Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire

Darell Lodge Support for Charities with Local Connections

Whilst Terry Preece was Master of Darell Lodge 5945 in Rugby, the Lodge members, encouraged by Terry & his wife Kellie, made a series of donations to charities, based upon recommendations and local knowledge. Terry’s story is below:

We chose the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) as a charity to raise money for because of a brave young girl in our local village. Her name is Eleanor Brinkley. Below is a testimonial her mother Claire has written:

When Eleanor was diagnosed with a rare form of liver disease at 3 months old, the CLDF charity stepped in with information and support from day one. Having a child with a life threatening condition can be incredibly isolating but CLDF were a life-line, putting us in touch with others in our position and providing opportunities to meet similar families. Their Young Person's Officer supports children going through transplant and beyond and I really need that support to continue as Eleanor grows ever more aware of her condition and the impact it will have on her for the rest of her life."

Terry with Eleanor Brinkley and her mother Claire, together with Lodge Almoner John Winn.
Terry with Eleanor Brinkley and her mother Claire, together with Lodge Almoner John Winn.

However, the most important aspect of this charity's work is the vital funding for research and the campaigning for better futures for children and young people with liver disease. They put children and families at the very heart of everything they do. They are always there on the end of the phone if I have a question or need to talk, they were right behind us when Eleanor was transplanted and suffered life threatening complications last year and I really don't know how we'd have got through the past 8 years without them. She has since gone on to make a good recovery and earlier this year competed in the Transplant Games in Scotland.”

During his year as Darell’s Worshipful Master, £1700 was donated to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, the majority of which was from events they organised.  £700 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support from the Ladies Night – this was chosen because they had four friends in the last 18 months who have been helped and supported by Macmillan. Sadly two are longer with us but they were always extremely appreciative of MacMillan and everything they did. A further £340 was donated to the Salvation Army (Rugby) from the annual carol service when the Army band played in the Temple.

Terry and Kellie, with the Macmillan representative in the centre.
Terry and Kellie, with the Macmillan representative in the centre.

 

Whilst Terry is now Immediate Past Master of the Lodge, he has been chosen by the Lodge to be Festival Champion for the 2023 Masonic Charitable Foundation Festival, which will be launched on 15th January 2018.

Thanks to Terry & John for providing these details.

JBH

Masonic Service – Singers Hill Synagogue

As part of our Tercentenary Celebrations, a Masonic Service was held at Singers Hill Synagogue, Birmingham on Sunday 29 October. This was the fifth such service held at the Synagogue and the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David F Macey and his wife Sandra led the Province at this special event.

The service was graced by the presence of the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Anne Underwood and well attended by Provincial Officers and Brethren with their families and friends. Those not of the Jewish faith were treated to an unforgettable experience, amply illustrated by the choral element of the service led by Cantor Albert Chait and the Leeds Synagogue Choir. A very moving address was given by W Bro The Rev Elkan Levy which can be read below.

Following the service, refreshments were provided and grateful thanks go to Rabbi Yossi Jacobs, W Bro Sir Bernard Zissman and the rest of the Synagogue organising committee for their work in organising this very successful event.  


 The AddressPGM joins the ServiceSynagogue Service

 


Address given at the Warickshire Masonic Service

Birmingham Hebrew Congregation, Singers Hill on Sunday 29th October 2017

W Bro The Rev Elkan D Levy, PJGD, PProvGChap (Middx) Hon Gr Almoner (Israel)

Lord Mayor, RW Provincial Grand Master, Distinguished Brethren and Brethren, Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends All

To be invited to give the address at this service is a very great honour for me, and one of which I am particularly conscious. This synagogue has for me many happy associations, both with its four previous ministers and with the present incumbent. Many senior brethren in the Province of Warwickshire have been members of Singers Hill, and two of its clergy have been active in the craft. The late Rev Dr Abraham Cohen was the second Master of the Lodge of Loyalty, and the Rev Stanley Brickman is a close personal friend with whom I attend Lodge meetings in Israel.

The three great pillars upon which Freemasonry rests are BROTHERLY LOVE, RELIEF, and TRUTH. They form the reference points, and the principles, of an Order that enriches the lives of all of us who are fortunate to have been initiated into its mysteries.

The first core principle of Freemasonry is BROTHERLY LOVE. Much time and effort has been devoted to discovering the secrets of Freemasonry, which are in fact merely our ancient brethren's proofs of professional competence. What is never discussed is the biggest Masonic secret of all, the sense of brotherhood that pervades the whole of Freemasonry, in every country in the world.

One of the Ancient Charges of a Freemason describes Freemasonry as being “the centre of union between good men and true, and the happy means of conciliating friendship amongst those who must otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance." In the words of Psalm 133 " Hiney mah tov umah naim shevet achim gam-yachad - behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity " [i]

It is this sense of being a member of a vast international brotherhood, of feeling entirely at home, immediately, with any freemason anywhere, which makes the Masonic order unique.

