Consecreated 17th May 1876. Ancient charge: "From ancient times no Master or Fellow could be absent from his Lodge, especially when warned to appear thereat without incurrring a severe censure unless it appeared to the Master and wardens that pure neccessity hindered him"

Charitable Activities

Masonic Charities

When you join a Masonic Lodge it is usually expected that you will support the Lodge's charitable efforts, and it is considered the duty of the Lodge to support charities approved by the Province of which the Lodge is a member as well as charities approved by the United Grand Lodge of England. Additionally the Master of the Lodge may wish to designate his own local or national charities he feels merit the support of the Lodge.

Collecting money for charitable donations is done in many ways.

In all cases giving to charity is voluntary and confidential. A Mason should never feel under obligation to donate if his personal financial circumstances at the time prevent it.

Cheque Presentation
Lodge Almoner, Bill Stanley (left) presenting a cheque to Trentham High School in Stoke-on-Trent to help a pupil- who had recently undergone chemotherapy treatment -join an educational trip to South Africa

Local Charities

Each year the WM, with the help his appointed committee (usually Masonic Wives, partners etc affectionately know at St Giles as The Square Mealers ), organise various social functions whose sole purpose is to raise funds for his nominated charities whilst ensuring his members and guests enjoy a pleasant, convivial and entertaining get-together. These informal social gatherings might take the form of a Barbecue, Afternoon Tea, a Curry Night or a Quiz.

Additionally the Master and His Lady are entitled to hold a charity event called a Ladies Night. The idea being to express a big "thank you" to the Ladies for letting the men go out to their meetings and is used to raise charity money by inviting friends and family. Most of these are formal "Black Tie" events and are usually held on a Saturday night.

Again it is an opportunity for everyone to get together with friends and family, dress up and enjoy a gala banquet, with a live entertainment or a disco.

A raffle is usually held and sometimes an auction which all help to boost the Charity chest.

The Ladies Night is an ideal opportunity for those who are not Freemasons to meet members of a Lodge and see what Freemasons do for Charity, whilst still having a good time in a friendly environment.

Recent events held by Masters of St Giles have raised several thousands of pounds for local and national charities.

Provincial Festival:

Once in every 11 years each Province under the United Grand Lodge of England is asked to raise funds for one of the main Masonic charities.

This system has been developed to spread fund raising evenly around the Provinces and there are 44 Provinces in the system. It is intended for each Province to have supported all of the four charities over a period of 44 years.

A Charity Festival is designed to last for 5 years, although each Province knows in advance of the launch year, when our Festival will end and which charity we will be supporting giving the opportunity to prepare the necessary groundwork.

The Festival charities receive no income from outside funding such as the National Lottery. The majority of money spent comes from Masonic donations.

The last festival held in the Province of Staffordshire finished in 2013 and the collective efforts made by each Lodge within the Province produced £1.675 million pounds for the Freemasons Grand Charity. The proceeds of a Festival Appeal make a significant contribution to the income of the designated Charity. Without this income the work of the Charities would be jeopardised.

St.Giles' Lodge earned a silver plate for its charitable endeavours during the 2002 Festival and an award for raising £45,000 for the 2013 Festival, more than any other Lodge in Staffordshire.

Festival Award
Lodge member Mike Seddon (left) receiving the 2013 Festival Award from Deputy Provincial Grand Master D G Read (until 15th Sept 2014) in recognition of St Giles Lodge raising £45,000, more than any other Lodge in Staffordshire.

The Grand Charity

The Grand Charity is partly funded by Freemasons nationally through subscription and is divided into four main areas of charitable aid.

Whose purpose is to relieve poverty and distress and help advance education for children and young people. Additionally it offers financial support to children with exceptional talents to enable them to progress their talent and encourage them to embrace life-changing opportunities.

Since 1842 the RMBI has been providing care for older Freemasons and their families, together with others in the community, by offering:-

o Residential care

o Nursing care

o Specialist dementia support

o Limited sheltered accommodation

o Short-stay respite breaks

o Day services

Provides grants for health and care treatment for Freemasons, their wives, partners, widows and dependents who have a diagnosed health and care need and who are unable to afford their own health or care needs. Grants are available to fund:-

o Medical treatment

o Surgery

o Functional dental treatment

o Mobility Aids

o Respite breaks

o Counselling and Consultation

Offers free and confidential guidance to Freemasons and their dependents on a wide range help issues including:-

o Financial guidance

o Healthcare guidance

o Family help guidance

Please Note: -

At the time of writing, the Pro Grand Master, Peter Lowndes, announced at the Quarterly Communications of Grand Lodge on 10 December 2014, that the Presidents of the four central Masonic Charities (The Freemasons' Grand Charity, The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, The RMBI and the MSF) have led a review of their work which has recommended that: