Joining our lodge – first steps
Both candidates and joining members (non-masons and existing masons) require a Proposer and a Seconder who are members of Taurus Lodge. If you are a non-mason, your proposer and seconder should have discussed with you the ‘Principles of Freemasonry’ to ensure these are understood and undertaken willingly. In either case, the proposer and seconder ought to ensure financial commitment is clear and this will be followed up by a discussion with the Lodge Secretary and Mentor to confirm these
Formal application process
Applications are made in writing on a prescribed form completed by the Candidate or Joining Member and the Proposer and the Seconder. Once completed, this form is returned to the Secretary and read to the members at a regular Lodge meeting. Procedure dictates that a formal ballot takes place at the next meeting. If you do not live or have a place of business within Greater London, there may be a small delay in this process, but this is not a barrier to joining.
Because membership of Taurus is restricted to liverymen, we do not have a formal interview process like other lodges. We feel that successful entry into the Butcher’s Livery is enough, but we positively welcome the opportunity to meet Candidates and Joining Members at livery events before application.
If you are a ‘Joining Member’ or existing mason, the Secretary will need you to provide a Clearance Certificate’ from each lodge you are currently a member or have ever been a member. Joining Members are also requested to attend the consecutive meetings at which the application form is read and at which the ballot takes place, so it is important to make sure attendance is well coordinated and confirmed with the Secretary in good time.
Process of entry for new candidates
This takes place over 3 meetings and timings need to be carefully scheduled to suit your availability and coordinated with The Secretary because the work of the lodge will be built around you for these meetings. The first meeting is known as ‘Initiation’ and you should discuss with your Proposer the format of the meeting and the role that the candidate plays in each. All freemasons of any rank or status have been through this initiation, and it is part of our shared experience that supports our fellowship.
We would expect that the role and commitment will be made clear prior to application but your lodge Mentor and Membership Officer will always be available to discuss any aspects, while preserving the unique experience that initiation will offer you.
Initiation offers a lot of information that will be very difficult to absorb for the first time, but you should be assured that all fellow lodge members are there to support you. Your Lodge Mentor is there most prominently to explain points which may have been all too quickly mentioned or help you understand the journey and connections through each of the three stages. He will also be on hand to support understanding and progression in Masonry and a physical ‘Initiates Guide’ will be presented to you for further reading and reference.
These take place at Butchers’ Hall on the fourth Monday of September; November; January and March every year. Members are recommended to arrive in good time for a 3.30pm or 4.00pm start. The formal meetings usually end by 6.30pm and is followed by a well-earned drink and first-class dinner known as the Festive Board. To allow for journeys out of London, we aim for departure by 8.30pm except for our Burns Supper in January on account of additional festivities. However, it is perfectly acceptable for members to leave the festive board early when needed.
Members may bring guests or invitees who are fellow freemasons to both lodge meetings and the festive board – and you may be invited to others from time to time. ‘Visiting’ is an important part of Freemasonry that many enjoy. You may offer to pay guests’ dining fees or your invitee will have to pay their dining fee directly – and vice versa should you visit another lodge. Dining fees will vary by lodge and location. To avoid any embarrassment, it is best to enquire of your host costs for dining when visiting.
Fees and subscriptions
These are collected by the Treasurer and the annual subscription is currently £485 and includes all drinks and meals for the member at the dinner following each meeting. This is reduced pro rata in the year of joining. Payment by Standing Order is preferred. There is also a one-off Initiation Fee of £100.
As above, guests who are masons, can attend meetings for a standard dining fee of £80 or £90 for the January Burns’ Supper.
Further details, including on regalia, communications and dress codes will be available via our Membership Officer or Secretary.