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Masonic Charity

square and compass with Faith Hope and Charity

The Masonic Square and Compass is the recognised symbol of Freemasonry .

Within the lodge the Charity Steward wears a small trowel to signify his responsibilities.

In stonemasons terms the trowel is used to spread mortar. 

Symbolically, in Masonic terms, it represents the spreading of charity which makes Freemasonry the UK's largest contributor to charity after the National Lottery

masonic trowel


All the money raised by Freemasons, and given to charity, is raised internally from the

brethren. Nothing is collected from the general public.

In 2006, following 10 years of fund raising Gloucestershire Province

presented a cheque for £2.6 million to Grand Lodge. Gloucestershire Province gives

about £250,000 each year to local charities and was one of the first organisations to

donate money  to help the victims of the 2007 Severn floods.


All Masons are encouraged to give generously, but within their means, through

Alms collections, gift aid etc. Unlike many other organisations,

Freemasons never asks the general public for money.


Freemasons give to charity in four ways. First a proportion of their annual dues, second through regular gift aided donations, third by alms collected at each meeting and fourth, in lodges which hold raffles, by purchasing raffle tickets.


In the years 2006, 2007and 2008 Foundation Lodge give £16,000.00 to

27 local charities and good causes.

Lodge donations are made in accordance with the directions of the brethren.


The Lodge Charity Steward may also organise a collection or other special fundraising

activity for a Festival or other authorised purpose. There are planned giving schemes

available to the individual Mason, which the Lodge Charity Steward will be pleased to explain.


Nationally Grand Lodge gives many £millions to Masonic and non Masonic good causes. The principle national Masonic charities, which contribute to Masonic and non Masonic good causes are listed below. Freemasonry is usually the first to give donations for disaster relief and, as an example, gave £20,000.00 to both Burma  and China within hours of the appeals being launched.


The Grand Charity - the central grant making charity of all Freemasons in England and Wales. All funding for the Grand Charity comes from donations by individual Freemasons and their families.  


Non-Masonic charities - since 1981, more than £30 million has been given to non-Masonic charitable causes.


Emergency Relief Grants - are given throughout the year at the discretion of the President of The Grand Charity. Since 1981 over £1 million has been given to support relief efforts for victims of disasters worldwide.


Masonic Relief Grants - originally provided help for poor and distressed Freemasons and the making of Masonic Relief Grants is still one of the primary activities of The Grand Charity. The Grand Charity also provides financial support, when needed, to the other three main Masonic charities.


Hospices - in England and Wales also receive support every year. Since 1984, The Grand Charity has given over £6 million to hospices. This is in addition to the considerable sums raised by Freemasons around the country in support of their local hospices.


The Relief Chest Scheme - also administered by The Grand Charity. The Scheme offers individual accounts that can be used to accumulate funds collected by Masonic Lodges for charitable purposes. The funds are pooled in order to earn a higher interest rate and tax relief on donations can be claimed centrally.



Foundation Lodge 82 Contact:  info@foundationlodge82.co.uk