Charity is at the Heart of Freemasonry
The three Great Principles by which we stand are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. Freemasons are taught to practise charity and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving, and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.
From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. This work continues today. In addition, large sums are given to national and local charities.
Masonic charity is exercised at every level, individual Lodges make gifts and give aid to their own communities and every Province also gives large sums of money to regional causes. Nationally, our efforts are channelled through four main charity organisations; they are The Grand Charity, The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and The New Masonic Samaritan Fund.
Over the past 25 years, The Freemasons' Grand Charity has regularly supported individual Freemasons, assisted other Masonic charities and aided the charitable activities of many Masonic Lodges.
Over £33 million has been given in Masonic Relief grants, providing assistance for over 30,000 applicants. The grants offer support where Freemasons, their partners, widows or other dependents are in need of financial help with items ranging from everyday living expenses, such as clothing and travel, to unexpected needs, such as outstanding funeral expenses.
Over £5 million has been given to support the work of other Masonic charities. These donations include donations given as part of The Grand Charity's unique responsibility to provide financial support to The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, The Masonic Benevolent Institution and The New Masonic Samaritan Fund.
Over £30 million has been donated in non-Masonic grants to hundreds of charities to support their work in areas of relevance and interest to Freemasons. Individual grants range from a few hundred pounds to over £1 million.
As an example, since 1981 The Grand Charity has donated:
£6 million towards the annual running costs of hundreds of hospice services in England and Wales.
£1.25 million for CARE to help establish a residential community in Rowde, Wiltshire, for people with learning difficulties.
£1 million to the Institute of Cancer Research to fund The Grand Charity of Freemasons Chair of Molecular Biology for research into male cancers.
£250,000 to the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme to enable the training of leaders and support the geographical expansion of the scheme.
£150,000 following the 2005 Pakistan earthquake.
£100,000 for farming families in England, Wales and Northern Ireland affected by the foot and mouth outbreak.
£40,000 to Help the Aged to support the HandyVan Service, which visits the homes of older people to install safety and security devices, such as window locks and smoke detectors.
£20,000 for famine relief victims in Ethiopia.
So far, as of March 2008, the province has raised a total of £341,000 for the 2011 appeal
The Grand Charity
The Grand Charity is the central grant making charity of all Freemasons in England and Wales.
Registered in 1981, it carries on a tradition of charitable support for both Freemasons and the wider community, which has been maintained since 1727
The Grand Charity was formed as an independent charity to take over the functions of the United Grand Lodge of England's Board of Benevolence, which itself had its origins in the Committee of Charity set up in 1725. Like its predecessor, the Grand Charity has a threefold function: relieving distressed Freemasons and their dependents; making grants to other Masonic Charities and making grants to non-Masonic causes.
The Grand Charity makes grants to:
Distressed Freemasons and their dependants (Masonic Relief Grants)
Other Masonic Charities
Non-Masonic national charities serving England and Wales
Emergency relief work worldwide
Under its current guidelines for support for national charities, the Grand Charity makes grants for three main purposes:
Care for the most vulnerable people in society
Opportunities for young people
For further information, please visit the website of The Grand Charity. Link here
The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys
The Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys is the oldest and most senior Masonic charity. It is based in Great Queen Street in London and serves Freemasonry worldwide, within the membership of the United Grand Lodge.
In 1982 the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls (formed in 1788) and the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys (formed in 1798) were combined to form the Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys to continue nearly two hundred years of care for the children of poor families. On the 1st May 2003, the Trust became the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys. Link here
The mission statement of the Trust is: 'to continue to relieve poverty and provide an education and preparation for life for the children of the family of a Freemason and, where funds permit, for any child, as their fathers would have done, had they been able so to do.'. They also provide help to children not connected to Masonic families and support many charities connected with children.
For further information, please visit the website of The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys.
The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution
The RMBI provides a comprehensive range of services designed to meet the needs of older Freemasons: Sheltered accommodation and residential and nursing care in homes throughout England and Wales, as well as practical and financial support for those who wish to remain in their own homes.
The Institution has a daunting challenge to provide these services to an increasingly large number of older Freemasons and their dependents. Regular practical help and advice, through the Care Advice Team, home improvement loans and holidays are other important ingredients in the help the Institution provides.
For further information, please visit the website of The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.
The New Masonic Samaritan Fund
This charity was established in 1990 with the active support of United Grand Lodge of England.
This is an independent charity, which provides support for sick and infirm Freemasons, their families and dependants who are in need.
The Fund gives aid to those applicants who can't afford the full cost of private healthcare and those who are unable to obtain their treatment on the UK's National Health Service without undue delay or hardship, which with the increasing pressures upon the NHS is becoming more of an issue for everyone, whether they be a Freemason or not...
For further information, please visit the website of The New Masonic Samaritan Fund. Link here
'Lifelites' has been established to provide the latest IT (including multimedia services) to children in hospices in England and Wales The project arises from a donation of £7.5 million from the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys together with expertise from the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT). The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys' Millennium Fund sought to find a worthy cause consistent with its key objectives. The mission of the Trust is to continue to relieve poverty and to provide an education and preparation for life for the children of the family of a Freemason and, where funds permit, for any children, as their father would have done, had they been able to do so.
The Province has just completed a five year Appeal for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys. The aim was to raise one million pounds and Worcestershire Freemasons, their families and friends took up the challenge. At a gala dinner in Birmingham's International Conference Centre on a hot summer evening in June and in the presence of the Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence and his wife, the PGM RW Brother Richard G. H. Goddard announced a total of £1,632,000. saying "to raise that much is fantastic, beyond my wildest dreams. It is a great credit to Worcestershire Freemasons that even in these difficult financial times they are so generous in their support. Thank you all."
The Province has two main charitable beneficiaries, namely Ellard Hanson Court, which provides sheltered accommodation for 17 elderly Worcestershire Freemasons and their dependants, and the Library and Museum Appeal.
In the last year March 2010 to February 2011 Dofra Lodge raised £2395.00 of which £1903 was used to support Masonic Charities and the remainder, £491.00 for non-masonic charities. A very creditable achievement by all the members and their families and friends.
The Festival Jewel can be purchased following a donation to the charity of a minimum of £100.00 which entitles the member to qualify as a festival steward.
Qualifying members are then also entitled to attend the 2011 Festival.
The colours are taken from the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (logo on the left of this page) and the crest is based on that of the Provincial Grand Masters family crest.