Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire

£160,000 Donated By Warwickshire Freemasons to Local Charities

FamousFive

This will be the final report on the Provincial Grand Master’s "Famous Five" initiative, and I am delighted to tell you that following my appeal last year, the initiative which has been running since May 2013, has donated a grand total of £160, 346 to selected non-masonic Warwickshire Charities. Cheques have now been presented to the charities concerned and previous articles have documented these events.

This remarkable amount has been raised by Warwickshire Freemasons at their meetings and social events, in addition to their regular support for other charities. The "Famous Five" has been incredibly well supported by the majority of Warwickshire Lodges since it was launched, and has benefitted the following charities in stages over the last four years by the amounts indicated below:

Acorns Children’s Hospice £42,500
Birmingham Children’s Hospital £42,500
Midlands Air Ambulance £21,250
Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance  £21,250
St Mary’s Collegiate Church, Warwick £32,846

Warwickshire Freemasons are pleased and proud to be able to support all of these charities, in both financial and practical terms, and will continue to provide that support through the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association and individual Lodges.

The Relief Chest for the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association remains open with a small balance, and in time, a system may be developed to enable Lodges who do not have a Relief Chest of their own to make donations with gift aid added, to their own chosen Registered Charities. My recommendation, which has already been taken up by a good number of Lodges, is for each Lodge to open a Relief Chest of its own. This is easily and quickly achievable – full details are available on this link - https://mcf.org.uk/reliefchest/ or by a phone call to the MCF on 020 3146 3333. Enquiries to the Charity Office are welcome and assistance will be given if required.   Any Lodge which opens a Relief Chest retains full control over their charitable funds, which can subsequently be directed to registered charities or to Lodge widows and dependants.

John Hayward
Provincial Charity Steward

Emulation Lodge of Improvement Annual Festival 2018

The Emulation Lodge of Improvement Preceptors’ Festival 2018 is to be held on Friday 29th June at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London.

This year will be demonstrating the ceremonies of Raising and Installation and the Emulation Lodge of Improvement very much hope that Brethren of Warwickshire are able to join them.

The booking form is available here

Emulation Lodge Preceptors Festival

The Famous Five & St Mary’s Collegiate Church, Warwick

A cheque for £8,500 being the final contribution from the Famous Five, was presented by VW Bro Alan Wellan, PGSwdB, Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, in front of a large Sunday Eucharist congregation at St Mary’s Collegiate Church, Warwick. The church and Warwickshire Freemasonry have many links, some of which are summarised below. Alan is a member of St Mary’s Parochial Church Council, and gave the congregation a five minute description of Freemasonry and the support given to non-Masonic charities. In total, as a result of the Famous Five initiative, over £32,500 has been given to St Mary’s since it was launched by the Provincial Grand Master in mid-2013.

 St Mary'sChurch

 

St Mary’s was established as a collegiate church in 1123 by Richard Beauchamp. The Church and Warwickshire Province have been linked for almost 300 years, a Lodge having been formed at the Woolpack Hotel in April 1728, soon after the 1694 Great Fire of Warwick, with the Vicar of St Mary’s, the Rev W Greenwood, becoming the first Master. The restoration of church and town had caused many stone masons to move in to Warwick. We are delighted that the link is still strong and that we consider St Mary’s to be ‘our church’.

There are many tangible aspects of Freemasonry within the Church which are evident. The magnificent oak pulpit, donated to the church by the Freemasons in 1897, the timber having come from Stoneleigh Park, the seat of the then Provincial Grand Master, Lord Leigh. In recent times the stone carving of Madonna and Child was funded by Freemasons and was proudly mounted in 2015 towards the apex of the exterior of the East wall of the Beauchamp Chapel. The current donation may well assist with the restoration work necessary on the Church Tower, which will cost a large amount in both time and materials. Additional sums have been raised by Lodges and other Orders and contributed directly.

JBH

Address to Provincial Grand Lodge 2018

The Provincial Grand Master

May I welcome you all, once more and thank you all so much for turning out in such great numbers to support us.

I congratulate those of you that I have had the pleasure of appointing or promoting today. These ranks of course have been conferred upon you to recognise the sterling work that you have done within your Lodges. However it also points out the further support you will be expected to be giving to the Province to support this special year and to further aid the progressive developments that we initiate within Warwickshire.

I thank the retiring team of Acting Officers who have been magnificent in their support throughout the year. You have set an enviable standard for this Year’s Officers to emulate and I know that you have all enjoyed it enormously.

I particularly wish to thank W.Bro Richard Barker who retired today as an Asst. APGM; W.Bro John Hayward as Prov.G Ch.Stwd.; W.Bro. Peter Sorrill Prov. Grand Mentor; W. Bro. Hosey Davoudian as Asst. to the Prov. G. Reg.

Congratulations to all within our Province who were appointed to Grand Rank last Month; namely David Butcher PAGDC; David Greenwood PAGDC; John Walsh PAGStd.B; W.Bro Michael Grillage PAGStd.B.; W.Bro. Peter Summers PAGStB.;. Also to those who were promoted namely: David Satchwell PAJGD; Nigel Burton PAJGD and our very own Richard V Wallis to PAGJW.

This last Masonic Year has been very special indeed. I reflect upon last years’ PGL held at Great Queen Street; upon MFest300; the ‘Desk & Chair’ at Stratford; the many Classic 300 rallies; other special events; and the culmination at the Royal Albert Hall.

We must build upon this momentum Brethren.

