Congratulations on putting your toe on the ladder of Masonry - You are at the start of a wonderful journey
The exact origins of Masonry are unknown but are certainly based on the early operative masons who built the grand cathedrals, abbeys and castles long before the first Grand Lodge was inaugurated some three hundred years ago.
The Masonic body grew in numbers over the years. For instance, War bound men together and from this many strong Masonic Lodges were formed. Nowadays we are no longer practising “operative Masons” but non-practising or “speculative Masons”. Over the last three hundred years we have become a didactic body teaching good men to be better through the moral instruction contained in the ceremonies. This is not to say that Masonry should not be enjoyable as the teamwork generated can result in a good spirit and new and lasting friendships. There is also a strong Charitable background and the Masonic body is second only to the National Lottery in the amount of money we donate.
However, despite all our strong attributes, we have been losing Members at a faster rate than we have been gaining them. For this reason United Grand Lodge and the Provinces have introduced a strong mentoring programme. In Bristol most Lodges and some Chapters have Mentors who in turn control a small team of Personal Mentors. Our Provincial Grand Master Rt.W.Br. Alan Vaughan is strongly supportive of this initiative as is our Deputy Provincial Grand Master V.W.Br. Christopher Williams, who personally makes contact with Masons who are considering or have recently resigned.
This section of the Provincial Website gives much information on the three Craft Degrees as well as many other aspects including etiquette, dress code, charities, officers, the Masonic structure and history amongst many other aspects.
In order to open up information on each Degree you will require the password given to you at each of those ceremonies. This Website can never provide an exhaustive list and the questionnaire at the end of this letter invites you to make constructive comments on any worthwhile additions or alterations that you may feel relevant.
Apart from the information on this Website, there are also copies of the excellent information prepared by my predecessor, W.Br. Tony Baker P.A.G.D.C. You will probably have been given these in booklet form at the end of each Degree Ceremony. These precis much of the information contained in the main part of the Mentoring Website. You will also find information on Royal Arch Masonry which forms the completion of your Third Degree. Consideration should be given to taking this step as soon after you have gone through your Third Degree as you find reasonably practicable. Your Lodge will have a Royal Arch representative who will be in touch with you after that Degree Ceremony.
Finally, please feel free to telephone me directly if you need any further information or help.
However, I am sure that your Lodge Mentor or Personal Mentor will be keen to provide you with all the information you need.
Enjoy your Masonry.
Yours sincerely and fraternally
Provincial Grand Mentor