Essex Freemasons raised and donated nearly £1.2 million.

Essex Freemasons raised and donated nearly £1.2 million to local and national charities in 2016 according to figures released today (January 24th). It sets a new record for charitable support, beating the previous top total by more than £150,000.

Some 1,600 separate donations were made to local charities across Essex from the 400 plus Lodges and associated Masonic groups that meet in the County. Further support was also given to a wide and diverse range of national charities and good causes.

Major grants and donations such as £145,000 to the Scout Movement and some £60,000 to local hospices figured high in the list of giving, matched by hundreds of smaller donations to community charities, helping to make a difference across Essex.

“It never ceases to amaze me when I see the generosity of Essex Freemasons,” said Rodney Bass, the Provincial Grand Master for Essex. “It seems that every year, in spite of pressure on finances, Masons continue to donate large sums to good causes.”

“I am particularly pleased that we can make a difference in the community where many small charities, which do some wonderful work, are able to continue with the help of our money.”

All charitable monies come directly from individual Lodges whose members decide what charities they wish to support – there is no central pot of money. This helps to ensure that cash goes where it is needed most - from local masons to local charities.

“Paradoxically, charity is only a part of what we do as Freemasons,” added Rodney Bass. “Freemasonry is a fun and enjoyable hobby which is why our members get out in the community and abseil, bungee jump and get involved with all kind of different events which have the bonus of raising money while at the same allowing members to enjoy their Freemasonry.”

“Our new website shows just what some of our members will do for a good cause; particularly our younger Freemasons who with the rest of our 9,000 plus members will be helping us celebrate 300 years of Masonry across the County in 2017.”