Please note that Choices at WRMCL have their own website at:
West Riding Masonic Charities Limited
Your Charity working for Freemasons and in the Community
Brethren since we went into ‘lockdown’ this is the third WRMCL information sheet that has been posted on the three Provincial websites. Its aim is to ensure that all Brethren within the Province are aware of the work that YOUR CHARITY is doing to support our masonic family and those in our communities during the pandemic.
Since our last update [4 May 2020] the PGM’s Fund has made grants to the following charities;-
£2000 The Leeds Baby Bank – ‘the bank’ works to relieve poverty among families with young children who are in need or distress. The main activities are to provide support for pregnant women and children aged 0 to 4. This is mainly through emergency bundles of baby goods;- formula milk, food, nappies, essential toiletries and baby gates. Since the start of Covid 19 referrals have increased from 20 per week to around 60.
£1000 Ripon Community House – the grant enables them to provide supplies for local vulnerable and needy people. The community building was previously self funding generating an income by room hire to local groups. All income has now ceased and they are endeavouring to assist those in need in the local community with food and essential supplies.
£1500 Project Foodhall is a volunteer community hub in the centre of Sheffield. Their priority is to ensure everyone in need has access to food. The grant will be used to purchase items of PPE for volunteers and essential food items and supplies for those most at risk.
£2000-St Vincent’s Support Centre is a community hub in Leeds providing support, advice and foodbank services to the marginalised, isolated and vulnerable in the community. During the present crisis they are providing emergency hot food, home deliveries and food parcels.
£2000 – Wath upon Dearne Community Partnership is a registered charity operating in Montague Hall and was self funding providing facilities to numerous community groups. Since the pandemic all income streams have ceased and support is needed to continue providing food for the elderly, disadvantaged and vulnerable in the community. A team of volunteers provide and deliver food parcels and services 7 days a week. A request for match funding from the MCF has resulted in an additional £2000 grant.
£1,054 – Harrogate Hospital Radio has provided entertainment to patients for over 40 years. Due to the pandemic presenters are unable to attend the studios. The grant enables two additional presenters to work from home.
£5,000 – Platform 1 Huddersfield – is a charity supporting mainly men from all backgrounds to reconnect with their families. Platform 1 offers pastoral support to its members, assisting with bereavement, housing, personal finance issues and drug/alcohol addiction. Due to the current Covid crisis, the charity is now having referrals, from official local services (Kirklees Social Services, Community Hubs etc.) for both men and women. Currently the charity only has funds to continue for the next 3 months.
In view of the desperate situation WRMCL has made an additional discretionary grant of £5,000.
£1,000 – for Kirkwood Hospice – this grant is to match-fund a ‘home fund raising’ cycle ride made during the lockdown by one of our brethren. His aim was to raise funds specifically for PPE for the hospice.
£1000 to St Mary’s Community Hub – the hub set up an emergency foodbank in response to the closure of the Pontefract Foodbank. Since the pandemic started this emergency foodbank has provided food to deprived and vulnerable families in the Pontefract area
PGM’s Fund grants from April 1st now total £75,000 [this does not include any match funding from the M C F]
CHOICES continues to provide assistance and support to our Masonic family during the Covid-19 pandemic.
If you need help, guidance or support from our Care and Support Officers or the CHOICES Team
RING the confidential help line on 03449 020220 or contact your Area or Lodge Almoner
The process is quick, simple and extremely efficient.
Since March 1st CHOICES has provided 28 Grants to a value of £25,250 – 21 of which are Covid-19 related.
1st June 2020
—————————————Letter from G Supt
use the arrows above, or scroll down to view next page.
Dear Companions, ⠀
I hope that you and your families are safe & well, and that you are enjoying the glorious Easter sunshine, in your gardens, as I am. ⠀
With my very best wishes, ⠀⠀⠀⠀
Province of Yorkshire, West Riding.
