The West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity is the charity of the Freemasons of the Masonic Province of West Lancashire. It was formed in April 2008 by the amalgamation of the seven Masonic charities operating in the Province, an area which includes parts of Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Cumbria. Its funds are raised entirely from donations by Freemasons. We do not receive money from the general public however, we do provide assistance to Masons and non-Masons.
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Big enough to make a difference
Our charity is the largest UK Masonic charity outside the Grand Charities and we anticipate making significant payments to deserving causes.
If you are or have been a Freemason in West Lancashire or are a widow, child or dependant of a West Lancashire Freemason and you are in need of financial assistance, the WLFC may be able to help.
You can start the process either by contacting the almoner of the lodge, calling Freemasonry Cares 0800 0356090 or by contacting the WLFC direct.
See the contact page to see how to contact us.
The West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity is proud to play its part in the wider sphere of Masonic giving where £1,000,000s are provided each year for national and international causes, all from the pockets of Freemasons and often unnoticed by the general public.
Gifts to the community
We also believe that Masonry has a valuable role to play in the community and we have been pleased to provide funding over many years to help a wide variety of projects, such as North West Blood Bikes, St Vincent’s School for the Blind, Blackpool Scouts, Zoё’s Place in Liverpool and many, many more. Contact can either be through local Masons or direct to the charity. This assistance continues to be given for major projects in excess of £25,000 and must be received in the Charity’s office no later than 30 June each year.
Manned by volunteers
Nobody in our organisation receives any payment for the time they give to our charity. Our team of volunteers are however, extremely experienced in the working of the charity and are all bound by a strict code of confidentiality.
They are extremely dedicated, sympathetic to applicants’ difficult circumstances and happy to offer assistance and advice to those in need. We appreciate that seeking help when you are in need can be embarrassing and stressful but you can be assured that your application will be dealt with sympathetically and discretely.
Running a lean ship does not mean skimping on standards. Everyone involved is determined to follow best business practice and fully meet the most stringent regulatory requirements ensuring that funds are not only secure but are applied correctly and efficiently.
Governed by a board of Directors
On the first of April 2018 the charity became an incorporated company as a result the trustees are now directors. They are drawn from a wide range of professional backgrounds suited to taking on the responsibility of overseeing a substantial financial enterprise. They all have considerable experience in managing organisations/charities.
Steve is a retired Chartered Accountant and was, for many years, senior partner of a medium sized accountancy practice in central Liverpool. During his many years in private practice Steve specialised in Corporate Recovery and Corporate Finance.
Steve joined the WLFC in 2010 and has worked his way up through all the departments at the Charity until appointed Chief Executive on 16 January 2018.
Chairman of the board of Directors
Mark joined Masonry in 1996. He holds National Management Qualifications and a Master of Science Degree in Drug and Alcohol Use and Addictions. He retired from Merseyside Police, as a Chief Superintendent in 2008. He worked for several years as a senior Investigating officer in regards to homicide and other serious and organised crime. He also held significant project management and strategic planning positions. During his final three years of service, he was the Commander for Sefton Borough.
Mark was appointed to the Board of Trustees on 1 April 2012.
Vice Chairman of the board of Directors
John was born in 1955 and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1979. He semi-retired in 2008 having been in practice for 25 years specialising in corporate finance and advising SME clients.
John became involved with the charities in 2002 when he was appointed a trustee and treasurer of the West Lancashire Masonic Educational Trust. Following the merger of the charities in 2008, he became a grant executive with responsibility for community applications. He served as the CEO of the WLFC from April 2012 to March 2016 when he was appointed as a trustee.
Derek studied medicine at Liverpool University, qualifying in 1975. He worked in Liverpool and Cardiff. In 1986 he was appointed Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Fazakerley Hospital, Liverpool, and subsequently at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. He retired from medical practice in 2012.
Derek was the Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 2001, he was appointed PAGDC. In 2014 Derek was invested as Assistant Provincial Grand Master he is responsible for the Liverpool, Gladstone, and Garston Groups of Lodges. Derek represents the WLFC in the Craft cabinet.
Barrie worked as a a Chartered Physicist, for almost 20 years for a major engineering company. Initially working on an offshore project he progressed into other multi-discipline areas finishing with the job title of Chief Scientist.
Subsequently he worked as a business counsellor between the Lancaster and Scottish Border, for a time he was he lead business counsellor for the Carlisle region. Barrie also worked with several universities, enjoying a long association with Lancaster University Business School where he has lectured and tutored at undergraduate and Post-graduate level in business development, entrepreneurship, business strategy and innovation.
Colin was born in 1947. After teacher training, he taught in both primary and secondary schools. Retiring in 2007 as head teacher. After retiring he was the senior external examiner to Bradford and Manchester Metropolitan University’s teacher training courses and chairman of John Moore’s University’s Partnership Board. He also worked with the Merseyside and Cheshire Graduate Teacher Programme. He was its executive chair and is now a trustee. Colin served on the committee of the West Lancs Education Trust. Following the merger of the charities he was a grant executive and subsequently, Chairman of the Community Grants Executive.
After retiring from a career in local government, John now works as a Statutory Advocate, supporting people who may otherwise struggle to have their point of view considered in the complexities of the health and social care systems.
He holds professional qualifications in public administration from the University of Liverpool and senior management certification from the Institute of Leadership and Management. He is experienced in quality assurance, budget management and chairing various local and national policy formulation groups. John has been actively involved with the charities in his current role as Vice Chairman of the Widnes Group and Charity Steward and Almoner in his Lodge and Chapter.
David spent his working life in industry in a wide variety of technical appointments becoming commercial and operations manager for a UK based international company designing, manufacturing and installing heavy electrical equipment worldwide. He is a Registered Engineer and Chartered Member of the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing.
He joined Masonry in 1979 and was appointed Chairman for the St Helens and Prescot Group in 2011. He became secretary of the Hamer Trust in 1999. On the formation of the WLFC in 2007 he was responsible for the amalgamation of The Hamer Trust Beneficiaries into the WLFC. David was the senior grant executive for WLFC, leading the team assessing petitions until 2017. He was appointed as a director in August 2019.
Every application we receive is carefully considered. We provide assistance where our criteria are met. Unfortunately we are unable to help in every case but don’t let that put you off. If you don’t apply, you won’t receive anything.
The community grant application form can be downloaded by clicking here.
Annual report and accounts
Our annual report and accounts contain a great deal of useful information relating to our charity and its objectives.