Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Kent
Mark Benevolent Fund

From a charity point of view the Mark Benevolent Fund (MBF) is there to help worthy causes and charities.

Applications for a grant from the MBF can be submitted for consideration by any Mark Mason. To date the Fund has dispersed £33m in aid, and is broken down as follows, £7m to individual petitioners and £25m to charities and other worthy causes, more details of which can be found here.

The MBF can only make these grants if they are supported by lodges and brethren. To encourage and recognise this support the MBF operates a patronage scheme. The honorifics are awarded in the form of a collarette and can be worn at any Mark or Royal Ark Mariner meeting. Brethren are encouraged to wear these MBF collarettes at Mark and R.A.M. festive boards in Kent.

The Mark Benevolent Fund came into existence in 1868 at the suggestion of M.W. Bro. Reverend George Raymond Portal, Grand Master of the Order of Mark Master Masons. He had a very strong belief that for a charity to be effective it had to disburse funds swiftly. In his opinion, it was wrong for there to be any delay in providing assistance to those in need and his own Latin motto of “Bis dat qui cito dat” - he gives twice who gives promptly - became, and still is, the principle guideline of the MBF.

MBF Trustees
The Mark Benevolent Fund is run by a Board of Trustees presided over by a President and his Deputy. The Trustees are elected or appointed to the Board and typically serve on the board for 3 years. The current President is V.W. Bro. John Bell, P.G.M.O. P.Dep.Prov.G.M. (Wiltshire). Our own Provincial Grand Master has been a Trustee of the MBF since 2019.

MBF Worthy Causes Committee
The Worthy Causes Committee meets on a regular basis throughout the year to consider applications. Applications are dealt with in a timely fashion and an answer can be expected within 4 to 6 weeks. Larger applications of £50,000 and above can take a little longer to process as these have to be referred to the full Board of Trustees.

Major Capital Grants Awarded by the MBF
In addition to the successful applications given to assist worthy causes in the Province of Kent it is worth mentioning that the MBF have dispersed approximately £33m in grants, split between individual petitions £7m and worthy causes £26m.

Some of the recent capital grants include:
  • 1.6m for an RNLI lifeboat, named Mark Mason
  • £2m for prostate cancer diagnostic equipment for Addenbrooke’s Hospital Trust
  • £2.6m to the Hope for Tomorrow charity to provide 10 mobile Chemotherapy units for use throughout the UK (The one for Kent is based in Ashford)
  • £3.2m to St John Ambulance to replace their vehicles with 52 state of the art ambulances, treatment centres and support vehicles
Local Charities Supported by the MBF
Since 2019 the MBF has dispersed grants of over £120,000 to local charities and worthy causes in the Province of Kent. These are as follows: Anyone can nominate a registered charity for the MBF Worthy Causes Committee to consider. The guidance notes and application form are below but please feel free to contact the Provincial Grand Charity Steward for further guidance or help with the application form.

Please always ensure that all applications are submitted to the Provincial Grand Charity Steward and not direct to MBF Worthy Causes Committee.

A full list of MBF downloads can be found on its website.