What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest secular fraternal societies. Below we explain Freemasonry as it exists under the Grand Lodge of Scotland which is the corporate body governing Freemasonry in Scotland and Scottish Masonic Lodges in many other parts of the world.

The explanation may correct some misconceptions.

Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its precepts by a series of ritual dramas, which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.

The Essential Qualification for membership

The essential qualification for admissioninto 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 who are of good repute.

Freemasonry and Religion

Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. The one essential qualification means that Freemasonry is open to men of many religions and it expects and encourages them to continue to follow their own faith. It is not permitted for Freemasons to discuss these subjects at Masonic meetings.

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 practise 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 all walks of life.


From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. Today charitable work has expanded to include the whole community and in addition large sums are given to national and local charities

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 in any way conflict with its members’ duties as citizens, but should strengthen them in fulfilling their public and private responsibilities. The use by a Freemason of his 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 and the teachings of Freemasonry itself.  


The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with its traditional modes of recognition. It is not a secret society, since all members are free to acknowledge their membership and will do so in response to enquiries for respectable reasons. Its constitutions and rules are available to the public. There is no secret about any of its aims and principles. Like many other societies, it regards some of its internal affairs as private matters for its members. 

Freemasonry and Politics

Freemasonry is non-political, and the discussion of politics at Masonic meetings is forbidden.

Other Masonic Bodies

Freemasonry is practised under many other Grand Lodges which set the same standards and promote the same principles as the Grand Lodge of Scotland. However, there are some Grand Lodges and other bodies which claim to be Masonic that do not meet these standards. For example some, do not require a belief in a Supreme Being, others permit their members as such to participate in political matters. For these reasons such bodies cannot be considered to be Masonically  regular and Scottish Freemasons can have no Masonic contact with them.  


A Freemason is encouraged to do his duty first to his God (by whatever name he is known) through his faith and religious practise; 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.

The Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland (founded 1736) is the ‘head office’ for Scottish Lodges in Scotland and overseas.

From time to time the Grand Lodge of Scotland receives enquiries regarding women and Freemasonry and visitors might like to know that there are organisations which admit women – see, for example: The British Federation of the International Order of Co-Freemasonry which has a web site at: www.droit-humain.org/uk  The organisation for women is: the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons and it to has a web site at: www.hfaf.org

What’s On

Regular meetings are 2nd and 4th Thursdays, September to April and the installation is 2nd Friday in December.

Our next meeting on the 11 of January 2018 which will be the presentation of charity cheques

What people are saying about us…

"Wishing the Lodge website every success."
A Chalmers,

Congratulations on an excellent web site, I can only wish for you to go from strength to strength in the future. All the best. Roddy McLean P.M. Thistle 127

From our twitter account. @dunlopcaledonia........

By e-mail...........
Fraternal Greetings from Gord Echlin, IPM, St. John’s 63, GL of Canada in the Province of Ontario, & Z, Maple-Granite 61, Royal Arch Masons

Lodge Dunoon Argyll ‏@DunoonArgyll335

@dunlopcaledonia Fraternal greetings brethren from all Lodge Dunoon Argyll 335. Welcome to Twitter

Lodge Dunoon Argyll ‏@DunoonArgyll335

@dunlopcaledonia Please also say hello to Past Master Bro John Brown who used to be a regular visitor to 335. Tell him Barry Lowe says hello

i am a past master of tappan zee lodge #1125 (no longer in exestance), year of 1969, as you can see by my name i am proud to be a DUNLOP, we visited your city in 1973 while touring britain. i am now 85 years old and have been unable to attend meetings, i believe my father was born in kilmarnock, he was john m dunlop.
i am happy to have this opportunity to write to you
charles dunlop

Howdy, Brethren! You folks really have a lot to be proud of here. This is a wonderful website that is easy to navigate and learn from, Mason or not.
I hope to visit your Lodge sometime in the future.
. Again, really nice sight. In the Brotherhood,
Phil Williams, Pendleton 418

Where to find us
Village Hall 48 Main St Dunlop Dunlop Ayrshire, East Ayrshire KA3 4AN
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