First, you need to decide whether you want to be a Mason. People come to Freemasonry from all walks of life and for many different reasons. By all means do your own research, talk to Masons (our Secretary’s contact information is below) so you can be clear that you want to proceed from a personal conviction and a clear idea of what you expect from Freemasonry. It’s not our job to persuade you to join Freemasonry but it is our hope that, if you do decide to join, you make Hull Old Grammarians’ your Mother Lodge. There are a number of excellent resources available to start your journey, and we recommend you begin with the official website of the United Grand Lodge of England. Do try to avoid researching too much however; finding out too much of the specifics of our rituals and traditions will spoil the experience for you should you go on to join.
Having decided that you would like to join us, contact the Lodge Secretary and arrange to meet for a chat. This is a very informal meeting with two or three current members of the Lodge and may take place at the Lodge itself or just a local coffee shop. This is an opportunity for the members to find out a little about you, but more importantly you can ask any questions about Freemasonry in general or about our Lodge in particular. At this stage you should establish whom your Proposer and Seconder will be (see below). These may be friends or relatives who are already Masons, but current members would be willing to fulfil these roles if a generally good impression is formed of you – bear in mind that we’re not out to exclude anybody but to welcome them.
Next, if you formed a favourable impression of our Lodge and are certain you wish to proceed (we ask no commitments at this stage) then a more formal short interview will be arranged at the Lodge itself. This again is a chance for you and the members to get to know each other better. Members will be interested to hear about your motivations for joining and what you hope to get out of Freemasonry. We will check that you are clear on your commitments should you join (including such issues as fees and attendance) and also on our expectations of you, such as being an active member and hopefully undertaking some roles and responsibilities within Lodge life. But mainly this interview is about you, ensuring that you’re satisfied with your decision to join.
If the members of the interview panel concur that you would make a worthy addition to the Lodge, you will be scheduled to be Proposed and Seconded at the next convenient Lodge meeting. This is a simply a formal announcement within the open Lodge of your wish to become a member. Rather like the reading of the banns at a church service, this gives any Mason who knows of a reason why you should not become a member the time and opportunity to say so. Providing there are no subsequent objections, a Ballot will be scheduled for the next convenient Lodge meeting during which all members attending will vote whether or not to accept the Proposal of your membership. The results of the Ballot are revealed immediately upon its conclusion.
If the Ballot is successful you will be scheduled for Initiation at the next convenient Lodge meeting. We try our very best to fit you in as soon as possible but this may take anywhere from 1 to around 6 months, or even longer, depending upon the schedule – we meet ten evenings per year, and the ‘slots’ can quickly fill up with other ceremonies. But once you get your date, relax – there’s nothing you need to learn, nothing you can get wrong, everyone’s Initiation into this great fraternal order is an unforgettable night, so just enjoy it.
There are higher degrees in Craft Freemasonry and we will try and help you progress through them whenever you feel ready, the prevailing Lodge schedule notwithstanding. There are also other Orders to join and explore, perhaps the first for most Masons being the Holy Royal Arch, of which Hull Old Grammarians’ has its own Chapter. A word of advice however would be not to rush; it is easy to find your Masonic commitments quickly mounting up and it’s much preferable to take your time and do each Degree of each Order justice – taking on the various offices within the Lodge, attending our Lodges of Instruction and taking on some ritual.