Message from the Provinical Charity Steward – Andrew Keech

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Christmas is the season of goodwill to all men as well as being a time for giving. Soon it will be 2020 – the year of perfect vision perhaps – leaving just 3 years to go with our 2022 Festival fundraising appeal for the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF).
31% of our members have now pledged their support via a one off donation or regular payment plan and I thank you for your generosity. In addition Lodges have donated from their benevolent funds giving us a combined total of £642,000. This money changes lives and has already been distributed by the MCF to help people live a better life. Five Lodges have reached their silver honorific goal and a further 8 Lodges have made it to bronze – a wonderful effort, congratulations. Furthermore, members have walked, run, cycled and climbed, plus our PGM “took” his second degree this year with all funds raised boosting our total.
Since our fundraising began in 2017, the MCF has supported 80 Freemasons and their families in Oxfordshire with grants totalling £185,000, whilst local charities and hospices have received in excess of £315,000 in grants and there is more in the pipeline to be distributed. Oxfordshire has already received over £500,000 in just under 3 years as a direct result of the MCF’s operations and this is why I encourage to you to consider making a donation to our 2022 Festival appeal.
A donation of at least £300 (one off or over 3 years) will qualify you for a Steward’s jewel and if you are a taxpayer the MCF will reclaim an additional 25% on top. This is £100 a year, not even £10 a month or £2 a week. What else can you buy with £2 a week? A Saturday newspaper, a Lotto ticket, half a pint of beer whilst a latte, gallon of fuel or packet of cigarettes will cost you more. Please brethren, we don’t regard this sum as onerous for a large proportion of our members.
The easiest way to donate is via the MCF website. Alternatively please refer to the form in the Festival booklet posted to you earlier this year, an electronic version of which can be viewed here. Further support and help is available from the Provincial Charity Steward and your Lodge Charity Steward.
Be proud to support your Lodge, the PGM and the MCF by donating to the 2022 Festival Appeal.
With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
S & F
Andrew Keech
Provincial Charity Steward
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