In the eyes of many, freemasonry is a closed and secretive organisation with little relevance to modern life and society. On the contrary, it is by taking a step back from the outside world that freemasons meet, discuss and reflect on human values in modern society, sheltered from profit- and power-driven influences, the better to live in the real world. This process favours personal growth through the better understanding of oneself, others and human society.
Although all freemasons in the world share a philanthropic outlook, in reality there are different forms of freemasonry, some of which, mainly outside the UK, are proactively committed to the improvement of society along humanist and secular principles. The term “secular” does not imply a rejection of religious beliefs, which remain a matter of personal freedom; instead, it merely affirms that these personal freedoms are best protected by keeping the public space clear of influence from any specific worldview, religious or otherwise. From this perspective, the aim of freemasonry is to help individuals become more enlightened citizens of society and of humanity, and to achieve a freer, fairer and more human society that promotes the dignity and fulfilment of all men and women.
Lodge Freedom of Conscience, based in London, embodies this tradition, welcoming all free men and women, regardless of philosophical or political background, religious, agnostic or atheist.
In keeping with masonic tradition, Lodge Freedom of Conscience meets in private to cultivate the bonds of brotherhood, but central to the fraternity is the study and discussion of human issues in modern society.