So far, I have found every aspect of Lodge
life interesting. From the nerve-racking
ordeal of having to learn the lines for my
Second Degree, to responding to toasts,
all of which get the blood pumping.
I came into Freemasonry at a rather obtuse
angle – one could say almost by accident.
Being aware of the organisation in the
vaguest of senses, I was invited to attend
an informal interview at a local pub with a
work colleague. A naturally inquisitive sort,
I went along to see what the fuss was about –
and never looked back.
Walking into Cheshire’s Cornerstone
Lodge No. 6630 for the first time, with so
many older unfamiliar faces, was a daunting
event. Never have I been made to feel so
welcome, by so many people who were
strangers to me at the time.
Looking back, the encouraging greetings
by one and all, was very important to me.
Now, when new candidates for initiation
arrive, I try my best to make them feel
welcome, knowing that not so long ago
it was I who was looking at the sea of dark
suits and unfamiliar faces.
I am, however, never worried about
making a mistake. Almost every one of
my Brethren has been in a similar position
and offer support and encouragement,
rather than ridicule and scorn. If only the
other aspects of one’s life could maintain
Cornerstone Lodge has been described as
“progressive” by many of my peers and this
is the only way we can keep Freemasonry
alive. We rely heavily on teamwork and the
involvement of all our members, be they
newly initiated or experienced Past Masters.
The work is shared, and everybody is
encouraged to take an active part in the
ceremonies from the moment they join.
Although I have little experience of
other Lodges, our Lodge is growing
organically, having attracted a number
of younger members this year. I have not
as yet proposed anyone for initiation, but
I am in no rush to get names on forms.
My “non-Masonic” friends have
expressed an interest and I am always as open
and honest about what we do as my sworn
obligations allow. They will become
members of our fraternity when they are
good and ready and I want them to feel
(as I did), no pressure to join.
The social aspect of Freemasonry is a
facet I had failed to consider before joining.
The festive board is something which I look
forward to with great anticipation, the fun
of which I think is enhanced by helping
out as a steward. Not only do I get to meet
members of my own Lodge, I also get the
opportunity to meet visiting brethren.
I would like the general public to have a
greater understanding of what Freemasonry
is about. When people do not understand
something they fear the worst, and more
often than not fill in the gaps themselves.
I see no reason to be specific about our
rituals, but I am proud to be in the Craft,
a body of men who – yes – do have a good
time, but also raise millions of pounds for
As a Freemason, I have met people
who will be friends for life – people who
are honest, true to their word and great
company. The Craft is something I enjoy
and I hope to be able to participate in for
many, many years to come.
Ben Maffin is a 29-year-old company
director from Merseyside, and was initiated
in November 2005.
The author with four Entered Apprentices
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