A large number of lodge and chapter charity stewards, as well as festival representatives for the forthcoming Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival to be organized by West Lancashire Province, met at Westhoughton Masonic Hall for a special presentation that provided details of the festival arrangements. Also in attendance were a large number of members of the group including the chairman, vice chairman and secretary.
Group charity steward Gary Smith welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced Phillip Preston, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, who is the chairman of the forthcoming festival. Also in attendance was Chris Reeman, the Wigan Group Charity Steward, who was there to assist with the PowerPoint presentation.
Regional Charity Steward Malcolm Warren was introduced to the brethren and he gave a most in-depth view into the forthcoming Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival to be held over a 48-month period commencing in May 2017. On the night, 20 of the brethren present made their contribution to the festival by signing their own direct debt or one off donation form and received from the Provincial Grand Charity Steward the new Festival Jewel, which for the first time in history is a festival jewel that carries the coat of arms of the particular Province holding the festival.
It was announced that the Provincial Grand Master had agreed that the jewel could be worn straight away at all lodge and chapter meetings held in West Lancashire. It was also announced that each member of each lodge would receive a registration form from their charity steward or festival representative and on completion, the form should be handed to Gary Smith who would send it to the appropriate person who would in turn send a Festival Jewel to the donor.
The entrance level for a Steward’s Jewel is to be £240 (or £5 per month as a standing order/direct debit for 48 months), £480 for a vice patronage, £750 for a patron and £1,250 for a grand patronage. Lodge’s levels are to be £1,500 for a vice patronage, £3,000 for a patron and £4,500 for grand patronage. Should chapters wish to contribute they will only need to donate half of the lodge’s fees.
There is to be a ‘White Gift Aid Envelope’ relief chest scheme, which will also go towards an individual’s patronage with the gift aid donation going only to the Masonic Charitable Foundation. If a member choses to do a direct debit at the first level and over the period of the festival achieves the next level, the member will also receive a bar in recognition of his donation, which in most cases it is hoped will be kept separately and not displayed on the jewel.
At the end of the presentation the Provincial Grand Charity Steward congratulated the Chorley Group on being the first group in the Province to achieve a vice patronage and he presented Peter Lockett with a certificate in recognition of the group’s donation.
He mentioned also that two lodges in the group had also achieved a vice patronage and they would be presented with a certificate which they could display at every meeting and print it on their letter heads and on their summons’s
Anyone wishing to see the PowerPoint presentation and documents to do with the festival should log on to the Provincial Website on http://www.westlancsfreemasons.org.uk/mcf-2021-festival/festival-downloads/ and select the required document.
If brethren wish to view the new West Lancashire Masonic merchandise, ties, cufflinks, squares, handkerchiefs and other new items they can also be seen on the Provincial website under SHOP. Stock can be purchased directly by Pay Pal or direct debit. Lodges and chapters wishing to do a bulk order should contact Gary Smith with their needs and he has stock and can supply items on request. Otherwise, he can get bulk stock for lodges and chapters quickly. Email Gary at; firstname.lastname@example.org