To that end we embarked, last August upon FOUR carefully planned initiatives:

  1. The first saw Christopher Rogers and myself revamping the Vising Officer Scheme to make it more effective and to give your Lodges more help and support.
  2. The second saw the Dep. PGM Michael Morris take charge, as a result of this re-vamp, of an exit strategy to help you with resignations, and prospective resignations. This has, already, had a powerful impact upon reducing our losses to membership through resignation.
  3. APGM David Stanford has been appointed Prov. Membership Officer. I have singled out a very senior member of the team to show just how important this is to us all.

UGLE have produced for us all a very powerful guide to help Lodges at every avenue of the process from identifying candidates, interviewing them and then looking after them. This, online, reference guide is called the Members Pathway.

He will introduce you all to the Members Pathway in seminars in September.

  1. Also as part of this process he is in charge of an initiative to take our message of Freemasonry out into YOUR communities. We have an information packed gazebo which will be staffed by ten trained volunteers, brethren and their ladies. It can go into any pre-booked spot in your area and talk to people about Freemasonry in Warwickshire. If you want it in your town get in touch with David Stanford.
  2. The Mentoring Scheme has been re-vamped by David Stanford to build upon the success of his predecessor Peter Sorrill, by ensuring a higher level of support and encouragement. For example any Brother who does not attend his Lodge being contacted by two different people to let him know we care.

Brethren all of these initiatives are designed to offer you as WMs and Lodges the total help and support of the Province in improving your membership.

The help is there for you; just ask!

All job descriptions of the Senior Executive have been re-written specifically to help you even more.

We cannot do it for you, but we can offer you all of the encouragement and support that we can muster.

The Education and Development Group, led by APGM Peter Manning has been very active throughout the year.

The new Provincial tie originated there and we launch it today to replace our former tie, which served us well for 17 years. The sales from the proceeds of the ties will provide a contribution to the 2023 Festival.

The EDG has also completely re-designed our website which is due for its launch in September. A whole new fresh feel with lots more information and better access for us all.

They have also been working very hard on improving our communications with you all and we are beginning to see very positive results from that.

As you are aware we run a Masonic papers competition each year. The committee, chaired by W.Br. Keith Marchington have chosen the following winner:

  • Winner: For those above the Chair:         W Bro Chris Rogers, APGM
  • In second place:       W Bro Ian Dipple, a recently Installed Master

These will be presented at a forthcoming meeting of Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge No 4538.

Our Five of Nine Club continues to prosper and is one of the most vibrant New and Young Masons Clubs in the country.

At the recent AGM Carey Burke was voted in as the new Chairman and we wish him and all of his very enthusiastic committee continued success. I would personally like to thank W Bro Dan Thomas, the retiring Chairman for all of his hard work in ensuring the fantastic success that this initiative has had since its conception. Brethren if you have a young Freemason in your Lodge I strongly advise you to ensure that they become 5 of 9 members.

We finished our Famous Five appeal for local Charities in December and I delighted to tell you that we raised, in total £160k for these local Charities. Brethren I am so grateful, and you should be very proud of your generosity.

In January David Greenwood launched our 2023 Festival Appeal for MCF in a most stimulating and memorable way. He will be giving us regular updates on our progress, but the initial message remains Brethren sign up for your regular giving through Direct Debits please!

The alms collection today will be in aid of our 2023 Festival.

Finally I thank each and every person who has worked so hard to make today such a success. To Prov. Sec. Mike Reeve, Wendy and all of the staff in the Provincial Office for their hard work. Provincial DC Peter Clarke for his tireless work in ensuring that his first Annual Meeting was such a success. To the Provincial Stewards team for their tremendous help, and the Provincial DC’s for the ceremonial.

In fact thank you all for coming to make this significant day so special.

It is a privilege, and pleasure to be your Provincial Grand Master. I thank you for all of your support and urge you all to continue to enjoy your Freemasonry, and do tell others how wonderful it is.

D.F.Macey

May 2018.

 

Masonic Charitable Foundation grant £5,000 to “The Project” to help the Homeless in Birmingham

The ProjectThe Project (also known as South Birmingham Young Homeless Project) is a quality assured advice centre specialising in homeless prevention, welfare benefits and debt. Their aim is to prevent homelessness, and improve the lives of vulnerable people. The Project provides impartial advice and offers support to enable lives to be put back on track.

Those who are struggling with debt, homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, or just really confused by the benefits system and live in Birmingham then The Project is there to help. The team understand what a struggle it can be to make ends meet and how quickly things can spiral out of control and the devastating effects this can have on individuals and families.

The mission statement sums the approach very well:

The Project prevents homelessness and improves lives through high quality advice and support that builds resilience. We specialise in supporting young people but our personalised, tailored approach is available to all.

In a very pleasant meeting with Helen Sephton, Project Manager, I discover that the practical support given in crisis situations knows no bounds. From bus tickets to emergency food parcels, from grant applications to replacement birth certificates, whatever a person’s age or situation the staff are there to help when life gets tough.

The Project has been operating for 25 years, and although much state funding has been withdrawn, the Lottery is funding the Project over a five year period, and donations from many organisations will help them survive and expand. Further information is available on the Project’s website

Certificate Presentation

The photograph above shows the certificate being held by Helen Sephton, Project Manager and Nathaniel, a young man who has been helped greatly by the team at The Project, and now helps as a volunteer, and is happy to share his story.  

JBH

 

Contact Us

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire
Yenton Assembly Rooms
73, Gravelly Hill North, Erdington
Birmingham B23 6BJ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WarwickshirePGL

For Masonic enquiries:
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Tel: 0121 454 4422

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the governing body for freemasons within England and Wales and districts overseas.