Provincial Charity Newsletter No.15

Dear Companion Charity Steward This is my first Charity E Newsletter as Provincial Grand Charity Steward and I am indebted to my predecessor, E Comp Rob Shephard PAGDC, PProvGChStwd, for handing over the reigns with the charitable activity of the Holy Royal Arch Province of Surrey is such good shape. I will endeavour to carry on Rob’s excellent work.

My role is made easier by having the support of a great team of Charity Liaison Officers (CLO’s) each of whom has responsibility for assisting Chapter Charity Stewards in each of the four groups.
I am sure you will be hearing from them regularly in the coming months.

2019 Festival Appeal

Incredibly the 2019 Festival is just about one third of the way through it’s 5 year program. The Holy Royal Arch has made significant contributions towards the overall Provincial totals which now stand at close to £1m banked and a forecasted figure well in excess of £1.2m.

There are now 22 Chapters who have achieved Bronze level award status, 23 have made the leap to Silver status and 5 Chapters who have been awarded Gold level status. All these Chapters deserve huge congratulations. If your Chapter has yet to reach Bronze level or you would like to achieve a higher award please contact either myself or your CLO and we will offer any assistance or advice we can.

As you will be aware the 2019 Festival is all about being “committed to caring” in support of the RMBI. This wonderful Masonic charity provides the best possible care for the most vulnerable brethren and their families including residential and non-residential nursing care, dementia support and respite care. Additionally, the RMBI provides support and advice for those who are in difficulty but wish to stay in their own homes.

One way to participate in supporting the 2019 Festival and the RMBI is to become a Festival Steward. Either a single payment of £150 or a regular promise to pay commitment of £4.16 per month qualifies to acquire a Festival Breast Jewel for £24. Your CLO can assist you if you have any questions or by visiting and clicking on the ‘Festival’ tab.

The Big Week

The Big Week is all about getting involved in our Festival appeal. The RMBI need our support and The Big Week of events will provide an excellent opportunity to give that support. The Big Week will take place from Saturday 16th July to Sunday 24th July 2016. There will be a host of organised activities and events being held throughout the 9 days across the Province at the Masonic Centres as well at the RMBI Homes of James Terry Court andShannon Court.

The Big Week team have put together a list of activities and ideas to encourage you and your Chapter to get involved which can be found on the Big Week web site. You may well have some ideas of your own in which case the Big Week team would be delighted to add them to the list and support your initiative.

Watch out for details in the coming months at the Masonic Centres, Surrey Mason publications and on the Festival web site.

The Charity Steward’s Black Tie Ball

Is again being held at Brooklands Museum, Weybridge on Saturday 28th November 2015. Last year’s event was a huge success and it is anticipated that this year will also be a sell out. Prices have been held at £50.00 per ticket and Masons, non-Masons, their partners and families are welcome. Details and booking forms can be down loaded from the Provincial web site.

Surrey for Surrey Cheque Presentations

The 2015 S4S cheque presentations will be held on Thursday 10th December at Surbiton Masonic Hall commencing at 6.30pm. The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent will be attending to presenting the cheques to worthy Surrey based charities.

The Provincial 500 Club

This initiative, started by the Holy Royal Arch, now extended to the Craft, continues to be highly successful and contributes some £5,000 annually to the Surrey for Surrey scheme. After a recent review of membership it was found that the application/direct debit/cash payment forms were too small and new ones have been developed making it even easier to apply. The cost of membership remains at £15 per year and individuals and Chapters can join.

Each draw has a first prize of £1,000 then £500, £200, £125 & £50. The Provincial 500 Club application/direct debit/cash payment forms can be downloaded here.

Charity Relief Chests

An updated list of Surrey Chapters operating Relief Chests is awaited from Grand Charity, but at the last count 46 Chapters were now benefitting from 25p in the £1.00 tax break. Whether you are a large or small Chapter it’s an advantage not to be sniffed at. If you would like to know more about opening a Relief Chest please contact either me or your CLO and we will be only too pleased to assist you to open one.

Forces Children’s Trust

The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent has chosen FCT as one of his preferred Charities for 2015-16 and is asking Chapters to consider supporting a Charity that is close to his heart. FCT is devoted to working to help children whose mother or father has been killed or seriously injured whilst serving as a member of the British Armed Forces. Mr Denny Wise, Founder and CEO of the Charity will happily visit your Chapter to give a talk on the Charity in return for a donation. If you would like further information please do just let me know.

More information on FCT can be found by visiting the Charity’s web site:


Many Chapters have signed up to the TLC Traffic Light Scheme which has proven to be a successful initiative. Can I ask that Charity Stewards review their Chapter accounts with the Treasurer or Scribe E to ensure that all pledges have been made. Early in 2016, TLC will be giving the 10,000 bear to a sick child in hospital. The Charity is planning to mark this milestone with a special event. Details from Stuart Butcher TLC Chairman to follow.

Please feel free to use the content of this or previous E Newsletters in your next Chapter Charity Report if you so choose.

Yours sincerely & fraternally

E Comp Mark Watkins
Provincial Grand Charity Steward

30th September 2015

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