Questions on Freemasonry

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is the world’s largest secular, fraternal and charitable organisation. It teaches moral lessons and self-knowledge through participation in a progression of allegorical two-part plays.

How did Freemasonry start?

See the page about the Origins of Freemasonry in the About Freemasonry section.

How many degrees are there in Freemasonry ?

Basic Freemasonry consists of the three ‘Craft’ degrees (Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason) which are completed by the Mark Master Mason’s degree (“the Mark”) and by the Supreme Degree of the Holy Royal Arch of Jerusalem (“the Chapter”).

There are many other Masonic degrees and Orders which are called ‘additional’ because they add to the basis of the Craft, Mark and Royal Arch. They are not basic to Freemasonry but add to it by further expounding and illustrating the principles stated in the Craft, Mark and Royal Arch.

Some of these additional degrees are numerically superior to the third degree, so you hear terms like “32nd degree”. However, this does not change the fact that they are additional to and not in anyway superior to or higher than the Craft. The ranks that these additional degrees carry have no standing with the Craft, Mark or Royal Arch.