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Masonic  Charities

In 1772 William Preston delivered the following comments on benevolence

"To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent on all men, but particularly on Freemasons, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. To soothe the unhappy, to sympathize with their misfortunes, to compassionate their miseries, and to restore peace to their troubled minds, is the great aim we have in view. On this basis we form our friendships and establish our connections."
Illustrations Masonry, p. 72

Within Antrim, welfare is monitored and managed through a network of District Charity Committees. These committees are self governing but function under the guidance of Provincial Grand Lodge with similar Constitutions and Rules. Each Lodge Almoner and Steward of Charities are members of their local district committee and it is through this committee that Lodges are kept up dated on charity and welfare matters. Each committee appoints at least two representatives to the Antrim Charity Council which also includes all Provincial Charity Officers and is under the Chairmanship of the Provincial Deputy Grand Master.

Antrim Charity Council

Chairman RW Bro David Lyness PDGM
Vice-Chairman W Bro John Edens
Secretary/Treasurer W Bro Jim McGookin BEM
Gift Aid Secretary W Bro Brian Morrison
Training & Benefits Co-ordinator W Bro Colin Bonnes
Benefits Information W Bro Mal Ross
W Bro Dennis Wheavil
Registrar W Bro Brian Hampton
Events Co-ordinator W Bro Graham Todd
Steward of Charities Training W Bro Andrew Bingham
Two Representatives from each District Charity Committee

The seven District Charity Committees

The District Charity Committees meet regularly with the aim to maintain and improve the care and assistance offered to Masonic Widows, Distressed Brethren or their dependents while ensuring that members remain ever mindful of the needs of others in general.

Support and assistance can only be provided from the Benevolent Institutions at the request of a Lodge.. As many of the needy are not knowledgeable in state benefit entitlement, a Lodge will initially assist by ensuring the person is in receipt of all state welfare payments that they are entitled to.  As this is a very specialised field, assistance may be sought from the District Charity Committees or the Provincial Grand Lodge Almoner.   After this has been confirmed any additional need remaining will addressed by the Lodge. In alleviating the need the Lodge may call on their own resources or seek assistance from a Masonic Benevolent Institution.

Where a need exists the relevant Lodge should be contacted or, if this is not possible, contact should be made with the local District Charity Committee.

To view Masonic Benevolent Institutions go to