Congratulations to E Comp. James Maxwell Armitage PProvDepG Reg
50yrs Jubilee as a Royal Arch Mason, 14th May 2020
E. Comp James Maxwell Armitage PProvDepGReg completes 50 years membership of the Royal Arch today. He is a member of Three Grand Principals Lodge and Chapter. He was initiated into the Craft on 9/5/1968 and Exalted into the Royal Arch on 14/5/1970 becoming MEZ on 15/1/1998.
Owing to the current lockdown he will receive his certificate today by post, I am however sure that a more suitable presentation will take place when normality returns.
West Riding Masonic Charities Limited
Your Charity working in the Community
Brethren your Charity has continued to work on your behalf for those in need within the Province, both masonic and non masonic,
Since our last update [13 April 20] the PGM’s Fund has made grants to the following charities;-
£2500 The Howarth Foundation, Leeds and Kirklees. The primary activity of this Charity is to prevent or relieve poverty in respect of individuals who are or have recently been homeless.
£3000 Swinnow Community Centre is a community centre run by volunteers and accommodates various community groups. From the beginning of the pandemic they have been providing hot food and sandwiches to 200 local children and 100 elderly persons every day.
£3000 Homeless Street Angels, Leeds City Centre. The charity provides support for the homeless with hot food, clean clothes and toiletries.
£2000 Thorne & Moorlands Community Hub is a food bank assisting families, children and single people in the community. All those involved in its organisation are volunteers. Local families already relied upon the Hub for assistance and support. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on the local community the Hub is having to increase the number of food parcels to help those in dire need.
£2000 FaithNet is a self funded food bank run by local volunteers who normally cover the areas of Featherstone, Sharlston, Streethouse and Ackton.. However, closure of other food banks within the area due to COVID-19 has increased the need for assistance considerably whilst voluntary donations have diminished.
£1200 Trinity Mission Food bank Castleford. They are currently providing “survival level” food to those in dire circumstances many of whom have dependent children. The food bank is manned solely by volunteers who gather, pack and distribute to the local community. Trinity Mission also provides broader services to others in need in the area.
As part of our ongoing programme we continue to support other charities. A donation of £2500 has been made to Prostate Cancer UK to help with raising awareness of the disease and hopefully encourage more men to have a test. The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age. Most cases develop in men aged 50 and above. Be aware – Get checked NOW
PGM’s Fund grants from 1st April now total £53,000
CHOICES continues to provide assistance and support to our Brethren, their Widows, families and dependants who may be in financial distress or have other urgent, immediate or pressing needs.
From 1st April 2020 – 17 Grants have been made to a value of £14,750. 12 of which are Covid-19 related.
The process is quick, simple and extremely efficient. For the fastest response contact your Lodge Almoner.
or ring the confidential help line on 03449 020220
CLICK HERE for more information on WRMCL and its role.
on behalf of WRMCL
W.Bro. Peter Worth and.W.Bro. Jack Pigott
Our grateful thanks for your continuing generosity.
Congratulations to Comp. Paul Raby, PPGSN
50yrs Jubilee as a Royal Arch Mason, 7th May 2020
Paul is a member of the Chapter of Integrity No. 380, into which he was Exalted on the 7th May, 1970 and became its MEZ in 1987. He received his 1st Appointment in Provincial Grand Chapter in 1993 to the Acting Rank of Provincial Grand Standard Bearer and received his last Promotion in 2000 to PPGSN. Over the years he has filled many Offices and undertaken several roles in the Chapter. He is still active and participates in the work whenever called upon.
Outside of Freemasonry, Paul did not follow his father into the family bakery business but qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He worked for his father in law’s firm in Leeds and, following the death of his father in law, took over the reins expanding the business before selling the practice prior to his eventual retirement. Paul has been married to Margaret for over sixty years and has two children and six grandchildren.
Such a lifetime achievement deserves proper celebration but alas, the suspension of Masonic meetings and social distancing, means that we cannot do it. However, Paul has received his certificate through the post with a personal letter of congratulations from the Grand Superintendent. We hope, in the not too distant future, that Paul will be able to have a belated celebration in his Chapter, but for now we all convey him our hearty congratulations.
——————————————————————————Freemasons Thanks from Edward
——————————————————————————Thanks to Freemasons
So, Who are They and what is this Suspension Planning Group?
