The three Great Principles of Freemasonry are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, which we practise charity to care, not only for our brothers but also for the whole community by personal charitable giving and voluntary efforts and works. Historically, Freemasonry has cared for orphans, the sick and the aged; work which continues today with large sums also donated to international, national, and local charities.
Exercised at every level Masonic charity encompasses voluntary work and donations from individual Lodges to their own communities, through the Provincial Grand Lodges which also give financial help to regional causes. Nationally, Grand Lodge focuses its efforts through four main charity organisations:
The four major Masonic Charities are.
The Grand Charity
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity provides financial help for Masons and their families who are experiencing hardship. They made grants towards: Essential daily living expenses. Unexpected needs (e.g. urgent property repairs, funeral expenses, major household appliances). The Grand Charity also makes grants to charities not connected with Freemasonry to fund their work and activities to support people in need.
Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys
Founded as a school to relieve poverty and advance the education of the children of deceased and distressed Freemasons. by Chevalier Ruspini in the early 1800’s the trust supports over 2,000 girls and boys at school, colleges and universities
The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) provides residential, nursing and dementia care for older Freemasons and their dependants. All their 17 Homes can accommodate people who may be becoming a little confused, and where specialist care is needed.
The RMBI can also offer short-stay breaks, including respite care. These are helpful both for those living alone, and for families that need a little respite from the demands of caring for an older relative.
Masonic Samaritan Fund
The Masonic Samaritan Fund is a grant making charity that supports Freemasons and their dependants, who have an identified medical need and, faced with a long wait for treatment, cannot afford their own private care. Full details of our eligibility criteria and the application process are available on this site.
If you can not find what you are looking for, or would prefer to talk to a member of staff please phone the Fund
Masonic Widows Associations
Freemasons do not forget the family and, in particular, the widows of departed Freemasons. The Grand Lodges of the provinces assist them financially, and many of them meet in the Masonic Hall where their husband/partner was a member. If you see a lady with a brooch similar to the one here, then she is a Masonic Widow and is wearing what is referred to as ‘The Broken Column’.
Most Masonic Provinces have a Masonic Widows Association with its own lady chairman and committee from the widows. They often meet for lunch, hold regular meetings, visits to places of interest and take part in the social activities of the lodges of which their husbands or partner was a member. It is generally recognised that the Lodge Almoner is the initial contact with the widow and he will then circulate information round the brethren.