Blind veterans receive support

Blind Veterans UK, formerly known as St Dunstan’s, has received £50,000 from the Grand Charity to fund the development of a new state-of-the-art bedroom at its Brighton centre. 

When completed, the new specially adapted bedroom will feature fully accessible wet-room facilities and an electronic hoist, making it ideal for frail veterans. 

Lesley Garven, manager of the Blind Veterans UK rehabilitation, training and care centre in Brighton, said: ‘Thanks to the Grand Charity, our blind veterans will be able to live even more comfortably in a supported environment with direct access to the highest quality of nursing.’

Published in The Grand Charity

Pioneering brain repair

Research at Cambridge University’s Clinical Neurosciences Department into multiple sclerosis (MS) was celebrated at a special charity evening held in Cambridge. Representatives from 25 local charities were invited to a supper at Freemasons’ Hall during which grants were awarded from both national and Cambridgeshire masonic charities.

The Grand Charity and the MSF have each made a grant of £50,000 towards a research project on the safety of the drug Bexarotene – capable of repairing brain damage during the early stages of MS. In 2011, a £100,000 grant from the Grand Charity supported the development of Alemtuzumab, a drug used to help treat leukaemia, by Dr Alasdair Coles – which is now licensed for use in Europe, Canada and Australia.

Published in Freemasonry Cares

Grand Charity support for young adults with autism

Prior’s Court at Hermitage near Newbury in Berkshire has officially opened The Freemasons’ Room to mark a £100,000 donation from the Grand Charity towards supporting young adults with autism.

There is now on-site residential accommodation for 18 young adults who are able to learn life skills, access education and carry out work placements.

Prior’s Court head of fundraising Lucinda Stubbs said, ‘We are delighted to have achieved this target through the wonderful support from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity and other trusts and foundations.’

Published in The Grand Charity

Triple boost for air ambulance

The Provincial Grand Masters for Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire collectively presented a combined donation of £12,000 to Midlands Air Ambulance from the Grand Charity.

Air ambulances, without either government or National Lottery funding, rely on voluntary donations to be able to operate. Annie Newell, fundraising manager for Midlands Air Ambulance, expressed her sincere gratitude for the continued masonic commitment. 

The logo of the masonic square and compass is displayed on the tail fins of the air ambulance based at Strensham, Worcestershire.

Published in The Grand Charity

The three Provincial Grand Masters for Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire collectively presented a combined donation of £12,000 to Midlands Air Ambulance from their national charity, The Freemasons’ Grand Charity

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has been a regular supporter of air ambulance charities in recent years, donating over £1.5 million since 2007 to the twenty-two rescue services.

Air ambulances, without either government or National Lottery funding, rely on voluntary donations to operate. Support from grant-makers like the Freemasons means that doctors and paramedics reach patients in emergency situations as quickly as possible – saving lives in the process. This is especially true for rural areas. Annie Newell, Fundraising Manager for Midlands Air Ambulance expressed her sincere gratitude for the continued commitment and sustained level of generous support of the Freemasons.

Speaking about the donation, the Right Worshipful Brother The Reverend David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire said: 'We are delighted to be able to show our support for Midlands Air Ambulance once again. Charitable giving is central to Freemasons as evident that in 2012 the Province of Herefordshire donated £54,000 to Midlands Air Ambulance as a result of a designated three year campaign of support. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity works on behalf of all Freemasons in England and Wales, donating millions of pounds to worthy causes every year.'

It is with a continued sense of pride within the three Provinces of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, that the logo of the masonic square and compass is displayed on the tail fins of the distinctly coloured red and yellow Midlands Air Ambulance based at Strensham, Worcestershire, off the M5.

Photograph taken at Strensham during the presentation of £12,000, with staff of Midlands Air Ambulance who over the years have become close acquaintances of the Freemasons present.

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has just approved its first grants of 2014 totalling £842,500

Ranging from £10,000 to £100,000 each, they support nineteen significant causes across the UK.

Charities to receive funding include:

Speaking about the Major Grants programme Laura Chapman, Chief Executive at The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, said:

'The Freemasons’ Grand Charity seeks to help people in need, and we are dedicated to helping people who are socially disadvantaged, disabled, seriously ill, homeless, or facing economic and social deprivation. It is our hope that the positive impact of these grants will be felt by thousands of people facing difficulties.'

Quotes from the supported charities

'Red Balloon is extremely grateful to The Freemasons’ Grand Charity for donating £25,000 to our Bursary Fund for places at one of our Centres in Cambridge, Norwich, NW London or Reading, our mini Centre in Braintree or on Red Balloon of the Air. 

'This money will enable us to help the recovery of severely bullied children who hide under their duvets, depressed, self-harming and with suicidal thoughts unable to attend mainstream school. 

'The donation will help us to provide more children with a full-time education and therapeutic support, to get their life back.'

Dr Carrie Herbert MBE, Founder and President, Red Balloon Learner Centre Group                                           

'Raleigh International harnesses the passion and energy of young people to create positive change in very poor communities around the world.

'We are very grateful to The Freemasons’ Grand Charity for its support of our programme for disadvantaged young people – this will contribute to transforming lives abroad as well as in the UK.'

Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE, The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor of London, Trustee of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, Trustee of Raleigh International

 'We are extremely grateful to The Freemasons’ Grand Charity for their generosity in providing bursaries for high ability students from less advantaged backgrounds to attend our Inspiring Excellence Programme Courses which they would otherwise be unable to afford. 

'Far too many able young people substantially underachieve, creating a major block to improving social mobility in the UK. With the support of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity we are working to overcome this through inspiring young people to fulfil their potential.'

Richard Gould, Chief Executive, Villiers Park Educational Trust

'Mind is delighted to receive this significant contribution towards the development of a smartphone app for our Elefriends online support network. At www.elefriends.org.uk, people with experience of mental health problems support each other in a safe and friendly space. This grant will mean that even more people with experience of mental health problems are able to give or receive peer support wherever and whenever they need it.'

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive, Mind

Further grant details

Medical research

The Blond McIndoe Research Foundation has received £50,000 to fund research into the development of stimuli responsive materials, which are able to detect and respond to changes in a healing burn and diabetic wounds to help the repair process.

Cancer Research UK has received £100,000 to fund Dr Thorsten Hagemann’s pancreatic cancer research at Barts Cancer Institute. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity and the Masonic Samaritan Fund have both made grants of £50,000 towards the project.

The National Society for Epilepsy has received £50,000 to fund research into the genetic causes of epilepsy through exome DNA sequencing techniques.

The University of Leicester has received £33,000 to fund a clinical trial into the treatment of heart attack patients with the application of remote ischemic conditioning. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity and the Masonic Samaritan Fund have both made grants of £16,500 towards the project.

Youth opportunities

Chetham’s School of Music has received £75,000 payable over three years to fund the school’s community outreach services in disadvantaged areas.

Envision has received £25,000 to fund a community project in Bristol aiming to develop the confidence and skills of young people.

Red Balloon Learner Centres has received £25,000 to fund bursaries for severely bullied children to attend specialist learner centres, to build their resilience before returning to mainstream education.

SkillForce has received £100,000 payable over two years to fund the Onto Next Steps programme in Norfolk and Kent. The programme will mentor and coach pupils who are at risk of exclusion from education, and face subsequent unemployment.

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal has received £50,000 to engage with disadvantaged young people by funding Raleigh International’s youth agency partnership programme in the UK.

Villiers Park Educational Trust has received £25,000 to fund bursaries to enable disadvantaged young people to attend educational courses for raising academic achievement and developing employability skills, to help them gain places at leading universities.

Vulnerable people

Carers UK has received £100,000 payable over two years to fund its national advice and information service; providing expert advice and support on financial and practical matters for the estimated 6.5 million carers in the UK.

Designability has received £25,000 to fund the manufacture of powered wheelchairs called Wizzybugs for disabled pre-school children, which help them to get around with their peers and to learn spatial awareness.

Fledglings Family Services has received £13,000 to fund the cost of printing 26,000 copies of a brochure that will help families to find the best specialist products for children with special needs.

Mind has received £40,000 to help train 720 peer-supporters and to fund the development of a smartphone application, aiming to increase peer support hours by 20%.

Parkinson’s UK has received £90,000 payable over two years to fund the salary and costs of a Parkinson’s nurse specialist in Lancashire.

Phab has received £10,000 to fund courses on inclusive living experiences and skills for independence for disabled people.

Shelter has received £25,000 to fund its advice service in Norfolk. In 2012/13 the charity saw a 47% rise in people seeking help, and 2,400 households in Norfolk faced eviction or repossession.

The Children’s Trust has received £13,000 to fund the salary of the online co-ordinator of the Brain Injury Hub; a resource providing accurate information and advice to families on childhood acquired brain injury.

The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home in Sussex has received £60,000 payable over two years to fund the occupational therapy department; providing residential, nursing and rehabilitation services to disabled veterans and their dependants.

