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Provincial Almoner’s November Newsletter

Welcome to the Provincial Almoner’s Newsletter, this will give you an insight to some of the many aspects of the work the Provincial Almoner and the Almoner Team.

The Almoner Team
Here are a few introductions to some established and some newer members to the Almoner Team (AT);
The Assistant to the PGA is W. Bro Melvyn Pye, who has many roles within the team, helping me with the day-to-day work, including looking after all the Provinces Lodge Almoners and the Provinces 840 Widows.
The AT has six Visiting Volunteers (VV’s) W. Bro Peter de Gol, W. Bro Mike Allen, W. Bro Malcolm Birchall, W. Bro Steve Frankland, W. Bro Steve Codman and our newest VV, is W. Bro John Driscoll. The VV’s work throughout the province assisting with applications on behalf of our Brethren. With the utmost discretion, they provide knowledge and support during often difficult times. The applications when completed, are directed to the MCF for processing.
Caroline Wales is from the MCF Advice Support Team who deal with the more complex benefit, medical applications, and enquiries.
Another new member to the team is W. Bro Jim Gill, who will be giving presentations at Lodges on the role of the MCF. Caroline Wales has also offered to give presentations at Lodges. If you would like more information, please contact me and I will be happy to discuss it further with you.
We are available to provide support, guidance, and advice to all Lodge Almoners and Brethren within the Province of Norfolk. Please note, sometimes we must seek assistance from the Mason Charitable Fund.

MCF Eligibility and Masonic Connection
The MCF will need a lot of information before a grant can be awarded, which will include the applicant’s financial eligibility. We must recognise the MCF is not an insurance policy, or an entitlement and many things need to be considered to see if an applicant is eligible for support.

To obtain assistance from the MCF you must be a Freemason in good standing for at least one year, or a Freemason who has resigned in good standing. The general rule of support is ‘x 2’, e.g. 10 years as a Freemason = 20 years of support and the support is the same for those with a Masonic connection.
The list of Masonic connections are:

  1. Wife/partner. 
  2. Widow.
  3. Divorced or separated.
  4. Child/children of a Freemason who are under 25, living at home in full time education.
  5. Grandchild /children of a Freemason who are under 25, living at home in full time education.
    6.  Other relative financially supported by a U.G.L.E member.

MCF Support Grants
The MCF offer support in five key areas.

  • Daily Living Costs
  • Health, Care and Wellbeing
  • Children, Young People, and Education
  • Advice and Support
  • RMBI Care Co

I hope this information was useful, please do not hesitate to contact me if needed. I am happy to answer enquiries personally from Brethren looking for more information on applying for grants and other support from the Masonic Charitable Foundation.
If you prefer to contact the MCF personally, they can be contacted on Freephone 0800 035 60 90, or by emailing

From April 2022 to September 2023 there has been over £376,024 paid in grants to 121 Norfolk Freemasons and their families.In August and September 2023, 27 grants with benefits of over £77,000 were awarded. These grants included over £48,000 for daily living costs, over £24,000 for medical treatment and support.

Yours sincerely and fraternally.

Neil Thomas
PGA Norfolk
Tel: 07717-203663 or e-mail: