Freemasonry is the largest fraternal and charitable organisation in the UK. It not only provides support for the widows and orphans of Freemasons but also for many others in the community, making significant grants to many non-Masonic organisations. All monies are raised directly from Freemasons, their families and friends, and more than £75m has been raised over the last five years for a wide range of charitable purposes.
The personal generosity and fundraising activities of Freemasons ensures that monies are raised, not only through their Lodges but in their Royal Arch Chapters as well.
In June 2003 the Provincial Grand Chapter Benevolent Fund was established under the Presidency of the Grand Superintendent with the objective of making a substantial donation every two years or so to a non-masonic Charity. The first beneficiary of this Royal Arch charity was the Warwickshire Air Ambulance where a donation of £25,000 was made in 2007 to enable them to continue their vital service.
Other examples of recent beneficiaries are the parish church at Coughton, near Alcester, which received donations of £14,000.00 towards much needed repairs and in January 2009 a donation of £18,000 was made to Age Concern Warwickshire to allow them to purchase a Ford people carrier to be used for transporting members and helpers to their various events in the County.
More recently a three year commitment of £10,000 per year has been agreed to support Crossroads Care Coventry and Warwickshire who are the region’s leading charity providing help for people who care for relatives or friends who have a disability or long term health problem. The charity was established in Rugby in 1974 and has grown and developed and now provides services throughout Coventry and Warwickshire.
The Provincial Grand Chapter of Warwickshire consistently supports individual charities over long periods, whilst at local level, Chapters also make individual donations to the community, supporting hospitals, hospices, churches, and many other non-masonic worthy causes.