Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal, and charitable organization. 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. The following information is intended to explain Freemasonry as it is practiced under the United Grand Lodge of England, which administers Lodges of Freemasons in England and Wales and in many places overseas.
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.
Membership is open to men of all faiths who are law-abiding, of good character, and who acknowledge a belief in a God or Supreme Being. Freemasonry is a multi-racial and multi-cultural organization. It has attracted men of goodwill from all sectors of the community into membership. There are similar Masonic organisations for women.
If you are thinking of joining English Freemasonry in Brazil and are wondering how to be part of a unique worldwide charitable organization. Just click the button below to find out.
Freemasons are focused on building themselves as people of integrity, and membership provides the structure to help achieve that goal. Being a Freemason gives members a sense of purpose, supporting and guiding them on their journey through life. Collectively, members are bonded through an understanding of unity and equitability – principles fundamental to Freemasonry.
Freemasonry provides the common foundation for friendships between members, many of which will last for life. Being a Freemason means something different to each person who joins, but whether looking to make acquaintances or develop their own potential, all members share a sense of togetherness that strengthens their ability to succeed and grow.
Freemasonry brings people together irrespective of their race, religion, or other perceived differences that can divide us as a society. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to talk openly about what the organisation does and what it means to be part of it.
Kindness and charitable giving are deeply ingrained within the principles of Freemasonry and the organisation provides the structure for members to make positive contributions to their communities and various causes through fundraising events or volunteer work. Individuals can make an important contribution at local, national and global level by giving both their time and money.
On St John's Day, 24 June 1717 four London Lodges, which had existed for some time, came together at the Goose and Gridiron Tavern in St Paul’s Churchyard, declared themselves a Grand Lodge and elected Anthony Sayer as their Grand Master. This was the first Grand Lodge in the world. In 1751, A rival Grand Lodge appeared in London. Its original members were Irish Masons who claimed that the original Grand Lodge had made innovations. They dubbed the first Grand Lodge the Moderns and called themselves the Antients. The two existed side by side - both at home and abroad - for nearly 63 years, neither recognizing each other as regular.
After four years of negotiation, the two Grand Lodges in England, the Moderns and the Antients, united on 27 December 1813 to form the United Grand Lodge of England. This union led to a great deal of standardization of ritual, procedures, and regalia.
The tercentenary of Grand Lodge in June 2017 was celebrated in style throughout the year, culminating with an Especial Meeting of Grand Lodge in the Royal Albert Hall, which was presided over by the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent KG, and attended by representatives of 136 sovereign Grand Lodges from around the world.
After the arrival of the Portuguese Royal Family in Brazil, in 1808, and the opening of the ports by HRH Dom João VI, there was a large influx of English citizens to Brazil, forming a large community, initially in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and later in other cities. They operated mainly in shipping companies, electricity, gas, telephony, trams, railways, telegraph, banks, insurance, weaving etc. Among them were many Freemasons, who initially participated in Lodges of the Grand Orient of Brazil and then formed their own Lodges in Brazilian territory.
These English Lodges, working in the English language, were being named and numbered as Lodges of the Rite of York, in virtue of other Lodges that had been founded at the time of the Grand Orient of the Benedictines, another Brazilian national constitution. In 1912, by means of a treaty between the Grand Orient of Brazil and the United Grand Lodge of England, they were grouped under a Grand Secretary of Rite called the “Grand Chapter of the Craft Masonry”, a situation that lasted until 1935, when the Grand Orient of Brazil authorized the formation in Brazil of a District Grand Lodge under the United Grand Lodge of England.
Under the Grand Orient of Brazil
1915 - H.L. Wheatly
1916 - A.L. dos Santos
1921 - H.A. Livings
1924 - V.N. Tatam
1927 - H.J. Hands
1933 - P. Swanson
As District Grand Lodge of South America Northern Division
1935 - P. Swanson
1953 - E. Cunningham, CBE
1966 - A. Paris
1974 - K.L. Rowland
1989 - M.W. Wiborg
1996 - P. Bodman-Morris
2006 - C.V. Foster
2016 - J.C. Woodrow