Just over 3 weeks ago the MW Grand Master, in conjunction with other Masonic authorities, issued statements to the effect that “all Lodge, Chapter and other Order meetings were immediately suspended for four months”, an unprecedented decision but one quite rightly prompted by Government advice.
A simple statement but one that has many implications for us as Freemasons, not least that none of us have ever faced something like this before!
Our Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent, supported initially by the Provincial Grand Master in the Mark Degree took another unparalleled step by declaring that they would all work together to find answers to the many questions raised, to offer advice, share good ideas and to keep the light of Freemasonry shining during the next 4 months.
High on their priority list has been to ensure that every member in this Province gets to know what they need to know when they need to know it and that, as far as practicable we avoid bombarding them with the same information multiple times – not an easy task.
In pursuit of these objectives they set-up what has become known as the “Suspension Planning Group” made up of their three Deputies, W.Bro. John Boyington, E Comp David J Boyle and W.Bro. Alan Oldfield together with the Provincial Grand Secretary of Craft and Provincial Grand Scribe E W.Bro. Mick Dyson also The Provincial Grand Secretary of Mark W.Bro. Fraser McPherson, all assisted with administration by W.Bro. Colin Symes Assistant Provincial Grand Secretary.
The group set to work and quickly made a couple of key decisions: first that as everyone in any Order in the Province was likely to be a Craft Mason we would send the bulletin out just once and through Craft Lodge Secretaries ONLY, asking Secretaries of Mark and other Orders and Scribes E to only send the bulletin to any of their members who were NOT a Craft member in this Province. Second that we would only include information that every member needed to know circulating other, more detailed guidance to specific officers with responsibility in those areas.
The Group meets three times a week by video conference and has focused on getting the systems set up and the mechanism for communication working effectively. Barring one or two teething problems this is working pretty well. They also worked hard on getting together answers to the questions members would most likely need the answers to publishing and updating these regularly on the Craft Provincial website.
If you have any important questions to ask, comments or indeed good ideas for how you are keeping your Freemasonry going please let us know and we will share what we can with others. email@example.com
West Riding Masonic Charities Limited
Your Charity working in the Community
Brethren of Yorkshire West Riding our sincere thanks for your continued generosity. You are our benefactors without whom we could not offer support to our Brethren, their Families and the wider community in these incredibly challenging circumstances.
May we remind you that you are also our ‘Eyes and Ears’ without whom we cannot continue to assist those in need ‘Your help is more important than ever’.
We are proud that on your behalf we have been able to respond so quickly. For your information we have already assisted the following organisations:
£2295.00 Star Bereavement and Support Services Ltd. – Wakefield
Supporting children and young people after a family bereavement.
£2735.00 Charlies Angel Centre Foundation. – Leeds
The foundation help families rebuild their lives after the loss of a baby or child.
£2880.00 Zarach – Leeds – are a charity helping children and families out of poverty. The grant is to provide ‘bed bundles’ which comprise a mattress, duvet, pillow and sheets.
£5000.00 Cavendish Cancer Care. – Sheffield – Is a local charity dedicated to improving the quality of life of people living with cancer, their families and carers [they work with nearly 2000 adults and children each year]. In these incredibly challenging times the service offered is more important than ever, with the current social distancing measures only serving to worsen the anxiety and sense of isolation which often accompanies a cancer diagnosis. Due to the present situation a large number of fund raising events have been cancelled or postponed. This will leave an immediate budget shortfall of around £20,000 over the next 4 weeks. The grant will enable the charity to continue its work
£2500.00 Firefly Cancer Awareness. – Doncaster and District. A voluntary organisation providing free transport services to circa 250 cancer patients per week taking them to and from Sheffield Hospitals. The service is funded entirely by contributions raised by events and the local community. All of which are now cancelled.
£2500.00 Leeds – South and East Foodbank. – Their aim is to feed local people in the grip of food crisis and to support them to build a more stable future. Over the last 12 months the organisation has fed 13,673 people, a 10% increase on the previous year. The charity collects food donations which are distributed to their 11 foodbank centres. The very limited reserves have been diverted to acquire additional food to meet their usual demand following the reduction in corporate and public donations as a result of COVID-19. The grant is to cover costs of a vehicle [the lease of which is due for renewal] together with fuel and insurance.
