As we enter the final 1/3 of our time in Festival I wanted to thank those who have so generously supported our cause and hopefully encourage those still to do so.
Festivals however presented, however long or short they last, or how frequently they come around they always attract criticism, this Festival is no exception. Moving forward we should find ourselves in Festival for 5 years with a 5 year break. So why not manage your future contribution over 10 years, you’ll find it costs less than £1 per week, surely attainable by every mason! It is interesting to note that your £1 donated in the year 2000 is now only worth 66 pence today, in 1990 only 44 pence.
On the 1st April this year the four central masonic charities were merged under a single umbrella to form the Masonic Charitable Foundation. This new entity continues the sterling work of the previous four. As we started our Festival in favour of the RMTGB all monies raised in our Festival will be ring fenced to support the needs of the young.
In recent years, our masonic charities have dispersed £100m supporting causes in England & Wales and abroad, both masonic & non masonic.
The MCF is currently supporting 5000 Masons or family members at an annual of cost of £15.5m. Within the last 12 months Nottinghamshire has received £143,386 in support of 42 beneficiaries. Our masonic charity supports our local brethren and their families. Three of our Hospices have also recently received around £4000 from the MCF, as they do each year.
A few Lodges have struggled to meet their goal because of a large reduction in their membership when the original goal was set in 2010 based on membership of that year, since then the provincial membership has fallen by 500 masons and the Festival Executive are well aware of this. That said, some lodges have still exceeded their goal and we congratulate them.
This update has been presented to lodges from the North East Corner as a reminder of our initiation, this is where we all agreed to give (within our means) if we had not been deprived. But more importantly this feeling in us is awoken on behalf of the poor and distressed masons and their families who range under our banners.
This is reinforced at the end of every Lodge meeting as we toast the poor & distressed Mason’s. That’s how important it is. Emotional connections to local non-masonic charities appear to challenge the priority of our giving from time to time.
Collectively as a Province, we have reached 75% of our goal of £3m. This has been achieved with 50% of our membership engaging with our Festival with meaningful regular donations. Of course, this also means 50% have not and without their support our goal will be difficult to attain.
Can I say to those individuals only you can know, when you go to bed at night, whether you have done all you can to support our Festival? If you can sleep at night, then I trust those we aim to support, may also sleep just as well. If you have not signed up for regular giving you can still do so now, the end date of your gift aid can be well past our Festival closing date; with the total of all donations, promises and interest being added to your own and your Lodge’s goal in this Festival.
If you wish to make a single or ad hoc payment(s) you can do so now, using your gift aid envelopes (Reverse Raffle). If you use a gift aid envelope in your own Lodge both your Lodge and your own total is credited. If you use the envelope whilst visiting another Lodge your own total is still credited to you as well as the visited Lodge total.
To those who have supported I thank you on behalf of this Province, I also thank our Festival Stewards for their efforts and support. More importantly I thank you on behalf of those we seek to help, the poor and distressed. To those of you who are yet to support, please start now and fulfil your masonic obligation.
Nell & Will 10 & 9 years old, Masonic father killed in a road traffic accident.
Emotional & financial chaos. RMTGB supported to ensure Nell & William’s continued in all aspects of their education.
Some of you may argue there may be more deserving causes, there may be, but who of you here would put your child or grandchild in Nell & William’s shoes?