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UGLE | St Mary at Finchley

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United Grand Lodge of England

From the four Lodges which formed Grand Lodge in 1717, Freemasonry under the United Grand Lodge of England has grown to an organisation of over 250,000 members and over 8,000 Lodges.

Its membership has included men who have distinguished themselves in many aspects of British life, including the world of science, medicine, sport and entertainment to name but a few. However, what has always been true of Freemasonry is that it represents every sector of society reflecting the social, religious and ethnic composition of our diverse society.

Growth continued throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, but Freemasonry suffered under the rise of facism particularly in Nazi Germany, where many Freemasons were imprisoned and murdered.

After the second world war, Freemasonry became excessively private, withdrawing from public view and seeking solace in the company of like minded individuals. There was little if any contact with the media and when errors of fact were reported no attempt was made to issue denials or correct such errors.

Today, with a policy of transparency and openness, Freemasonry is once again very much part of the community. Each of the 47 Provinces and London has its own information officer dealing with the media, and there is a Communications Department at Grand Lodge. In addition The United Grand Lodge of England and many Provinces including Wiltshire have their own publicly accessible web site.