Contrary to popular belief you do not have to be well-off to become a Freemason!
If you decide to join Nautical Services Lodge there are inevitably certain fees to pay. There is a one-off payment of approximately £75, together with the annual subscription which is currently £150.
There are seven Lodge meetings each season, followed by a three-course dinner known as a Festive Board. A charge of £20 is levied for each meal, including drinks and wine. Social evenings with Ladies & guests are held in October (Trafalgar night) and January (Burns supper).
You may choose to dine with the other Lodge members or you may go home straight after the meeting, there will never be any pressure applied to make you stay. Most Brethren do, in fact, dine as they find that the relaxed atmosphere during the Festive Board is a most enjoyable contrast to the more solemn work carried out in the Lodge Room. The dining fees are collected by Brother Treasurer during each Festive Board.
As with most Lodges, Nautical Services Lodge has a 'dress code'. A dark suit, white shirt, black tie (or Provincial tie) black shoes and white gloves. In due course there may be a cost for new regalia but this will generally be as Provincial Honours are granted and for the average Initiate that will be several years hence!
Most Lodges have an annual special event specifically to raise money for charity (we have two!). This is frequently combined with celebrating our partners and thanking them for allowing us to participate in our masonry. It is also an opportunity for friends and acquaintances to visit the Temple building and get a taste of what goes on there. You will never be pressured to attend these events if you are unable to, or prefer not to. It is, however, hoped that you will participate in assisting the Lodge to raise money for the very worthwhile charities that we support each year.
Donating money to charity is a big part of Freemasonry, however, this is only to be done according to your means and never to an extent that may cause difficulty to yourself or your family. Again, you will never be pressured into giving more than you can afford. That amount will be between you and your conscience!