Latest News


For the past few years, members of Sion Lodge No 7562 have produced a Calendar which has been sold in aid of the Masters charity.

This all started from a practical joke when one of the W. Bro's of the Lodge, moved to a New Town House and went off on holiday without fulfilling his obligation to a housewarming party to Lodge members.

Unfortunately, he left his house keys with his son, who is also a member of the Lodge and a number of the brethren of Sion went to the house and posed for various photographs around the house which were then shown at the Sion Christmas show night as a "Through the Keyhole " type presentation to the unsuspecting W. Bro and his wife!

The photographs were too good to waste and were then photo-shopped and turned into a calendar which sold in great numbers. 

Realising there were too many stairs in the town house, the same W. Bro again moved to another new house the following year and left the keys with his son. This time however, suspecting that a similar prank might be afoot, the W. Bro left copies of photos of himself to be used in a potential calendar!  The calendar was produced in greater numbers and £400 was made and donated to the Help For Hero's Charity. 

Wanting a new theme for the 2017 Calendar,   W. Bro Phil Mantey challenged the "Ladies of Sion" to make a calendar, which to all of the brethren's surprise, they eagerly accepted.

The ladies organised themselves, co-opted some Lodge Visitors wives  and  duly 'got out their buns' , tea pots ,  parasols, tinsel and everything else to 'cover their modesty' and produced a “Calendar Girls” type calendar .

This was kept a total secret until being 'revealed' at the Annual Sion Christmas show night where first production run of calendars sold out. The calendars made over £320 which was donated in the name of Sion Lodge No 7562 to the Northumberland Masonic Charities Association Festival Fund.

With such support from their family orientated Lodge, it is no wonder that Sion Lodge have already been awarded their NMCA 2021 Festival Patron Collaret .

To see how the Ladies appeared, you will have to buy a calendar! 

group cover photo sion small

Masonic Charitable Foundation

For Freemasons, for families, for everyone

The Masonic Charitable Foundation builds better lives by enabling opportunity, advancing healthcare and education and promoting independence for Freemasons, their families and the wider community.

Funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons and their families, the Masonic Charitable Foundation is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country.

How the Foundation helps Masonic families

A wide range of help and support is available for Freemasons, their wives, partners, widows, children and grandchildren. Most of the support provided takes the form of financial grants to assist with financial, health or family related needs.


• Daily living costs

• Grants following an accident, redundancy or personal crisis

• Funeral bills

• Minor home repairs


• Medical treatment

• Dental treatment

• Mobility aids and home adaptations

• Counselling

Family – Children in full-time education

• Costs for education or training

• Scholarships, travel grants and student accommodation

• Supporting exceptional talent in sport, music or the performing arts

Family – Care

  • Masonic care homes – including nursing, residential and dementia care
  • Respite care
  • UK holidays

Practical assistance

The Foundation’s Advice & Support Team offer confidential, impartial and practical guidance about the help we can provide. The Team can also help with applications for state and local authority benefits and can put you in touch with other organisations who can give advice on care, employment and education.

How to apply

For further information about the help and support available from the Foundation, please call their dedicated Freephone enquiry line: 0800 035 60 90 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also write to Masonic Charitable Foundation, 60 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AZ

For more information about the Foundation’s grants and the application process, please visit:

How the Foundation helps communities

In addition to the support provided to Freemasons and their families, the Masonic Charitable Foundation looks beyond Freemasonry, making significant financial grants to charities that help people to live happy, fulfilled lives and to participate actively in society.

The charities supported make a significant and lasting difference to people in need. We aim to benefit as many people as possible and further those causes about which Freemasons and their families have told us they are most passionate.

To find out more about the Foundation’s Community Support and Research grants, please visit:

Keep up to date with the Foundation’s work


Twitter:            @Masonic_Charity

Facebook:       @themcf

YouTube:        Masonic Charitable Foundation

To find out more about The Masonic Charitable Foundation in the Province or Northumberland, please contact The Provincial Grand Almoner:

Norman West 
Provincial Grand Almoner
Tel: 0191 2630204
Mob: 07951828044
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LIFELITES: David Auld experiences the continued support provided by Lifelites to St. Oswald’s Hospice.

I had the privilege of recently attending St Oswald’s Hospice to celebrate the installation of a new package of equipment provided by Lifelites for the children of St Oswald’s Hospice. The total cost of the equipment and staff training amounts to £50,000.

Lifelites is the Masonic charity which enriches the life of children and young people with life limiting and life threatening conditions. This is done in hospices and similar environments by providing the latest COMPUTER TECHNOLOGIES relevant to their needs and abilities. Everything is funded by Freemasons, and through Lifelites, we are making a difference. The Magic Carpet is an interactive projection system that brings the outside world to children by giving them opportunities they may not have otherwise.

For example, Aaron Armstrong is a patient who needs help with his movement. His clinical team explained that the magic carpet helps them to make movement fun for Aaron. He needs to be active, to stretch and to change position, so that he can maintain his range of movement and stay well. Nurses encourage him to sit, or to go on hands and knees on the carpet – and then to stretch out to catch a fish or another moving object as it whizzes past him.   It’s a wonderful way to work through his physiotherapy exercises without his even realising that he is doing them. He squeals with delight while he’s playing with it!

Aaron Armstrong magic carpet 2

Now patients like Aaron can splash in the sea, play football, fly a plane, play football with their brothers and sisters, move water and play with fish, roll about in the snow or leaves.

This equipment is supplied, maintained and staff training is provided free of charge through Lifelites.

If anyone wishes to make a donation to Lifelites please contact myself.

David Auld. Provincial Charity Steward

January 2017