News.

East Lancashire Festival 2026 Update

First, thank you for letting me speak to you regarding the EL FESTIVAL 2026, But first let me give you a bit of the Background of the MCF.

The Masonic Charity Foundation (MCF) was established after the amalgamation of the original 4 charities – the Grand Charity, the Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF), the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB) and the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI)

  • The MCF is one of the largest Grant Giving Foundations in the country. Since its formation the MCF has awarded over 38,000 grants to support vulnerable and disadvantaged freemasons or their families. It has also given over 4,300 grants to help fund the work of local and national charities that are supporting communities across England and Wales.
  • The MCF is unique in that it does not raise money from the public; instead, its work is entirely funded through the generous donations of Freemasons, their families, and friends. Approximately 40% of this funding is from the festival system.
  • There are two facets to the charity – Support and Services for Freemasons or their families, and Grant Funding to non-masonic charities that operate within the core aims of the MCF – reducing loneliness and isolation in later life and supporting the needs of disadvantaged young people to help offer them the best start in life. In the 2021/22 Financial Year the MCF gave 5.8M to non-masonic charities and £13.7M in grants given to Individuals and their families.
  • During that period, £7.3M helped masonic families and individuals with essential living costs, £3.9M focused on the health and well-being of individuals and over £1.3M supported the children and grandchildren of freemasons.
  • Since its formation 7 years ago, within East Lancashire, the MCF has awarded 1200 grants to support freemasons and their families totaling some £2.5M. 200 grants to support children and young people, 700 grants to relieve financial hardship and over 250 grants to fund health and medical treatments.

 

  • In those 7 years, within East Lancashire, the MCF has awarded 114 grants to local charities totaling almost £1M. In addition, East Lancashire has benefitted from the MCFs National Strategic Partnerships with Age UK, Hospice UK, Home Start UK, and the Cranfield Trust.
  • In total, in 7 Years, the MCF has given over £120M, and supported over 3000 charities. This equates to about £50,000 every single day.

                                                                          FESTIVAL

There are 25 provinces in festival at any one time each year. Festivals are held every 11 years and run for 5 years.

The MCF AVERAGE INCOME is around £7 million pounds that is somewhere in the region of 1/3 to 1/2 of the expenditure the shortfall is massive, a staggering, £15 – 20 million pounds, is needed each year, to bridge the gap and this is why we have festivals, and this is why we need your HELP.

EAST LANCASHIRE are now in festival, and the province have been set a target to raise £2.4 Million pounds over the duration of the festival. This is why the province and the Eastern Area need your help.

                                                               HOW CAN YOU HELP

. TWO WAYS

. REGULAR GIVING TO THE FESTIVAL AND ELMC (SET UP A REGULAR DONATION EACH MONTH GIVE WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD (PERSUASION NOT PRESSURE).

. SUPPORT ACTIVITIES – That are set up by the Area social committee, you will not only be having a great night of entertainment and being with friends and like-minded people, but you will also be raising money for good causes and charities with the EL festival 2026 being one of them.

At the moment we only have around 28% of members of the Eastern Area who have pledged and set up a direct debit out of the 570 members across our area. As an AREA we need to improve on that figure to help if we are as a province going to hit our total of £2.4 Million by December 2026.

A Donation of £10 per month is the equivalent of:

One mouthful of beer a day for a month

A daily newspaper for the month

Or a chippy tea once a month

When you look at it like this,

all those millions of pounds can cost you as little as 33 pence a day.

It doesn’t Matter if you set up a direct debit for £2, £5, £10 or £20 it all helps to get that little bit nearer to are target. By more brethren pledging to make a regular donation we can make a difference.

The EASTERN AREA has benefited over the years from the MCF, and we have received more money from the MCF than we have put in.

Just in the Eastern Area these are just some of the organizations that have benefitted from grants.

Moorside Cricket & Bowling Club £2,000          Teddies for loving Care £116.00

Friermere Cricket Club £500                                 Heartline Club £1000.

Mahdlo £900                                                         Rochdale soup Kitchen   £380

Rochdale Foodbank £645                                    Heywood scout group    £2,867.00

Springhill Hospice £2,175.00                              Castleton Baths £5,000.00

Rochdale Sea Cadets £2,146.00                        Whitworth Valley Junior fc £500

Stubbylee Community Greenhouses £1,535.00 for equipment for art and woodworking classes.

On the Big Day Help back in May, 15 freemasons and family members from the Eastern Area volunteered at Stubbylee Community Greenhouses and was amazed by the work that this charity does to support the local community with focus on rehabilitation for people who have physical and mental health issues. And from this visit, Royclffe Lodge in Bacup members of the lodge are regularly helping when they can.

And Jolly Josh received for £6,996.00 a grant to purchase a magic carpet interactive projection system and I can also inform you that we have had another grant of £4,278.31 to purchase a sound system, which has since been confirmed  giving Jolly Josh a combined total of £11,274.31.

Jolly Josh for those of you who don’t know is a local charity that provides dedicated peer and support and safe spaces for children and young adults, families, and carers of children with profound and multiple learning disabilities, and complex and special needs, within Rochdale and the wider surrounding area.

And members of the 8th & 26th Todmorden scout group and Calder Valley Explorer scout unit received a very generous grant of nearly £3,000 made by the ELMC. To visit France hoping to achieve the kings scout, explorer belt and gold Duke of Edinburgh awards.

Brethren without your help and generosity, these organizations and Charities might have not received these grants, and with your help more people and families could access, and benefit from these organizations, and this is why it’s important to support the EL festival 2026, and that we do all we can as the Eastern Area to help the province reach its target of £2.4 Million.

Brethren, please feel free to come and speak to myself or Chris if anyone has any questions regarding the festival, and if anyone would like to sign up for a regular donation, Chris and I can sign you up now online. It only takes a couple of minutes. You just need the details of your bank card. If you sign up online today, I can give you your first payment date and confirmation that your regular donation is set up and your jewel to take home. And if you don’t want to sign up online, I also have some paper forms to sign up.

 

Brethren Thank you.

East Lancashire Festival 2026 Update