The United Grand Lodge of England has a system whereby each of the four national masonic charities (see Masonic Charity) has an annual festival where they are supported, on a rotational basis, by one of the masonic provinces. Each province supports a festival once in every ten or twelve years.It is for each province to decide when the work of fund raising will commence. Typically, this will be five or six years before the festival date. The festival culminates in a Festival Dinner at which the total amount raised is announced.The current 2014 Festival was launched on 26 September 2008 for which the target is £3,000,000 in support of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. So far, in these difficult economic times, the Brethren and Companions of the Province of East Kent have raised the magnificent sum of £2,200,000 as at the end of March 2012 towards our pledge of £3,000,000. This includes a very generous contribution from Chapters of £182,969. With anticipated interest on the monies raised to date we should receive another £100,000 in interest by June 2014 so we still need to raise £700,000 to reach our target. We are doing really well, so many thanks to you all. Supporting the Grand Charity is really helping to change lives.
The Grand Charity provides assistance for Brethren and their families who are in financial need, as well as supporting National Charities with much needed funds for the benefit of the wider community.
Our Almoners work incredibly hard to keep the Grand Charity informed about those most in need in our Province thus enabling vital financial support to be offered. In 2011 The Grand Charity made 62 grants totalling £162,140 to East Kent Masons or their dependents requiring financial assistance. Once again, your donations to our Festival make a real difference.
Here are a couple of ideas that may assist in helping to raise the final £700,000
If you have monies in a Lodge relief chest, some or all of which are ultimately destined for the 2014 Festival, they will be attracting interest at 0.85%. As soon as you transfer the Funds to the Festival account they will attract interest 2.25%. Why not act now?
If you are not currently gift aiding your collections, why not give brethren the option? The gift aided amounts will go to the Festival and attract another 25% from the tax man!
Supporting local good causes
In addition to the 2014 Festival, East Kent Masons are very proud of the fact that we still find the energy and resources to support other local non masonic charities. This is most impressive and it shows that an East Kent Mason is a caring mason. Very well done to all the Brethren and Companions.