17th MAY 2024

Three Suffolk masonic orders working together for our community…

Craft, Mark and Royal Arch masonic orders all worked together this week to help Suffolk Charity Bumblebee’s. When Roger Young the Master of Suffolk Installed Masters lodge said he wanted to give the raffle money from their meeting to a local charity, the members decided to pull together to try and increase the funds to give. So, The Prince of Wales Lodge, Freeman Mark Lodge and Hartismere Chapter all put their money together which the Province of Suffolk then kindly match funded with an additional £1000. This gave an amazing total of £2500 for the charity.

After the masonic meeting held in Felixstowe the members together with partners and wives were given a talk on the Bumblebees Children’s Charity by Ms Bernadette Patai from the charity and the difference it can make to the children’s lives, many of those watching were moved by the stories and the difference this charity makes to our community. Mr William Petersen the Charity's Chairman was presented and told us “This money will help towards the running costs and to enable the charity to expand its operations in Suffolk, he went on to say how children and their family’s lives are changed by the generosity of Suffolk Freemasonry and others that give to keep their services operating and how they rely solely on peoples funding” The charity was expecting a small donation of a few hundred pounds but were shocked and delighted to be presented with over £2500, representatives of Prince of Wales Lodge, Freeman Mark lodge and Hertismere Chapter were all present.

Master of Suffolk Installed, Roger Young said, “It was great that three of our orders pulled together in this way and managed to increase the giving, this demonstrates the power of Freemasonry in Suffolk and the generosity of its members, I cannot thank you all enough”

MARCH 22nd 2024

Suffolk Freemasons set out to beat £1.6m charity record

Freemasons across Suffolk have started raising money for charity as part of their 2029 Festival – hoping to beat the £1,585,649 raised in their previous festival. Starting this year, members of Suffolk’s 69 Masonic Lodges are being encourage to raise funds for – and donate directly to – the Festival, with a range of activities already planned, from charity walks in the Gipping Valley to a sponsored Skydive from Beccles airfield.

Provincial Grand Master Jolyon Berry has already signed up to personally take part in a charity skydive, and in encouraging his fellow Masons to think big when it comes to fundraising: “With over £1.6m raised in 2019, we’ve got a tough record to beat” said Jolyon, “but I know Suffolk are up to the challenge: we’ve got five years in which to raise funds, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with to surpass 2019”.

Charitable donations from Freemasons in Suffolk are used to offer grants and funding for a range of charitable causes, including scores of well-known Suffolk Charities. In the past few years these have included the Ipswich Community Playbus, Suffolk Mind, St Elizabeth Hospice, the Porch Project and many more. In total, Suffolk Freemasons gave over £150,000  to Suffolk Charities last year. Each recipient is nominated by Suffolk Freemasons as a cause close to their hearts, and has also included national charities such as Help for Heroes and Cancer Research UK.

The festival is already off to a strong start: in the first 12 weeks of the year £524,650 was pledged, and revealed at a Launch Ceremony at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on 22 March. As part of the ceremony, a Festival Torch was lit: having already visited a number of landmarks, including Lands End, John O’Groats and Ness Point in Lowestoft, eventually it will visit all 69 Lodges in Suffolk, urging Masons to take up the challenge and help raise funds for the festival. Jon Neill, Suffolk’s Provincial Charity Steward and Chair of the Festival, said: “Our members are really proud of the charitable aspect of Freemasonry: we’re all urged to practice charity and help others, and this Festival is built on that foundation stone of Masonry. “It’s also a personal challenge for us: we don’t ask strangers to give to a cause, but rather take pride in raising the money ourselves, either from personal giving or by finding different ways to fundraise, from skydiving to fire walking. So if a friend or family member you know is doing something crazy to raise money for our Festival, give them your support and let them know you’re behind them.”

Over 500 Suffolk Freemasons have committed to make regular donations throughout the Festival period, starting from as little as £5 a month, to help reach the goal of over £1.6m raised by 2029.

The Suffolk Masonic Festival 2029 is managed through the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), the registered charity that coordinates charitable giving from English Freemasonry.


7th February 2024

Isolation amongst older people set to reduce thanks to Suffolk Freemasons

Rural Suffolk's older population will begin to feel more connected, thanks to a grant of £15,000 from Suffolk Freemasons to the Rural Coffee Caravan (RCC). This substantial grant aims to address the growing issue of rural isolation among individuals over 65 in Suffolk, where dwindling services, lack of public transport, and limited online access exacerbate the problem.

The Age UK Loneliness map highlights pockets of high and very high risk of loneliness across Suffolk, underscoring the urgent need for initiatives like the one led by the RCC.  The organisation's innovative approach involves a mobile community cafe and information centre, operated by a roving caravan and three campervans, where they can reach out to remote communities. The RCC provides tea and cake, a warm and friendly atmosphere, and valuable signposting to support services.  Moreover, the RCC fosters community connections through initiatives such as 'More Than A Shop', encouraging local stores to become hubs of friendship and connection. Importantly, RCC ensures these events are accessible to all, offering them free of charge to encourage widespread participation.

In 2022, the RCC made over 200 village visits throughout Suffolk, welcoming more than 5,000 visitors. Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, their 'Meet Up Mondays' initiative reached an impressive throughput of 20,000 participants. The heart of RCC's success lies in the meaningful relationships it nurtures among rural residents. In November 2023, the RCC won a European Social Services Award for Service Delivery. The theme of the Awards this year, was ‘Person Centred Care’. The only UK organisation shortlisted in this category, the RCC was able to showcase their work demonstrating that simple acts of kindness have blossomed into robust social networks, transforming these rural areas into vibrant, connected communities. The grant from Suffolk Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, funded by Freemasons, their families, and their friends from across England, Wales and the Channel Islands.

Ann Osborn from the RCC said: "Thanks to the generous support of Suffolk Freemasons, we’re able to continue to address isolation across rural Suffolk and help older people connect with each other. We know how much our community benefit from our services, and we look forward to supporting people in the years to come."

Jon Neill from Suffolk Freemasons: “I’m very pleased we’re able to help RCC and support the important work they are doing for older people in Suffolk. Their approach provide much-needed support to older people who are feeling isolated from their community and helps bring them together.”

More information about the charity can be found at