The values of Freemasonry are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Freemasons are taught to practice charity and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole – both by charitable giving, and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.
From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. This work continues today. In addition, large sums are given to national and local charities. Outside of the National Lottery, Freemasonry is the largest contributor to charity. In 2013 The Freemasons Grand Charity gave in excess of £2.5 million to non masonic causes, with focus on medical research, help for vulnerable people, youth opportunities and disaster relief.
Masonic charity is exercised at every level: individual Lodges make gifts and give aid to their own communities and every Province also gives large sums of money to regional causes.
In this past year the past master of the Indefatigable lodge No: 237 has donated £600 to his chosen charities:
Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends, following the ideas about cancer care originally laid out by Maggie Keswick Jencks.
The Provincial Grand Lodge of South Wales administers many charitable funds; the principal ones are The Masonic Benevolent Fund of South Wales (MBFSW) and the Good Neighbours (SWED) Housing Association.
The objects of the Masonic Benevolent Fund South Wales are to provide relief to needy Freemasons of the Province, their widows or partners, their children and any spinster sisters. The Management Committee of the MBFSW meet regularly to consider petitions for relief submitted by Lodge Almoners, although the Provincial Grand Almoner and the Provincial Grand Secretary have powers to make emergency grants. The MBFSW also receives applications for financial assistance from Non-masonic organisations. If they are deemed worthy of support and are registered as a Charity they receive an annual grant subject to the approval at the annual Court of Governors. The MBFSW relies heavily on brethren becoming Life Governors and on regular donations from Lodges in the Province to enable it to carry out its charitable work.
The Good Neighbours (SWED) Housing Association is responsible for one of the Province’s major assets in the Geoffrey Ashe Court in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, which provides high standard of housing accommodation and associated amenities for elderly Freemasons or dependents of Freemasons who are or were members of the English Constitution. The Geoffrey Ashe Court consists of 17 self-contained flats with a communal facility set in lawned and regularly maintained grounds. The home is self-sufficient financially and is overseen by a Board of Management who maintains the facilities to the highest standard.
The Province has a residential home in Porthcawl. The Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court is managed by the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and provides full residential, nursing and dementia care for elderly Freemasons or their dependents. Additional support for the residents is provided by the Association of Friends of the Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court by assisting with transport, organising social visits and entertainment. The Association of Friends relies on brethren from the Provinces of South Wales, Monmouthshire and West Wales becoming Life Members of the Association.
Nationally, our efforts are channelled through four main charity organisations:
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is dedicated to helping people in need, and has donated over £100 million since 1980.
Each year, The Freemasons’ Grand Charity provides relief grants for hundreds of individuals who are experiencing financial difficulty, as well as donating millions of pounds to nationwide charitable projects and services.
The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys mission is:
"To relieve poverty and advance the education of children of a Masonic family and, when funds permit, support other children in need."
The RMBI has been caring for older Freemasons and their dependants for over 160 years.
We operate 17 residential care homes across England and Wales offering high quality care. Many of our Homes are registered for both residential and nursing care and a number offer specialist dementia care. All of our Homes can offer places to people with dementia, following as assessment of their needs.
The Masonic Samaritan Fund is a charity funded by Freemasons and their families.
They provide grants to eligible beneficiaries who have an identified health or care need and, faced with a long wait for treatment, care or support, are unable to afford their own private care. Details of the eligibility criteria, the application process and how to support our work are available online.