Our local paper has a features supplement in the middle: EDP2. If you stand about in Norwich for long enough, you will become a feature, and indeed, I have been a feature myself. Today’s feature was called ‘What Freemasons are really about,’ and sought, by de-mystifying the whole business, to convince us that they are harmless pranksters even if they do all look like pork butchers.
‘So let’s start by explaining some of the rituals. Mr Fairchild said: “I know some people think we take a blood-curdling oath and the Masons are thought to be quite sinister but in fact we are an open organisation. If you want to become a Mason you have to be proposed and seconded and you are asked to take an oath but it is a bit like getting married. You are asked to undo your shirt, baring your left breast, but this is simply to show you are not female. And you roll up your trouser leg because in the past you knelt on a consecrated floor when you were asked to put your hand on the Volume of the Sacred Law, that is the only reason.”‘
There are 75 separate lodges in Norfolk in 25 locations, with 19 in Norwich, and 4,200 members in the county. This is a local Masonry, for local people. There’s nothing for you here.