In 1977, the Berkshire Masonic Buildings Fund was created with an original investment of £50,000.
Its purpose is to provide loan finance (not grants) to assist with the development, repair and furnishing of the various masonic buildings in the Province. The appeal is to raise additional funds to support the work of the Berkshire Masonic Buildings Fund and it started on 1st February 2016 and will finish by the end of 2017.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the purpose of the appeal?
A. To raise additional funds to support the work of the Berkshire Masonic Buildings Fund;
Q. What is the Berkshire Masonic Buildings Fund?
A. In 1977, the Berkshire Masonic Buildings Fund was created with an original investment of £50,000. Its purpose is to provide loan finance (not grants) to assist with the development, repair and furnishing of the various masonic buildings in the Province.
Q. How is it governed?
A. Through a trust deed with trustees appointed by a management committee led by W Bro Peter Sands for some twenty years. Each Masonic Centre in the Province is represented on the committee.
Q. For how long is the appeal to run?
A. It will finish by the end of 2017.
Q. How much do we hope to raise?
A. £100,000. Effectively, if every lodge were to contribute, it equates to just over £1,000 per lodge.
Q. How has the money being used in the past?
A. Since 1982, the fund has loaned £195,500 to our masonic centres. For example, funds have been used to extend and upgrade the Faringdon Masonic Hall including provision of new disabled toilets, to repair the roofs and install new central heating systems for Newbury, Wallingford, Wantage and Wokingham, to extend the library and install a lift at the Berkshire Masonic Centre, and for repairs at Windsor. When funds are not dispersed, they are loaned to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Berkshire Benevolent Fund and invested to attract tax free interest which has enabled that fund to offer considerable higher levels of support over the years.
Q. What will we do with the money?
A. When Wallingford required a large amount of money to upgrade, the Fund did not have enough and so the Centre had to borrow from a bank and pay high interest. With a substantial amount added to the fund this should not happen again. This appeal will ensure that the fund has £170k available to it which will give significantly increased spending power to safeguard our masonic buildings and to ensure that facilities and standards meet the needs of ‘modern man’. The ‘ discipline ‘ of repaying the loan (usually spread over 10 years) is useful for the various centres as it focuses their attention on the ongoing costs of repairs & renewals
Q. How can lodges contribute?
A. Donations can be accepted from private individuals, Lodge General Fund accounts, Lodge Alms collections and/or raffles. Cheques should be made payable to ‘The Berkshire Masonic Buildings Fund’ and sent to the Provincial office at Sindlesham, for the attention of W Bro Alan Spearman, Secretary, Berkshire Masonic Buildings Fund. Unfortunately, donations cannot be accepted from Grand Lodge Relief Chests, Lodge Benevolent or Charity accounts, via Gift Aided Envelopes or contributions under covenant/RPP/Regular Donation schemes.