No two potential candidates are the same and it is vital to ensure that all are suitable to become Freemasons, before welcoming them into the family of the Lodge. After all, we would not welcome someone unsuitable into our family home.For some of course, the mystery of the unknown will be the attraction. Others will be intrigued by rumours. Most join because they see that friends, whom they respect, are proud to be Freemasons and clearly enjoy their membership of the Order.
To decide whether a man is suitable for Freemasonry, or indeed that Freemasonry is suitable for him, it is of course necessary to get to know him and his family and this is best achieved initially by invitation to Lodge social events. A subsequent meeting in the family home is recommended, but this has to be by invitation and must never appear to be intrusive. At all such meetings it is helpful for the wives/partners of Lodge members to be present so that the wife/partner of the potential candidate does not feel intimidated in any way.
The high standards of behaviour we expect from all members of the Craft make it necessary for us to know something about the applicant before we can accept him. However, questioning should not be inquisitorial, but instead the potential candidate and his wife/partner should be encouraged to actively engage in two way communication. Whilst we need to establish that the candidate is suitable, it is also essential that he is made fully aware of what membership of the Order entails and what it does not, for failure to fully inform him will not ensure his ongoing commitment.
Information readily available on UGLE's website:
The Candidate and his family will get their first impression of the Craft from this meeting, so ensure that it is a favourable one.
If after attending Lodge social events, the initial meeting was a home interview, then the potential candidate may well be asked to attend a further interview by the Lodge Committee. If such is the case, he should be advised at the end of the Initial Meeting, the reasons explained and a mutually convenient date and time agreed. The Lodge Mentoring Coordinator, who will have been present at the Initial Meeting, should accompany the candidate to the interview and stay with him throughout. Only by so doing, will he be able to best judge which member of the Lodge is most suitable to allocate as a Mentor for the particular candidate.