The second episode of this ground-breaking new series looks at the 2nd of Freemasonry’s three Degrees, when an Entered Apprentice becomes a Fellow Craft Mason. This is the first ever film footage of the ritual. If the 1st Degree initiation symbolises the candidate’s birth into Freemasonry, the 2nd Degree represents his coming of age and teaches him how to live his life.
Oblivious to its deeper meaning, Londoner Rowan Sham joined the brotherhood because he was fascinated by its mysterious reputation and what he might gain from it. Now, as he attempts to memorise the answers to eleven pre-set questions he must deliver in front of his brothers during his 2nd Degree ceremony, Rowan is beginning to realise there may be more to it.
Former sky diver and base-jumper, Gary Southam, is also preparing for a 2nd Degree ceremony, though as his Lodge’s Worshipful Master, he must commit many pages of the ritual to memory. When the candidate fails to do his homework, perfectionist Gary charitably writes it off as part of his own Masonic education. For the first time, cameras are permitted to record part of the ceremony.
The message at the heart of the 2nd Degree is that being charitable makes you a better human being and in the basement of Freemasons’ Hall in central London, there is an entire floor dedicated to raising and giving away money.
As well as contributing to this central fund, Masons across the country are encouraged to raise money through their Lodges or individually. In Gloucestershire, Brother Alastair Chambers is planning a Gala Charity Boxing event and, while he does the organising, has roped in friend and fellow Freemason Lee ‘the Grenade’ Green to fight for his chosen charity. But when one of the boxers pulls out on the night, how far will Alastair go for the cause?