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Grand Lodge policies on new lodge formations

Requirements to Form a New Lodge

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U.S. Grand Lodges


# Grand Lodge number of Masons needed to form a new lodge other details about what is needed to form a new lodge how many new lodge have been formed recently
1 Alabama 7 Alabama Masonic Code
ART. 1, SEC. 7. No dispensation or charter shall be granted for the organization of a new Lodge but upon the petition of seven known and approved Master Masons, in which their first Master and Wardens shall be nominated, which petition shall be accompanied by a recommendation from the Lodge nearest the petitioner, together with a certificate vouching for the character and standing of the applicants generally and stating explicitly that the Master and Wardens have appeared in open Lodge and, after due examination, are found well qualified to confer the first three degrees of Masonry, and no such dispensation or charter shall be legal unless signed by the Grand or Deputy Grand Master, attested by the Grand Secretary and sealed with the seal of the Grand Lodge. Provided, that no new Lodge shall be established within ten miles of another Lodge unless it be in a city or town. [before 1933]
2 Alaska
3 Arizona 15 Nearest lodge must recommend the new lodge, saying “establishment of the new Lodge is of manifest propriety and will conduce to the good of the Craft.” (Section 61) Arizona has had 1 new Lodge in 1994, 1 in 1997 and 1 in
4 Arkansas
5 California 25 Petitioners must give written notification to “each Lodge whose immediate Jurisdiction would be affected by the new Lodge.” (Section 14020) Petition must be accompanied by District Inspector’s recommendation that establishment of the new Lodge “contributes to the good of the order.” (Section 14030)
6 Colorado
7 Connecticut
8 Delaware Nearest Lodge must recommend that “the interests of Masonry will not suffer by the formation of such Lodge.” (Section 7-3)
9 District of Columbia 7 An existing lodge votes to “sponsor” the new lodge, all petitioners must be free of financial obligations in their current lodges, Masons from D.C. or other jurisdictions can be on the petition. Grand Master can then issue a Dispensation and the new lodge can start working. Charter can be granted after at least one year working under dispensation. From 1990 to 1999 several lodges have been formed based on language and ethnic similarities, such as a lodge for Iranians, Spanish-speaking brethren, French, Armenian, and Turkish. Also a lodge that works in Scottish ritual, whose members are mainly from African backgrounds. Also a lodge that emulates the French Lodge of the Nine Muses. Also two lodges that focus on brethren’s affiliation with college fraternities. Also (likely) a lodge that focuses on U.S. military and history.
10 Florida 20 “no Dispensation nor Charter shall issue to a Lodge except upon written consent of the Lodge nearest the place where the new Lodge is
to be located” (Chapter 42 of Constitution).
The Jurisprudence Committee has ruled that signers of petitions for new lodges cannot be dual members with their primary lodge outside Florida.
At least 5 new Craft Lodges were chartered in 1999.
11 Georgia 30 Petitioners must be in Georgia lodges. 10 new lodges since 1991
12 Hawaii
13 Idaho
14 Illinois 20 GM may grant dispensations for new lodges; fee is $100; petition signed by 20 MMs, must include description of room to be used; certificate from a grand lecturer that the proposed WM is able to open close and confer the degrees; no dispensation for lodges in jurisdiction of any other GL in fraternal relations with this Grand Lodge. It is believed that Illinois hasn’t had a new lodge instituted in quite a long time. 
15 Indiana
16 Iowa 15 Petitioners must be residents in the territory proposed for jurisdiction of new Lodge. Notice must be given to lodges whose jurisdictions would be affected, and they can object to the Grand Master. (Section 113)
17 Kansas 7 Each Lodge in the County of the proposed new Lodge must be asked if it objects to Dispensation for the new Lodge. (Article VIII)
18 Kentucky 25 Petitioners must be residents of the jurisdiction of the proposed new lodge. Every lodge whose jurisdiction would be affected must give written consent. (Section 191)
19 Louisiana
20 Maine
21 Maryland
22 Massachusetts
23 Michigan
