Provincial Charity Newsletter No.12

Royal Arch Masons 2013 Bicentenary Appeal

I am pleased to advise that the Holy Royal Arch Province of Surrey raised nearly £60,000 for the above appeal and will help ensure the continued success of the Royal College of Surgeon’s surgical research fellowship scheme. Nationally the total amount donated by Royal Arch Masons was a staggering £2.3 Million. Both the original Provincial and National targets were smashed. The appeal has now finished. May I take this opportunity to thank you all for your most kind and generous support to this most worthy cause.

Surrey for Surrey Cheque Presentations

The Surrey for Surrey cheque presentations are a huge success. They prove to be a vital tool for funding Non Masonic Surrey based charities and promoting Freemasonry in the local community. Although our thoughts and efforts turn toward the 2019 Festival the cheque presentations will continue throughout the 2019 Festival Appeal period. They will now be held on an annual basis. The next cheque presentation is scheduled for early December 2014. Further detail will be available over the coming months.

The Provincial 500 Club

The membership total is being reviewed by the Provincial Office. However, it is estimated that with the current number this initiative generates approximately £5,000 per annum net contribution towards the Surrey for Surrey Scheme.

The next draw will be held at the Festive Board in the Connaught Rooms following the Annual Craft Meeting on 25th June 2014.

There is still time for your Chapter, the members of your Chapter and their immediate families to join, only £15 per number per year, with 2 draws each year, 2 chances to win the first prize of £1000, or one of 4 other prizes, £500, £200, £125 & £50.

To download the 500 Club application form from the Royal Arch Provincial web site, please click here.

Charity Relief Chests

Since the last regular Charity E Newsletter in October 2013, 5 more Chapters have opened a relief chest. Frederick Chapter of Unity C452, Royal Alfred Chapter C777, Croydon Commemoration Chapter C5578, North Downs Chapter C7010 and Table Fellowship Chapter C8989 now benefit from the scheme. If you do not have a relief chest and are interested in increasing your charity donations by 25% by using the gift aid process then please contact me or the Charity Liaison Officer for your Chapter and we will be pleased to assist.

2019 Festival Appeal

The Provincial Grand Master the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent launched the 2019 Festival Appeal in aid of the RMBI at the Grand Officers Mess on 5th February 2014 at Surbiton with a record number of Grand Officers in attendance. This was followed by a total of 580 Brethren, Companions and partners gathering at the Open Launches at Croydon, Surbiton and Guildford on 25th, 26th and 27th February. 214 Lodges and 66 Chapters were represented. In addition 2 Charity Steward Festival Workshops were conducted on 19th and 20th March where a total of 112 Lodge and Chapter Charity Stewards focused their time on an interactive session on the detail of the RMBI, how to donate andcompleting the necessary forms for Stewardship and jewel purchase. And finally, to coverall bases 5 Charity Steward Surgeries were held in late March/early April to meet CharityStewards unable to be present at any of the above.

Such is the anticipation and support for this Festival in aid of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution. Our Most Excellent Grand Superintendent has set us the challengeof raising £3.25M. To achieve this target we will need to unite with the Craft and as aProvince, give focus to the Appeal and have some fun on the way.

The Festival is all about being ‘Committed to Caring’. The RMBI provide the best care for our most vulnerable of Companions and their dependents. We are being asked to commit to supporting the Festival. We can demonstrate that commitment by becoming a Stewardof the Festival and buying a Festival Jewel. Many of the Companions will become aSteward through their Surrey Lodges. If however they are not a member of a Surrey Lodgethey can become a Steward through their Chapter. Stewardship costs a minimum donationof £150, which can be paid via a regular promise to pay, this equates to just £2.50 amonth over the life of the Festival. Should they wish they can also become a Vice-Patron£300, a Patron £600 and a Grand Patron £1,200. If they are interested in becoming a Festival Steward they will need to let their Charity Steward, Charity Liaison Officer or meknow to make the necessary arrangements. Alternatively they can do this themselves,online via by clicking on the Festival tab. Once you qualify as aFestival Steward you can then purchase the jewel for £24.

Another way of how a Chapter may wish to support the Festival is to donate the proceedsof say one collection or raffle per year.Chapter Achievement Awards have been introduced as a way of saying well done for theextra effort made via their Chapters. These are awarded on an average per member basis. Bronze - £25 per member, Silver - £50 per member and Gold - £100 per member. The award will be in the form of a small jewel which is clipped to the Charity Stewards Collar. Finally, may I take this opportunity to provide a few facts and figures about the RMBI. It has 17 homes housing approximately 1100 residents. The average age of residents is 88 and there are 20-30 centenarians. We are lucky to have 2 homes in Surrey and both hold open events. The James Terry Court Fete is on Sunday 8th June at 1430, the Shannon Court Garden Party is on Sunday 29th June at 1400. Please go along and enjoy the stalls andentertainment while seeing first hand what an RMBI home is like.

Both of the Surrey homes have had extensive building work carried out, totalling £14M incapital investment. Both also have large maintenance budgets to ensure the higheststandards are maintained. In 2013, the RMBI gave £560k in grants to Surrey; collectivelythe Central Masonic Charities gave £950k. To put things in perspective over the course of afestival once every 11 years, Surrey will have received about £10M in grants! Enjoy the Festival and above all have fun!

Please feel free to use the content of this or previous E Newsletters in your Chapter Charity report, or forward on to your members.

Yours sincerely & fraternally

E Comp Rob Shephard
Provincial Grand Charity Steward

t: 020 8393 6928
22nd April 2014

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