How can I help?
Charity is one of the foundation stones of
Freemasonry, and every Member is expected to contribute to Masonic Charities, on
a regular basis, according to his financial circumstances. The four principal
Masonic Charities provide financial support and care for needy Freemasons and
their dependants at every stage in life; they also generously support a wide
range of charitable causes outside of Freemasonry. Freemasons do not raise money
from the general public so the Masonic Charities need the support of all Members
of the Craft to enable them to carry out their valuable work.
The most effective way of contributing, is to make a Regular Payment Promise (RPP)
under the Gift Aid Scheme which provides a tax refund for the benefit of the
charity concerned. RPPs are generally made monthly, by Direct Debit from the
donor's bank account, but contributions can be made in cash and on an occasional
or once-off basis.
Brethren usually make their charitable payments through their own Lodge. Lodges
then make payments to a whole range of charities, as and when the Members of the
Lodge vote to support a particular cause. These may be Masonic or for causes
outside of Freemasonry, whether local initiatives (e.g. a local hospice or youth
club) or national charities (e.g. Cancer Research, Lifeboats, international
Every Lodge in Somerset has a Charity Steward, and Brethren should approach
their Charity Steward for further information about the work of the Masonic
Charities and to make arrangements to contribute.
The Charity Steward is responsible for raising charitable funds within his
Lodge, and for making recommendations about causes to support. He will endeavour
to foster a collective enthusiasm to support worthy causes and will advise and
assist members on tax-efficient giving.