Welcome to Nottinghamshire Festival 2029
Philip & Ann Marshall
A message from the Provincial Grand Master
English Freemasonry is rightly proud of its long held reputation for making a difference to those who are in need through its charitable giving which over many, many years has supported a tremendous number of worthy causes. The Province of Nottinghamshire through its Brethren, their families and friends has contributed hugely to the achievements of Freemasonry in providing financial and other assistance to many local and national charities as well as supporting appeals to international incidents needing help.
There is no doubt that much of what has been achieved by Freemasonry has been as a result of the close connection between Freemasons and its own charity, the Masonic Charitable Foundation(MCF). In the difficult economic times we are all experiencing, the MCF represents that solid, reliable entity working within Freemasonry which provides support for Brethren and their immediate families. The Foundation’s remit extends to the promotion of independent living and the offer of advice and guidance to members who are suffering challenging times.
It is estimated that over the last decade the Brethren of Nottinghamshire have received over £2million in direct financial aid from the MCF and this does not include the cost of professional assistance or guidance from the health care sector paid for by the Foundation. It is therefore with the knowledge that the MCF is there for all of us in many ways, that I will have the pleasure of formally launching the 2029 Appeal at the Annual Meeting of the Province in May this year.
For the Appeal to be successful, it will require the support of the Province as a whole and as charity sits at the core of the practice of Freemasonry, I look to every Brother and Lodge to contribute. Of course, I recognise that not everyone is in a position to make significant donations and therefore we look to those who can go above and beyond in terms of fund-raising to use their creative skills to add to the contributions from Brethren and their families. No doubt there will be opportunities to participate in a range of both challenging and enjoyable activities which as well as providing fun, will also put monies into the coffers.
Nottinghamshire Freemasonry has an outstanding record as a charity fund-raiser and the Province still sits in first position for the highest amount raised per capita for any appeal and I have every confidence that with your support, we will again be very proud of what we have achieved come the summer of 2029.
Martin & Flora Johnson
At the Provincial Annual General meeting on the 5th May 2023, the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master will launch the 2029 Festival to raise funds for the Masonic Charitable Foundation. As we embark on this journey, the first one on behalf of the combined Charity, we look towards the members, for their support through the six years the Province will be in Festival.
I was honoured to be asked by the PGM to lead this festival, having been an acting Steward and part of the DC’s team for the last six years, I have had the benefit of meeting many of the Brethren in the Province and have experienced first hand the generosity of the Members, this will be a tough journey through to the end of the Festival with the current unsteady economic climate and reduced membership compared to previous festivals, but I know in my heart of hearts that the Members of the Nottinghamshire Province will do their level best to help those less fortunate than themselves.
Nottinghamshire Freemasons have an enviable reputation throughout the country for their generosity, having achieved such high per capita totals during previous festivals, in starting this festival we hope to retain that reputation. When you were initiated into Freemasonry you were asked “have you anything to give in the cause of charity “ this festival will enable us all to embrace that virtue, but we also need to be aware that it should be “without detriment to ourselves or connections”.
These uncertain economic times will make this festival challenging, but we as Freemasons have a long history of not looking for the easy way, we always look for the right way to conduct ourselves, charitable giving is in the DNA of every mason and we hope that this festival will enhance our enjoyment, not diminish it.
The MCF distributed £38.5 Million pounds last year to worthy recipients, from early years, Medical research, later life, Hospices and charitable grants to name but a few, there is also an increased direction towards the mental health and welfare of the fraternity and the wider community, without festival support none of this would be possible.
This festival, should not just be founded on the generosity of the brethren alone it should be used as a mechanism to make sure that every brother is in good order, if by our closer contact and communication we discover only one brother in need it will be deemed a success, especially if we can make his life more comfortable.
The best way to donate, will be through the Provincial relief chest by regular giving, those lodges and members that already give to a relief chest will be able to transfer the funds and continue giving throughout the festival, then change them back to the Lodge at the end of the festival, the more members that sign up early the easier and less onerous the task will seem.
We as a festival team look forward to the support and good humour of the brethren over the next six years and hope to meet you all at the many events that will be organised to enhance our enjoyment whilst doing good.
Message of support from the Grand Superintendent for Royal Arch in and over Nottinghamshire
In recognition of the undeniable and intrinsic link between the Craft and the Royal Arch, on behalf of all Companions of Nottinghamshire, I pledge support to the Provincial Grand Master and Provincial Grand Lodge in achieving a successful Festival.
The excellent, wide ranging and ever-changing help and support provided by the Masonic Charitable Foundation is much appreciated. The Festival will not only secure funding that generates most of the donations made by the MCF but also, hopefully, increase awareness of the Charity’s work.
Every Freemason, no matter which Orders of Freemasonry he chooses to become a member of, will be familiar with the truth that his Charity will be: “Thankfully received and Faithfully applied”.
This phrase is universally understood by us all and it represents a perfect balance of Charity in harmony. Charity can only be applied after it has been received; and Charity will only be freely given, if it is applied to purposes aligned with those of the donor.
With this vision of a balanced approach to Charity, it is most encouraging that the Nottinghamshire 2029 Festival will be centred around the individual membership of the Craft.
For those of us who enhance the enjoyment of our Freemasonry through membership of Orders in addition to the Craft, we are fully committed to supporting our Provincial Grand Master and the whole of the Nottinghamshire Family of Freemasons in this latest Festival Appeal.
On behalf of the Nottinghamshire members of the Mark Degree, Rose Croix, Knights Templar and the Red Cross of Constantine, we will contribute wholeheartedly and give freely to this Charity Festival, so that the Trustees of the MCF may better be enabled to achieve harmony through our Charity in delivering relief to those in need.
In the spirit of collaboration, our four Orders will work together and contribute collectively in support of the 2029 Festival Appeal. We all look forward to enjoying the friendship and happiness that working together for a common worthy cause will bring, ultimately celebrating the generosity of Nottinghamshire Freemasons.
Heads of other Orders in Nottinghamshire