At the Craft and Royal Arch meetings of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Yorkshire, North & East Ridings, it was announced that the Festival had raised £1,881,413

Provincial Grand Master Jeffrey Gillyon and Assistant Grand Master Sir David Wootton addressed the gathering at York Racecourse, where the news that the Province had exceeded its target of £1.6 million was revealed.

Essex mason David Todd, 53, went airborne for charity, allowing himself to be strapped to the top of a Boeing-Stearman biplane, travelling at speeds of more than 130mph as the plane circled the Essex countryside

‘I had to lose two stone before they would let me fly. I was nervous to start with, and it was the most uncomfortable seat I’ve ever sat on,’ said David, who raised almost £1,700 for the Essex 2022 Festival appeal.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:00

Masons pack a punch at Alnwick  boxing club

A boxing club in Alnwick, Northumberland, has purchased essential equipment following a £1,500 gift from local masons via the Richard Henry Holmes Masonic Benevolent Fund

Northumberland PGM Ian Craigs presented the cheque, while members of Coquetdale Lodge, No. 5122, who had originally appealed to the fund for a donation for the club, were also present.

The masons were shown around the club’s facilities and tried some of the equipment, with the weigh-in machine proving popular.

The Friends of Chichester Hospitals charity and local Lodge of Union No. 38, have donated £13,575 to purchase a Sara Combilizer mobility aid for use in St Richard’s Hospital’s intensive care ward

Critically ill patients can now start their recovery more quickly, with the sophisticated device enabling a patient to regain confidence, a sense of balance and awareness of what is going on around them. 

The mobility aid can be converted from a flat bed to a chair with variable angles, and even allows a patient to be raised to a standing position while fully supported by a harness and a variety of lateral supports. 

Jane Ramage, chairman of the charity, said: ‘The Combilizer will make a real difference for patients and the staff who care for them when critical illness strikes. We even had to wait for delivery because it’s in such high demand.’

Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:00

Singapore lodge celebrates 150th anniversary

A number of events have been held to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the consecration of Lodge of St George, No. 1152, in Singapore

A special meeting was held in Perth, where many of the lodge’s members now live, while some masons enjoyed an intercontinental visit to the 250th anniversary meeting of its mother lodge, Cadogan, No. 162, in London. 

The lodge also formally celebrated its anniversary in Singapore. Among the guests were Dato’ Jeyaraj Ratnaswamy (DGM, Eastern Archipelago), Yushea Hatim Degani (Deputy DGM, Eastern Archipelago) and representatives from the District Grand Lodge of Hong Kong & the Far East, the Grand Lodges of Ireland, Scotland and Western Australia, and the Grande Loge Nationale Française.

A grant of more than £38,000 from Norfolk Freemasons will support a programme for those who have had a stroke or other recent brain injury

The funding will improve access to specialist advice and help injured people and their relatives to understand the effects of brain injuries, including memory issues, fatigue and changes in behaviour.

The programme is delivered by Headway Norfolk and Waveney.

A local Freemason has donated £4,000 towards the restoration of the organ at the Parish Church of St Mary and All Saints in Chesterfield, which is famous for its twisted, crooked spire

The organ is in need of ongoing work, but there was an immediate need to replace the main bellows, which required a complete rebuild at a cost of over £5,000. The contribution will meet most of that cost. 

The funds were raised by Dr John Wade, who painstakingly researched and authored a book detailing the history of Freemasonry in Sheffield, which was published and sold with the profits going to charity. As John is a Freemason and a member of lodges in both Yorkshire and Derbyshire, he allocated half of the funds to St Mary and All Saints.

A plaque has been unveiled at Warrington Hospital thanking Cheshire masons for donating nearly 6,000 teddies over the past 14 years to the children’s A&E department as part of its Teddies for Loving Care appeal

Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Mel Pickup said: ‘The teddies are a valuable tool to the staff, bringing comfort to children in distress.’ 

Stephen Blank, PGM for Cheshire, and Kevin Poynton, AGM for West Lancashire, represented their respective Provinces at the event.

Many of us are able to handle life admin – those personal tasks Many of us are able to handle life admin – those personal tasks that need to be completed outside work, such as paying the bills or replying to emails. But these responsibilities can become seriously daunting during difficult times

Whether you’re a single parent struggling to work out your benefit entitlement, a student trying to fund university studies or a full-time carer researching respite care options, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF)’s Advice and Support Team is here to help. We have 12 regional advisers to help you access the support you need. The Advice and Support Team can:

  • Assist you with applications for charitable support
  • Talk to you about financial difficulties
  • Recommend the best approach to meet your care needs
  • Support your children or grandchildren with practical advice and guidance on education and well-being
  • Direct you to state and local authority benefits and services available from other organisations

Claire is an Advice and Support Team adviser for the north of England. After a lodge Almoner contacted her about Geoff, a Freemason, Claire arranged a visit with him at his home. 

‘Geoff and his wife, Carol, had such a tragic time with illness and death within the family, and everyone was concerned about their well-being,’ says Claire. ‘My first visit was to work out their support needs, and I realised they were struggling with mobility. So I helped them apply for rise and recline chairs from the MCF.’ 

Geoff, previously unaware that he was eligible for Attendance Allowance from the government, successfully applied. ‘Money seemed irrelevant compared with losing their children or dealing with their health problems, but at least this could help ease their financial pressures a little bit,’ says Claire. 

‘I understand how difficult it is to ask for help, but when you speak to me or another member of the Advice and Support Team, what you say is in confidence. Support can be given in person or over the phone, and we encourage anyone who would like advice, guidance or support to give us a call.’

Last year, the MCF’s Advice and Support Team carried out 964 visits to Freemasons and their families. If you are a member of the masonic community and need advice or support, call 0800 035 60 90 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:00

MCF launch new video series 'Helping Hands'

A new video series called Helping Hands sees local Freemasons spend a day volunteering with the local charities that have benefited from the MCF’s funding

The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), inspired by stories of Freemasons regularly volunteering to support charitable causes within their local communities, has introduced a new video series called Helping Hands. The series highlights that when it comes to the masonic principle of relief, giving time is just as valuable as giving money. 

In the first episode, Cornwall Freemason Sebastian visited the Conquest Centre to learn about the charity’s equine activities for people with disabilities or disadvantages. He met beneficiaries and helped to collect eggs, groom horses and volunteer in the café on the farm. 

More recently, London Freemason and keen guitarist Tony travelled to Norwich to take part in a music and movement session for young adults with a wide range of disabilities and additional needs. The charity running the session, Musical Keys, recently received an MCF grant of £5,000 and was thrilled to welcome Tony along for the day.

‘It’s so important to us that Freemasons see how their funding can genuinely impact the lives of people within their communities,’ explained Musical Keys manager Alison. ‘It is well known that Freemasons have always been, and continue to be, incredibly generous with their funding for local and national charities, so for Tony to give us his time and join in with his guitar is a brilliant added bonus.’ 

Look out for more Helping Hands episodes over the next few months. Follow the MCF on social media or subscribe to its YouTube channel so you never miss a video: 

Twitter: @Masonic_Charity
Facebook: theMCF
Instagram: @masonic_charity

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