CHOICES is working hard and is committed to providing assistance and support whenever a West Riding Freemason, his Widow, family or dependants are:
- In financial distress
- Have an urgent need
- Have other immediate and pressing necessities
CHOICES is quick, it is simple, and it is extremely effective. For the fastest response contact your Lodge Almoner. If confidentiality is a requirement ring the confidential help line on 03449 020220
Provided on behalf of WRMCL
W.Bro. Peter Worth and V.W.Bro. Jack Pigott
Pictures from Fairfax Chapter installation at Westbourne House last evening.
E. Comp Howard Handley Installed E. Comp Phil Dennison as Z who Installed E.
Comp John Greenwood as H who Installed Comp Ian Barber as J.
Pictures are from an Excellent festive board provided by Andrew and Dawn.
Philanthropic Chapter Installation
The line up from Left to Right
E. Com p Fraser McPherson Prov.A.D.C. E. Comp John Williams J E.Comp Stuart Oakes Z E. Comp J. Trevor Bolton H. E. Comp Peter J Smith Installing Z and E. Comp Alan P K Webster A.P.G.P.
A different Installation Ceremony at Philanthropic Chapter No. 304 when E.
Comp John Williams was Installed as Joshua and Immediately Installed as Haggi E. Comp Stuart Oakes stuck to the script and took his place as Zerubbabel with E. Comp J. Trevor Bolton once again accepting the Office of Joshua. Another surprise awaited the Companions when E. Comp Oakes gave notice of motion that he intended to propose at the next regular meeting that the Installation date be changed to the December meeting. This to avoid having the Installation meeting in the same month as Philanthropic Craft Lodge. Which means the Principals will remain in office next year, thus showing their enthusiasm for the order by completing a 22-month tenure. E.
Comp Colin Soulsby conducted the ceremony with great dignity and sympathy at the same time covering a considerable distance in his numerous perambulations. An excellent Castle Grove festive board followed, with suitable speeches from all concerned concluding with E. Comp Robert Bowhill Junior Vice President of the Leeds and District Royal Arch Councils response to the visitors toast.
Photographic Competition Winner announced
On Tuesday evening at Harrogate and Claro Chapter the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent announced and presented the trophy to the winner of the Provincial Photographic Competition.
Above you can see the winning picture and the glass trophy, suitably inscribed with the winners name.
Both of these items were presented to the winner, E Comp Paul Clarke for his picture of St Pauls at night, by the Most Excellent Superintendent.
We hope to be running the competition again this year – so get snapping!
The 3 Principals of Ainsty Chapter accompanied and were honoured by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent and the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals at this special convocation.
The MEGS and the Provincial team presented a very polished Ceremony of the Veils to the delight of all present.
This was a very special occasion as only the Grand Superintendent, and only once per year may perform this interesting and visually stimulating ceremony.
There were over 80 Companions present to enjoy the evening, filling the temple and later enjoying a very convivial festive board.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent taking wine with all present. _____________________________________________________
The Excellent Companions with Davd Hill and E Comp Carley are E Comp Richard Paver as H and E Comp Hudson as J
Magdalen Chapter 242 was honoured by the presence of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent at our meeting on Friday 29th of November. This special visit was to present Excellent Companion David Hill with his 50 year certificate. This being a Past Principles night, E Comp Hill had been invited to act as Ist Principal and he warmly greeted E Comp Carley to the Chapter for the second time this year – the last time had been at Installation in February when E Comp Carley had promoted E Comp Hill to PPGSN. Taking seats on the floor of the Chapter, they discussed E Comp Hills life, both in personal terms, as well as a Royal Arch Mason. This proved to be an extremely emotional event as E Comp Carley presented E Comp Hill with his certificate for his long involvement in Royal Arch Masonry. E Comp Hill was about to return to his position when the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent announced that there was further business to deal with and called on him to return before him. E Comp Hill was then promoted to PPGSE to the acclaim of the whole Chapter. This award was justly deserved by a devoted Mason in both Craft and the Royal Arch, who has been a enormous influence on hundreds of Masons who have come in contact him in the past 50 years
With thanks to E Comp Neil Park
Provincial Grand Chapter – 16/11/2019
The MEGS presided today over an absolutely splendid Provincial Grand Chapter meeting today, he was well supported by our Distinguished Guests from many different Provinces and every one of our chapters was represented.