Published in The Grand Charity

Annual General Meeting of The Freemasons' Grand Charity 

11 June 2014 
An address by the President of the Grand Charity, Richard Hone, QC, and the Chief Executive, Laura Chapman

President (Richard Hone, QC):

Deputy Grand President and Members, welcome to the 34th Annual General Meeting of the Grand Charity. At the end of this meeting, we bid farewell to a past President, Grahame Elliott; a Deputy President, Ian Johnson and a Vice President, Ian Macbeth. These senior officers have played pivotal roles in the efficient running of the Grand Charity and on behalf of the Council and members here present, I want to thank them most warmly for all that they have done for the Charity over a long number of years and also for all they have done to assist me in particular.

I just want to endorse fully what the President of the Board of General Purposes has said about the unofficial and unauthorised history of Freemasonry being advertised with the improbable promise of half the net profit on sales being donated to the Grand Charity. I can confirm that we have had absolutely no contact with the publishers. The day job (if I may refer to it as that) reminds me that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Next year, our Annual General Meeting will be held at the September Quarterly Communication because as part of the wider re-organisation of the four central Masonic charities, it has been agreed that all four should have the same financial year-end of 31 March. So next year I shall be reporting on a 16-month period rather than the normal 12.

When I proof read the 44 pages of the Annual Report and Accounts, it demonstrates a year of steady progress - but there are highlights. In November 2013, there was the general meeting in Berkshire where four local mayors attended, with our own RW Bro Anthony West representing the Lord Lieutenant. The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Martin Peters, encouraged a terrific attendance of over 400 members with families and it was a marvellous opportunity to showcase our work and hear heart-rending stories from some of those who have been helped. You probably know that our areas of non-Masonic charitable support are Medical Research, Youth Opportunities, Vulnerable People and Hospices not substantially financed by the NHS. We know from the feed-back we have received that these are the most popular causes with you the members.

Since the formation of Grand Charity in 1980, which took over the work of Grand Lodge’s Board of Benevolence, we have enjoyed 28 Festivals which have raised a global total of no less than £57 million. With prudent investments, the annual contribution and generous legacies, we have been able to add to that £57 million and distribute over £120 million since 1981. Last September, the Province of Staffordshire held the 2013 Festival for the Grand Charity, which raised the stupendous total of £1.675 million from one of the smaller Provinces. I am so grateful to the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Sandy Stewart, who is also a member of our Council, for that tremendous support. Last year we gave grants totalling £6.6 million, first to distressed Freemasons and their families, and equally important to non-Masonic charities. With the other central Masonic charities, we donate over £20 million annually and that excludes Provincial and individual Masonic giving. It is a great story and the world should know that Freemasonry is and remains a truly terrific force for good.

May I turn now to the yellow paper of business on page 13, paragraph 18, and mention that after careful discussions with representatives of the Board of General Purposes we have decided to withdraw our recommendation for an increase in the annual contribution and that the amount for 2015 should remain as it. This situation will be kept under review between now and the next Annual General Meeting.

With that amendment, I now propose that the report of the Council on pages 10-13 be taken as read and adopted.

Deputy Grand President and members – unless anyone has any objections, I shall propose all these recommendations as one resolution.

In the absence of objection, I now move that the 19 Non-Masonic grants recommended under Agenda Items 3a. to 3s., which total £842,500, be approved.

Deputy Grand President and members – Item 5 relates to Emergency Grants. These are grants that, under the rules of the Grand Charity, may be authorised by the President without approval from the Council or from the membership, for either Masonic or non-Masonic purposes in cases of real or dire emergency. Such emergency assistance usually follows natural disasters in other parts of the world, but on occasions this country has its own emergency requirements. The business paper reports a number of grants that were made to assist flood relief operations earlier this year in the UK, and which the Pro Grand Master spoke about in his address to Grand Lodge last March. Since then, I have authorised an emergency grant of £30,000 to assist the three million people affected by flooding and landslides in the Balkans, where more than 100,000 homes are thought to have been destroyed. As is often the case when dealing with urgent aid in areas where the Grand Charity has no real appropriate contact, the British Red Cross has been given the money to assist us in seeing that it swiftly gets to where it is most needed.

I should now, with your permission Deputy Grand President, like to ask Laura Chapman, the Charity’s Chief Executive, to say a few words about further assistance that is given in the name of the Craft, but which falls outside of the normal reporting requirements.

Chief Executive (Laura Chapman):

Deputy Grand President and members. Almost ten years ago, whilst the majority of us were enjoying our Boxing Day lunch, a tsunami travelled 375 miles across 18 countries, leaving 1.7 million people homeless in just 75 minutes, eventually killing more than a quarter of a million people by the end of the day. As you may recall, the Grand Charity immediately made a grant of £100,000 on behalf of the Craft to assist with front-line relief efforts and I personally hand delivered that cheque to the offices of the Red Cross on the first day it re-opened after the Christmas break. In the next few days, before Freemasons’ Hall reopened, I received a number of telephone calls at home from Provincial contacts, asking if the Grand Charity planned to open a Relief Chest to receive donations from Masons and Lodges throughout UGLE who wanted to help the tsunami victims, but also wanted their donations to be associated with Freemasonry. The Grand Charity had never opened a Relief Chest before to receive donations for disaster relief, but it seemed to me to be a very reasonable request. So, even before FMH re-opened after the New Year, the Tsunami Relief Chest was up and running and receiving donations that would ultimately reach nearly £1m. The Trustees of the Grand Charity then approved a grant to Plan International to use the Relief Chest funds to help to reconstruct schools, health centres and other vital community services focussed on helping the children who had suffered so much.

Since then, for a number of catastrophic disasters, Masons have wanted to give more than the emergency grant that the Grand Charity invariably makes immediately after the disaster strikes. For these, the Grand Charity has opened a Relief Chest with the result that more than £1.25 million has so far been given by the Craft for 7 major disaster relief projects.

In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan – the worst storm ever to have hit land – caused widespread destruction across the Philippines, affecting an estimated 14.1 million people and sadly taking the lives of more than 6,000. A President’s emergency grant of £50,000 was immediately made to the British Red Cross and in response to further interest from the Craft to help with the longer term redevelopment efforts, the Council of the Grand Charity announced that its special Relief Chest would once again receive funds to be dedicated to a special project to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan rebuild their lives.

To date, £185,395 has been donated to the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Chest, which will be used, once again with the help of the charity Plan, to re-establish vital services within affected communities through the reconstruction, repair and equipping of 15 classrooms and two village health centres in East and West Samar. It is estimated that approximately 5,000 people will benefit in the first year alone following project completion. The classrooms and health centres, which will be constructed using disaster resilient designs following stringent building codes, will provide safe and engaging learning environments and quality healthcare services for thousands of children and families for many years to come. 

This project, along with the schools in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, Aceh Besar, Indonesia, Leogane, Haiti, the donation to the emergency relief and recovery programme in Japan (2011), and the fishing boats jealously guarded by the women of Tamil Nadu, India, to make sure that their men did not sell them on to the highest bidder, have all been possible only because of the outpouring of generous support that Masons, throughout the Craft, have given to those who have suffered so much from these catastrophic disasters. 

On behalf of those whom you have helped, thank you.

Published in The Grand Charity

Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge

11 June 2014 
Report of the Board of General Purposes

Minutes

The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of 12 March 2014 and of the Annual Investiture of 30 April 2014 were confirmed.

Annual Dues 

The Board’s recommendation for the annual dues payable to Grand Lodge in respect of each member of every lodge for the year 2015 was approved.

Fees

The Board’s recommendation that fees (exclusive of VAT) payable for registration, certificates and dispensations should be increased in line with inflation was approved.

Contribution to The Grand Charity

The Resolution was not put.

Prestonian Lectures

2013: As we were seen - the Press and Freemasonry

The Lecturer, P.R. Calderwood, informed the Board that in addition to the three official deliveries to Jubilee Masters Lodge, No. 2712 (London), Bowen Lodge, No. 2816 (Buckinghamshire) and Torbay Masters Lodge, No. 8227 (Devonshire), the Lecture was also delivered on twenty-six other occasions throughout the Constitution. The Board thanked Bro. Calderwood for the considerable time and effort he has spent in this connection.

2014: 1814: Consolidation and Change

The Prestonian Lecturer for 2014 is Dr M.A. Kearsley. Three official Prestonian Lectures for 2014 have been or will be given under the auspices of The London Grand Rank Association, Egerton Worsley Lodge, No. 1213, Eccles (West Lancashire) and Temple of Athene Lodge, No. 9541, Harrow (Middlesex). 

2015: The Board has submitted a nomination to the Trustees of the Prestonian Fund and they have appointed Prof R. Burt as Prestonian Lecturer for 2015. The title of his Lecture will be Wherever dispersed – the Travelling Mason.

Arrangements for the delivery of the Lectures to selected lodges will be considered by the Board in November and applications are now invited from lodges. Applications should be made to the Grand Secretary, through Metropolitan, Provincial or District Grand Secretaries.

The Board desires to emphasise the importance of these, the only Lectures held under the authority of the Grand Lodge. It is, therefore, hoped that applications for the privilege of having one of these official Lectures will be made only by lodges which are prepared to afford facilities for all Freemasons in their area, as well as their own members, to participate and thus ensure an attendance worthy of the occasion.

Traditional History of the Third Degree

In May 2011 it was brought to the Board’s attention that some lodges were working only the main part of the Third Degree ceremony, leaving the Traditional History to be delivered on a future occasion. The Board concluded that the delivery of the Traditional History of the Third Degree, containing as it does certain of the secrets of the degree, was an integral part of the ceremony of Raising. It therefore instructed the Grand Secretary not to register any Brother as having received the Third Degree until it was established that he had received the Traditional History.

Although it was the hope of the Board that as a consequence of this direction the practice of delivering the Traditional History on a separate occasion would gradually cease, this has not proved to be the case.

The practice appears to be largely unknown in London and most Provinces, and Provincial Grand Masters generally have expressed surprise that it should exist. It has been suggested (though this is not easily capable of verification) that, with fewer candidates coming forward, Lodges are ‘spinning out’ their work. If this is so, it would suggest that the practice is of recent origin; and it is, at any rate, certain that all the more commonly used rituals treat the Third Degree as a single indivisible whole. Moreover, the omission of the Traditional History saves only some ten to fifteen minutes, so that the overall length of the ceremony is unlikely to have been a significant consideration.

The Board has now reaffirmed its view that the delivery of the Traditional History of the Third Degree is an integral part of the ceremony of Raising. It therefore trusts that the Grand Lodge will endorse its recommendation that the Third Degree be given in its entirety on every occasion that it is worked.

Grande Loge Nationale Française

At its Quarterly Communication in September 2011 the Grand Lodge voted to suspend relations with the Grande Loge Nationale Française (the ‘GLNF’) in view of the widespread disharmony then existing within that Grand Lodge.

At the Quarterly Communication in September 2012 the Board reported that the situation within the GLNF had deteriorated and that the continuing turbulence within the GLNF made it impossible at that time to determine the true state of affairs. The Board, after taking advice from the Grand Registrar, had reluctantly decided that it had no alternative but to recommend that it was in the best interests of the Grand Lodge that recognition be withdrawn from the GLNF. The Grand Lodge voted to withdraw recognition.

The Board has continued to monitor the situation and notes that changes have been made in the Constitution and Rules of the GLNF, with the full support and participation of the members, which should in future prevent any individual or group of individuals usurping power, and that significant numbers of former members are returning to the GLNF. The GLNF has now submitted a request to this Grand Lodge that the Grand Lodge restore recognition of the GNLF.

The Board believes that the problems which led to the withdrawal of recognition in September 2012 have been actively addressed by the new Grand Master and his executive and that stability and harmony have returned to the GLNF. Accordingly, the Board recommends that the Grand Lodge restore recognition to the GLNF.

A Resolution to this effect was approved.

Paper of Business and Printed Proceedings of the Grand Lodge

The Board has appointed a committee which is considering how electronic systems and methods might be used to streamline systems and produce economies in the way in which Freemasonry is administered at all levels. It is expected that some of the measures which may be recommended will require amendments to the Book of Constitutions and the Board expects to give notice of motion in September to introduce the first of such amendments.

In the meantime, the Board has considered the wording of Rule 47 which requires the Grand Secretary to forward the papers of business and the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge to Grand Officers and certain others, and to send copies to all lodge secretaries. It has concluded that the Rule already permits this to be done by electronic means and accordingly proposes that, starting with the Quarterly Communication in December 2014, such papers should in future be so transmitted to those within the specified categories for whom the Grand Secretary’s office has an e-mail address, unless the Brethren concerned request otherwise. The Board wishes to stress the importance of Brethren ensuring that they inform those who will need the information of any change in e-mail address or any other relevant contact details.

The Committee will also in due course consider all other aspects of electronic systems and related technology insofar as they may be relevant to streamlining current procedures and methods.

Audit of Lodge and Other Accounts

It has been brought to the Board’s attention that both national and international professional accountancy bodies are seeking to place restrictions on their members carrying out any process described as an ‘audit’ that does not conform to the exacting regulations that they lay down. Those regulations are in general intended to govern the audit of accounts far more complex than those of masonic units, and impose a level of compliance and responsibility in excess of what is required for most masonic accounts.

The Board is concerned that Brethren possessed of useful (even though not essential) skill and expertise will be discouraged or prevented from undertaking the audit of lodge and other masonic accounts as a consequence of what it considers to be no more than a matter of nomenclature. It therefore trusts that the Grand Lodge will endorse its recommendation that whenever a Rule in the Book of Constitutions or a lodge’s, Province’s or District’s by-laws requires that accounts be audited such Rule will, in the case of an individual who is a professionally qualified accountant or auditor, be deemed to be complied with if he carries out an ‘examination’ of those accounts and certifies that he has done so.

Amalgamations

The Board had received reports that the following lodges had resolved to surrender their Warrants: 

Blackheath Lodge, No. 1320 (London) in order to amalgamate with Lodge Fidelis, No. 5405 (London); Leyland Lodge, No. 4249 in order to amalgamate with Hesketh Lodge, No. 986 (West Lancashire); Kentish Companions Lodge, No. 8483 in order to amalgamate with Hervey Lodge, No. 1692 (West Kent); and Mount Sinai Lodge, No. 8855 in order to amalgamate with Old Mancunians Lodge No. 3140  (East Lancashire). The Board recommendation that the lodges be removed from the register of Grand Lodge in order to effect the amalgamations was approved.

Erasure of Lodges

The Board had received a report that thirty-five lodges had closed and had surrendered their Warrants. They are: Lodge of Affability with Villiers, No. 317 (East Lancashire); Yarborough Lodge, No. 633 (East Lancashire); Callender Lodge, No. 1052 (East Lancashire); Starkie Lodge, No. 1634 (East Lancashire); All Saints Lodge, No. 1716 (London); St George’s Lodge, No. 1723 (East Lancashire); Radcliffe Lodge, No. 2701 (East Lancashire); Westcliff Lodge, No. 2903 (Essex); Proscenium Lodge, No. 4152 (Cheshire); Victory Lodge, No. 4157 (South Africa, North); Isthmian Lodge, No. 4566 (Essex); Halliwick Lodge, No. 4800 (London).

Aintree Lodge, No. 4906 (West Lancashire); Anglo-Dutch and Barnes Lodge, No. 4968 (London); Sphere Lodge, No. 5051 (Warwickshire); Pro Minimis and Marble Arch Lodge, No. 5180 (London); Halcyon Lodge, No. 5300 (East Lancashire); Farnworth Lodge, No. 5301 (East Lancashire); Hounslow Lodge, No. 5415 (Middlesex); Summit Lodge, No. 5944 (Staffordshire); Heber Lodge, No. 6241 (Northumberland); St Michael’s Lodge, No. 6332 (Durham); Stamford and Assheton Lodge, No. 6427 (East Lancashire).

Lodge of True Friendship, No. 6631 (London); Richard Taunton Lodge, No. 7050 (Hampshire & Isle of Wight); Dextras Dare Lodge, No. 7054 (London); Cricketers Lodge, No. 7508 (Northumberland); Monitorial Lodge, No. 7676 (London); Lodge of Fraternal Friendship, No. 7777 (London); St Edmund Lodge, No. 7945 (West Kent); Hilsea Bastion Lodge, No. 8245 (Hampshire & Isle of Wight); Lodge of Dignity, No. 8304 (East Lancashire); Tewkesbury Lodge, No. 8344 (London); Ajex Lodge, No. 8407 (London); and Hawkshaw Lodge, No. 8624 (East Lancashire). 

Over recent years, the lodges had found themselves no longer viable. The Board was satisfied that further efforts to save them would be to no avail and therefore had no alternative but to recommend that they be erased. A Resolution to this effect was approved.

Expulsions

Fifteen brethren have been expelled from the Craft.

Grand Lodge Accounts for 2013

The Audited Accounts of Grand Lodge for the year ended 31 December 2013 were approved.

Election of Grand Lodge Auditors

The re-election of Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP, as Auditors of Grand Lodge, was approved. 

Quarterly Communications

A Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge is held on the second Wednesday in March, June, September and December. The next will be at noon on Wednesday, 10 September 2014. Subsequent Communications will be held: 10 December 2014, 11 March 2015, 10 June 2015 and 9 September 2015. 

The Annual Investiture of Grand Officers takes place on the last Wednesday in April (the next is on 29 April 2015), and admission is by ticket only. A few tickets are allocated by ballot after provision has been made for those automatically entitled to attend. Full details will be given in the Paper of Business for December Grand Lodge. 

Supreme Grand Chapter

Convocations of Supreme Grand Chapter are held on the second Wednesday in November and the day following the Annual Investiture of Grand Lodge. Future Convocations will be held on 12 November 2014, 30 April 2015 and 11 November 2015.

Published in UGLE

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is giving 17 charities a total of £57,500 as part of its Minor Grants Programme. Grants range from £2,000 to £5,000 and are given to support a wide range of causes

Speaking about the Minor Grants programme Laura Chapman, Chief Executive of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, said:

'Many smaller charities provide vital support to people and communities in need. The Minor Grants Programme enables us to contribute towards their core funding to help them to continue their work. Helping people in need is central to our grant making, and we are delighted that we are able to do this through the many charities we support.'

The following charities have received grants:

DEMAND £2,500

A charity dedicated to helping people with disabilities that require bespoke equipment to help them with their everyday lives.

Headquarters located in Hertfordshire. www.demand.org.uk

 

Drake Music £2,500

The only organisation in England specialising in the use of assistive music technology to break down (physical/societal) barriers to participation in music and the arts.

Headquarters located in London. www.drakemusic.org

 

Fishing for Heroes £2,500

A nationwide charity based in Derby with the aim of helping forces personnel who are suffering from emotional issues after the horrors of active service. 

Headquarters located in Derbyshire. www.fishingforheroes.com

 

FoodCycle £5,000

FoodCycle runs volunteer-powered community projects across the UK – working to reduce food poverty and social isolation by serving tasty, nutritious meals to vulnerable groups.

Headquarters located in London. www.foodcycle.org.uk

 

Grandparents Plus £2,500

Grandparents Plus is the national charity that champions the vital role of grandparents and the wider family, in children’s lives.

Headquarters located in London. www.grandparentsplus.org.uk

 

Housing the Homeless Central Fund £2,500

A small-grant making charity that supports homeless people, people under threat of becoming homeless or losing essential services due to severe personal setbacks, and carers of children in impoverished circumstances.

Headquarters located in London.

 

Jumbulance £5,000

The Jumbulance Trust makes it possible for severely disabled and unwell adults, children and dependent elderly people to travel on holidays and day outings.

Headquarters located in Hertfordshire. www.jumbulance.org.uk

 

The Masonic Fishing Charity £5,000

The Masonic Fishing Charity’s aim is to bring an interactive fishing and countryside experience to people with special needs.

Headquarters located in Middlesex. www.mtsfc.org.uk

 

National Migraine Centre £2,000

The National Migraine Centre is at the forefront of primary headache research, as well as treating sufferers of migraine and cluster headache for over 30 years.

Headquarters located in London. www.migraineclinic.org.uk

 

NBFA Assisting the Elderly £5,000

By offering a select range of practical services, the NBFA actively encourage independent living in older age and help to combat loneliness.

Headquarters located in London. www.nbfa.org.uk

 

Peter Le Marchant Trust £5,000

Offering holidays and day trips on three disability-adapted boats for children, adults and families who are living with disabilities and serious illnesses.

Headquarters located in Leicestershire. www.peterlemarchanttrust.co.uk

 

Pod Charitable Trust £2,500

A nationwide charity that organises entertainment for children in hospital, to help alleviate the trauma of a hospital stay by sowing the seeds of fun, laughter and feeling better.

Headquarters located in North Wales. www.podchildrenscharity.com

 

REACT £5,000

REACT are working towards improving the quality of life for children with life-limiting illnesses living in financially disadvantaged households throughout the UK.

Headquarters located in Surrey. www.reactcharity.org

 

Sebastian’s Action Trust £2,500

Sebastian’s Action Trust has created the UK's only purpose-built facility that offers respite holidays to very sick children and their families, enabling precious time to be spent together.

Headquarters located in Surrey. www.sebastiansactiontrust.org

 

Sky Badger £2,500

Sky Badger is a charity that finds help and adventure for disabled children and their families in the UK. 

Headquarters located in Bedfordshire. www.skybadger.co.uk

 

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide £3,000

A self-help organisation that exists to meet the needs of people aged 18+ bereaved by suicide, and to help them overcome the isolation they may experience. 

Headquarters located in Derbyshire. www.uk-sobs.org.uk

 

Tourettes Action £2,500

Tourettes Action is the leading support and research charity for people with Tourette Syndrome and their families.

Headquarters located in Surrey. www.tourettes-action.org.uk

 

Representatives from the charities have said:

'The Freemasons' Grand Charity have provided vital funding to FoodCycle in 2014. This will enable us to reach more vulnerable people at risk of food poverty and social isolation across the UK.

'We are particularly grateful that they are willing to fund core costs, which allows us to spend the money where it will have the greatest impact, and support our national expansion. Food waste and food poverty unfortunately co-exist in communities up and down the country - we want to change this and we are incredibly grateful to The Freemasons' Grand Charity for their support for FoodCycle'

Mary McGrath, Chief Executive of FoodCycle

'Thanks to a grant of £2,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, we were able to fund 10 life-changing appointments for sufferers of migraine or cluster headache with our highly experienced headache specialists.

'Patients who are extremely disabled by migraine were given personalised treatment plans that have educated and empowered them, to self-manage their condition and regain control of their lives.'

Heather Sim, Chief Executive of the National Migraine Centre

'One of the hospitals we visit recently said ‘If the NHS could bottle this, it would be on prescription.’ Laughter is the best medicine!

'This year Pod magicians, puppeteers, musicians and clowns will be providing 2,400 shows, which will cheer up thousands of children in 150 hospitals and hospices.

'Pod is very grateful for the recent grant from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, and it will bring magic, fun and laughter into the lives of children in Carshalton, Torquay, Telford and Sunderland hospitals.' 

Margaret Munford MBE, Administrator, Pod Children's Charity

'NBFA Assisting the Elderly works to improve the wellbeing of older people on low incomes, through our short breaks and outreach programme.

'Many of our beneficiaries are socially isolated and coping with life changes, such as ill health and bereavement.  We are in touch with over 12,000 older people whom we have helped lead lives that are more independent. We immensely value the support of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.'

David Moss, Fundraising and Development Officer, NBFA Assisting the Elderly

'This generous grant from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity enabled Fishing for Heroes to deliver three, four-day, one-to-one residential courses for Veterans who are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

'This has already been of significant benefit, not just to those who attended the courses, but to those loved ones who care for them.'

Paul West, National Coordinator for Fishing for Heroes

'This year, The Freemasons' Grand Charity has helped us solve problems and find adventures for over 234,000 disabled and life-limited children in the UK.

'Their confidence in our charity Sky Badger, has helped as grow faster than we could have imagined - creating three new jobs for disabled people and carers & fourteen new volunteering roles since 2013.

'Thank you so much!'

Naomi Marek, Chief Executive for Sky Badger

The Minor Grants programme is part of the overall £2.5million donated by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity every year. 

Visit grandcharity.org for more information.

Published in The Grand Charity

Coming to the rescue in flooded areas

Working with the Provinces,  the Grand Charity has been  providing help to those in  need following winter floods

 The start of 2014 saw the wettest January reported since records began, and the severe weather continued into February, causing widespread damage. Entire villages were cut off and thousands of people had to abandon their homes and businesses. It is estimated that more than five thousand properties were flooded, with many underwater for up to six weeks. 

Richard Hone, QC, President of the Grand Charity, said: ‘The thousands of people whose homes were flooded have had their lives turned upside down. Not only do they face financial hardship as a result, they also face tremendous emotional difficulties as so much of what they held close to their hearts may have been lost. Months of living in temporary accommodation while they coordinate repairs to their homes will take a tremendous toll on their well-being. We should not forget how damaging the floods have been to people’s lives, and why it is so important that we help.’

 Provincial network

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity liaised with Provinces in affected regions to work out the best way to deliver support. Provincial funding efforts in Somerset, Berkshire, Devonshire and West Wales were matched with grants totalling £12,500. In addition, two emergency grants were issued in February 2014. 

The first, for £25,000, was donated to the Somerset Community Foundation via the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset. A second grant of £20,000 was awarded to the British Red Cross to help fund its relief efforts across England and Wales. 

In addition, Freemasons across the country rallied together and generously contributed to fundraising efforts in the Provinces of Essex and Somerset, whose appeals have so far raised more than £185,000.

 The supporting role  of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity

The charity’s grants are given to assist communities in desperate need of help due to disasters such as the major earthquake in New Zealand in 2011, the typhoon in the Philippines in 2013 and monsoon flooding in India in 2013. The Grand Charity has also consistently supported relief efforts for flood victims with emergency grants, while hundreds of thousands of pounds have been donated through the Relief Chest Scheme thanks to additional support from Freemasons nationwide.

To find out more about emergency grants for disaster relief, go to www.the-grand-charity.org

Published in The Grand Charity
Page 10 of 22

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