Welcome
The South East Area is part of the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight
Friendship
Meet like-minded people, make friends and enjoy a different social life.
Special Interest Lodges
Within the Area, we have Lodges where its members come together to share their interests in Freemasonry and their passion for their hobbies such as rugby, classic cars and motorbikes. Serving or former military? We have Lodges for you.
Charity
Coming together to make positive contributions to our local communities through volunteering and fundraising.
Universities Scheme
We have 3 approved university scheme lodges within the Province and 1 being in the South East area.

Cosham | Havant | Horndean | Portsmouth | Purbrook

Welcome to the website of The South East Area, which is responsible for administering Freemasons’ Lodges under the United Grand Lodge of England that meet in the southeast of the Province Of Hampshire and Isle Of Wight.

We have just under 2,000 members and 49 Lodges meeting in 6 Masonic centres (Cosham, Havant, Horndean, Portsmouth, Purbrook, Royal Naval & Royal Albert Yacht Club) across the South East Area of Hampshire and Isle of Wight. Our Headquarters are based at Provincial Offices, 85 Winchester Road, Chandler’s Ford, Eastleigh.

The organisation’s aim is to empower members to be the best they can be, both for themselves and for society around them. It does this by providing a structure of support to help them make positive contributions to their local communities, whether it be through fundraising events or volunteer work. In an uncertain world, the principles of Freemasonry: integrity, friendship, respect, and charity ring as true today as they ever have before.

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Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations.

There are over 200,000 Freemasons meeting in more than 7,000 Masonic lodges throughout England and Wales. Our values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Freemasonry offers the opportunity of meeting a wide variety of people from the local community in a very sociable environment.

It consists of men brought together for the sake of mutual intellectual, social and moral improvement. We do this through participation in dramatic ceremonial plays. It recognises no distinction of religion and emphasises the duties of citizenship. Religious or political discussions are not permitted in our meetings. It offers no monetary advantages. It supports a wide range of charities, both Masonic and non-Masonic.

Integrity: Building good people

Freemasons are focused on building themselves as people of integrity and membership provides the structure to help achieve that goal.

Friendship: Building together

Freemasonry provides the common foundation for friendships between members, many of which will last for life.

Respect: Building unity

Freemasonry brings people together irrespective of their race, religion or any other perceived differences that can divide us as a society.

Charity: Building compassion

Kindness and charitable giving are deeply ingrained within the principles of Freemasonry and the organisation provides the structure for members to make positive contributions to their communities and various causes.

Clubs and Teams

In Freemasonry, clubs and teams play a large part in building and supporting relationships between our members, their families and with our local communities.

Refreshment Society

Intended to be an informal social group that primary represents newer members, but not exclusive to light blues. The aim is to give Freemasons, their families and friends a chance to socialise together away from our lodge meetings and convey a strong message of union, brothers, friends and family.

Guided by today’s lifestyle, ensuring fun and enjoyment for all freemasons, their families and friends, with no detriment to masonic values & principles.

Freemasonry in The Community

Freemasonry in the Community (FiTC) is a project designed to provide information on what we do, our charitable work and our support for local communities.  Our aim is to provide a forum for the general public to understand the ethos of our organisation and to attract men of good standing to join our organisation.

We take part in a number of events right across Hampshire and Isle of Wight, supporting charities and organisations too numerous to mention here but of many differing types to enable all of our members to support such organisations, either by direct giving or helping and supporting in a more practical way.

You will find our display trailer and our support unit at many shows and events as well as in towns and villages across the county from shopping centres to high streets, these displays enable those interested in Freemasonry to come and speak with a real Freemason – and yes we welcome your questions on the many aspects of Freemasonry in a frank and open manner.

Capstan Group

The Capstan Group was set up to provide support for Masonic widows, widowers or elderly brethren who are feeling isolated.

It is a free provision – there is no joining fee and those attending are welcome to bring along a friend, support worker or family member. It is one of a number of similar groups set up around the Province of Hampshire & Isle of Wight all with a similar purpose.

Based at the Purbrook Masonic Centre, the group meets regularly twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Thursday, from 11.00 a.m. until 1.00 p.m.  The Group publishes a programme of events at 6 monthly intervals which are sent out to all Lodge Almoners and Secretaries.  We do have visits and outings to places like the theatre, RHS Wisley, National Trust properties, the Isle of Wight and many other places. Our programme activities can include interesting speakers, playing bingo, beetle drives, quizzes and luncheons. The feedback from our members is always positive, supportive and they enjoy the company of their peer group. We do also encourage our members to get involved on the Committee and we are fortunate to have two members from the Group.

Funding for the group came originally from a donation from the Province, and latterly by generous donations from various Lodges in the South East Area and the MCF. This is also bolstered by donations from other sources and raffle income. 

Area Executive

Freemasonry in England is governed by the United Grand Lodge of England and is one of the oldest fraternal and charitable organisations in the world with over 190,000 members.

To effectively manage such a large organisation, it is divided into Provinces which are roughly aligned with English counties. The Province of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has 8,500 members in 250 Lodges and is led by a Provincial Grand Master, RW Jonathan Charles Whitaker. Still a very large area, so the day to day management of the Province is further split into 6 geographic areas each with its own Executive. This site reflects the organisation of the South East Area and covers from Portsmouth to Havant and Horndean which has 2,000 members in 49 Lodges that meet in one of 5 Masonic Centres – Horndean, Purbrook, Cosham, Havant and Old Portsmouth.

South East Area Executive

The area executive is headed by an Assistant Provincial Grand Master with an Area Chairman, 6 Area Vice Chairman and Area Secretary.

Charitable work

Charity being at the very heart of our values, Freemasons support Charity through personal donations which are distributed by the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), the largest grant making charity in the country, supporting Freemasons, their families and the wider community.

Nationally the MCF provides around £20 million in support each year to help Masonic Families, and other non-Masonic charities, such as hospices, air ambulance, medical research and international disaster relief appeals.

In Hampshire and Isle of Wight the MCF supports each year over 250 Masonic families at a cost of £500,000 and provides grants totalling £150,000 to local non-Masonic charities. At an individual Lodge level, Freemasons also raise money for their favourite local charities through raffles, sponsored events eg. Parachute jumps, cycle rides, walks, long motor cycle rides etc.

Recent and upcoming Charity Events

In the SE Area a charity cheque presentation evening is held once a year giving local charities, who have received a donation, an opportunity to provide a short presentation on their work to a wider Masonic audience.

In September this year, the Portsmouth News Community Chest, funded by local Freemasons, was launched at the Cosham Masonic Centre.  Editor of The News, Mark Waldron, told those present he was ‘honoured’ to help launch the initiative that will see a cash pot of £1,000 handed out every two months for one-off projects, or to help kick-start longer-term projects.

Interested in joining?

There are several ways to become a Freemason with most members being introduced by friends and family.  If you don’t know anyone who is a member and that you can talk to, then your first step is to contact your nearest Lodge.

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Understand your commitments

Most Lodges meet in the early evenings - Monday to Saturday - but we also have those that meet during the day so we cater for all.

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Have a particular interest?

We have many special interest Lodges that have been set up for those with a particular passion - from cars to motorcyclists and rugby!

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Send us your details

Simply register your interest by completing a short form.

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We'll be in touch
With the information you have provided, a local Freemason will be in touch to answer any questions you may have and tell you more about Freemasonry.

If you have moved from another Province or through personal or work circumstances are a lapsed mason wishing to rejoin,  simply register your interest as above.

FAQs

Browse our FAQs below for common questions – 

Freemasonry is one of the oldest social and charitable organisations in the world with its roots lying in the traditions of the medieval stonemasons who built our cathedrals and castles.

Freemasons aim to shape their conduct and lives around four important principals – Integrity, Friendship, Respect, and Charity.

Freemasonry is open to men from all walks of life who are aged 18 and over.
There are three ‘degree ceremonies’ performed during masonic meetings. They are essentially one act plays and teach members how to be better people and each play represents a different stage in life. As an ‘initiate’ or Entered Apprentice, Freemasons are taught we are all born equal, we learn that in life some do better than others and it is up to those that do well to look after the less fortunate. From this stems our belief in the importance of Charity. The next stage is to become a ‘Fellow Craft’ where Freemasons are taught the importance of improving yourself as a person, and finally as a ‘Master Mason’, where we learn that we have but one life, and the importance of using it wisely. The details of the ceremonies can easily be accessed online but nothing beats experiencing it for yourself. After the meetings members dine together informally in order to enjoy good food, good wine, and good company. And most importantly, to have fun together.
Freemasons wear aprons in memory of the stonemasons that created the castles and cathedrals of the past. The traditional apron of a stonemason protected them against flying chips of stone and were often decorated with symbols and designs that carried significance. For Freemasons, the apron is a symbol itself, its use is purely ceremonial and a place to show how far you are progressing on your journey in the organisation.

The United Grand Lodge of England which governs Freemasonry in England and Wales only permits men of 18 years and over.

The two leading women’s Grand Lodges that have a close relationship with us are Freemasonry for Women and the Order of Women Freemasons.  These two groups only admit women as that is their choice of membership and like ourselves, prefer to practice Freemasonry in a single sex environment.

On average, with annual dues and dining, fees amount to £200.

Events

We are an extremely active part of the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight with events ranging from Lodge meetings, White table , family days to Official Visits and more.  Check out our events calendar below.

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News

To see what’s going on in our Area, check out our news feed below.  Alternatively, you can subscribe to our Twitter feed and Facebook page by adding our handle @HantsMasonSE.