The MEGS ‘called off’ the Provincial Grand Chapter in order to invite members of the White Knights into the assembly and present them with a ‘Blood Bike’
The Deputy Grand Superintendent explained what the Blood Bikes do and welcomed the representatives of the White Knights. I reproduce his address below, it is well worth a read:
Companions, every year you, our members, make donations through your Chapters to West Riding Masonic Charities, Ltd., from which a number of major grants are made annually.
This year, Provincial Grand Chapter has successfully made an application, on your behalf, for a major grant in support of a charity which provides a vital, potentially life saving, “Out of hours”, urgent and emergency medical transportation service.
During normal working hours, the NHS and other Charitable Health Organisations use their own transportation systems to move blood, plasma, pathology samples, urgent pharmacy-controlled drugs and other vital supplies between hospitals, hospices and supply centres.
Overnight and at weekends these transport facilities are not always available for urgent deliveries, and reliance often falls upon commercial Couriers or Private Hire Taxis, which come at a substantial cost and in exceptional circumstances, Emergency Services such as the Police or Ambulance Service are called upon, diverting their valuable resources.
This is where independent Blood Bike Charities across the country, like Whiteknights in our region, have such considerable impact.
Using motorcycles, the quickest, most efficient, means of navigating our congested road network, the volunteer, advanced-qualified riders of WhiteKnights provide a modern, sophisticated, fully- tracked and “within the hour,” urgent delivery service free of charge.
The WhiteKnights estimate that for each £1 it receives in donations or kind, the NHS will save at least £5 – money that can be passed on to provide more frontline patient care.
Despite having Full Time Jobs, many of their volunteer riders also give their spare time to help run and maintain what is a truly worthwhile charity, and an organization who are intent on making a difference to the diagnosis and care of patients in our community.
In Yorkshire, West Riding 4 teams are based North, South, West and middle to provide a service to all our NHS hospitals and Charitable Health organisations.
Whiteknights also participate in national relays with other Blood Bike groups, urgently transporting donated breast milk to neonatal maternity units across the country.
The service to recipients is free of charge but has high costs which have to be met by the donations it receives. They have a fleet of motorcycles to continuously run and maintain, with an approximate cost of £5-6k per bike annually.
Of course, a Blood Bike doesn’t last forever and replacements are needed. For the safety of their riders and ability to meet strict, medical transportation requirements, the motorcycles need to be robust, specially equipped and marked in high visibility reflective livery – adding considerably to their cost.
Today, this Provincial Grand Chapter of Yorkshire, West Riding, is pleased to present Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes, a new, fully equipped motorcycle, a presentation enabled by a grant of £20,000 from Yorkshire West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd.
Here to receive it on behalf of the White Knights are West Yorkshire Manager, Andy Dickens, Fleet Manager, Steve Annakin and Communications Manager, Matthew Beynon-Tullett and I ask you to show your appreciation and welcome them in the usual Masonic manner.
E Comp Ken looks as though he had a super evening – well deserved for a well known and well liked Comp.
The occasion was the presentation of a 50th Golden Jubilee Certificate to E.Comp Kenneth Flockton, PPrGSN
Left to Right: E.Comp Francis A Testo, 2ndPGP, E.Comp Martin J Kaitcer (H), E.Comp Martin N Glynn (MEZ), E.Comp Ian D Grant (J), E.Comp Ken Flockton,
With thanks to E Comp Edward Sissling for the article and picture.
Leeds & District Royal Arch Council will be celebrating their centenary on 6th June 2022. It may seem like a long time in the future but planning for it is well in hand.
Instagram items, please click on the pictures