Welcome as a Charity Steward and thank you so much for taking on this important office.
Charity whether it be helping in the provision of financial assistance to our beneficiaries or to local non-masonic charities is at the very heart of our masonic teaching. We all answered affirmatively to the question in the North East corner at our initiation. This manual will assist in carrying out your duties and I do hope you find it useful.
You will no doubt be aware of the East Lancashire Masonic Charity's Community Fund and our desire to use it for the benefit of non-masonic charities across our Province. I hope you might find it possible to lead your lodge/chapter's involvement in a chosen local Charity not only through financial assistance but also by brethren becoming involved themselves. I believe there is much more fun to be had when we actively participate with a charity and those who need our care, and far more rewarding, than simply handing over a cheque.
The Province through the Provincial Grand Charity Steward and the District Charity Steward are there to give you assistance whenever you require it. However the success of our charitable giving will depend more than anything else on the personal relationship that each Charity Steward can build with each member of his lodge/chapter and whether he can awaken that commitment made in the North East corner.
Whilst we encourage you to take a sympathetic approach to your members, this does not mean simply seeking to encourage members to commit themselves to the minimum contribution required for membership of the East Lancashire Masonic Charity. This means having a sympathetic understanding of each member's personal circumstances, wherever possible, and recognising that for some the minimum contribution may be a real challenge whilst others could afford considerably more.
The office of Charity Steward, therefore, brings with it considerable challenges and we wish you well in meeting them. Success will not only bring personal satisfaction to yourself but also the knowledge that you are helping us to honour one of the very cornerstones of our masonic way of life.