One of the Country’s Largest
It is a little known fact that Freemasonry in the United Kingdom is up there with the largest charity donating organisations. The UK National Lottery is the tops in giving financial support to non-masonic charities and good causes. Then comes Children in Need. We enter the list at number 3. Yes, we are the third largest in giving financial support to non-masonic charities and good causes – a record we are proud of.
This is all performed through one organisation – the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF)
For Freemasons, for families, for everyone.
Funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons and their families, the MCF is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country.
Most of the support provided by the MCF takes the form of financial grants to individuals and families to assist with daily living costs. We can also award grants to provide specific items or services.
A range of health and care needs, including medical and dental treatments, counselling and mobility aids or home adaptations are supported, with funding also available for respite, residential, nursing and dementia care.
Our professional Advice and Support team offers confidential and practical guidance about the support available from the MCF and many other organisations.
In addition to the support we provide to Freemasons and their families, the MCF awards millions of pounds each year to local and national charities that help vulnerable people, advance medical research and provide opportunities for young people.
We also help to fund vital services such as hospices and air ambulances and regularly contribute to worldwide appeals for disaster relief. In total, our support helps to improve the lives of thousands of people every year in England, Wales and internationally.
The Foundation brings together the work of four national Charities which had been operating separately under various names since the early 18th Century.
Visit the Masonic Charitable Foundation’s website for further information.
The East Lancashire Masonic Charity
More locally we have the East Lancashire Masonic Charity (ELMC) which is supported by Lodges and Chapters in the Province of East Lancashire. This Charity looks after issues at a local level. Beneficiaries currently receive around £155,000 in assistance annually.
The ELMC is here to care for and to afford charitable assistance to needy Freemasons or their widows or to any of their dependent relatives, and to reach out to others in the communities in which we live who are deserving of our charitable support.
Support for those less fortunate than ourselves has been a feature of our Masonic activity throughout the history of this Province. In the eighteenth century , charity was disbursed by individual Lodges on behalf of their members. In 1815, Grand Lodge ordained that a Province could establish a Local fund for charitable and other Masonic purposes, and then, in 1853, a meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge in Blackburn established a Fund of Benevolence. Eventually a Committee was formed to promote the interests of charity. This Committee included one representative from each Lodge in the Province. This was the origin of the Lodge Charity representative, now known as the Charity Steward.
In 1876, “The East Lancashire Systematic and Educational Masonic Benevolent Fund” was established to administer the increasing work of helping needy Masons and their families in the Province.
In 1904, the Institution was incorporated and registered under the Charities Act, and became “The East Lancashire Masonic Benevolent Institution (Incorporated)”.The Constitution of ELMBI has stood the test of time. It has served this Province for over a century. During that time, through the work of Lodge/Chapter Almoners and the Committee of Benevolence, it has been able to improve the quality of life of thousands of its beneficiaries with its charitable care and support. But that would not have happened without the generous donations of the Brethren of the Province, facilitated by Lodge/Chapter Charity Stewards.
A £5 per month subscription or £60 per annum payment will make you a ‘Friend of the ELMC‘ and will enable the Charity’s aims to be better fulfilled. Please use the button below.
The Lodge Almoner
Each Lodge has an officer called the Almoner who is solely responsible for ensuring that all members and their dependants are cared for. This is an important role and does not necessarily demand a great deal of money being raised by the Lodge Members. On odd occasions there will be a need to finance support for a Brother or his dependants. Money will be available at a local level to assist. There are also regional and national initiatives that can be brought into play should the need arise.
To assist the Almoner the Freemasonry Cares initiative has recently been introduced to ensure that Freemasons, their relatives and dependants fully understand the help and assistance that is readily available to them.
Want to know more about Freemasonry in general or Whalley Masons in particular do get in touch.
Province Grand Lodge of East Lancashire 2026 Festival Appeal
The MCF is funded predominantly through the generosity of freemasons and their families. The bulk of that income (circa 41%) comes from Provinces in Festival, hence why it is important that we all play a part in giving something back. The Fund-Raising Appeal for the East Lancashire 2026 Festival (launched at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge in November 2021) runs for 5 years, and culminates in 2026, when we will hold a Festival to formally hand the proceeds of our Appeal to the Masonic Charitable Foundation and celebrate our achievements.
The Festival Launch Brochure, with a forward from the President of the Appeal Committee, explains why we should consider supporting our Provincial Appeal, the work of the Masonic Charitable Foundation (particularly in East Lancashire), how we can get involved and how to donate.
The launch will be celebrated with a Launch Event on February 26th 2022, by which time all Lodges and Chapters will have appointed Lodge and Chapter Festival Representatives and the Area/District teams, led by the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters and District Festival Managers, will have arranged local events to communicate everything you need to know about the Masonic Charitable Foundation and our Festival.
Whilst we all hope to enjoy our fund-raising activities, we must never forget that at the end of every grant there is a child, an adult or a family, who need our help. We have all been ‘well trained’ on the importance of Charity, and now it is our turn to do our bit, and give something back.