In the land of Israel where I live our Lodges work in any one of nine languages, Hebrew English Arabic French Spanish Turkish Rumanian German and Russian. The brethren include Jews, Christians, and Muslims. We retain clandestine contact with Freemasons in several Arab countries. Despite the obvious tensions, our Masonic brotherhood, rising above political and religious differences, enables us all to sit comfortably with each other. To use Brother Kipling’s wonderful phrase, “we meet upon the Level and we part upon the Square” and for that reason alone among many others Freemasonry is important in society.

The second core principle of Freemasonry is RELIEF. In a Masonic context this means the practice of charity, and indeed its practice on a scale greater than in any other secular movement. If we but think about it, the amount and destination of the donations is staggering.

Within Freemasonry, we have charities that offer relief and support to the children of Freemasons, to brethren and their families who are sick or who fall upon hard times, and to brethren and their families in the autumn of their lives.

But Masonic charity extends far beyond the domestic preoccupations of the order. Of the literally millions of pounds raised annually by Freemasonry, less than 40 percent remains with the Masonic charities. The balance goes to general charities within the United Kingdom and abroad.

Moreover, the Masonic charities differ from all other charities in the United Kingdom. We do not canvass the general public. The monies that we give are our monies, from our pockets, raised from Freemasons and by Freemasons. The whole marvellous structure and achievement of Masonic charity is something about which we tend to be reticent, but about which we should be very proud.

The third core principle of Freemasonry is TRUTH, truth in all our actions, integrity in all our dealings. The Rabbis describe truth as being one of the Divine attributes - "Chotamo Shel HaKadosh Baruch Hu Emet - The seal of the Holy One, Blessed Be He, is Truth." [ii]

This is the same standard to which we instruct a candidate - "To steer the barque of life over the rough sea of passion without quitting the helm of rectitude is the highest perfection to which human nature can attain."

And yet there are matters today that should disturb us. Western European society has recently seen an upsurge in anti-Semitism, largely fuelled by a reluctance in the media to tell the truth and to face facts about what is really going on in the Middle East. This kind of poisoned press reporting is something with which Freemasonry has also been very familiar.

But if for many of us here today 2017 is beginning to have an uncomfortable similarity to 1933, then this is a major Masonic problem as well. A regime which becomes overtly anti-Semitic will also become anti-Masonic. We saw this in Nazi Germany, we saw this in Communist Russia, we saw this in Iran after the fall of the Shah, we have seen this in so many countries where Freemasonry once flourished and is now banned, or where Freemasonry was banned and is now flourishing with the restoration of freedom.

Freemasonry arose in the 18th century as a reaction to religious intolerance. It has flourished because of its atmosphere of toleration. As the Charges of a Freemason state “Let a man's religion, or mode of worship, be what it may, he is not excluded from the Order, provided he believes in the Architect of heaven and earth, and practices the sacred duties of morality”.

We seem at the moment to be entering an era of religious intolerance of a depth and a geographical width unseen since the Middle Ages. All over the world men are fighting each other purely in an attempt to prove the supposed superiority of one definition of God over another.

We are witnessing the largest civil war in history between different interpretations of Islam. We have witnessed religious martyrdom on a scale unknown for centuries – Muslims and Christians of all denominations, Zoroastrians, Yazidis, Jews - the list is horrifyingly endless.

In one of his most beautiful prophecies, Isaiah quotes God as saying to mankind “Lechu na venivachacha – Come now and let us reason together” [iii] but too often these days toleration is replaced by confrontation and the warmth of humanity displaced by vicious inhumanity.

The Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks recently encapsulated our current situation in the words

Men hate in the name of the God of Love

Kill in the name of the God of Life

Wage war in the name of the God of Peace

Practise cruelty in the name of the God of Compassion

If religious intolerance is allowed to flourish unchecked, then Freemasonry will be the loser, and if Freemasonry suffers, then I believe humanity will suffer. As Edmund Burke said “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Freemasonry as we know it today became formalised with the creation in England of the first Grand Lodge in the world in 1717. Today's service therefore is a Service of Thanksgiving for 300 years of Freemasonry in this green and pleasant land, and it is fitting that we should consider what it is for which we are giving thanks.

Firstly we give thanks for the very existence of Freemasonry, that great Order that enriches all our lives, expands the horizons of our experience, and raises the moral level and tenor of our conduct and actions. It enhances our consciousness of that individual religious heritage to which we are each heir, while at the same time encouraging the respect and tolerance for others that is essential for the peace and good order of society.

We give thanks for the friendships that we enjoy, for the fellowship and the companionship of belonging to such a unique institution, for the joy and relaxation of sitting with our brethren in Lodge assembled.

We give thanks for the opportunity to practice charity, that virtue which blesses him who gives as much as him who receives.

And above all, and perhaps most importantly, we each give thanks that we are Freemasons.

In a world of strife and tension, the peace and harmony of Freemasonry gives us all strength and serenity.

And perhaps therefore the greatest thanksgiving that we give at this service, is to the Great Architect of the Universe, for having kept us alive, and sustained us, and enabled us to enrich our existence through the Craft and Brotherhood of Freemasonry, and in so doing to raise the standards of humanity and society.

Thus may it continue for all of us, in our respective Lodges, until time with us shall be no more.


[i] Psalm 133:1

[ii] Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat 55a

[iii] Isaiah Ch 1:18

 

Warwick Hospital - Birth & Babies - The New Maternity Unit Appeal

birth and babiesWarwick Hospital wants to ensure women have the choice about where they give birth. To support this, a Midwifery Led Unit is being developed on site at the hospital.  South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust has committed to investing £1.5million at Warwick Hospital to provide a new midwife led birthing unit (MLU) for the local community in South Warwickshire, offering more choice to women and their families, considering where to give birth. 

The development of this new unit commenced in August 2017 and is due to open in Spring 2018. This will be the first in the area and it will benefit families across South Warwickshire and beyond.

The Midwifery Led Birthing Centre will enable expectant parents to have their babies in a comfortable, relaxed, homely environment rather than a more clinical setting. This will complement the full Consultant Obstetric Unit which is also based at Warwick Hospital.

The MLU will have 4 birthing rooms each with ensuite facilities, a family snug, kitchenette, dining room, a therapy room and a triage assessment room.

To ensure the new Midwifery Led Unit is the best it can be there is a £200,000 fundraising appeal. The money raised from this will go towards enhancements that NHS funds can’t provide.

  • Buy special baby cribs and stands, rather than standard plastic cots
  • Provide birthing pools for every room
  • Upgrade furnishings to make the unit feel like a home-from-home
  • Develop a therapeutic room for parents to use 
  • Provision of many other additions to provide the best birthing facilities

The Province has joined with the Lodge of Unity No 567 to donate a total of £1500 to the appeal fund. Pictured below are several midwives with former and future patients, together with W Bro Seb Samperi, Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Unity, with Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Peter Manning, and Provincial Charity Steward, W Bro John Hayward.

 Presentation of cheques from the Lodge of Unity and the Province

 

 

Coventry Football Team wears the Provincial Logo

A prime example of a small donation going a long way has been demonstrated by a school in Coventry which now displays the Provincial Logo proudly on its football team shirts.

The head of Physical Education at West Coventry Academy (formerly Tile Hill Wood and Woodlands Academy) approached us for sponsorship in order to facilitate new kits for their football, rugby and basketball teams.

The school has a wonderful history of performing above and beyond expectations in both local, regional and national competitions and there are over 800 young people taking part in sport on a regular basis.  The school is very proud of its achievements and the hard work of a lot of people connected with the school has led to recognition at all levels.

There are many expenses connected with running the school teams and they rely on the support of local businesses and organisations to help them out. The major expense at the current time is paying for new kit in the new school colours and with the new school logo. In return, the school were willing to wear a relevant logo on team shirts and other literature.

School Football team

As can be seen from the photograph, this is the Year Eight football team in the new kit which recently arrived. The Warwickshire logo on the front of the shirts looks great and the students are very pleased and proud to be wearing the kit, emblazoned with our logo.

JBH

Masonic Charitable Foundation donate £110,000 to support Caribbean relief efforts

Although little publicity has been given to this large donation by the Masonic Charitable Foundation, I thought members should be aware of the support that has been provided after the devastation caused by the hurricanes earlier in the year.

JBH


Devastation in the Caribbean

A series of grants totalling £110,000 have been donated to support ongoing relief efforts on islands across the Caribbean, hit hard by this summer’s hurricanes.

The largest grant, of £50,000, will support Plan International UK’s work in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

More than a million people in these countries are still badly affected by the hurricane and are in urgent need of help.

Despite major coverage of the recent hurricanes, the crisis in Haiti and the Dominican Republic has been largely ignored by the media. Haiti in particular has tens of thousands of people still living in makeshift shelters following the devastating earthquake of 2010, the cholera outbreak which followed, and the widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew last year.

The grant to Plan International UK will provide food and kitchen kits, clean water supplies, mattresses and bedding and hygiene kits specifically aimed at women and children. There will also be aid to help farmers restore their livelihoods and replacement school items to help children resume their education as soon as possible.

Tanya Barron, Chief Executive of Plan International UK said:

"The media may have moved on but rebuilding takes time. People are struggling to piece their lives back together after the latest in a series of disasters which have devastated these countries. We are hugely grateful to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for their generous grant, which will make a big difference to thousands of people across Haiti and the Dominican Republic."

Caribbean Masonic Districts receive £60,000

Three further grants totalling £60,000 have been awarded to the Masonic Districts of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas & Turks as well as Trinidad and Tobago, to help people in these areas following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  The emergency relief grants will help those living without access to safe shelter, food, drinking water and sanitation.

David Innes, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, said:

"The recent hurricanes in the Caribbean have left many thousands of people at risk of malnutrition and disease, some of whom have been largely forgotten.

"I am very pleased we are able to help with Plan International UK’s long-term, life-saving work as well as working directly with the overseas Masonic Districts to assist those in need."

 

Contact Us

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire
Yenton Assembly Rooms
73, Gravelly Hill North, Erdington
Birmingham B23 6BJ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WarwickshirePGL

For Masonic enquiries:
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Tel: 0121 454 4422

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the governing body for freemasons within England and Wales and districts overseas.