Charity in spirit and deed
There is a great deal more to charity than money. Kindness of manner and generosity of spirit seem so often to be lacking in a high-pressure society, and as a result are more valuable than ever. These attributes are strongly encouraged within Freemasonry, and many of our members are well known in other aspects of their lives for the good work they do in the communities where they live. Having said that, money is still very important, and contributions to various charities is a fundamental part of our purpose.
However, Freemasons are ordinary people, of ordinary means. They are not better off than most others, indeed many are retired and on very modest incomes. Others are self-employed, and rightfully concerned about supporting their families on an uncertain income. Therefore, it is not productive to legislate as to how much any individual should give to charity in any year.
The rule is that we should give what we can, when we can.
How we collect money
Generally, money collected for charity comes from our own pockets, and from our friends. We tend to operate quietly among ourselves, and not compete with the public charity events and organisers. We contribute by any or all of the following means:
- Collections at our meetings.
- Raffles at dinners and social functions.
- Surplus from dinner dances and parties.
- Charity Auctions
- Specially organised concerts and other events.
- Sponsored activities, walks, climbs etc.
- Covenants and Gift Aid (having a particular tax advantage). DOWNLOAD GIFT AID FORM
How we give money
There are several methods for disposing of our charity collections. Many local organisations have been supported by private donations from individual lodges, and contributions of small amounts are made frequently throughout the year.
We have organised or participated in specially organised events, such as the sponsored walk across the Second Severn Crossing which was opened in 1997, and these events raise large sums for specific purposes. In this example, over UKP 11,000 was raised for Ty Hafan Children's Hospice.
Through a Provincial Charity fund, which is dispensed to a number of local charities annually.
Privately and through the Provincial Charity fund to individuals in the community who have suffered particular hardships, such as sickness or injury, whose plight comes to our attention.
Through Grand Lodge to national and international charities. This is where we support disaster funds.
To the widows, orphans and dependent relatives of our own members. In cash, purchased services or educational foundations.