The Mark Benevolent Fund
The Mark Benevolent Fund is a registered charity (no.207610) came into existence in 1868 on the suggestion of the Revd George Raymond Portal, Grand Master of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales. His views on charity were far more radical and progressive than the general thinking of the time; he felt that for charity to be effective it had to be disbursed swiftly and without the bureaucratic formalities of other Masonic charities. To him, it was wrong for there to be any delay in providing assistance to those in need and his own Latin motto "Bis dat qui cito dat" - he gives twice who gives promptly - became, and still is, the principal guideline of the Mark Benevolent Fund.
The Fund has disbursed many millions to individual petitioners and an even greater sum in grants to charities within the wider community. A major grant of £1.6m has been made to the RNLI to help fund a new lifeboat, Addenbrooke's Hospital Trust has received over £2m for machines to help in the diagnosis of prostate cancer and a pledge of £2.6m has been made to Hope for Tomorrow Cancer Charity for the purchase of mobile chemotherapy units throughout the UK. These projects can only be funded with your help and dedication to the Fund.
Every year a different Province hosts the MBF Festival. It will be the Province of Durham's turn in 2029 but we have already launched our Festival drive. We will organise our own fund raising towards a target that we will set and will conclude with a Festival Banquet when the final results are announced. Our target will be revealed soon. Festival Stewardships are obtained by a Brother and/or his partner by paying a fee to the Stewards Fund for each hosting Festival. When the proceeds of each Festival are sent to the Mark Benevolent Fund the individual donations are set out in a list and those sums are credited towards honorifics in the fund.
How can you help?
There are many different ways that you can contribute to the success of the Durham 2029 MBF Festival.