24 Minnesota
25 Mississippi
26 Missouri 20 Must have approval of 2/3 of lodges which have jurisdiction, and approval from DDGM.
27 Montana
28 Nebraska Petition must be presented for the recommendation of the nearest lodge. (Section 2-101)
29 Nevada A new lodge was chartered in 1999.
30 New Hampshire 7 Petitioners do not have to be from lodges in N.H. Petition must include recommendation of DDGM. None since 1971, except 2 special purpose lodges that do not confer degrees.
31 New Jersey 50 No more than 20% of petitione5rs can be dual members. Lodge nearest the new Lodge may or may not recommend forming the proposed new lodge. (3-07)
32 New Mexico
33 New York 7 Petition must be accompanied by the recommendation of all the Lodges whose jurisdiction would be affected by the new Lodge (Section 422). Dispensations for new lodges must be issued within 8 months after the GM’s election, not within 4 months of upcoming Grand Lodge. (Section 436)
34 North Carolina 20 Each lodge whose jurisdiction would be affected must consent, or refuse to consent, to the issuance of a Dispensation. (Reg. 44-02) If 3 or more lodges are affected and only 1 objects, the GM may issue the Dispensation (Reg. 44-05)
35 North Dakota 20 Petition must be accompanied by a recommendation from the Lodge nearest to the proposed new Lodge. (Chapter IV, Section 2)
36 Ohio
37 Oklahoma 15 Petitioners can be from OK or a sister jurisdiction. Each lodge within the concurrent jurisdiction must certify that “the establishment of the new lodge will be of manifest propriety and will contribute to the good of the fraternity.” (Section 601)
38 Oregon
39 Pennsylvania 15 Recommendation of DDGM or at least 3 Masons in jurisdiction. Must have consent of lodge within 5 miles. (Section 17.02)
40 Rhode Island
41 South Carolina 7 Must be recommended by the nearest Lodge.
42 South Dakota 15 Must have recommendation of nearest lodge, or lodges. (Sec. 3.06)
43 Tennessee 15 Must be recommended by majority of lodges that would be affected by the formation of a new Lodge. (Sec. 4.103, 4.105)
44 Texas 7 if no lodge in County, 20 if there are lodges in the County, 50 if in a city of 10,000 or greater population Approval of other lodges must be obtained: by nearest lodge, or all or a majority in concurrent jurisdiction. (Art. 181-183)
45 Utah 7
46 Vermont
47 Virginia 20 Signers can be from other recognized jurisdictions. Petitions to be given to DDGM who gives them to all lodges in the District, each of which can file a statement approving or disapproving the formation of the new lodge, with reasons. DDGM must file a report including effect of the proposed new lodge on “the harmony and prosperity of existing Lodges.” (Methodical Digest sections 2.23, 2.24, 2.26) Other than a new research lodge in 1995 (the Civil War Lodge of Research), I do not believe there have been any new lodges formed in many years (other than mergers).
48 Washington
49 West Virginia 7 Must have certificate of approval from DDGM, and from nearest Lodge giving consent to the formation of the new Lodge. (Reg. 19)
50 Wisconsin 25 Signers can be from lodges in other states.
51 Wyoming


Other than U.S. Grand Lodges


Jurisdiction Number needed Other information
UGLE – England 7 Up to 3 can be members of other (non-UGLE) constitutions recognized by the UGLE. Must be accompanied by a recommendation by another lodge under UGLE.
GLF – Grand Lodge of France 3, 7, 14 (see explanation at right) At the GL of France any three Master Masons may constitute a “Triangle”, that is a minimal lodge which may meet ritually but may not
Initiate, Pass or Raise. A minimum of seven Master Masons may constitute a normal lodge, that is they may meet ritually and I, P & R. According to our ritual and since small lodges are characteristic of Europe, only seven
officers suffice to do the degrees: The WM, the SW, the JW, the Expert, the MoC, the Secretary and the Orator. However, and because of the fact that not all members of a new lodge may possibly attend at the same time all the time, Grand Lodge requires a
minimum of 14 founding MMs and preferably 21. The founding members constitute a “temporary” lodge which meets for a year
without a charter. I guess that you would call that “under dispensation”. After a year the GL Communication decides whether the new lodge has worked satisfactorily and will be granted a charter. 


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