Provincial Grand Lodge Yorkshire North & East Ridings 2018 Masonic Festival Website

Freemasonry General

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What is a Masonic Festival?
A Festival is a major fund-raising project sponsored by a Masonic Province, to benefit one of the four central Masonic Charities, namely the Grand Charity, the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls & Boys and the Masonic Samaritan Fund.

With forty-seven Provinces under UGLE, and four central Masonic Charities, each Province is asked to run a Festival every eleven or twelve years.

The Previous Festival sponsored by Yorkshire North & East finished in 2006.
This festival is in aid of the Masonic Samaritan Fund.

Why is Yorkshire North & East running Festival 2018?
All Masonic Provinces run Festivals in rotation. Our last Festival in Yorkshire North & East ended in 2006 and raised over £2m for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys.
It is now Yorkshire North & East’s turn again.

How is Festival 2018 organised?
The Provincial Grand Master has set up a separate Festival Executive to run the Festival. The Executive is chaired by W.Bro. Denis Stubley with W.Bro. Jonathan Smith as Vice-Chairman.
The Provincial Charity will continue with its own programme of raising funds for local charities and will support, but not run, the Festival.

For the purposes of the Festival, the Province is organised into eight areas with an Area Co-ordinator supporting efforts in each area.

Each Lodge has an appointed Charity Steward who will concentrate on promoting the Festival.

Lodges and areas are being asked to raise funds by requesting Brethren to make regular payments under gift-aid and by initiatives such as events. Ideas will be shared and successes recognised across the Province.

What will Festival 2018 aim to achieve?
The Festival President, our Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Richard Anderson has set two objectives for the Festival.

Firstly, for us to raise as much funding as possible for the Masonic Samaritan Fund between now and 2018.

Secondly, to raise the profile of the Masonic Samaritan Fund in Yorkshire North & East so that Freemasons, their widows and dependants know that they can apply to the Fund for a grant to assist them when needed.

How will the costs of running Festival 2018 be met?
The costs of running the Festival will be met from the proceeds of the sale of merchandise and from the proceeds of specified events that will be designated for that purpose.

The surplus after all costs and other liabilities properly incurred have been met and discharged will be donated to the MSF in the name of the Province and will count towards the Festival Total.

What do I get out of the Yorkshire North & East Festival 2018?
You will be replenishing the Fund so that it is able to continue to support those in need for many years to come.

The knowledge that you are helping Brother Masons, and their dependants, get the care and attention they need, when they need it.

If the Festival runs until 2018, why do I need to get involved now?
A major fundraising appeal takes time in order to be successful.
Early donations build up with the help of gift aid and favourable interest rates.

If every member of the Province donated £5 a month under a gift-aided payment promise for a full six years we would achieve our financial goal.

Providing such payments start during the Festival 2018, payments received after the end of the Festival 2018 will still qualify towards Yorkshire North & East’s Festival total.

Why give the money to London?
The 4 central Charities have been likened to the four main banks – although their head offices may be in London, deposits and withdrawals can be made at branches across the length and breadth of the country.

London may be the administrative centre of the Fund but the people who benefit are Freemasons, and their dependants, across the English constitution.

Lodge Specific

Will individual lodges be given targets?
Our last festival total compares to about the same as collecting the price of a pint of beer per week from every Freemason in Yorkshire North & East.

We would like every Lodge in the Province to achieve a figure that is based on this calculation.

Does Festival 2018 have a charity number?
However, the Masonic Samaritan Fund’s charity registration number is 1130424 .

The Fund will apply to recover the tax that donors will have paid on any donations made direct to the Fund.

What is the role of the Charity Steward with respect to Festival 2018?
To promote Festival 2018, co-ordinate Lodge / Area events and fund raising activities and to act as the point of communication between their Lodge and both the Area Co-ordinator and the Festival Executive.

It is up to each Lodge how they plan and organise their donations to the Festival 2018, but we ask each Lodge to tell us who is their Charity Steward.

What about the Provincial Grand Charity?
The Provincial Grand Charity of Yorkshire North & East Ridings will continue to function for non-Masonic Samaritan Fund purposes and will continue to support lodge petitions. It will hold events and receive and raise funds to support its continuing charitable commitments.

What would you expect from individual members?
We would like all Yorkshire North & East Freemasons to get involved with the Festival’s events and activities, to donate to the Festival and to promote the Masonic Samaritan Fund and its objects.

Ideally we would like you to donate the equivalent of the price of a pint of beer a week between the launch of the Festival and 2018.

Some people might want to do this by making one large donation early in the Festival. This will attract the maximum amount of interest on the donation and, if done under a gift-aid declaration, on the tax reclaimed as well.

Others will want to make regular payments, under a bankers order, direct to the Masonic Samaritan Fund.

UK tax payers are encouraged to make all donations under a blanket Gift Aid declaration.
You can also help the Festival by organising or supporting fund raising events and initiatives in your Lodge or Masonic meeting place. Please speak to your Charity Steward or Area Director if you have any ideas for an event or initiative.

How can we give to the Festival 2018?
The simplest and most efficient method of individual giving will be through either one off donations or through regular giving via a bankers order, both under a Gift Aid declaration (similar to, but more flexible than, the old Deed of Covenant).

Payments made directly to the Masonic Samaritan Fund will be credited to the Festival in the name of the donor and will count towards his Lodge’s, as well as the Province’s, total.
Payments direct to the MSF attract a better rate of interest (2.25%) than those held in Relief Chests (0.75%), currently 1.50% better.

In addition, the donations will be available for use immediately by the Masonic Samaritan Fund.

Donation forms are available from your Lodge Charity Steward, at every Masonic Hall and as a download from the Festival 2018 website Downloads page.
These are best returned via your Lodge Charity Steward, so that he can keep track of donations and pledges.

Providing such payments start during the Festival 2018, payments received after the end of the Festival will still qualify towards Yorkshire North & East’s Festival total.

This Festival Appeal will run until May 2018.

How can I buy the Festival 2018 Jewel?
Our Festival 2018 Jewel, designed especially for the Yorkshire North and East 2018 Festival, will be sent free of charge by the MSF to any member who pledges £300 by means of a standing order or when other payments totalling £300 are recorded by MSF in the name of that individual throughout the festival period. This jewel can be worn at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting in May 2013, when the Festival is launched and throughout the period of the festival.

Jewels will be available to be given directly to our members who make such a pledge at the launch events

Is there a need for a jewel?
• As the jewel can only be worn in Lodge and for the Festival period it has no relevance to others!
• There is obviously a cost which could be better utilised in remaining in the ‘pot’! 
• The jewel will not indicate any additional benevolence (Bars or Patron status) and therefore has little meaning.
• What is the purpose therefore of the Jewel?

The Provincial MSF jewel is the foundation stone of each individual's connection with this particular Province's fund raising programme, and is worn in Masonic Lodges only, to help encourage as many members as possible to join those who have already contributed to be able to wear them.

The reward of extra bars on jewels according to level of giving was not popular during the last Festival, and so the practice has been discontinued for this Festival. The generosity of additional benevolence through Festival giving is however recognised by the MSF itself, in the form of phased increases in MSF status, at certain prescribed levels of giving.

Separate MSF badges have been supplied to us by the MSF and can be purchased by any member of this Province through the Festival Committee members to be worn at non masonic occasions by those who wish to do so, but in order not to clash with the Festival jewel, may not be worn in open Lodge.

It was thought that as the MSF charity is only for Masons and their dependants the provision of a Festival badge of recognition for non-masonic use would not attract the same level of public interest that our fund raising for non-masonic charities and particularly young children in hospital have."

Will the Festival award the honorifics Vice-Patron, Patron and Grand Patron?
Not to individuals but we are currently discussing the levels which will qualify lodges to be Patrons of the Festival 2018.

Can Ladies and other non-Freemasons qualify as Stewards of Festival 2018?
Ladies, and other non-Freemasons, can qualify as Stewards of Festival 2018 by contributing a minimum of £300 towards the Yorkshire North & East Ridings Festival 2018.

Are there brooches available for Ladies?
There are no plans to introduce a brooch for Ladies. The Festival 2018 Executive will keep this under review. Ladies who qualify as Stewards of the Festival will be awarded a Festival Jewel, if they so wish.

