Home News It’s time to take another look at Berkshire PGL Annual Review

It’s time to take another look at Berkshire PGL Annual Review

by Brian Page

One of Freemasonry’s core values is Charity and the centrepiece of this year’s review is a graphic illustrating some of the ways in which the money we have contributed through our alms collections, raffles and Relief Chest donations, was used during the past year.

A full page article is devoted to the report and photographs of the presentation of an £18,000 grant from the MCF Covid-19 Community Fund to the Newbury Soup Kitchen. The food delivery vehicle purchased with the grant was officially opened by Will Young, Patron of the charity in the presence of RW Anthony Howlett-Bolton OBE, PGM and representatives from the Newbury-based Lodges.

Staying with the motor vehicle theme there is a report on how the Windsor Community First Response Vehicle has helped to relieve pressure on the South Central Ambulance Service. Freemasons from The Christopher Wren Lodge donated the vehicle which is staffed by 8 specially trained volunteers.

Berkshire Freemasons have helped to equip Berkshire Scouts with PCR manikins to help with the scouts first aid training. The Freemasons also funded the purchase of a defibrillator for the local Scouts.

The Reading Toy Run was given the use of the Masonic Centres at Sindlesham and Wokingham as collection centres for the toys. Freemason “bikers” from Berkshire and Buckinghamshire helped with marshalling at the centres and with the toy collection.

The Berkshire Masonic Charity continued the purchase of Teddy Bears under the Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) scheme. The gift of a TLC bear helps injured children to cope with the upset of being taken to hospital.

Of course, all this help to worthy causes needs funding, a large part of which comes through Provincial Festivals such as our own Berkshire 2023 Festival; each province under the UGLE holds a festival every 11 years.

Deputy PGM and Festival 2023 Chairman, Peter Sands, reports on the progress made towards our £1.9M target. Despite the pandemic disrupting the planned programme of activities, we have achieved almost 60% of that figure. 

The report also includes details of the 21st-Century methods in which donations can now be made. Scanning a QR code on a smartphone or by connecting to the linked URL on a laptop, PC or iMac makes it easy to contribute, the Gift Aid option available means that taxpayers can increase the value of their contribution at no extra cost. Including the QR code and URL on the lodge communications such as meeting minutes or summons’ would simplify the collection of contributions.

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