In an unprecedented and historic move to dispel misconceptions and address challenges, English Freemasonry has announced the creation of the Council for Freemasonry, covering female as well as male members in England and Wales.

This new Council aims to enhance further existing and longstanding collaboration and promote the fundamental principles of Freemasonry, including merit, tolerance, diversity, and inclusion, between the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the Order of Women Freemasons (OWF), and the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons (HFAF)

Even in 2024 Freemasonry continues to face various unfounded criticisms and inaccurate misconceptions, often stemming from deep-rooted prejudices or preconceived falsehoods. Contrary to the erroneous claim that Freemasonry is exclusively male, women’s Freemasonry has been an integral part of the UK for over a century. While Freemasonry is practised in single-sex Lodges, this is no different from many other activities, including most sports as well as many other community groups.

The establishment of the Council for Freemasonry will formally establish an overarching forum for collaboration. In addition, the Council will bring together the community service ambitions of all three bodies, coordinate communication and engagement with other organisations, drive the membership growth ambitions, particularly for women Freemasons, and allocate resources and facilities for the general benefit of both male and female Freemasonry.

The Council will include the heads of each Grand Lodge, and each Grand Lodge will provide the President for twelve months, chairing Council meetings in strict rotation. The President for the first two years will come from the OWF and HFAF, with UGLE covering the third year.

The formation of the Council for Freemasonry in England and Wales marks a pivotal step towards enhancing cooperation, addressing misconceptions, and promoting the values of Freemasonry. This historic initiative reaffirms Freemasonry’s commitment to integrity, friendship, respect and service while keeping community service and charitable giving at the absolute forefront of this historic organisation.