Craft Freemasonry is the basis of all Freemasonry and is the starting point in becoming a Freemason. Under the United Grand Lodge of England, Craft Freemasonry consists of three degrees (the Entered Apprentice, the Fellowcraft and the Master Mason) plus the Holy Royal Arch. All other degrees and orders are separately regulated.
It is believed that the origins of Freemasonry can be found in the Master Mason’s Lodges formed for working stonemasons, at the sites of cathedrals and other stately buildings in the late middle ages. Such Lodges subsequently accepted as members, those who were not operative stonemasons, later called freemasons.
The forms of recognitions, about which there is so much discussion, enabled the travelling mason to prove that he was fully qualified when arriving at a new building site. Nowadays they have a symbolic meaning within the ceremonies, but are not used elsewhere.
All forms of Freemasonry take as their basis, the teaching of the relationship one has to his God, his neighbour, and his family, and lead to an understanding of himself. Freemasonry has existed for hundreds of years, and throughout the world there are millions of men who find the fraternity of Freemasonry conducive to a development of their responsibilities to the society in which they live.