What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. Its roots lie in the traditions and ceremonies of the medieval stonemasons who built our cathedrals and castles. Some rituals are still celebrated today.


Freemasonry has always been about making good men better. Individuals aim to shape their lives round five core principles:

Is Freemasonry for Me?

Freemasonry means different things to each individual – making new friends, contributing to society, celebrating a long tradition, experiencing personal growth, taking up a hobby, having fun. Watch the Grand Lodge video

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Freemasonry in East Grinstead

Hinge of Friendship #8708 was consecrated on 22nd May 1976, in the Masonic Province of Sussex.

We are one of four lodges in East Grinstead, which meet at the Masonic Centre in St. James' Road.

The Centre was opened on 6th September 1898, when the Sackville Lodge 1619 held their first meeting in this Temple. It was the start of Freemasonry in East Grinstead having a home of its own. It was only the second such building in the Province of Sussex to be dedicated to Freemasonry, South Saxon in Lewes being the only other. This Building was paid for and the land donated by one of their Provincial Officers, Worshipful Brother F. J. Budd-Budd.

An adjoining building, now called The Centenary Building, was aquirered. This has now been connected to the existing Temple and conversion work carried out to provide new toilets, robing room and bar facilities, together with ample dining facilities upstairs, which makes the Centre self-contained.

The new Centenary Building was officially opened by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master for Sussex, Right Worshipful Brother Ian Homan Lay and Mrs Jill Lay on Saturday 16th October 1999, at a Ladies' Harvest Supper in the new dining room.


The Ashlar Club

The Ashlar Club has been founded to give Freemasons and their friends and families in North Sussex a means to meet and socialise, with like-minded people within Freemasonry.

Primarily the Club’s role is to provide events and other occasions, of either a social or (Masonically) educational nature, for newer Freemasons to meet each other and encourage their involvement within the fraternity.

They endeavour to encourage and support participation in their Lodges and in Freemasonry. We promote openness and pride in our membership of the Craft and stress the contemporary role Freemasonry plays in modern society, with particular emphasis placed on its relation with newer members. The Ashlar Club will actively encourage the union of Freemasons outside the Lodge room, and hopes to attract their friends into becoming a part of the fraternity. The ‘younger’ brothers are our ‘future’ brothers and they have some very encouraging ideas for how to congregate socially and we strongly feel we must support these ideas to move forwards in the brotherhood.


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