What is the Festival system and why is there a need for it?
As with the other three central Masonic Charities, a Festival sponsored by a Province is held annually in support of the Trust.
The funds raised depend largely upon the size of the Province, the commitment and generosity of the Brethren involved and, dare I say, the enthusiasm and leadership skills of the Provincial Grand Master and those that lead the appeal.
Please remember that when the Trust accepts a new petition our commitment will remain either until the child or young adult completes his or her full-time education or training or until the financial circumstances of that family improve sufficiently.
If we accept a child under our protection at a very young age our commitment could continue for anything up to 20 years or more. Our long-term financial commitments therefore are considerable and this is without taking into account many of the additional projects we have mentioned.
We can only maintain our support with your backing.
Our current level of assistance costs the Trust over £8.5M per year. Donations from Festivals and legacies average about £2.5M therefore our capital funds must produce a shortfall of over £6M not an easy task at present. The continued generosity of Provinces through the Festival system is therefore vital to our long-term strategy.
Today we are working more and more closely with the other three Central Masonic Charities, the RMBI, Grand Charity and the Masonic Samaritan Fund. We are sharing resources and whenever possible taking joint initiatives and learning from each other. One result is that we have moved in Freemasons’ Hall, along with the other central Masonic Charities so reducing our overhead costs and enabling us to redevelop our former offices and those of the Masonic Samaritan Fund to provide further important income.
These and other steps are ensuring the continued effectiveness of the Trust and maximising the funds ultimately available to our beneficiaries.
Over the last 22 years the total expenditure of the Trust amounts to £164M.
Festival Income in that time has amounted to £55M
A shortfall over 22 years of almost £111M which we have had to fund from our reserves. Reserves that have been accumulated through the generosity of our predecessors over a period of some 250 years.
The chart shown above also gives emphasis to two other facts:-
1. The importance of retaining our reserves to provide future income
2. What incredible value for money we offer to today's Freemasons by providing 3 times as much in aid to today’s Masonic families as those masons provide to us.
Copyright 2011: The Provincial Grand Lodge of North Wales
Created and maintained by: W.Bro. David Anthony Fink