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The Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women was Inaugurated on the 18th February 2001, as a result of a need of an Order for Freemasonry freed from the dictates of other Obediences (and also requiring belief in a supreme being). These dictates precluded young Masons from reaching Grand Lodge level and as such assisting with the policies of the future. The Order was created especially to meet a need to provide a modern organisation in the Millennium; maintaining the ancient Landmarks and Principles of Freemasonry, alongside similar Masonic Orders in England, such as UGLE and the women’s Masonic Orders. It was seen to be of paramount importance to very senior members who were the Founders of the Order, that it is essential that all members, whether in Great Britain or overseas, certify that they have a belief in a Supreme Being.The sharing of responsibilities of officering a lodge regardless of gender, race or creed brings a vibrant enthusiasm to common responsibilities of Officering a Lodge.The three great principles of Masonry being Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth are essential to the Order and are the basis of the harmony in Lodges.With the beginning of the Millennium and the beginning of the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women, it was considered unnecessary to continue with the expression Co-Mason, and to use the one word ‘Freemason’ to express the name of the individual. It was Dr. Annie Besant who said in 1927 at the Festival to commemorate the Founding of the Order of Universal Co-Masonry in the British Federation (later called International Co-Freemasonry Le Droit Humain). ‘In forming what was at first called in England ‘Joint Freemasonry’ and in France where the Order took its birth, ‘Maconnierie Mixte’ we did not think that would be a very favourable title for us here in England, the term might have been misunderstood, and so we at first chose the word ‘Joint’ and then, a little later, taking the idea from the education of boys and girls together, we used the prefix ‘Co’ to represent our position, and called it ‘Co-Masonry’. So we, the new moderns, insist that, as we are unable to recognise International Co-Freemasonry, Le Droit Humain, and as an entirely British Organisation, we are now known to all as Freemasons, regardless of gender.Our Overseas Lodges are independent Grand Lodges but work to our Constitution at present, the Ancient Landmarks are adhered to, and a Belief in a Supreme Being is an essential requirement for all membership.We are the only Grand Lodge of Freemasonry for Men and Women and who also adhere to the essential landmark of requiring belief in a supreme being - God.The Constitution of the Order is based on similar organisational patterns of UGLE and the women only Lodges in England. The Craft of the Order being the most important Masonic degrees. We perform in similar drama rituals, the first degree which is the Initiation of Candidates, the second degree of what is known as Fellow Craft, or the journeyman, and the third degree being the highest in Craft masonry. Our Lodges have the same offices as the above mentioned Orders and the Installation of Rulers is performed under the ancient ceremony of an Installation Degree.Our members take part in Masonic research forums held at various Institutes as well as Universities. They also belong to Luncheon Clubs which meet Masons from differing Orders and Obediences. A very important part of Masonic work carried out in the name of charity by individual members and by Lodges. Charity in this Order is also importantly considered as caring and concern for their families and for each other.
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