are listed below and we hope that they will help to provide the answers to your questions. However, should you require any further information, or would like to apply to become a Mark Master Mason, please contact the Provincial Grand Secretary or complete the on-line form.
Membership of a Mark Lodge in Bedfordshire is typically around £45-75 per annum plus an advancement fee of £28.50 for registration at Grand Lodge. In addition you have the option to attend the festive board, which is typically around £17 per meeting of which there are normally three each year.
The costs for membership of a Mark Lodge are in addition to a current membership of a Craft Masonic Lodge, information on Bedfordshire Craft Lodges can be found here.
There are also charitable donations in addition to membership costs but these are voluntary and private. You will also need to purchase some Masonic regalia for both Craft and Mark Lodges and any other order that you may wish to pursue.
That is a question to which there are many answers. In terms of Freemasonry and the relation to Craft Masonry, the Mark is the fulfilment of the Fellow Craft degree, the second stage in Craft Masonry. It provides many of the answers to those questions posed to a member as he journeys through the various stages of becoming a Freemason.
Mark Masonry as a whole means different things to each of those 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 society, making his Mark so to speak, while having fun; but for all, Mark Masonry is a means to further improve oneself, intellectually, morally, spiritually and socially.
A Lodge meeting, like those of other groups and organisations, is normally in two parts and is only open to members.
First, there are the normal administrative procedures of any organisation such as:
- Minutes of the previous meeting
- Proposing and balloting for new members
- Discussing and voting on the annual accounts
- Masonic news and correspondence
- News about charitable work
and secondly, we have the ceremonies for:
- Admitting new members
- Progressing members within the organisation
- The annual installation of the Master of the Lodge and his officers
After the lodge meeting we have the festive board, which is an evening meal, where our members and any visiting Mark Masons share wine and good conversation over a meal.
New members make solemn promises concerning their good behaviour, both specifically in a Mark Lodge and in society in general. Members also promise to keep secret our mode of recognition based upon the Ancient Guilds.
Certainly not; this would be unacceptable and may lead to action being taken against those involved. On joining, each new member states that he expects no material gain from membership.
Freemasonry is not a substitute for religion nor does it seek to replace or supplant membership of any particular religious organisation. Craft Freemasonry is open to men of all faiths and beliefs.
However, if you want to become a Freemason and join us you must have a belief in a “Supreme Being”. This belief, although necessary to membership, is entirely the affair of each individual. Once you have become a Freemason, you are eligible to be Advanced as a Mark Master Mason.
With Mark as with the Craft each individual member’s belief system continues to remain entirely his own affair.
Mark Masonry as with Craft Masonry, as an organisation, will never express a view on politics or state policy. The discussion of politics, as with religion, has always been prohibited at Masonic meetings. Your religious beliefs and political opinions are your own affair, providing such are not contrary to the law, and are not for discussion with other members during a meeting.
Freemasonry exists throughout the world. However, each Grand Lodge is sovereign and independent. There is no international governing body for Freemasonry. The United Grand Lodge of England, which is the body which governs Craft Freemasonry within England and several territories abroad currently has over 250,000 members meeting in over 8,000 Lodges in many different countries. The other home nation’s Grand Lodges, in Ireland, which covers both Northern Ireland and Eire, and Scotland have a combined total of approximately 150,000 members.
Mark Masonry is one of the largest Masonic Organisations after Craft Masonry with around 1,500 Mark Lodges being under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons which is the body which governs Mark Masonry within England & Wales and its Districts Overseas.
Worldwide, there are approximately six million Freemasons.
Like most organisations there are specific items which are required, for example golf shoes for golfing, track suit for jogging, wet suit for diving. Within Mark as with all orders of Freemasonry the wearing of ‘regalia’ is historic and symbolic and, like a uniform, indicates the rank of the wearer in the organisation.
Under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons the Order has one Degree comprising two stages namely;
- Mark Man
- Mark Master Mason
To become a Mark Master Mason you must first be a ‘full member’ of Craft Masonry. In England, under the Constitution of the United Grand Lodge of England, ‘Craft Freemasonry’ consists of three stages or degrees:
- Entered Apprentice
- Fellow Craft
- Master Mason
After you have become a full member of the Craft you are eligible to join other Masonic Orders such as Mark Master Masons, known as the Mark and similarly once you have become a Mark Master Mason you are eligible to join further Masonic Orders such as the Royal Ark Mariners.
Membership of other Masonic Orders is entirely optional and for the individual member to consider.