Will Ladies be required to qualify as Stewards of the Festival 2018, and wear the Festival 2018 Jewel, in order to attend the Festival 2018 Finale?

When can I wear the Festival 2018 tie?
The Provincial Grand Master has approved the “Festival2018 tie” as the official Yorkshire N & E Craft tie, replacing the earlier tie that commemorated the present Provincial tie.
Lodges will pre order the tie for their members and it will be distributed in early 2013.

The tie will be able to be worn from the morning of the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting in York in May 2013 when the PGM will officially launch the Festival.

The PGM hopes that many brethren attending that meeting will be wearing the tie.
The proceeds from the sale of the tie will go to support the Festival.

In addition, the Provincial Grand Master who is also the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E. Comp Richard Anderson, has approved the tie for wear at all meetings of Royal Arch Chapters in the Province.

Can I wear the Festival 2018 tie in other Masonic Orders?
The PGM in his position as MEGS of The Provincial Chapter has agreed that the Festival 2018 tie may be worn for meetings of the Royal Arch to further demonstrate the close links between the Craft and the Royal Arch.

Other Masonic Orders tend to have their own distinctive tie worn by their members, often showing the logos or symbols of the Order.
The Yorkshire North & East Festival tie carries the symbols of the Craft and should not be worn at meetings of other Orders.

Candidates for ceremonies of admittance into another Masonic Order should wear a plain black tie for the ceremony, after which, no doubt, someone will endeavour to sell them a tie for that Order.

Can I wear the Festival Jewel in other Orders?
In recognition of the relationship between the Craft and Royal Arch, the Festival Jewel may be worn with Royal Arch regalia at Royal Arch meetings.

The Jewel may not be worn with the regalia of other Orders.

Will the sales of ties, and other merchandise, be credited to the purchaser and their Lodge?
Effectively if someone buys an item of Merchandise (such as a tie, bow tie, wine ) , then they will not get credit as an MSF contribution nor will gift aid apply

However a lodge merchandising Licenced Festival Items will be able to make a contribution to the Festival from the surplus they make on their sales.

This contribution will be attributed to that lodges overall contributions but again no gift aid will apply

I am a member of more than one Lodge in Yorkshire North & East Ridings. How will my contributions via each be distinguished?
On receipt of your first donation the Masonic Samaritan Fund will allocate to you a “unique donor reference”. The Fund will also allocate a “unique gift-aid reference” to each gift-aid declaration that you take out.

These references will allow the Fund to keep a total of all of your personal contributions, so that you will be recognised properly as an individual, and each donation you make via each Lodge, so that Lodges are also recognised.

I want to set up ONE standing order from my Bank to the MSF but I want the donation split between the two lodges I am a member off. How will this be achieved?
The MSF standing orders are uploaded electronically from their bank account and matched to pledges. If there are two pledges but only one standing order then the MSF are unable to give each payment a unique reference and because the amount received wouldn’t match the amount due under either pledge then the database would not recognise the payment and would treat it as unallocated.

The MSF can of course review unallocated payments and match them to records but this can be problematical. It is therefore easier if the donor sets up two standing orders so that the MSF can allocate a unique gift aid reference to each from the outset

I have made my contribution as part of a lump sum donation from my Lodge. How will my donation be recognised?
Ask your Lodge Charity Steward to list your contribution, and the tax and interest received on them, when paying the donation over to the Festival.
Charity Stewards should use the Donations from a Lodge Form to list individual donations

How will contributions be recognised?
Individual Freemasons will qualify as Stewards of Festival 2018, and therefore for the Festival 2018 Jewel, on donating £300 or more to the Festival.
If a Gift-Aid pledge is used to pledge £300 or more to the Festival 2018, the Festival 2018 Jewel will be awarded and may be worn throughout the period of the Festival

Who will know how much I have donated?
Only the Masonic Samaritan Fund and your Lodge Charity Steward will know how much each individual donor has contributed.

The Festival Executive does need to know who has donated sufficient to qualify for the Festival Jewel (Minimum £300).

Other than this information, the Festival Executive has decided that it does not need to know how much an individual donor has donated.

Therefore, with the exception of a list of those qualifying for the Jewel, no details of individual donors or their donations will be received by the Province or the Festival Executive.

We have a Lodge Relief Chest with money accrued. Can’t we pay in to that?
Yes, you can if you wish, although monies will then have to be transferred over to the MSF at intervals.

Please be aware that donations direct to the MSF are attracting interest at 1.50% more than money held in Relief Chests.

Such transfers should be made using the blue Relief Chest form and accompanied by a list of donors and their individual contributions, so that donors can be recognised for their contribution.

Relief Chest forms must be received by the Grand Charity before the fifteenth of each month for it to appear in Festival statements for the following month. The form to list the individual donations made in this way is available on the Festival 2018 website.

How can a Lodge make a donation from a Lodge Account or from a Relief Chest?
a) How can a Lodge make a donation from a Lodge account?
If a Lodge wishes to make a payment from its Lodge Account or similar, the cheques should be made out to the
“Masonic Samaritan Fund” or “MSF”
and sent to Les Kirby, Festival Treasurer, Masons Garth, Sinderby, Thirsk YO7 4JD
All cheques made out to the "MSF" between now and the end of the Festival i.e. May 2018 will automatically be credited to the 2018 Festival. An acknowledgement will be sent by the MSF direct to your Charity Steward when this has been received by them.

b) How can a Lodge make a donation from a Relief Chest?
Lodges with a Relief Chest will have a Relief Chest representative who should be in possession of a pack that will include the Blue Vouchers/Forms which when completed should be sent directly to the Charity to benefit from the donation. If the lodge would like the MSF to credit specific amounts to specific donors then the lodge should send a list of this information with the vouchers as the Relief Chest will not supply this information.
An acknowledgement will be received directly from the Charity.

In both cases, if the payment is accompanied by a list of individual donations the donors will have their contributions recognised for the purposes of the Festival. Festival Lodge Honorifics for recognition of contributions are still being considered.

I would like to organise a sponsored event. How will that work?
There is a standard Festival 2018 sponsorship form available on the download section of the Festival 2018 website. Please use this form and enter the details of the event across the top and the details of who is to be sponsored into the box at the top left of the form. There is also a box for the Lodge Name and Number who will be credited in the top right. It is, important to ensure that all sponsorship details on gift aid are correctly completed to ensure that maximum benefit is received from this for both the lodge and the festival.

The completed form along with the cheque made out to the" Masonic Samaritan Fund "or the “MSF" should be sent to the Festival Treasurer, address above.
This will be forwarded to the MSF who will acknowledge this directly to the lodge.
You can also set up a page on " " if you so wish that can link to the MSF page on the site.

Can I use the Festival 2018 logo on my documents if I am promoting the Festival 2018?
The use of the Festival 2018 logo is restricted to communications from the Festival 2018 Executive, Area Co-ordinators, the Communications team and Festival 2018 Finale Committee.

Event organisers may use the Festival 2018 logo on promotional materials only after their event has been approved by the Festival 2018 Committee.

Separate criteria are available for approving Festival 2018 events.

Lodge Charity Stewards should use a Lodge letterhead when communicating with their members.

What about our other charitable efforts?
Lodges may, of course, continue to donate money to other charitable causes. It is just that the Festival 2018 President is asking Lodges, and other Masonic groups, to contribute as best they can to the 2018 Festival.

How we do we ensure donations go to the Festival 2018 and no other causes?
Make your wishes clear to your Charity Steward so that monies you donate via your Lodge go to the cause you wish.

All monies donated via a bankers order to the Masonic Samaritan Fund using the form headed “Yorkshire North & East Festival 2018”, will go to Festival 2018 and nowhere else.
Any other donations intended for the Festival 2018, whether from Lodges or individuals, should be sent to W.Bro. Les Kirby, the Festival 2018 Treasurer, who will keep local records.

How will we know how we are doing?
Lodge Charity Stewards (the names of whom must have been notified to the Festival 2018 Executive) will receive, direct from the Masonic Samaritan Fund, a quarterly report detailing, for their Lodge, the donors, the sums they have donated and pledged, the gift aid and interest paid.

Lodge Charity Stewards may also contact the Masonic Samaritan Fund at any time to find out how their Lodge is doing.

The Festival 2018 website’s 'Donations we have received' page, displays a running total for the whole Province and also furnishes lots of other financial information about our fund raising performance. It will be updated regularly.

How will Gift-Aid help the Festival?
When a UK tax payer makes a donation under a Gift Aid declaration, using either the donation form or a Gift Aid envelope, the MSF will reclaim the tax paid on that donation from the UK government.
The amount reclaimed will be credited to the donor and his Lodge.
From 2012, the income tax reclaimed will be 25p in every one pound donated.
Gift Aid envelopes will be available from Lodge Charity Stewards and forms for donations to attract Gift Aid will be available for download from the Festival 2018 website.

Can the proceeds of raffles be donated under Gift Aid declarations?

I have seen Gift-Aid envelopes used in Lodges. How do we use them?
You can use the Gift Aid Envelope Scheme for giving the proceeds of Lodge Offertories, and in support of fund-raising events and activities.

Envelopes are available directly from the Masonic Samaritan Fund by phoning 020 7404 1550 or from your Charity Steward.

Ask all donors to put their name, address and their own Lodge name and number on the envelope. This will enable the MSF to identify their donor record and qualify their donation towards their own MSF honorifics. However, the donation will still be counted towards the collecting Lodge’s own total.

The envelopes must be correctly processed by a Lodge official and then sent with an accompanying form to the MSF offices. Guidance notes and a copy of the form are available from the Festival 2018 website Downloads page.

How can we arrange for a Provincial Representative to visit our Lodge to receive our donation?
All arrangements for festival representatives to visit donor Lodges are made through the Festival 2018 Secretary, W Bro Andrew Popely, not the Provincial Office.

Lodges are asked to use the form available on the Festival 2018 website to request that a Rep visit.

Lodges should not wait for a Rep or member of the Festival 2018 Executive to visit to make the donation. It is preferable for the donation to be made as soon as possible via one of the above routes, so that the money can be used for its intended purpose.
Then an empty envelope can be presented on the night of the visit.

Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF)

What is the Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF or the Fund)?

The Masonic Samaritan Fund is one of the four central Masonic charities under the United Grand Lodge of England.

The Masonic Samaritan Fund is a grant making charity which provides financial assistance towards the cost of medical, dental and respite care and support for eligible applicants.

The fund has granted aid to 20 of our members in need in this Province totalling £46,868 during 2012.

To assess your eligibility to apply for an MSG grant please click on the following link

How much does the Masonic Samaritan Fund need?
Difficult question to answer. In the current year the MSF is expecting to allocate grants totalling £4million.
Since it was established in 1990 it has allocated over £56million in support of nearly 9,000 applicants.

Its stated aim is to ensure that no potential applicant misses out on the Fund’s help through lack of knowledge or lack of available funds.

How much does the Fund spend on administration?
It is the policy of the Trustees of the MSF to fund its administrative costs from its investment income.

All donations made to the Fund are available for allocation in direct support of medical treatment.

In 2012 the Fund spent £273,000 on supporting Festivals, donor records and internal administration.

Does the MSF have a charity number?
The Masonic Samaritan Fund’s charity registration number is 1130424 .

Who is eligible for help from the MSF?
Any person who is, or has been, a freemason and their dependents could qualify for assistance.

The Fund will consider applications for grants on behalf of Freemasons or the wives (or partners), widows (or surviving partners) children or dependants of Freemasons or deceased Freemasons who:

• Have an identified need for medical or dental treatment, respite care or mobility support
• Face a long wait for NHS or Local Authority treatment or care
• Cannot afford to fund their own treatment or care without incurring financial hardship.
For this purpose, a Freemason is anyone who has been initiated into, or joined, a Lodge under the English Constitution. They do not have to be a current subscribing member.

What can the MSF help with?
The cost of medical, dental, respite and mobility care. The MSF has recently (January 2013) launched a Counselling Careline to support those struggling with mental health issues.

Will the Masonic Samaritan Fund pay for an initial consultation?
An applicant needs to have a diagnosed need before submitting an application to the Fund. Applicants for support with medical treatment need to have seen a consultant before applying to the Fund.

