Q: Where is Saint John’s Lodge located in Portsmouth, N.H?
A: St. John’s Lodge is located in the Masonic Temple at 351 Middle Street in Portsmouth. The Temple sits on the southeast corner of Middle Street and Miller Avenue.
Q: Is parking immediately available?
A: Yes, there is a parking lot owned and operated by the St. John’s Masonic Association directly across the street (Miller Avenue) from the Masonic Temple?
Q: Is any literature about St. John’s Lodge and Freemasonry available at the Masonic Temple?
A: Yes, there is a table just inside the main entrance to the Masonic Temple that has several pamphlets and handouts about St. John’s Lodge and Freemasonry available and free for the taking.
Q: Are petitions for membership in St. John’s Lodge No. 1 F. & A.M. available at the Masonic Temple?
Q: Are only those residents of the immediate Portsmouth, N.H. area considered for membership in St. John’s Lodge?
A: No. There are no “geographic restrictions” placed on membership, although, permission must be obtained from the Grand Lodge of the state where the applicant resides, if the applicant is not a resident of New Hampshire. St. John’s Lodge has a number of members who reside outside the immediate Portsmouth/seacoast area.
Q: Is there a “preferred age” for a petitioner seeking membership in St. John’s Lodge?
A: No. The only restriction or age consideration is that anyone seeking membership must be at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time a petition is submitted.
Q: Are there dues or fees associated with membership in St. John’s Lodge?
A: Yes. All Masonic lodges have a dues or fee structure. There is a one-time fee (currently $100) associated with a candidate’s application and initiation. Annual dues (currently $80) are assessed all members. Annual dues, however, are paid only after the candidate has achieved the degree of “Master Mason”.
Q: Can a potential candidate or member of the public tour or view the inside of the Masonic Temple?
A: Yes, there are several open houses held during the year for the public, or if you know a member of St. John’s Lodge you can always ask him to give you a tour of the Temple. Visitor’s are always welcome to join us for dinner at any one of our meetings.
Q: Is there a charge or “expected donation” associated with touring the Masonic temple?
A: No. All tours are free.
Q: Are whole families welcome to tour the temple?
Q: Can I call the lodge to arrange for a tour?
A: Although the lodge has an office and phone number, it is not regularly staffed – thus there are only limited times when anybody is actually there to “pick-up” on a phone call. It is best to contact a member of St. John’s Lodge to set up a tour.
Q: How many members are there in St. John’s Lodge?
A: Currently there are approximately 243 active members.
Q: Can the public observe St. John’s Lodge meetings?
A: Usually no: only Masons can attend regular meetings. There are specific occasions, however, when a meeting or parts of a meeting are declared “semi-public” with family members, invited guests, or representatives of community organizations attending.
Q: Does St. John’s Lodge participate in any community service programs or sponsor any community events?
A: Yes. St. John’s Lodge is active in several N.H. seacoast area community service and charity programs including support for local food pantries, the annual “Toy’s-for-Tots drive” and several scholarship programs. Individual members are also very active in organizations such as Boy Scouts and “Big Brothers – Big Sisters.” St. John’s Lodge also organizes and sponsors the annual spring Out of Hibernation 5K road race, with all proceeds going to the Seacoast Family Food Pantry.
Q: Does membership in St. John’s Lodge automatically make an individual part of a national and/or international Masonic body?
A: For any U.S. Mason, there is no national or international Masonic Lodge or governing body. Within the U.S. each state has its own “Grand Lodge” that charters, establishes, sets ritual procedures and meeting regulations for the local lodges under its jurisdiction. St. John’s Lodge No. 1 comes under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire.