Globe and Laurel Lodge 4657

Globe and Laurel


Masonic News and Initiatives



UGLE

Quarterly magazine of the United Grand Lodge of England, featuring freemasons' news, interviews, and features. Free to view online alongside exclusive content.
Published Tue, 17 Sep 2019 09:26:29 +0100

Pro Grand Master's address - September 2019

Quarterly Communication

11 September 2019 
An address by the MW the Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes

Brethren I have been a Freemason for nearly 50 years and there have been so many changes during that time that one might think it has been all change. However, that is not the case and the principles emphasised at that time are still very much at the centre of what we all do and strive to pass on today.

What has changed, and I hope very much for the better is our ability to discuss our membership and what we do, with non members, as well as a greatly improved internal communications system.

Since my first involvement at Grand Lodge there have been four Pro Grand Masters, Lords Cornwallis, Farnham and Northampton and myself. Those three predecessors were acutely aware of the need for change, as, indeed, were their senior advisers. They, with the tremendous and very much continuing support of the Grand Master, started and continued the process. Where I have been lucky is that so much of it seems to have come to fruition on my watch. It would be very easy for me to claim credit for this. However, I hope that those of you who know me well enough, appreciate that it is not my style, but, much more importantly, it would be totally untrue.

Very little gets done in the world in general and certainly not in Freemasonry unless it is overseen by a strong team and I have been fortunate in having had excellent support from exceptional people throughout my period of office.

It is, perhaps, now a rather hackneyed expression, but Mark McCormack’s saying that there is no 'I' in team still rings true. Everything works better when there is collective responsibility and everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.

In Freemasonry we should look at the whole membership as one team. Provinces and Districts are teams in their own right, as are individual Lodges and I would go further and say that the executives at the head of all these bodies should consider themselves teams. We must all pull in the same direction and support each other. 

Reverting to the team theme, there will, inevitably, be some decisions made with which not all in the team agree, but again there should be collective responsibility and support should be given.

If this is not the case, we run the risk of being 'picked off' by ill wishers both externally and, dare I say, internally as well.

Of course, we won’t all agree on everything, but mutual support and respect goes a long way to finding the right answers, even if there has to be tinkering along the way.

I really do believe that during the last 10 years we have made giant strides in the right direction, but I do stress again that this was enormously helped by the building blocks that had started to be put in place earlier. We have a long way to go, but I can’t remember a time when I have seen so much enthusiasm around the world and I am primarily, but by no means solely, referring to UGLE members because they are the ones that I meet most. We have a large number of visitors from other Constitutions with us today and I hope that they would concur with what I have said.

Wherever I go in the world I find our Brethren openly talking to non masons about their membership. There is no embarrassment and no secrecy involved. I even had a most convivial conversation with the Passport Control Officer in Kingston, Jamaica. I didn’t manage to sign him up, but he showed great interest in our visit to the Jamaica Cancer Charity.

Brethren we should all consider ourselves lucky to be members of our Order at this exciting time, but I make no apology for repeating that the current positive situation is very largely down to team work in every aspect of what we do, most certainly not forgetting the incredible teams who raise money for and manage our Charities. Please don’t forget Brethren that when anything has gone well, none of us should say 'I have done such and such' we should say 'we have done such and such'. I feel certain that I have just made a rod for my own back and, no doubt, I shall fall into my own trap perhaps even later today, and I can think of a few people sitting not far from me who will delight in picking me up on it.

Brethren, please forgive me if I finish by saying I know that I have spoken for quite long enough and WE must go to lunch. 

Thank you, Brethren.


Published Wed, 11 Sep 2019 12:39:08 +0100

Project Hermes talk - Stephen Blank

Quarterly Communication

11 September 2019
A talk by RW Bro Stephen Blank, Provincial Grand Master for Cheshire and Chairman of the Hermes ‘To Be’ working party

I am grateful to have the opportunity to say a few words about Project Hermes which will revolutionise the work of the Lodge Sec and Chapter Scribe Ezra. From now on I will just refer to the Lodge Sec but please understand this applies to Chapters as well. I will also lapse occasionally and only say ‘Provincial’ when I mean ‘Metropolitan’ and ‘District’ as well!

It is perhaps a little strange that I find myself involved with the workings of the Lodge Sec. In my 40+ years as a Freemason, I have been Lodge Treasurer, Lodge DC – actually I still am – Provincial DC, DepGDC, APGM, DGS and now Provincial Grand Master - but never Lodge Sec.  However, all my various jobs have served to make it clear to me that the most important job is that of Lodge Secretary; it is very rare to find a good and successful Lodge that does not have a good Secretary.

After that flattery, and as a matter of interest, would those of you who are or have been Lodge Secretaries put their hands up? Okay, so for the benefit of those who are not, a little bit of explanation may be helpful.

UGLE maintains all of our details, including those of past members, on a database system called ADelphi, which is Greek for brother. This records our Lodges and Chapters, the offices we have held within them and, if relevant, our Provincial and grand rank. It records your passing and raising dates and the number of your grand Lodge certificate. Of course, it also records your contact details and your Lodge’s details, such as Lodge officers and where and when the Lodge meets.

It is a web-based system available to MetGL, Provinces and Districts. Typically, only the ProvGSec, PGM and designated Met / Prov / District leaders have access plus Prov office staff or volunteers.

ADelphi is ‘fed’ by all the various forms which the Lodge Secretary has to prepare; the form M/P/A for new candidates, the Annual Return, the Installation Return. The Annual Return is created by ADelphi and is the basis for the request for payment of dues that UGLE - and many Provs / Dists - make every year to every Lodge and Chapter. The Secretary also has to create the summons for each meeting. 

In doing all of these tasks, the Sec has to ensure all of his work complies with the Book of Constitutions. And when it doesn’t, he gets an email from his Provincial office – or Prov office gets an email from Registrations dept here at GQS and then Prov office emails Lodge Sec telling him to put it right. 

Two examples of problems that the Lodge Sec can encounter.  Rule 158: if someone applies to join a Lodge but doesn’t live or work in that Province, the Lodge Sec has to make enquiries of that person’s local Province.  How the other Province responds – and when – is out of his control. 

Let’s look at rule 163 specifically rule 163(c). When an existing member wants to join a new Lodge, the joiner must obtain clearance certificates to show to the Lodge Sec that he doesn’t owe subs to another Lodge because, if he does, rule 163(d) says that the new Lodge is liable. 

That means the Sec must be told all the Lodges of which he is and has been a member, whether within the same Province or not. Some of those Lodges may have closed.  And for some of us, remembering all the Lodges we are and have been members of can be a problem.  When I applied to join my first Cheshire Lodge, I forgot one and started life in trouble with my Prov office!  But this information is all on ADelphi; the catch being that the Lodge Sec does not have access to ADelphi and, thanks to GDPR, even ProvGSecs don’t have access to other Provinces’ data.

Last year, the process whereby PGMs apply for grand ranks for their members was automated via ADelphi. There are, as you might imagine, rules as to who is eligible which are very convoluted.  In the original system, emails and forms went in to GQS and if you transgressed, as I did - accidentally - in one year, I received a polite letter two weeks later suggesting that I rethink.  Then I had to revisit my plans in a hurry. In the new system, the PGM does it online and his request to the mw the gm is validated as he enters it.  This saved me and those who manage the process within UGLE a huge amount of time.

The GSec wants the same ability for Lodge Secs when it comes to creating their summons, at least for matters covered by the BoC.  When the Sec enters a potential joining member, any decent modern computer system should instantly look him up and flag him as ‘clear’ i.e. not in arrears anywhere in the constitution.  It should ‘talk’ the Sec through the application process.  Rather than relying on the Prov office to key in a candidate’s name and address or date of birth from a handwritten form, the candidate himself should do it and have it validated by the Lodge Sec. 

We should do the standard id checks to protect ourselves and our members and capture photos while we’re at it as well.  Updating Lodge records should be made easy and flow straight from the summons – so if a resignation is on the summons, the resignation process is triggered – copy to Prov retrieval officer - and once confirmed after the meeting, the member doesn’t appear erroneously on the next annual return.  So, the annual return will be accurate.

My Province’s reported exaltation numbers for 2018 changed only last month as a form relating to an exaltation in 2018 was finally submitted correctly by the se in July!  This makes monitoring progress in anything like real time very hard.  Hermes will make this virtually impossible and, perhaps more importantly, there will be no reason any more for the Lodge Sec to delay.

So, I hope you are all convinced this is worthwhile; how are we going about it?

The present version of ADelphi went live in the summer of 2015 which is more or less when I became PGM of Cheshire.  It is fair to say that the launch did not go well.  As I have been involved in trying to make computers work in organisations for over forty years – although always from the business perspective rather than the technical side – I found myself becoming very voluble about its shortcomings.  When you do that in freemasonry you usually find yourself on a committee charged with sorting matters out and that is exactly what happened to me.

That committee, the ADelphi senior user group was set up at the end of 2016 by RWBro David Macey and is now chaired by RWBro Ian Chandler.  It records and prioritises developments of new features and bug-fixes requested by Provinces or UGLE and has been bringing about improvements to ADelphi ever since. 

In 2018, the GSec presented his proposal to the BGP, to extend ADelphi’s availability to Lodge Secs where, I am told, it was readily accepted.  But we had learnt the lesson from the ADelphi launch and did not rush into coding.  Instead UGLE formed a steering group and recruited two people to work exclusively on Hermes: tony Keating, a project manager, and Nigel Codron, a business analyst and senior Middx freemason.

One early decision was that we would not, in fact, extend ADelphi itself to Lodge Secs.  ADelphi was designed as a tool for Provinces, aimed at people who would work with it all day every day.  Instead we would commission a new web-based system designed to be intuitive for Lodge Secs, we call it the Hermes front-end or just Hermes. 

We will provide on-line training, but the expectation is that this will be as easy to use as amazon or your on-line banking system.  The two systems, Hermes and ADelphi, will talk to each other so updates by Lodge Secs will require validation by UGLE or Prov offices before they actually update ADelphi.  But if we get the summons creation right, there won’t be a need for too much validation.

A second early decision was that, before we started creating new digital processes, we should make sure we understood the existing paper processes, especially who does what and where interactions with BoC take place. 

Well, I said ‘paper processes’, but that implies they existed on paper.  In fact, they exist in a bio-computer running on the oxford classics operating system – UGLE’s Deputy Grand Secretary Graham Redman! –  so, we have spent many months carefully documenting the ‘as-is’ processes as we call them by talking at length to brother Redman himself, bro Andy Croci in registrations and a sample of Provincial, Lodge, and Chapter Secretaries. 

A third early decision was that we could not engage simultaneously with every one of the forty-seven Provinces and MetGL not to mention the Districts overseas.  So, we formed a small group termed the pilot Provinces consisting of MetGL, Hampshire and the isle of Wight, Cheshire and Bristol plus the Districts of Cyprus and eastern archipelago who in turn formed their own little consulting groups of selected Lodge Secretaries and Chapter Scribes E.  These are the ones we consult on a regular basis to keep us ‘real’, as they say. 

The results of documenting the ‘as-is’ processes can be viewed on flowcharts with swim-lanes for each relevant department.

The complexity of all of this meant that we were only ready to start thinking about the new way forward at the end of June at which point a working party was formed, known as the 2b working party and, since I was out of the room at the time, I was designated its chairman.  As well as Tony, Nigel and myself, the members of the working party are: Richard Gardiner, Neil Tomkinson, Prity lad and David bell. 

Richard fulfils a dual role; he is a pivotal member of the ADelphi senior user group, designated the Provincial and metropolitan user representative, but he is also a senior member of MetGL and an experienced met Lodge and Chapter Secretary.  I will come back to the position of MetGL in a minute.  Neil Tomkinson is the ADelphi guru from UGLE’s ICT department; Mrs Prity lad is director of member services and David Bell is the interim finance director of UGLE.

What became clear very quickly is that significant changes will also be required to ADelphi itself which is why Neil Tomkinson’s presence on the 2bwp is critical. He regards it as so important that he put on a tie especially for this photo – the first time he’s worn one in 20 years, he said.  Many of the changes needed were already logged as feature requests with the ADelphi senior users’ group and have been passed over to form part of the Hermes requirements catalogue.

UGLE’s overall strategic imperative is to start our membership growing again and Hermes has to contribute to this, and more directly than just by making the Lodge Secretary’s life easier, important though that is.  This is Prity’s department.  More and more new members are finding us via the internet rather than traditional routes and we must be able to track what works and what doesn’t.  We also have to retain them.  We want to capture more information such as where the candidate heard about us, members’ attendance or, more significantly, non-attendances at meetings, a key indicator of problems building up. 

Many Provinces send particular letters to candidates at certain stages of their masonic journey; the updated ADelphi system will be ‘told’ by Hermes when it has happened and then do this automatically or at least prompt the Province to action. 

For the first time ADelphi will interface with UGLE finance by creating requests for payment for dues, registration fees and dispensations together with bacs references for each as they are generated. 

On an opt-in basis, it will interface with Provinces’ finances as well. Mentioning that, can I give a big thankyou to my colleague PGMs up here?  I sent out a questionnaire via bUGLE on 19 July with a series of questions about how they charge their Lodges, asking for a reply by 31 July.  Every single craft Province responded within the time scale.   This was greatly appreciated and enabled the 48 responses to be analysed by my office manager, Liz wright, so they could be discussed in detail at the 2bwp meeting on 6 august last.

When those of us in the Provinces consider the changes that Hermes will bring, it’s easy to overlook the effect on MetGL.  Yes, it’s a lot bigger than any of us with 30,000 + members.  But it is MetGL that will see the biggest change brought about by Hermes.  Once upon a time, London’s Lodges were dealt with by UGLE itself and that of course included all their registration processes i.e. feeding ADelphi.  When ‘London’ was devolved into MetGL these processes were left with UGLE – where they remain today.  When Hermes is launched, MetGL will govern all of its own processes just like the Provinces – only bigger. 

This working party has been tasked by our GSec and CEO with thinking outside of our current boxes.  Our ideas and plans will of course be discussed with and validated by the DepGSec, the registrations department and the pilot Provinces before any coding starts.  When we have obtained a consensus on the ways forward from that relatively small group, a process that is well under way, they will be exposed to all Provinces for their comments. 

We anticipate that changes to the book of constitutions will be required and a separate committee has been set up to consider and draft them; I will leave you to guess who the chair of that committee is!   Of course, the final decisions will rest with BGP and this, the grand Lodge

Let me finish with two examples of the new approach we are planning.  Rule 158 may be tricky to administer but can flush out timewasters.  There are people who start applying but then go radio silent.  A few years later they decide to have another go and apply to a different Province.  There are even people who are initiated in one Province, stop attending, then try and get initiated again somewhere else.  GDPR prevents one Province from having access to the records of another Province.

We propose to have a database of enquiries available nationally, so anyone expressing interest via a website or open day will have his basic details captured and held for, say, 10 years.  If the PMO assigns him to a Lodge those details form the basis of his application form.  If it goes nowhere, it will be noted but he will remain on the database and if he approaches another Province or Lodge, those details will appear.

Clearance certificates are a little tricky because neither ADelphi nor Provinces record details of payments within Lodges; they only deal with payments by Lodges.  So, we propose that as part of each attendance register that the Lodge Sec populates after each meeting – using a dropdown list of members – he also marks any members who are in arrears according to his Lodge’s bylaws.  The existence of this flag will be picked up by any other Lodge he applies to join and the applicant invited to ‘check his records’.

Those are only two examples; I hope I have given you a flavour of what’s to come with a target date of mid-2020 to commence the roll-out. Maybe those of you put off from becoming a Lodge Sec will now consider it?  Any questions, comments, observations please send to hermes@ugle.org.uk; they will all be considered.


Published Wed, 11 Sep 2019 00:00:00 +0100

New behind the scenes film – ‘Discover Freemasonry’

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) has unveiled a new film capturing behind the scenes footage of a Lodge meeting and interviews with Freemasons, as well as delving into Freemasonry’s unique history and symbolism, including the famous handshake

The film provides unique insight into what happens in a Lodge meeting, who the Freemasons are and what it means to be a Freemason, as well as stunning new footage of Freemasons’ Hall in London.

Dr David Staples, UGLE’s Chief Executive, said: 'We wanted to create a film which not only explains our history, but showcases modern Freemasonry and reflects our status as one of the oldest social and charitable organisations in the world. 

'I’m often asked what it’s like to be a Freemason and I hope this video will go some way to answering that question and provide insight into who we are, what we do, our history and our relevance in today’s society.'

The roots of modern Freemasonry lie with the medieval stonemasons that built our castles and cathedrals, yet it is as relevant today as it was hundreds of years ago. In 2017, UGLE celebrated its Tercentenary – 300 years since the formation of the Premier Grand Lodge – with a spectacular event at the Royal Albert Hall.

The new film will also form part of the redesigned public tours of Freemasons’ Hall and the Museum of Freemasonry and will be seen by over 40,000 visitors to the building each year.

You can view the full film alongside a series of short videos here.


Published Thu, 05 Sep 2019 13:05:18 +0100

UGLE’s headquarters Freemasons’ Hall is taking part in Open House London this September

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is delighted to be taking part in the world’s largest architecture festival Open House London on 21st and 22nd September 2019 at its headquarters Freemasons’ Hall – offering visitors architectural tours, fun family activities and access to the Museum of Freemasonry

Open House London gives free public access to over 800 buildings, walks, talks and tours over one weekend in September each year. The event started 25 years ago with the first Open House London in 1992 and gives free access to London’s best buildings as a way of inspiring the public about the benefits of great design.

Freemasons’ Hall, in Covent Garden, is renowned as one of the finest Art Deco buildings in London still used for its original purpose and will be opening on both days of the event this year from 10am to 5pm.

Some of the many highlights will be Bright Bricks models, with lots of opportunities for children to get creative and design miniatures of their own, and an exciting kids’ trail featuring a make-an-apron station. There will be Freemasons in regalia in the magnificent Grand Temple to answer any questions the public have about Freemasonry, whilst the Masonic Charitable Foundation will have a stand to provide an overview of the support given to communities and deserving causes throughout the country.

The Museum of Freemasonry will be also open, displaying one of the world’s largest collections associated with Freemasonry, including Winston Churchill’s apron and the large throne made for the future King George IV, who was Royal Grand Master from 1790-1813.

Dr David Staples, UGLE’s Chief Executive, said: 'We’re excited once again to be taking part in Open House London this autumn and offering thousands of visitors the opportunity to see the stunning Art Deco interior of our building.

'Freemasons’ Hall is always free to the public, but for this event we are putting on some extra attractions, with Freemasons in regalia to answer all your questions, a Bright Bricks ‘Make and Take’ activity for children and guided tours every 90 minutes, which showcase the architecture and history of the building and will include a newly commissioned 10-minute film.'

You can find out more about what’s on at Freemasons’ Hall during Open House London here.


Published Tue, 03 Sep 2019 10:16:11 +0100

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a PR Manager

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a PR Manager. The PR Manager role is key to the successful promotion of the United Grand Lodge of England to the wider public and ultimately will positively change the public’s perception of Freemasonry across the UK and beyond

This is not an easy challenge and we are seeking an outstanding candidate.

The United Grand Lodge of England – the governing body for Freemasonry in England and Wales – is entering an exciting new phase in its 300-year history as it seeks to change the perception of Freemasonry and encourage the public to see modern Freemasonry through its core values of Friendship, Charity, Respect and Integrity. In order to achieve this the Communications and Marketing team is seeking to attract some talented, dedicated, creative and outstanding individuals to join its team. The team’s expertise will cover all areas of communications including, corporate communications, public relations, social media, marketing, member communications, publications and events. We work on a campaign basis so you need to be a team player, as you will work closely with your colleagues, other departments and our 200,000 members. Freemasons raise £44m in charitable donations and give 5 million hours of volunteer time a year – so there is a lot to shout about – and much to be proud of. If you are looking for a new challenge, which will positively change your career, then look no further than a position at the United Grand Lodge of England.

Duties:

  • Develop and execute compelling communication campaigns to drive awareness of Freemasonry across the company website, social media platforms, press days, public relations, internal communication, and corporate events
  • Have excellent writing skills with the ability to write press releases, features, articles, Q&As, statements and briefing documents
  • Create an annual PR plan and deliver against the set targets
  • Create and maintain a structured press calendar detailing events, new product launches and campaigns
  • Build and maintain proactive relationships with a broad range of media titles across the UK through background briefings or sell-ins
  • Work closely with Provincial Communications Officers and Media Ambassadors to ensure best practice in terms of consistency of messaging to local and national press
  • Stand in for the Communications and Marketing Director at Communications Committee Meetings
  • Develop and maintain PR toolkits for both the PCOs and Media Ambassadors for the new member website
  • Be responsible for the media training of key press spokespeople and Media Ambassadors
  • Work closely with key stakeholders (such as the Museum of Freemasonry and Masonic Charitable Foundation, Met Grand Lodge and other key departments) to promote Freemasonry consistent with the new strategic narrative
  • Ensure key press spokespeople are full briefed ahead of any media engagement.
  • Provide comprehensive and clear press briefing notes to the CEO to keep them informed of any key developments
  • Responsible for the annual UGLE press party in order to build relationships with national, local and specialised press
  • Manage project finances from budgeting, tracking, reporting and reconciliation.
  • Monitor, analyse and communicate clear monthly PR reports for the CEO, Communications and Marketing Director, Communications Committee and Provincial Communications Officers
  • Responsible for creating and writing press releases
  • Conduct media and influencer relations, from media strategy to execution and delivery across multimedia landscapes
  • Handle crisis communications and be the key point of contact within a crisis. You will also be responsible for the new Crisis Communications Manual
  • Daily checking of incoming PR enquiries and prioritisation of media enquiries
  • Create presentations and speeches, where required, for key stakeholders within UGLE
  • Update and maintain the new master media database
  • Create, update and maintain PR spreadsheets and contacts such as contacts lists for agencies, influencers etc.

Must have skills:

  • We are looking for someone who can join the team seamlessly and hit the ground running. You need to be calm under pressure and be able to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines effortlessly
  • To be successful in this role, you will also need to thrive on new challenges, and be a creative and strategic self-starter, someone who can create impact quickly. You will also thrive on building new and long lasting relationships with the press
  • You will have solid PR experience – a minimum of 5 years. The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker, excellent communicator and willing to be hands-on with planning and implementing campaigns
  • You will be someone with excellent verbal and written communication skills, enabling you to work with colleagues co-operatively and collaboratively in the team and across the organisation.
  • You will have the ability to work closely with the existing team and key partners to deliver a creative public relations strategy that engages UGLE’s members and members of the public by showcasing the benefits of Freemasonry across all media channels
  • You will have a flexible approach both to the type of work undertaken and working hours as required to meet team objectives and ultimately customer needs, taking ownership and responsibility for work and performance. You will demonstrate a positive ‘can do’ attitude and excellent work ethic. In addition, you will be able to demonstrate resilience and present yourself in a professional manner at all times.

Salary:

£45,000 gross per annum plus the following benefits package:

BUPA private medical cover
Pension (3.5% employee & 9% employer contributions – increasing to 12%)
Free Life Assurance
Holiday (25 days increasing to 30 days) 
Interest free season ticket loan
Gym membership (subsidised)
Employee Assistance Programme
Flexible working

Hours:

This is a full time role so the successful applicant will work Monday to Friday 35 hours per week.

Application details:

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to:

Elizabeth Gay - Director of HR - United Grand Lodge of England via email to egay@ugle.org.uk

CVs received without a covering letter will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is close of business on Friday 13 September 2019.


Published Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:48:37 +0100

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a Digital Marketing Executive

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a Digital Marketing Executive. You will have a passion for all things marketing and technology

You will be well versed in the concepts surrounding digital marketing and how the Internet can become a strong asset to promoting key messages and gaining new members. You will be tech-savvy and highly motivated to take on responsibility and make an impact!

The United Grand Lodge of England – the governing body for Freemasonry in England and Wales – is entering an exciting new phase in its 300-year history as it seeks to change the perception of Freemasonry and encourage the public to see modern Freemasonry through its core values of Friendship, Charity, Respect and Integrity. In order to achieve this the Communications and Marketing team is seeking to attract some talented, dedicated, creative and outstanding individuals to join its team. The team’s expertise will cover all areas of communications including, corporate communications, public relations, social media, marketing, member communications, publications and events. We work on a campaign basis so you need to be a team player, as you will work closely with your colleagues, other departments and our 200,000 members. Freemasons raise £44m in charitable donations and give 5 million hours of volunteer time a year – so there is a lot to shout about – and much to be proud of. If you are looking for a new challenge, which will positively change your career, then look no further than a position at the United Grand Lodge of England.

Duties:

  • Create and optimise targeted digital marketing campaigns to drive new member acquisition and existing member retention
  • Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of online marketing activity
  • Collect and analyse data in order to identify trends and insights in order to achieve maximum impact in our marketing campaigns
  • Keep up-to-date with current technologies and initiatives pertinent to online marketing
  • Optimising keywords, copy and landing pages for paid search engine marketing campaigns
  • Tracking, reporting and analysing website analytics and campaigns
  • Creation of written marketing material and collateral for UGLE. Ensure that all marketing materials promote the UGLE brand and are produced in line with UGLE’s corporate branding and strategic narrative
  • Be responsible for keeping the brand guidelines up-to-date
  • Creating and sending email campaigns to the agreed targeted audience
  • Monitor industry trends, website developments and competitor strategies
  • Ensure that the website and social content is up-to-date, writing content as required in line with SEO strategy
  • Responsible for the building and deployment of email calendars, campaigns and effective email programmes, to increase member loyalty
  • Drive traffic to UGLE’s websites using paid and organic acquisition channels, whilst optimising landing pages and the user experience
  • Assist in the development of marketing campaigns
  • Manage the campaign schedule with the Website Content Manager to ensure it is executed in a timely manner
  • Ensure that key information such as target audience, message development and value proposition is identified and provided at an appropriate time to conduct effective marketing campaigns
  • Helping the Website Content Manager update UGLE’s websites with regular content
  • Enhance imagery (e.g. via Photoshop)

Must have skills:

  • You will have at least 1-year experience and tangible success in managing digital campaigns and experience with website analytics tools (e.g. Google Analytics) plus implementing click funnels and optimising journeys. Experience with Adwords, SEO tools and email platforms is necessary.
  • You will be someone with excellent verbal and written communication skills, enabling you to work with colleagues co-operatively and collaboratively in the team and across the organisation.
  • You will have the ability to work closely with the existing team and key partners to deliver a creative digital marketing strategy that engages UGLE’s members and members of the public by showcasing the benefits of Freemasonry across all media channels.
  • You will have a flexible approach both to the type of work undertaken and working hours as required to meet team objectives and ultimately customer needs, taking ownership and responsibility for work and performance. You will demonstrate a positive ‘can do’ attitude and excellent work ethic. In addition, you will be able to demonstrate resilience and present yourself in a professional manner at all times
  • An understanding of email, push, web-push and SMS marketing, from creative development through to measurement desirable

Salary:

£22,000 gross per annum plus the following benefits package:

BUPA private medical cover
Pension (3.5% employee & 9% employer contributions – increasing to 12%)
Free Life Assurance
Holiday (25 days increasing to 30 days) 
Interest free season ticket loan
Gym membership (subsidised)
Employee Assistance Programme
Flexible working

Hours:

This is a full time role so the successful applicant will work Monday to Friday 35 hours per week.

Application details:

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to:

Elizabeth Gay - Director of HR - United Grand Lodge of England via email to egay@ugle.org.uk

CVs received without a covering letter will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is close of business on Friday 13 September 2019.


Published Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:47:25 +0100

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a Communications Executive

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a Communications Executive. You will play a vital support role in the new strategic development of UGLE’s communications and marketing strategy by being a key point of contact for its members

In order to achieve this the candidate will support the Communications Manager by helping to build relationships with new, potential and existing members.

The United Grand Lodge of England – the governing body for Freemasonry in England and Wales – is entering an exciting new phase in its 300-year history as it seeks to change the perception of Freemasonry and encourage the public to see modern Freemasonry through its core values of Friendship, Charity, Respect and Integrity. In order to achieve this the Communications and Marketing team is seeking to attract some talented, dedicated, creative and outstanding individuals to join its team. The team’s expertise will cover all areas of communications including, corporate communications, public relations, social media, marketing, member communications, publications and events. We work on a campaign basis so you need to be a team player as you will work closely with your colleagues, other departments and our 200,000 members. Freemasons raise £44m in charitable donations and give 5 million hours of volunteer time a year – so there is a lot to shout about – and much to be proud of. If you are looking for a new challenge, which will positively change your career, then look no further than a position at the United Grand Lodge of England.

Duties:

  • Supporting the Communications Manager to develop and implement strategies to build recruitment and aid retention of members, and to improve the member experience
  • Track member activity and report stats back to the Communications Manager
  • Continuously improve a member’s experience, ensuring team members are effectively supported with data analysis, materials and impact stories, for use during face-to-face, over-the-phone and email communications
  • Be one of the main points of contact for Provincial Communications Officers and handle their queries and requests in a timely manner. You will ensure they are fully informed and equipped to deliver UGLE national initiatives. You will also collate information from Provincial Communications Officers (PCOs) and feedback this information to the Communications Manager
  • Assisting the Communications Manager with the ongoing development of PCO skills to keep them up-to-date with communications trends to best serve their Provinces and Lodges
  • Help maintain the new PCO database with the timely inputting of data
  • Help create and develop new communications toolkits for the PCOs. Keep all communications toolkits up-to-date and relevant at all times and ensure they are loaded to the new membership website
  • Act as an ambassador for UGLE and champion its work at events and other face-to-face channels including regular visits to the Provinces to engage with PCOs.
  • Help with the implementation of the annual PCO Forum
  • Help to distribute the weekly bUGLE bulletin to members
  • Help the Communications Manager to build a new membership website for the use of UGLE members
  • Write and collate blogs for the new member website
  • You will create and publish engaging content on UGLE’s new members’ website to help increase member engagement
  • Help with the new UGLE Annual Report to gather statistics, imagery etc.
  • Collate regular feedback from members of the value of their membership and associated benefits via surveys and face-to-face meetings
  • Liaising with designers to produce all corporate collateral
  • Send out any UGLE surveys required in the absence of the marketing executive

Must have skills:

  • You will be someone with excellent verbal and written communication skills, enabling you to work with colleagues co-operatively and collaboratively in the team and across the organisation. You will have the ability to work closely with the existing team and key partners to deliver a strategy that engages both UGLE’s members and members of the public by showcasing the benefits of Freemasonry
  • You will have a flexible approach both to the type of work undertaken and working hours as required to meet team objectives and ultimately member needs, taking ownership and responsibility for work and performance. You will demonstrate a positive ‘can do’ attitude and excellent work ethic. In addition, you will be able to demonstrate resilience and present yourself in a professional manner at all times
  • You will be creative and have excellent writing and proof reading skills. Experience in Mailchimp, WordPress and Adobe Creative Suite is desirable

Must have experience:

  • Masonic knowledge and experience

Salary:

£22,000 gross per annum plus the following benefits package:

BUPA private medical cover
Pension (3.5% employee & 9% employer contributions – increasing to 12%)
Free Life Assurance
Holiday (25 days increasing to 30 days) 
Interest free season ticket loan
Gym membership (subsidised)
Employee Assistance Programme
Flexible working

Hours:

This is a full time role so the successful applicant will work Monday to Friday 35 hours per week.

Application details:

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to:

Elizabeth Gay - Director of HR - United Grand Lodge of England via email to egay@ugle.org.uk

CVs received without a covering letter will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is close of business on Friday 13 September 2019.


Published Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:46:41 +0100

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a Social Media Executive

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a Social Media Executive.  You will be responsible for helping the Communications and Marketing Team implement a new social media strategy within the United Grand Lodge of England

The United Grand Lodge of England – the governing body for Freemasonry in England and Wales – is entering an exciting new phase in its 300-year history as it seeks to change the perception of Freemasonry and encourage the public to see modern Freemasonry through its core values of Friendship, Charity, Respect and Integrity. In order to achieve this the Communications and Marketing team is seeking to attract some talented, dedicated, creative and outstanding individuals to join its team. The team’s expertise will cover all areas of communications including, corporate communications, public relations, social media, marketing, member communications, publications and events. We work on a campaign basis so you need to be a team player, as you will work closely with your colleagues, other departments and our 200,000 members. Freemasons raise £44m in charitable donations and give 5 million hours of volunteer time a year – so there is a lot to shout about – and much to be proud of. If you are looking for a new challenge, which will positively change your career, then look no further than a position at the United Grand Lodge of England.

Duties:

  • To work closely with the existing team and key partners to deliver a creative social media strategy that engages UGLE’s members and members of the public by showcasing the benefits of Freemasonry across all of its social media channels (YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Podcasts)
  • To successfully assess and report back to the impact of both the new social media strategy and specific campaigns. You will have strong relationship building skills and the ability to work, and positively influence, key stakeholders across the business
  • To be a key influencer internally and be able to confidently showcase the power of social media to key stakeholders in the business
  • To stay up-to-date with the latest online and digital trends and to implement these ideas into the social media strategy
  • Confidently handle any front of house/customer social media enquiries - dealing with them in a timely manner and show confidence in the scheduling, composing and posting of all group wide social media content
  • To set company-wide best practice guidance of social media and train others where necessary

Must have skills:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, enabling you to work with colleagues co-operatively and collaboratively in the team and across the organisation
  • You will have strong relationship building skills and the ability to work, and positively influence, key stakeholders across the business
  • You will have a flexible approach both to the type of work undertaken and working hours as required to meet team objectives and ultimately customer needs, taking ownership and responsibility for work and performance
  • You will demonstrate a positive ‘can do’ attitude and excellent work ethic. In addition, you will be able to demonstrate resilience and present yourself in a professional manner at all times
  • You will have excellent copywriting and creative skills and be able to quickly grasp how the businesses requirements can translate into outstanding social media campaigns
  • You will have experience in a social media role as well as experience in establishing a social media strategy and managing and implementing results orientated social media campaigns
  • Experience in managing the social media profile of either a CEO or director is desirable
  • Knowledge of Photoshop or creation of video content is desirable

Salary:

£22,000 gross per annum plus the following benefits package:

BUPA private medical cover
Pension (3.5% employee & 9% employer contributions – increasing to 12%)
Life Assurance
Holiday (25 days increasing to 30 days) 
Interest free season ticket loan
Gym membership (subsidised)
Employee Assistance Programme
Flexible working

Hours:

This is a full time role so the successful applicant will work Monday to Friday 35 hours per week.

Application details:

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to:

Elizabeth Gay - Director of HR - United Grand Lodge of England via email to egay@ugle.org.uk

CVs received without a covering letter will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is close of business on Friday 13 September 2019.


Published Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:45:40 +0100

United Grand Lodge of England seeks an Internal Communications Executive

United Grand Lodge of England seeks an Internal Communications Executive. You will be responsible for supporting the Communications & Marketing Director in building a strong internal comms infrastructure and implementing a new internal comms strategy across the business

In addition, you will be responsible for editing and creating content on a new engaging intranet, which will ensure consistency with our new tone of voice.

The United Grand Lodge of England – the governing body for Freemasonry in England and Wales – is entering an exciting new phase in its 300-year history as it seeks to change the perception of Freemasonry and encourage the public to see modern Freemasonry through its core values of Friendship, Charity, Respect and Integrity. In order to achieve this the Communications and Marketing team is seeking to attract some talented, dedicated, creative and outstanding individuals to join its team. The team’s expertise will cover all areas of communications including, corporate communications, public relations, social media, marketing, member communications, publications and events. We work on a campaign basis so you need to be a team player, as you will work closely with your colleagues, other departments and our 200,000 members. Freemasons raise £44m in charitable donations and give 5 million hours of volunteer time a year – so there is a lot to shout about – and much to be proud of. If you are looking for a new challenge, which will positively change your career, then look no further than a position at the United Grand Lodge of England.

Duties:

  • In charge the UGLE’s intranet site on a daily basis. Ensuring that content is relevant and loaded to the intranet in a timely manner
  • Ensuring the corporate brand guideline standards are applied consistency across all internal communications
  • Collaborating on and delivering the staff newsletter - The Right Angle – as well as suggesting continuous improvement
  • Producing new, relevant and engaging content for internal channels
  • Ensuring that the organisational chart is kept up-to-date and is correct on the intranet
  • Working closely with the Communications and Marketing Director and HR Director to create a new intranet site which is fit for purpose and successfully communicates the core values of UGLE
  • Assess and reporting back to the Communications and Marketing Director the impact of both the new internal communications strategy and specific campaigns
  • Provide website analytics and make recommendations to drive engagement on the intranet
  • Knowledge of internal communications platforms and CMS systems. (Sharepoint / WordPress)
  • You will have strong relationship building skills and the ability to work, and positively influence, key stakeholders across the business
  • Liaising with the staff council where required to helping them communicate their outcomes
  • Working closely with colleagues from across the business so that internal communications are inclusive and champion a culture that is diverse and open.
  • Measuring the performance of content among defined audiences. Reporting on engagement with the aim of continually improving and refining internal communications
  • Excellent writing and attention to detail with the ability to craft succinct internal communications in a tone of voice that suits UGLE’s culture and values while also reflecting the subject matter
  • Creating communications using video / animation, as well as more traditional text-based communications
  • Experience of turning essential corporate messages and data into engaging content using innovative formats

Must have skills:

  • You will be someone with excellent verbal and written communication skills, enabling you to work with colleagues co-operatively and collaboratively in a team and across the organisation. You will have the ability to work closely with the existing Communications and Marketing team and key partners to deliver an internal communications strategy which will boost staff engagement
  • You will have a flexible approach both to the type of work undertaken and working hours as required to meet team objectives, taking ownership and responsibility for work and performance. You will demonstrate a positive ‘can do’ attitude and excellent work ethic. In addition, you will be able to demonstrate resilience and present yourself in a professional manner at all times. You will be confident and comfortable with stakeholder engagement, with the ability to articulate outcomes accurately and clearly
  • You will have excellent organisational, time management skills and attention to detail
  • You will take a creative approach to work, identifying and recommending new processes, ideas and ways of working, at an individual and team level, and across the organisation. You will demonstrate an inquisitive mindset, asking open questions and anticipating and overcoming barriers and contribute ideas for continuous service improvement, maintaining quality standards at all times, and showing a willing to learn new skills
  • You will have excellent copywriting skills and the ability to bring to life content within the new company tone of voice
  • Ideally you will have proven experience in an internal communications role, as well as experience in establishing an internal communications strategy and managing and implementing results orientated communications programmes in order to engage colleagues in the understanding of business strategy, priorities and achievements
  • You will ideally have experience of working as part of a fast moving change/transformation programme. Experience of organising staff events and project management experience is also desirable

Salary:

£22,000 gross per annum plus the following benefits package:

BUPA private medical cover
Pension (3.5% employee & 9% employer contributions – increasing to 12%)
Free Life Assurance
Holiday (25 days increasing to 30 days) 
Interest free season ticket loan
Gym membership (subsidised)
Employee Assistance Programme
Flexible working

Hours:

This is a full time role so the successful applicant will work Monday to Friday 35 hours per week.

Application details:

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to:

Elizabeth Gay - Director of HR - United Grand Lodge of England via email to egay@ugle.org.uk

CVs received without a covering letter will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is close of business on Friday 13 September 2019.


Published Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:36:31 +0100

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a Personal Assistant (PA)

This position has now closed

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a Personal Assistant for the Private Office

This role will be to support and work under the Executive Assistant (EA), who reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with the day-to-day running of the Private Office. You will be the main liaison between Board member and UGLE and will cover for the EA to the CEO/Grand Secretary when out of office. This role requires a great deal of flexibility initially working 3 days per week.

Duties:

  • Management of incoming phone calls and emails as required.
  • Receive and interact with visitors.
  • Main liaison between Board members and UGLE.
  • Work closely with the Masonic services and External Relations teams to provide event itineraries for overseas travel.
  • Typing of business emails and letters.
  • Arrange committee meetings, prepare documentation and create agendas for distribution in advance of meetings.
  • Attend and take minutes of meetings.
  • Manage incoming post.
  • Make sure bookings in the private flat diary and travel calendar are updated on a daily basis.
  • Devise and maintain up-to-date soft copy filing and retrieval systems.
  • Additional similar tasks will be delegated by the EA in order to support the organisation’s objectives.
  • Expenses for the EA and CEO using an online system (Sage).

Must have skills:

  • Achieving measurable success in implementing major responsibilities and key tasks to agreed timescales, budgets and costs.
  • At all times working within organisational procedures and supporting the activities and requirements of the Board and Committee of General Purposes, and Senior Management.
  • Demonstrating visible activity, creativity, effort and commitment toward the achievement of objectives.
  • Commitment to work harmoniously and efficiently with and support the Board and Committee of General Purposes, Senior Management and other departments and staff at Freemasons’ Hall.
  • Retaining confidential information as it is required to be retained and refraining from creating, participating in rumour and innuendo detrimental to the focus, direction and objectives of the organisation.

Salary:

Competitive salary and benefits package:

Holiday 25 days (increasing to 30 days with length of service (LOS)
BUPA private medical cover
Pension (3.5% employee & 9% employer contributions – increasing to 12% with LOS)
Interest free season ticket loan
Gym membership (subsidised)
Employee Assistance Programme

Thank you for your interest. The closing date for applications for this position has now closed.


Published Tue, 02 Jul 2019 10:39:02 +0100

More News

Quarterly magazine of the United Grand Lodge of England, featuring freemasons' news, interviews, and features. Free to view online alongside exclusive content.
Published Tue, 17 Sep 2019 09:26:30 +0100

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Freemasons raise over £60,000 for Prostate Cancer UK

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons in the Royal Arch degree raised more than £60,000 for Prostate Cancer UK in a single year

The final amount of £60,375 was announced at the provincial meeting in June 2019 – but since then the total has risen to £63,770. Among the fundraising events was a charity walk leaving from Botley Masonic Centre and around River Hamble Country Park. Those involved raised just over £4,000.

Alan Berman, who heads the Royal Arch Freemasons in the Province, said: 'We decided to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK because we had raised money for every hospice in the Province and wanted another charity. We had hoped to raise £40,000, but the response was phenomenal. We didn’t have to twist any arms, the donations just came in as most men relate to it.

'Prostate cancer is something that one in eight men will get at some point in their lives and the charity is working hard to find a cure.'

THANKSGIVING

Another hugely successful event that highlighted the fellowship of Freemasons was a thanksgiving service organised by Alan Berman at Portsmouth Synagogue.

It was attended by around 250 people and included the heads and representatives of other orders and those from many faiths. Readings were given by Alan Berman, David Gosney and Steven Allum.

Alan said: 'We had events at the synagogue in 2000 and 2008 and it was time for another one. It was wonderful to see those from all denominations there for the common purpose of thanksgiving.

'I was also able to present a 40 year certificate to George Deacon for his service in the Mark Degree.'


Published Thu, 12 Sep 2019 00:00:00 +0100

Dorset Freemasons donate over £9,000 to Portland Sea Cadets

Dorset Freemasons and the Dorset Masonic Charity have come together to donate £9,300 to Portland Sea Cadets

The donation, from individual lodges across the south of the county and topped up by Dorset Masonic Care (DMC), has been used to buy two new sailing dinghies. The was raised by Freemasons in events throughout the year and funds left in bequests and gifts to the DMC.

Portland Sea Cadets give young people an experience that helps them grow into the person they want to be in a safe and friendly environment. Through various activities and adventures, they learn teamwork, respect, loyalty, self-confidence, commitment, self-discipline, honesty and how to be the best version of themselves. 

Mark Burstow, Communication Officer of Dorset Freemasonry, said: ‘These values, demonstrated by this wonderful organisation at Portland mirror the life journey we take as Freemasons and seeing this in action with the Cadets is an inspiration.’

Phil Coxall, a Trustee of Dorset Masonic Care (DMC), took the helm of one of the dinghies during their launch evening and afterward said: ‘At DMC we love to support Non-Masonic Causes and in the last year alone, we have given more than £10,000 to local causes.  It was pleasure for us to partner with South Dorset Freemasons, topping up their £5,700 donation so the Cadets could buy two dinghies.’

Commanding Officer Lt (SCC) Rachel Harris RNR of the Portland Sea Cadets said she was very grateful for the support of Dorset Freemasons and these new dinghies will greatly help the Portland Sea Cadets continue their work for the benefit of local young people.

Dorset Masonic Care is also keen to contribute more widely to local good causes and to find out more email: dmc@dorsetfreemasonry.info


Published Mon, 09 Sep 2019 00:00:00 +0100

North Wales Freemasons donate £1,200 to ‘Amy and Friends’

North Wales Freemasons have donated £1,200 to the local group Amy and Friends, who provide Cockayne Syndrome (CS) and Trichothiodystrophy (TTD) Support

Amy suffers from a rare DNA repair disorder called Cockayne Syndrome which gives sufferers an average life expectancy of just over eight years. Her mother Jayne highlighted the inspirational journey Amy has been on to promote awareness throughout the world and a better understanding of Cockayne Syndrome within the medical profession, uniting families together for support who would otherwise suffer the feeling of isolation

Jayne always thought something was not right with Amy when she was a child, but could not get a diagnosis from any doctor that gave a satisfactory explanation to her symptoms. Jayne was eventually put in touch with the Shriners in the USA, who had a research scientist who specialised in DNA repair disorders in one of their children’s hospitals. Jayne and Amy visited the scientist in Boston and Amy’s disorder was quickly diagnosed.

Amy is a remarkable individual and now 27 year’s old, but like many with the disorder she suffers from loss of sight, hearing, mobility, premature aging, and many neurological problems.

As a result, Jayne went on to start Amy and Friends and now has 13 groups meeting all over the world, including Rhyl and Flint. Jayne highlighted the pressure families face, with parents spending so much time caring for their ill child that other siblings have to take a back seat. The constant challenge to provide care means that often parents are unable to work, placing the family under financial pressure.

Amy and Friends now run annual conferences, where families can get together, socialise, share their experiences and learn about up to date research and treatments that may help. They can also participate in many different activities such as counselling through play for children, a sensory area for children who are losing their sight and hearing, one to one sessions with specialists and also confidence and team building to help with isolation and mental health.

Jayne said: ‘The cost of attending the conference can be a great barrier to families, with accommodation, food and travel. We are very grateful to North Wales Freemasons for their generous support which will provide a vital contribution to families attending our next conference. This donation will make a big difference to little lives.’


Published Thu, 05 Sep 2019 00:00:00 +0100

Buckinghamshire Freemasons paddle challenge keeps on giving with donation of two double kayaks

Having seen Buckinghamshire’s Provincial Grand Master John Clark put through 26 miles of intense rowing along the River Thames to raise £7,000 for charity back in June 2019, two double kayaks used for the challenge have now been donated

John Clark completed the challenge alongside Assistant Provincial Grand Master Gary Brodie to raise the money in aid of the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The kayaks they used on the day have now been handed over to the Jubilee River Riverside Centre to help people with disabilities get on the water.

As a result of the initial donation from the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund, in conjunction with the Slough Masonic Centre, the Jubilee River Riverside Centre have applied for further funding for additional Kayaks designed specifically for people with disabilities.

Moving forwards, the Slough Masonic Centre plan to work closely with the Riverside Centre to help with its work in sports, youth work and for tackling environmental issues.

If you would like to support The Paddle Challenge you can donate by clicking here.


Published Thu, 29 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0100

Swansea Masons raise £12,500 for the RMBI by cycling the length of Wales

Four Swansea Freemasons set out on a gruelling 175-mile one-day ‘Home from Home’ ride from Llandudno to Porthcawl to raise funds for the 2021 festival, in aid of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI)

Simon Francis, Derek Johnson, Jason Thomas and Richard Owen – all members of an informal cycling club – had come up with the idea of cycling between two RMBI homes during the planning of the upcoming festival events.

The day of the ‘Home from Home’ event on 22 June 2019 was sunny with a cooling breeze, and after a 4.30am start at the Queen Elizabeth Court RMBI nursing home in Llandudno, the team set off at a relatively gentle pace towards Blaenau Festiniog. There a respite from the energy-sapping gradients of Snowdonia was taken before a gentler run down to Machynlleth and then Aberystwyth.

However, the mid-Wales stage of the ride was more challenging than expected. Organiser and lead rider Simon Francis commented: ‘The combination of steady headwinds and relatively gentle but long climbs made this stage a real test of endurance and toughness for all the riders.”

Fortunately, the rest of the journey via Ammanford and Swansea was easier. The team was joined for the last 35 miles by Alison Aberdeen, the manager of the Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court Nursing Home in Porthcawl, which was also their ultimate destination.

Simon commented that: ‘Everyone had to dig deep to get the ride done in one day – it was very challenging, and it was an honour to have had such a team to do it with. Without exception everyone performed admirably and it was fantastic that we were able to raise £12,500 for such a good cause.’

The cheque for the money raised from the ride was presented by the group to the Provincial Grand Master of South Wales Gareth Jones and Chairman of the 2021 Festival Sir Paul Williams, at the PGM’s Summer Ball held in Brangwyn Hall on 29 June, where it was gratefully received.

Simon concluded: ‘Events like these, where members capitalise on a passion or a skill to raise much-needed funds, are really important.

'Not only do we set ourselves a challenging personal task, but in doing so we are able to raise a significant amount of money, in this case for the RMBI, and to support our Province in reaching its £5 million target during our festival period.’


Published Wed, 28 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0100

Hertfordshire Freemasons host charity walk in memory of member Charles Wandrag

In February 2019, the Fleet House Light Blues Club of Hertfordshire (FHLBC) lost a very active member – Charles Wandrag suffered silently with mental health issues and took his own life

The FHLBC hosted an eight mile charity walk around St Albans in memory of Charles on Saturday 29th June 2019. Over 25 people joined together to raise awareness of mental health and many more donated to their cause.

The walk fell on the hottest day of the year, so with plenty of sun cream the group first headed for Old Gorhambury house. Events Secretary Luke Crouch directed the way while Membership Secretary Lee Canon – dressed in a banana man costume – made sure nobody was lost at the back. After a quick rest it was off to find the first pub and enjoy some cold refreshment.

It was delightful to see Charles' widow and mother in-law on the walk standing alongside members of his mother lodge, Halsey Lodge No. 1479, and the FHLBC. Once refreshed the group completed two more pubs and a rather large buffet before arriving at St Albans cathedral, members lit a candle for Charles and proceeded to view the Halsey Lodge emblem on the pulpit.

After nearly eight long hot miles, the gang returned to Ashwell House for a even bigger buffet, a raffle and presentation. The grand total money raised is still ongoing as they are still accepting donations, however they have raised over £3,300.

You can watch a video of the event here.


Published Tue, 20 Aug 2019 14:19:33 +0100

Children facing emotional difficulties to be supported by £15,000 grant from Berkshire Freemasons

Up to 60 children who are struggling due to trauma such as bereavement, family breakdown, bullying or domestic abuse will now receive help from Clear Sky Children’s Charity thanks to a £15,000 grant from Berkshire Freemasons via the Masonic Charitable Foundation

The charity currently operates in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and offer one to one support for children and joint play therapy sessions with children and their parents. They also support the wellbeing of children in schools by producing resources to train and support teachers so that they can help the children they teach.

Anna Hodgson, Captain of Clear Sky, said: 'Our children are facing a mental health crisis and we know how to help. Our aim is for all children to be happy, love life and enjoy school. This grant will enable us to provide one to one play and creative arts therapy for up to 60 children over the next three years.

'For every £1 spent on early intervention, it saves society £15 in the future. We are grateful to Berkshire Freemasons for their support in helping us towards our £80,000 fundraising target.'

Anthony Howlett-Bolton, the leader of Berkshire Freemasons, said: 'I am pleased that the Masonic Charitable Foundation have recognised the important contribution Clear Sky make to the wellbeing of children in our area and that this grant will be used to make a difference in young peoples’ lives. I encourage teachers to contact the charity as there will be children in your schools who would benefit from the support they offer.'

Maurice Dixon, who leads the newly proposed Didcot Masonic Lodge, and Keith Winterbone who leads Ingham Clark Lodge, visited the charity to find out more about their work and were treated to an example of play therapy by Becky Hill, Head of Therapeutic Thinking.

Maurice said: 'I have worked with young people and schools for many years and recognise that children face huge disadvantages if they do not receive help early on. Sophia (CEO “Chief of Enthusiasm & Optimism” and founder) has created a highly qualified team with a breadth of experience and the Didcot lodges are delighted to be able to support this local charity.'

Individuals and fundraisers can support the charity by going to their website here and making a donation.


Published Tue, 20 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0100

Seven Grand Superintendents present for Sparta Chapter Consecration in Suffolk

During 2018, Suffolk-based Laconic Lodge No. 9771 decided to sponsor a Holy Royal Arch Chapter. A total of 28 Founders signed the Petition and, after due deliberation by Supreme Grand Chapter, the new Chapter – with the name Sparta Chapter – was granted a warrant which was dated April 5th 2019

The basic precept of Laconic Lodge is, as the name suggests, brevity and so Sparta Chapter has continued in this vein with the motto ‘Per breviloquium’ meaning ‘Through brevity of speech’. 

On 2nd August, 140 Royal Arch Freemasons gathered at Ashlar House, Bury St. Edmunds to witness the Consecration of Sparta Chapter, the likes of which will probably never be seen again. There was a total of seven Grand Superintendents and eight Deputy Grand Superintendents along with numerous heads of orders attending.

The Consecrating Team of Anthony Henderson (PGM/MEGS of Beds) as First Principal, James Sharpley (MEGS of Herts) as Second Principal, John Keeble (MEGS of Bucks) as Third Principal and Steve Allen (PGM/MEGS of Norfolk) as Scribe N Installed David Boswell (MEGS of Suffolk) as Founding Z, Ian Yeldham (PGM of Suffolk) as Founding H and Bill Dastur (PGM/MEGS of Cambs) as J. The ceremony was performed with a perfect mix of sincerity and humour which will long be rememebered by all those who attended.

The whole day proved to be a prime example of the unity in the Province of Suffolk between the Craft and Royal Arch as well as the friendliness shown by the Leaders of several Provinces and their willingness to help fellow Leaders in Suffolk in the Consecration of Sparta Chapter.


Published Mon, 19 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0100

Devonshire open the doors to their new Provincial Office

The new Devonshire Provincial Grand Lodge Offices were officially opened with much pomp by their Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury on 9th August 2019, with the cutting of the Craft blue ribbon at the main entrance to the offices

The occasion was watched by their executive team and many Provincial Grand Secretaries both past and present and accompanied by champagne and a Provincial cake which had been made especially for the day.

The new offices which are located at 7 Harrier Court, Exeter Airport, Exeter, are a vast improvement on the previous office being bright, modern and spacious. They are located on two floors, an open office area and a meeting room on the first floor and a second meeting room and storage space on the ground floor.

It has taken a long time in the planning and the eventual purchase of the new premises will be seen as a major step forward for the future of the Province. 

A lot of hard work has been undertaken in completing the move from Richmond Road by the Provincial Secretary Richard Ebrey and Assistant Secretary Tony Jordan, alongside considerable help from Rem Locton and Adrian Rogers.  

Ian Kingsbury said that It had taken a lot of searching to find the new offices, but the wait had been worth it as these premises had everything needed to take the Province onwards into a bright new future.


Published Wed, 14 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0100

East Lancashire Freemasons home in to help local family with £2,295 grant

Chris and Jeni, the parents of River Wardley from Littleborough, who suffers from a life-threatening genetic condition, were delighted when East Lancashire Freemasons came to their rescue with a grant of £2,295

The Rochdale district team helped the family secure a desperately needed new home that is much better suited to their son’s River and Ocean and daughter Roxi-Blue.

River suffers from the extremely rare mutation on his CNK SR2 gene, which causes seizures, and intellectual attention and language deficits. He also has central and obstructive Sleep Apnoea, Hypermobility Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism, ADHD and uncontrolled Epilepsy.

Rochdale District Chairman Doug Smith said: ‘When we heard about River, we wanted to do something positive.’

As a result, they secured a substantial grant from the East Lancashire Masonic Charity (ELMC) of £2,295 enabling the family to move River's specialist equipment and assist with prohibitive upfront rent costs, meaning the family can now move to a new home in Milnrow where their quality of life will be greatly improved.

District Charity Steward John Taylor added: ‘We really do like to help those in need and it is clear just how much this means to the whole family.’

Chris, Jenni, Roxi-Blue, River and Ocean can’t wait to make the move, and thanked East Lancashire Freemasons for their help and support.


Published Tue, 13 Aug 2019 17:06:50 +0100

Freemasonry Cares

Quarterly magazine of the United Grand Lodge of England, featuring freemasons' news, interviews, and features. Free to view online alongside exclusive content.
Published Tue, 17 Sep 2019 09:26:30 +0100

Warwickshire's Provincial Grand Master takes to the skies to raise £11,000 for the MCF

The summer break may have seen many Freemasons relaxing and enjoying the fine weather, but David Macey, Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, had other ideas when he decided to jump out of a plane to raise £11,000 for charity

The Province of Warwickshire is in the early stages of its 2023 Festival and working hard to raise money to support the excellent work of the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The Provincial Grand Master is always one to lead from the front, which led him to search for an opportunity to raise a healthy sum of money for the Festival whilst aiming to inspire the Province to hit and exceed the Festival target.

Jumping from a perefectly serviceable aircraft seemed a suitable way to raise the profile of the Festival to new heights, so early in 2019 the plans were laid and preparations for a summer skydive commenced. David set himself an ambitious target of £10,000, with confidence that the members of Warwickshire would rise to the occasion.

Finally the day came and David, with a band of supporters, fought through difficult driving conditions to Langar Airfield in Nottinghamshire hoping for a break in the weather to give enough time for the jump to happen.In spite of hopes and optimism, the wind and rain thwarted the first attempt and it was not safe to jump.

Several weeks went by with the excitement and trepidation growing, until in July 2019 a window in the weather was found and the team made their way to Nottinghamshire once again. This time conditions were perfect. David completed his training and his instructor chosen, much to the amusement of the assembled crowd, with the Provincial Grand Master being rather tall and his instructor much less so, once in tandem, the instructors feet would never touch the floor.

The jump was an experience of a lifetime, with David's first words on landing being, 'I've got to do that again', although his wife Sandra didn't seem so sure. The exhilaration of the skydive was only increased as the fundraising soared past the target, finishing with £11,000 going to the Festival and the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

The full video of the skydive can be seen here.


Published Wed, 04 Sep 2019 22:54:01 +0100

MCF donation funds groundbreaking new collaboration that could go nationwide

Funded by the Masonic Charitable Foundation and operated by Lincoln’s St Barnabas Hospice Trust and the city’s YMCA, a new project to help the homeless could become the model for similar schemes nationwide

It’s about a new dimension in the range of services offered by the organisations and is aimed specifically at helping the homeless to cope with bereavement.

YMCA CEO Caroline Killeavy said working in partnership with MCF support made a significant difference. The scheme will provide one-to-one specialist counselling to work with homeless people through the difficulties, challenges and emotions that can accompany bereavement.

Although there are no exact figures of how many homeless people in Lincoln are struggling with bereavement, there is research that shows it is a problem on a national scale. Strong circumstantial evidence that indicates it is prevalent in Lincoln.

The YMCA and Lincoln Baptist Church independently contacted St Barnabas Hospice to discuss the problem, which lead to the hospice putting together a bid to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for funding.

Counselling sessions are held at the YMCA hostel in Rumbold Street and at The Nomad Trust’s shelter in Monks Road. Caroline Killeavy, CEO of Lincolnshire YMCA, added: ‘The YMCA recognises people become homeless for many reasons, but one we repeatedly see is bereavement and loss.’

Pete Crosby, Lincoln Baptist Church community coordinator, said: ‘Bereavement among the homeless community is a reoccurring issue. Without specialist bereavement support these people will not overcome their grief and be able to get on with their lives.’

Cat Rodda is the bereavement counsellor leading the year-long project, and has already seen positive changes in those taking part. She said: ‘These sessions provide a confidential and accessible space for homeless people, who traditionally haven’t felt able to access the hospice’s bereavement support. We are already seeing individuals start to work through and better cope with their grief and taking steps to move forward with their lives.’

In addition to the counselling, the project aims to provide bereavement training for staff at partner organisations and for homeless peer mentors in order to widen the impact of the project.

Lincolnshire's Provincial Grand Master Dave Wheeler said: ‘People can find themselves living on the street for a variety of reasons. Life is already tough enough for the homeless, and the last thing they need is the extra burden of being alone whilst having to cope with the grief of bereavement.

‘The Masonic Charitable Foundation’s donation means that counsellors with the right kind of skills can be available to support them at such times, and I find it reassuring that we have made this wonderful initiative possible.’


Published Wed, 28 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0100

Buckinghamshire Freemasons donate £15,000 to Carers Milton Keynes

Buckinghamshire Freemasons have donated £15,000 to help Carers Milton Keynes to both extend and continue to provide vital support to unpaid carers in the area

The grant comes via the Masonic Charitable Foundation and will help them to increase and improve the support given to older carers, specifically carers aged 50 or over.

Carers Milton Keynes is a charity which supports the health and wellbeing of unpaid carers looking after a family member, friend or neighbour who cannot manage without them due to illness, physical or learning disability, frailty, mental health issues or additional needs.

The support available from Carers Milton Keynes includes advice, information and guidance, emotional support and counselling, young carers and young adult carers support, carers support groups and training courses.

Carers Milton Keynes commented: 'This generous award will enable us to grow the service to its full potential.'


Published Mon, 19 Aug 2019 13:36:04 +0100

Freemasons give £25,000 to victims of Yorkshire floods

Victims of the recent flash flooding that has hit hundreds of homes across the dales, including Arkengarthdale, Reeth, Leyburn and Bellerby, are being helped by a grant of £25,000 from Yorkshire Freemasons

The grant includes £5,000 each from Freemasons in Yorkshire West Riding and Yorkshire North and East Ridings, as well as £15,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, the Freemasons’ national charity. The money is being given to the Two Ridings Community Foundation, which has launched an appeal to help householders and local businesses.

Local Freemasons’ lodges are also raising funds for the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team as well as a small local charity in the village of Reeth, which was especially badly hit by the floods.

The grant will help vulnerable or elderly people or families to get back on their feet by replacing essential items such as carpets, basic furniture or white goods or by assisting with repairs. This support is especially needed by those who were not able to afford insurance or for those who have properties for which insurance companies have refused to provide cover.

It will also provide assistance to those local businesses in the area facing hardship as a result of the floods. This could include replacing tools or equipment or loss of earnings to tide people over while businesses recover.

Jan Garrill, Chief Executive of Two Ridings Community Foundation, said: 'We’re hugely grateful to Yorkshire freemasons for their generous grant, which will allow us to help the hundreds of local people who have suffered serious losses, many of whom are especially vulnerable. It can take years to fully recover from a major flood and getting immediate help can make a massive difference.”

Jeff Gillyon from Yorkshire Freemasons said: 'I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help local people across the dales who have suffered in the recent floods. Damage and disruption from a major flood can be a terrible blow for anyone, but especially for elderly people, the very young, or those with disabilities. I’m delighted that the freemasons are able to do their part in helping our community recover.'


Published Fri, 09 Aug 2019 11:03:40 +0100

£55,000 and counting – the success of Lift for Lifelites returns

Provinces across the country have helped raise in excess of £55,000 for children’s charity Lifelites by taking part in ‘Lift for Lifelites returns’ – a 3,000 mile road trip aimed at raising the charity’s profile, as well as the vital funds it needs to carry out its work

This is the second time the charity have staged this wacky fundraiser which sees its Chief Executive, Simone Enefer-Doy, travel to a landmark in every Province in England, Wales and some of the Crown Dependencies in just 15 days. To reach each of the 48 photoshoots, Simone asked Freemasons in every Province to give her a lift in a weird and wonderful variety of transport, and they didn’t disappoint.

Among her 80 lifts were a genuine Thai Tuk Tuk, a classic Rolls-Royce, a paddle steamer, a wartime motorcycle sidecar, a Lamborghini, no less than three steam trains and an electric tram, to name but a few. Famous sites visited on the trip included the beautiful Bleinheim Palace, the Heights of Abraham, Lake Windermere and the National Space Centre.

Simone said: ‘It was a real whistle stop tour and I’ve been blown away by the incredible generosity of Freemasons across the country; this event wouldn’t have been possible without them. After the success of last year, I couldn’t wait to see what everyone had come up with.

'It was wonderful to meet so many loyal supporters as well as lots of new friends along the way, and great to have the opportunity tell them more about Lifelites and other ways they could help us with our work for local children.’

The challenge has raised over £55,000 to date which will go towards the charity’s work donating and maintaining assistive technology for life-limited and disabled children in children’s hospices across the British Isles.

Simone explained: ‘This technology can be life-changing for these children. It helps them escape the confines of their conditions and do things they never thought possible, even things that we take for granted like playing a game with their brothers and sisters or telling their parents that they love them. We simply couldn’t do what we do without money raised from our supporters and we are very grateful.’

You can read about all the organisations who were involved in the challenge on the Lifelites website here.

If you’d like to hear more about the challenge, Simone or one of the Lifelites team can come to a Provincial meeting to give a presentation and talk about what the charity does and how else you can help Lifelites help children in your area. To arrange a date, please contact Samuel Davies by emailing sdavies@lifelites.org


Published Tue, 25 Jun 2019 11:49:58 +0100

Young people facing barriers get an educational boost thanks to £50,000 grant

Learning for life

More than 70 young people in and around Swindon who face social barriers are receiving a major boost to their education, thanks to a £50,000 grant from Wiltshire Freemasons. Peter Watts talks to the inspiring teenagers who are improving their career prospects with the Villiers Park Educational Trust Scholars Programme

Over the past 10 years, hundreds of young people from deprived or difficult backgrounds have been able to achieve their full potential thanks to the work of the Villiers Park Educational Trust. The pioneering four-year Scholars Programme is run by the trust, a social mobility charity that targets high-ability children from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing them with regular mentoring sessions. The programme also pays for them to go on residential trips and workshops designed to improve their confidence, motivation, resilience and employability, as well as giving them the chance to enjoy opportunities that they may not otherwise have been made aware of. A £50,000 grant from Wiltshire Freemasons via the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) will fund one of these mentoring positions in Swindon for two years. ‘This generosity allows our mentors to continue doing their amazing work,’ says deputy director of development Rosie Knowles. ‘It’s particularly great for us to have the Freemasons commit to more than a single year of funding, as we are focused on immersive long-term interventions.’

The charity currently operates in Swindon, Hastings, Bexhill, Tyneside, East Lancashire, Crawley and Norfolk, and hopes to widen its offering to other areas if more funding becomes available. There are four mentors in Swindon, who support children through their GCSEs and A-levels. ‘The mentors build up fabulous relationships,’ says Knowles. ‘They provide support and guidance and help young people develop skills to become more rounded individuals. Everything is built around developing these skills, as this is what empowers them to thrive and be self-sufficient in their success.’ The children are also able to give something back. ‘We encourage them to run self-led and inquiry-led projects in their schools,’ says Knowles. ‘This creates a ripple effect and a culture of positive learning. These young people really are incredible.’

Rahul Vital, 19

My family is from India and we moved to Swindon when I was five. My mum and dad had to drop out of school at a young age, which was why I was scouted for Villiers Park. In India, you weren’t rewarded for good work at school, but were punished for bad work – quite different to here in England.

The importance of education was made clear to me by my parents. I was encouraged to learn an instrument, take up art and do sports. I was approached by Villiers Park in year 9 and assigned a mentor, who helped me prepare for exams and job interviews, and create a CV. I also met other students on residential trips. I am now studying cancer biomedicine at University College London. Aspects of that came from a Villiers Park residential, where we learnt about cellular biology. I knew I wanted to do medicine or something with the sciences and these courses reinforced that decision. 

The programme helped with a lot of the stress I had at A-level. My mentor, Becki, would talk about how we were doing. She reassured me and I got an A* and 3 As. It’s definitely given me confidence. I wasn’t good at presentations, but going to these classes, learning to speak effectively and doing personal statements has been a lot of help. As a result of this I would definitely be willing to do something similar to help others. It was such a relief, so it would be great to do that for somebody else.

