Prestonian Lecturers are invited to nominate one or more charities to support through the sale of books and donations from Lodges and individuals.
I selected two charities; a Scouting one and a Masonic one. Since 2012 my Prestonian Lecture and other Masonic talks have raised £98,542.61 for these causes.
My initial Scouting charity was The Scout Association’s (TSA) Archive Development Project. Between 2012 and the end of 2014 the lectureship donated £20,195 to TSA’s Archive Development Project, funding the entire cost of the installation of a climate control system to protect the archives and of the digitisation of the Baden-Powell archive.
Initially my Masonic charity was the Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF). Between 2012 and the end of 2014, the lectureship raised £21,128.53 for the MSF and was the highest donor on the President’s List for the 2014 Derbyshire Festival in aid of the MSF.
At the end of 2014 I changed the focus of the fundraising.
Since then my Scouting charity has been The Scout Association’s Heritage Project. The UK Scout Association being the home of Scouting worldwide, this project aims to educate Scouts and the public about Scouting’s rich history and heritage. The lectureship funded the cost of installing nine outdoor heritage information panels around Gilwell Park, to educate visitors about Scouting and Gilwell’s rich history. It also made the first donation towards the building a Heritage Centre at Gilwell Park. The total raised for this project so far is £14,805. See www.scouts.org.uk and heritage.scouts.org.uk.
From the beginning of 2015 the 2012 Prestonian Lecture raised money for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB) and donated £6,437.52 to the final Festivals of the RMTGB.
In July 2017, following the consolidation of the four central Masonic charities into one organisation, I changed my Masonic charity to the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF). See www.mcf.org.uk.
The MCF is a grant making charity providing help for Freemasons, for families, for everyone – of all ages, from cradle to grave. It also makes significant financial grants to other charities to help people live happy, fulfilling lives and to participate actively in society. So far the 2012 Prestonian Lecture has donated £30,079.41 to the MCF.
How can you contribute?
You can make a personal donation to my JustGiving fundraising page, which is linked to a my Prestonian 2012 Relief Chest (E8001).
You can buy a 2012 Prestonian book.
You can donate as a Lodge, either by cheque to “The 2012 Prestonian Charity Fund” (contact me for my address to send the cheque) or using a Relief Chest transfer to the 2012 Prestonian Relief Chest, E8001.
How much has been raised?
To date (8th July 2021), after deducting the cost of printing and postage (£9,578.22) my Prestonian Lecture and other Masonic talks have raised £98,542.61 for my chosen Scouting & Masonic charities.
Of this, £58,914.00 has been donated to Masonic charities and £35,000.00 to Scouting charities. The difference is mainly due to the large number of online Masonic talks during Covid-19, resulting in donations from them going to the MCF. A further £1,688.98 is awaited from resellers and the Just Giving fundraising page.
I have sold 4,550 copies of the Prestonian Lecture book, necessitating three print runs.
In addition, sales of my 2018 Cornwallis Lecture booklet have raised £2,595.33 for the Kent Museum of Freemasonry and sales of my 2020 Mike Baker Memorial Lecture booklet have raised £344.30 for the Kent Mark Benevolent Fund – so far!
These bring the total amount raised for different charities from my various Masonic talks to £98,542.61.
Altogether, with other fundraising activities for the Masonic Charitable Foundation and the Mark Benevolent Fund – including the sale of “Bill Summ’s Masonic Songs”, the 2017 MBF Walk and my “Old Men and their Mountains” get fit campaign – I have raised £111,619.35 for charity since 2012.
In October 2020, I was told that the District Grand Lodge of South America Northern Division has set up a charity project following one of my talks. I will bring updates about this fantastic initiative as I receive them.
To everybody who has donated to my fund, and to every body who has invited me to deliver a talk for them, I am deeply grateful. Thank you for all you have done.