Essex Freemasons continue to support charities throughout lockdown

Here are some highlights as recorded at a recent Zoom meeting of the Essex Provincial Charity Stewards:

  • The total in the FEST222 as at the end of August is £3.95 Million
  • The target had been brought back to the original target of £5 Million
    • In light of the current situation with less meetings and opportunities it was considered appropriate by the Provincial Executive
  • Therefore we have 19 months to get the £1.05 Million to hit the target
    • £56,000 per month minimum
  • The MCF have agreed that any RPP that runs on past March 2022, the cut off for  FEST20222, will still be credited until they expire!
    • This means that any taken out now will be fully credited to FEST2022
    • The general consensus of those attending was that the reduction of the target was a good idea, and that the end result would be somewhere between £5 Million and £6 Million.
    • However there was a feeling that a number of units have yet to release their final funds
  • There were a number of initiatives currently being undertaken by the team:
    • Regular Quiz Nights
    • Emailing members with GAE slips
      • A PDF of the GAE slip which is accepted by the MCF is attached
    • Reminding members of RPPs and asking for individual donations
      • Few RPPs have been cancelled which was very good
    • Taking a softly softly approach so as to not come over as heavy handed
    • Donating the “Dining” part of all-in subscriptions to charity
    • Running regular 25, 50, 100 and 200 Clubs
    • In general all those attending were positive towards the Festival and were willing to encourage members to contribute where they were able to
  • There has been a large number of Matched Funding donations over the last few months, all have been publicised on social media and in Essex newspapers
  • There have also been donations from the MCF to a number of Essex projects including vulnerable children and women
  • Advance notice was given for a Race Day at Great Leas next year on Saturday 3rd July. This is to be a Masonic Race Day with proceeds going towards FEST2022
    • Sponsorship is being sought and it will also be used as a Masonic Awareness event with the Provincial Trailer and other stalls present
    • It is anticipated that there will be a charge for entrance and then additional options for Lunch and Dinner
    • Once this has all been agreed there will be plenty of publicity
    • Lodges and Chapters will be encouraged to have tables at the Lunch and Dinner and to have as many members and their families and friends attending
    • There will be a full racing program and a special “stakes” for Apprentices in memory of the late PGM, which has the full support of his widow Margaret, and family
    • This is planned to be a big event and once it is a success it could be repeated annually
    • Details of Costs and Events etc. will be circulated when available
  • The planned Charity Stewards Conference for next Spring is cancelled due to the current situation

At the end of the meeting the following points were emphasised:

  • As a Province we receive between £900,000 - £1 Million each year from the MCF to distribute to Brethren, their families and good causes. Currently we are raising just over £1 Million each year. We are one of the bigger Provinces under UGLE and it would be good if we could raise and send to the MCF more than we get back, so as to support the smaller Provinces as well as our own.
  • Remember that there should be no pressure on brethren to donate to Charity. All donations should be within a brother’s means and voluntary, no one should be made to feel that they have to contribute.  In the current situation we need to think of those brethren and their families who may be suffering due to loss of employment or being furloughed. Those of us who are not as affected should consider helping them and others in a positive way.

Keep up the good work all!

S&F

W Bro Chris Hicks PAGDC, PAGDC

DepProvGCharityStwd - Essex