Jaime Hessell, 16

None of my family had been to university, but now I really want to go – that’s because of Villiers Park. I have taken as much from it as possible because I feel so lucky to be involved. I was shy before and it’s given me more confidence. I can now talk in front of the other Scholars and their parents. 

I always enjoyed school, but Villiers Park has shown me new things. We did a workshop and that gave me an interest in sociology, which is what I want do at university. We learn a bit of everything. It has given us a wider understanding of what is out there, beyond just maths and English. I am currently doing AS-levels and next year will do A-levels in maths, sociology and environmental studies.

My mentoring sessions with Becki and Julie have been incredibly helpful. Through Villiers Park, I joined the INVOLVE project, which has meant teaching maths to year-7s. I want to be a teacher, so it’s given me more of an understanding of what it’s like, what a stress it is but also how rewarding it can be. I had lower-ability students, and one of my pupils didn’t know her three times table, so I taught her every week until she was able to recite them. I also like to show them why you need maths for different things, such as architecture and business.

Acacia Baldie, 17

I live with my mum and my brother and we moved to Swindon just before the Villiers Park Scholars Programme started. I think the trust chose me because I was doing okay at school and they saw my potential. I love school, but had always thought university would be too expensive and you had to be very smart to go. I changed my mind after learning a bit more. We have regular mentor sessions where you learn employability and interview skills, and exam preparation tips. You also have paid-for residential trips where a specialist in your subject will talk to you. The mentors have all been really supportive, and explain everything clearly. They ask you about yourself and what you need help with. It’s life skills, the sort of thing school and college doesn’t focus on.

I am doing four A-Levels this year: fine art, textiles, biology and geography. My plan is to do Korean studies at university – I have identical offers from SOAS and Sheffield. Why Korea? I really liked the language and enjoy Korean shows. Plus I have Korean friends and I love the history and culture. My mentor helped me choose my subjects. I originally wanted to teach English in Korea but my mentor made me realise I should focus on what I enjoy, which was the culture.

Jordan Jones, 18

I was the first in my family to go to university and Villiers Park is about showing more options to people like me. Some of my peers weren’t looking at university, but I wanted to be an architect, so I knew I had a different career path. Villiers Park approached education in a different way to schools. They didn’t judge us, they were interested in how we got there and in how we used creative thinking. At school you have to appease all the people around you, but Villiers Park takes you out of that and allows you to be your own person and to flourish.

I went to Villiers Park thinking architecture was for me, but I looked at university courses with my mentor, Becki, and realised I wanted to be more involved in the design and maths of why a building works, so I am now studying civil engineering. I was so grateful, because I would have barrelled into a course and found out it wasn’t for me. I started at Plymouth University in September. It’s a challenge, but I have the structure of how to revise and study from Villiers Park, and it’s nice to have that ongoing support. A lot of people I know never had it at all, so I’m just grateful I got it in the first place.

For details, visit www.villierspark.org.uk

‘The mentors have all been really supportive, and explain everything clearly. They ask you what you need help with. It’s life skills, the sort of thing school doesn’t focus on’


Published Tue, 11 Jun 2019 00:00:00 +0100

£15,000 donation supports better quality of life for hundreds in North East Lincolnshire

More than 700 lonely people in North East Lincolnshire are being helped to a better quality of life thanks to the volunteers of charity Friendship at Home, who have been supported with the first instalment of a £15,000 donation from the region’s Freemasons

The charity, based in the Annie Chapple Centre in Aspen Court in Cleethorpes, was set up to reduce loneliness and isolation and improve the quality of life for older people. It offers one-to-one befriending of older people in their own homes, as well as running social mornings and afternoons, exercise activities, telephone befriending and a range of dementia support services including a dementia choir.

Operational Manager Lyse Stephenson said the charity, which supports people over 60, was finding an increase in demand for its services from those with dementia. She said: ‘Dementia cuts people off, and we need to help them to be integrated – but the demand for our services is overwhelming.'

She said the charity was inundated with calls to support group work, adding: ‘It does work so well, but with predictions that one in three of us will suffer problems with dementia, we need more volunteers to meet the huge demand we face.’

Currently there are 175 volunteers, but more are needed, said Lyse. ‘More volunteers would enable us to offer help and support to greater numbers of people – and we have helped thousands in the 13 years the charity has been running.’

The Lincolnshire Freemasons donation has come from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which will give £5,000 a year for three successive years.

Pete Tong is the Freemasons’ Provincial Charity Steward in Lincolnshire. He said: ‘The work of the MCF is an important element of the Freemasons’ support for causes in the community – both masonic and non-masonic. The MCF gave £8.5m to more than 400 charities last year; all of it money given by Freemasons themselves. And we topped that up with more than £100,000 to a further 150 non-masonic good causes in the historic county of Lincolnshire.’

Lyse added: ‘The Freemasons’ donation is so important to us alongside the other funding streams and supporters. It will be used to help us to cover running costs so that we are able to concentrate on the people who matter most – our service users.’

Could you be a Friendship at Home volunteer? To find out what’s involved and how you might be able to help, contact volunteer co-ordinator Dawn Charlton by emailing dawn@friendshipathome.org.uk or calling 01472 602500.


Published Fri, 07 Jun 2019 00:00:00 +0100

Tuba entertainment for Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons

Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons, from St. Mary's Lodge No. 7164, gathered to enjoy the talented renditions of a young tuba player, Olly Douglas

Olly is 14-years-old and plays for the National Youth Orchestra and Uppingham School Concert Band. He recently received a grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) to support the purchase of a professional standard instrument and also to be provided expert tuition.

Olly’s father Stefan Douglas, a member of St. Mary's Lodge, based in in Melton Mowbray, asked Olly to play his tuba at the festive board as a thank you to the lodge and Freemasonry as a whole for the support he has received in developing his musical career. He was only too delighted to oblige and gave a flawless rendition of the Hindemith Tuba Sonata and then, to lighten the mood, the theme from The Muppets.

Stefan Douglas spoke over dinner about the importance of the Talent Aid programme within the MCF and how it supports many gifted and talented young adults. He also expressed his sincere gratitude to all Freemasons who support the MCF through their charitable donations.

The Master of St Mary’s Lodge, Michael Brooman, said: ‘Helping the members understand the local work of the MCF alongside their national work is vital to ensuring the ongoing support of the Foundation.’

In attendance was the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire & Rutland, Peter Kinder, and Tony Molyneux, who both supported Olly’s application.


Published Thu, 06 Jun 2019 00:00:00 +0100

'Lift for Lifelites' road trip returns to raise money for children in hospices

After the huge success of last year’s event, Lifelites Chief Executive Simone Enefer-Doy is once again taking on an epic nationwide road trip to raise money for life-limited and disabled children in hospices

Simone left the office on Great Queen Street on the morning of 10 May 2019 in a London Fire Brigade BMW i3, kindly organised by the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London. She was also accompanied by Widows Sons outriders and a classic Ronart.

Dubbed ‘Lift for Lifelites returns’, the 3,000 mile trip will see Simone visit a landmark in every Province in England and Wales in a variety of weird and wonderful modes of transport provided by Freemasons, Widows Sons and other volunteers.

Landmarks will include Bleinheim Palace, Goodwood and the National Space Centre, as well as some slightly quirkier venues such as the British Lawnmower Museum. Confirmed modes of transport so far include a Tuk Tuk, a steam train, a Lamborghini, a quadbike, a DeLorean, a classic Rolls Royce and many more.

All the money raised will go towards the charity’s work donating and maintaining life-changing technology to life-limited and disabled children in hospices across the British Isles. This technology gives them the opportunity to play be creative, control something for themselves and communicate, for as long as it is possible.

Simone said: 'We are a very small, but very hard working charity and are determined to do all that we can to impact the lives of children who don’t have the same opportunities that we do due to the confines of their condition. Every moment is precious for these children and their families, and we want to make sure they can make the most of every second. This is only possible with the support of the Provinces.

'We were absolutely blown away by the support we received last year. Provinces pulled out all the stops and we can’t thank them enough. Will this year be even bigger and better?'

You can see the full route plan on the Lifelites website, as well as support Simone and donate to Lifelites by clicking here.


Published Fri, 10 May 2019 13:45:32 +0100

Freemasons to provide multi-year core funding for small charities in major policy change

Small charities will now be able to apply for multi-year grants to cover basic running expenses and other core funding costs, following a major policy shift at the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) – one of the largest grant-making charities in the country

Until recently, the MCF, in common with many other charitable foundations, has tended to concentrate on project-based funding, which generally provides more measurable results. The MCF also gives one-off unrestricted grants of up to £5,000 to small charities for general charitable purposes. 

However, having identified the growing issue of smaller charities facing difficulties due to lack of core funding, the MCF has bucked the trend amongst similar grant-giving bodies to address the issue and has expanded its current programme of non-ring-fenced grants.

The new grants are available to charities with an income of no more than £500,000 a year, often much less, and will be for a maximum of £5,000 per year over three years. The first round of these extended unrestricted core funding grants has just been announced for 22 small charities. It is hoped that these multi-year unrestricted funding grants will help sustain charities, enabling them to deliver services to those most in need. The MCF aims to monitor and evaluate these grants, and hopes to share any learning within the sector regarding the effectiveness of this grant-giving.

Funded by freemasons, their families and friends, the Masonic Charitable Foundation is the national freemasons’ charity. In 2017, the MCF provided grants of more than £5.6 million to 770 national, regional and local charities across England and Wales.

David Innes, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, said: 'There are many small charities that struggle with basic running costs. Project-based funding is fine, but if they can’t pay the electricity bill or put petrol in the car, delivering services to clients can be difficult if not impossible.

'Many charities cease their vital activities because this kind of funding is not available. This is why the MCF’s new core funding initiative, on behalf of the Freemasons of England and Wales, is so important.'


Published Mon, 01 Apr 2019 11:56:56 +0100
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