Freemasonry in the time of pandemic

Things are a’changing…again!

we all need to do everything we can to help stop the spread of coronavirus in our country



‘Note: This article was prepared on 24th September, 2020.

United Grand Lodge of England is encouraging Craft and HRA Chapter meetings to take place under the ‘Rule of 6’.

Grand Lodge of Scotland suspended all Masonic meetings until 1 January 2021.

Grand Lodge of Ireland, unlikely that Lodges will meet (in Ireland) before January 2021.


NHS Track and Trace smartphone app launched through out the United Kingdom with a clear message:

Without a vaccine or treatment, we all need to do everything we can to help stop the spread of coronavirus in our country.

The new app is an important part of the government’s programme.

By downloading and using the app, you’ll be helping to protect those around you – friends, family, colleagues and local communities.

In the past few months it seemed as if things were slowly returning to some semblance of normality.

However, now we have been hit with what appears to be a ‘second wave’ of not only the virus but also new restrictions.

In the main, lodges were cautiously beginning to make plans for socially distanced meetings and had gone to great lengths to become ‘Covid-19 secure’.

But with the new ‘Rule of Six’ within parts of the UK, and indications that there are to be more serious localised or even national lockdowns, members are beginning to consider, and hotly discuss, the future of the Organisation.

A member wrote in to The Square, saying that one lodge he attends had just received a large number of resignations.

Others are concerned by the ‘Rule of Six’ and how that can be applied fairly.

And of course, one of the pressing concerns is the payment of dues. But it’s not just members who are being hard hit.

As with any downturn in ‘business’, those who are connected are also affected – regalia suppliers, Masonic booksellers, and hospitality companies have all been hit.

Then there is the pressing issue of social isolation for those – the elderly, vulnerable or anyone not wishing to travel unnecessarily – who are unable to get to restricted lodge meetings or social gatherings.

Needless to say, on social media there are conflicted feelings, and as to be expected equally conflicting commentary.

So what’s the solution – or solutions?

Freemasonry has survived 300 plus years and it will survive COVID – we just need to learn to adapt.

In many parts of the world, the Fraternity was driven underground by various military dictators – and still is forbidden in some countries.

But these leaders are mortal, and eventually they die, then there is a peoples’ revolution, the country gets back in order, and Freemasonry finds green shoots and regenerates itself.

So, how do we keep Freemasonry alive in the shadow of the virus? Many lodges, appendant Orders and Masonic groups readily embraced technology and thrived during the lockdown, perhaps this will be the new normal for more than discussions but yield further to allow for part-physical, part-digital meetings.

Younger Masons engage almost exclusively online, preferring bite-size information in digital format to essays in print; we need to follow the trends, make learning and socialising accessible to all in ways that will allow us to keep connected and engaged across the world.

A few things to think about and put into practice:


  • What needs to change so that unlimited groups of people can meet and socialise again?
  • Do we, as some have suggested, learn to live with COVID as it will surely be with us for ever and a day? What does learning to live with COVID look like ?
  • Maybe we should consider re-categorising Freemasonry as an educational institution. That would get around the current (September 2020) rules for meeting in unlimited groups. Though that may sound ridiculous, it might just be what Freemasonry becomes. 
  • If you remove socialising from the equation, that also removes a considerable amount of the charity element for Freemasonry. What is left?
  • If we work on the basis that there will be no meaningful lodge meetings until 2023, that is to say there will be no meaningful lodge meetings during 2021 and 2022. We have two options:


1. maintain remote distance contact via internet apps, as we currently are doing.


2. work out how to include some remote lodge ritual that allows Candidates for Initiation, and Lodge Officers to progress.

We welcome your thoughts, ideas and suggestions – tell us what you are doing in your lodges across the world – email us

Please comment below, also follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Recent Articles: membership

Value Proposition of Freemasonry

In addressing declining lodge membership and lack of attendance, we need to assess the value it offers to members. What is value, and what does it mean to you?


Great Architect of the Metaverse

Are you ready to meet in the metaverse ? what can you expect to see and do ?


Millennial Masons - Response

What is a 'Millennial' and what do they want from Freemasonry? You'll be surprised at the answers.


The Digital Order of Knights Quarantine

Called “The Digital Order of Knights Quarantine”, it was advertised as “not-a-degree” because it was not an actual degree.


Rethinking Masonry

Let us help answer a fundamental question, from a confused newly raised brother asking “What does it all mean and where do I go from here?”


The Candidate

Written in 1930, much of the advice is still relevant today - although some may provoke further thought or debate!


Product Life Cycle of Freemasonry

An inconvenient truth about the product life cycle of Freemasonry


Be a Unifier

Freemasonry is local. This is where we need to start. We start with our Facebook friends, our neighbours, our colleagues, our lodges…


Freemasonry in the time of pandemic

The Rule of Six. Localised lockdowns. Second wave? What do we do now?! The answer is simple - engage with members, promote Masonic education and get thinking outside the lodge.


What Future for Freemasonry

The current functioning of the Masonic movement has some positive aspects and others that are blatantly backward and counterproductive.


Millennial Masons

What is a 'Millennial' and what do they want from Freemasonry? You'll be surprised at the answers.


Membership Marketing

How to improve your Lodge Membership Marketing Program.


The Anti-Social Impact of Social Media

The 'dark side' of social media and its negative effect on our mental health


Sunglasses Ritual Amendment

If Freemasonry cannot meet, is this an opportunity to make a change to how we do things?


Unknown Candidate - part 3

Has your lodge accepted an unknown candidate from the internet? Third in a three-part series looking at the process to accepting candidates via the internet


Unknown Candidate - part 2

Outlining the social media marketing process to attract the unknown candidate to make that first enquiry


Unknown Candidate - part 1

Has your lodge accepted an unknown candidate from the internet? First in a three-part series looking at the process to accepting candidates via the internet


Brother of my Brother

Is the brother of a brother a brother ? Rights to visit - recognition and regularity re-evaluated.


Phone App

What would make a good Masonic phone app ? Share one feature you would include in a phone app for Freemasons . . .


Making Good Men, Better

What does that really mean

Ask a random Freemason the purpose of Freemasonry and the likely response will be to “make good men, better”. Research undertaken by James Justin Davis Pennsylvania Academy of Masonic Knowledge


Mental Health & Freemasonry

Mental Health - Raising its awareness and how we as Freemasons throughout the entire UK can help our fellow brethren and their families when they need it.


Share One Thought...

Share one thought why freemasonry is relevant today - Open question posted on Facebook with a very wide range of responses from Brethren across the globe


The Tipping Point of Freemasonry

Why do brothers lose interest in Freemasonry and what can we do to get that spark back? At what moment did our own thoughts begin to waver?


masonic knowledge

to be a good citizen of the world

share the square with two brothers

click image to open email app on mobile device

Tubal Cain

Masonic Aprons NFT

Each Tubal Cain Masonic Apron NFT JPEG includes a full size masonic apron and worldwide shipping 

Share this article ....