higher degrees. These degrees being the attainable goals with which were are all set. We also try to advance our knowledge of ancient history and the purposes of Freemasonry by listening to lectures.

Outside of ceremonies, a large part of our meetings are based on social activities. These include many fundraising events for charities and other good causes. Events such as golf days, quiz and race nights and an annual Ladies Night are always well supported. Here we meet in an informal setting, have fun and raise money towards good causes.

Roles in a 'lodge'

  • There are various "offices" or "positions" within a lodge and the post is traditionally held for one year. There are a set number of offices, which have to exist but there are also some, which are not required as a normal part of the functioning of the lodge.
  • There are various officers who have very specific tasks, for example the Secretary and Treasurer, whose offices need no further explanation here, there is also the 'chairman', he is called the Worshipful Master. His duty is to preside over the lodge and to conduct all matters arising within the lodge. He is supported by many officers in the lodge but notably during ceremonial work by an Immediate Past Master and a Senior and Junior Warden.
  • There are officers who are responsible for ensuring the management of the lodge itself, these officers are called the Director of Ceremonies and his assistant - the ADC.
  • There are officers who deal with the brethren who take part in our ceremonies, they are called Deacons. There are also the officers who are responsible for the security of the lodge, they are called the Inner Guard and the Outer guard or Tyler.
  • There is also an important set of officers whose responsibility is to welcome and ensure the comfort of our guests and visitors. These men are called Stewards.
  • The offices which not required, but take great place of pride within a lodge, are the Almoner, whose responsibility is to see to the welfare of the members and their families, and the Charity steward, whose responsibility is to encourage the membership to contribute to the various charities which we support.

 Conclusion

 A Freemason is encouraged to do his duty first to 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 is exclusively Masonic, but all should be universally acceptable. Freemasons are expected to follow them.

 
If you are interested in finding out more about Basing Lodge or Freemasonry in general you can either take a look at the "What's it all about" booklet which will provide more information or get in touch with our Basing Lodge secretary directly via the Contact Us section. We will aim to respond within 48 hours.
 

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