Applicants seeking a grant for dental treatment will need to supply a copy of their treatment plan with the application.

Applicants seeking support for respite care will need to provide details of their local authority care assessment.

Under certain circumstances the Fund may be able to support the provision of an initial consultation. Initial enquiries about eligibility and the application process are welcome at any time direct from potential applicants or Almoners.

What does the Fund define as a long wait on the NHS?
The Masonic Samaritan Fund normally defines a long wait as three months for general surgery and two months for cardiac surgery.
Some medical conditions may require a more rapid response and the Fund will assess each case on its individual merit.

Can I decide where to have treatment, or does the Fund decide?
The Fund does not determine where you should have treatment. That decision is for you and your consultant.

Can I apply to the Fund after treatment has taken place?
The Fund will only consider retrospective applications in exceptional circumstances.
Treatment or care should not be booked or undertaken before written agreement to fund has been received from the MSF Applicants who undertake treatment in advance of funding being agreed are likely to remain liable for their own costs.

Where would respite care take place?
Applicants seeking a grant towards the cost of respite care will need to identify an appropriate care provider. The Fund does not recommend any individual or organisation but does offer advice on how to ensure the quality of the care provision. Support for respite is available to either fund a stay in a residential care home or for a carer provider to provide care, a few hours at a time, in an applicant’s own home.

Will the Fund support a Freemason living overseas?
The Fund supports any Freemason who has been a member of a Lodge under the English Constitution, or his dependents, regardless of where they live.
Treatment will be provided according to the needs of the applicant, usually within the country in which they live.

The MSF has funded individuals in, amongst others, Cyprus, Sierra Leone, India and many others.

How does one apply for a grant?
Contact the Lodge Almoner.

Alternatively, contact the Grants Department at the Fund by:
• Phone on 020 7404 1550
• Email on
• Via the website
• (FREEMASONRY Cares FREE Phone Number 0800 0356090 )

How will my application be assessed?
The application process is straightforward and confidential.

A Visiting Brother, usually from the Provincial Almoners Panel will be appointed to help you complete the application process and application form.

The application process includes a requirement to determine that an applicant is unable to meet the cost of their own treatment or care without incurring financial hardship. This assessment takes account of both income and capital, but not the value of your main residence.

Applicants do not need to be destitute to qualify. MSF allowances are more generous that State allowances.
In most cases the Fund will meet the full cost of treatment.

Will I be Means Tested / Means Test Amounts?
In some instances the Fund will assess that the applicant is capable of meeting some of the costs from their own resources and will partially fund medical care.

The MSF does not issue figures as there are too many variables. Financial eligibility depends on an assessment of both capital and income. Allowances are made for reasonable expenditure (does the applicant have, for example, dependent children?).

The cost of the proposed treatment is deducted from any assessable capital. Two applicants with identical finances may get a different level of support from MSF if, for example, one needs a knee replacement (average cost £9,800) and the other needs a minor aid/adaptation within the bathroom (average cost £450). At the lower level the applicant may be assessed as able to afford the full cost but the knee replacement may be funded in full.

If an applicant is in receipt of a means tested state benefit it is very difficult to envisage any situation where they would not meet our financial eligibility criteria and we would then fund the full cost of treatment/care assuming that all other criteria were met.

In keeping with the other grant-making Masonic charities MSF now uses the Joint Application Form. There is a requirement for all applicants to complete the full financial assessment, including providing details of any State benefit.

It is worth emphasising that many applicants may be reticent about sharing their financial details with a member of their own lodge acting as Visiting Brother / Almoner. The MSF can arrange for this role to be undertaken by someone from another Lodge or even Province to ensure confidentiality.

Will I be expected to repay the grant at any time, in whole or in part?

What if the treatment or care costs more than originally expected? Will I have to pay the balance?

Once the MSF has committed to pay for care or support it will continue to do so, even if more treatment is required than was originally anticipated.

Will the application and personal details be kept confidential?

Do you have any further questions?
Questions about applying for support from the Fund are welcome direct to the Fund at any time. Potential applicants or Almoners are welcome to make direct contact for advice.
If so, please send them to the Festival Secrtary, W. Bro. Andrew Popely at