HUNDREDS of young Freemasons across Essex have joined together to form a new group.

Cornerstone is aimed at members aged 37 or less and wants to shatter the myth Freemasonry is only for middle aged men.

As well as organising and taking part in a wide range of social events the group will also be focussing on what Freemasons do better than most organisations – raising money for good causes.

Organiser Elliott Chevin said: “Young men have always been able to join Freemasonry at the age of 21, or at 18 if they have a father who is a mason. In Essex we have nearly 600 younger members and this total is growing rapidly.

“However, once people have joined they tend to stay and naturally they get older. This fosters the image that the organisation is just for older men. We intend to change that image by showing that Freemasonry is a vibrant organisation which is not only incredibly good fun, but also offers young men a huge range of life skills.”