Surrey Masons Raise over £35,000 for Charity!

On Sunday 15 July over 60 Freemasons their, family and friends decamped from Surrey to North Wales to undertake a Zip Wire challenge unlike any other. This was the latest in a string of adventures to raise money for the 2019 Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Festival.

The RMBI run two incredible care homes in Surrey and are committed to delivering services that promote the dignity, independence and choice of the individuals they support.

Within the group was the wife of one of Crescamus Lodge’s members, who is earning herself something of a daredevil reputation having previously undertaken a skydive and abseiled from the steeple of Guildford Cathedral.

Zip Wire

Gala Dinner

Arriving in Snowdonia on Saturday 14 July, for a Gala Dinner at the Royal Victoria Hotel the intrepid adventurers enjoyed a fabulous meal and company. The highlight of the evening was when it was revealed how much had raised for the RMBI; a staggering £35,000.

Velocity 2

Many chose to take an early night, after the festivities for the following morning’s challenge, to conquer Velocity 2. Based in Penrhyn it is the world’s fastest, and the longest zip wire in Europe.

Zip Wore

Reaching speeds of over 100 mph during the 1,555-metre descent, this was to be a white-knuckle experience like no other.

“The zip wire flight down was amazing. As you descend across the quarry lake, perceptions of speed just melt away and you feel like a bird gently gliding on wind. Then the ground accelerates towards you, before you’re suddenly braked to a halt and gently lowered back to ground.”

ZIp wire

This was, without a doubt, one of the most successful Surrey Provincial Charity fundraising events ever. Not just due to the amount raised; but also with the fun that all those participating had in raising the money.

With just ten months to go until the end of the Festival appeal; all the Freemasons across Surrey will be working hard to raise essential funds for the RMBI to ensure that they can keep up their essential work.


Surrey Masons Abseiled Guildford Cathedral Raising £20,000

On Saturday 6th May 2017 a Team of 48 brave Freemasons, friends and family abseiled down from the tower of Guildford Cathedral. The team raised over £20,000 in the process. They were led by the Provincial Grand Master R.W. Bro Ian Chandler and among their number was Harriet the wife of a former Worshipful Master of Crescamus Lodge.

Surrey 2019 Festival Abseiled for RMBI

Guildford Cathedral Abseiled

Cheered on by supporters from across the Province, including many from Crescamus Lodge in Croydon; the participants climbed the tower’s 249 steps to a height of 160 feet. From there they enjoyed the wonderful panoramic views of the Surrey countryside. They then took the perilous step of stepping off the roof backward before enjoying the thrill of the journey down.

Surrey 2019 Festival

All funds will go to the Surrey 2019 Festival appeal. The Surrey 2019 Festival is supporting the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution. The RMBI has cared for older Freemasons and their dependants for over 160 years. It operates seventeen care homes across England and Wales, offering residential, nursing, respite and dementia care.

The Next Challenge

Having conquered Mount Snowdon in 2015, thrown themselves out of an airplane from 13,000 feet above Salisbury Plain in 2016, the hardy gang of charity fundraisers will be looking forward to their next challenge when they take on the world’s fastest zip wire at Zipworld at over 100 mph in 2018.

You can sponsor our brave abseiler, Harriet, by visiting

Freemasons Extreme Cathedral Abseil for Charity

On Saturday 6 May, the wife of one of Crescamus Lodge’s Past Masters will abseil 160-feet down Guildford Cathedral. Following her parachute jump last year for the 2019 Festival, the journey down the Cathedral will be her latest challenge.


She will form part of a team of 49 brave Freemasons, friends and family from across Croydon and Surrey who will abseil down the Cathedral led by the Provincial Grand Master R.W. Bro Ian Chandler.

Abseil Down Guildford Cathedral
Guildford Cathedral

The Cathedral

Designed by Sir Edward Maufe and built between 1936 and 1961, the Cathedral is the seat of the Diocese of Guildford. It stands in a commanding spot on Stag Hill — so named because the Kings of England used to hunt there — and its solid red brick outline is visible for miles around.

It is a Grade II* listed building and its tower is 160-feet (49 m) high. At the top of the tower stands a 15-foot gilded angel, which turns with the wind. The Golden Angel on the top of the tower was given in memory of Sgt. Reginald Adgey-Edgar of the Intelligence Corps, who died on active service in 1944 during World War II.

The Challenge

Those taking part will have to climb the Tower’s spiral staircase of 249 steps to a height of 160-feet. From there they will enjoy the wonderful panoramic views of Guildford and Surrey. Inspired by the Golden Angel, they will climb over the top of the tower and enjoy the thrill of the journey down.


All funds will go to the Surrey 2019 Festival appeal for the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution. The RMBI run 17 care homes across England and Wales. They offer residential, nursing, respite and dementia care.

To sponsor Harriet simply visit her Everyday Hero page at

Jump for 2019!

On Saturday 16th July, a troop of Brethren and their wives from across the Province of Surrey headed by our Provincial Grand Master R.W. Bro. Ian Chandler threw themselves out a plane in a series of tandem skydives all in the aid of the Surrey 2019 Festival in aid of the RMBI.

Jump for 2019
One of the team jumping for the Surrey 2019 Festival

Those taking part with the Provincial Grand Master were Lucy Bryce, Steve Butwell, Paul Crockett and his daughter Meg, Georgina Cook, Beverley Field, Carol Magee, Harriet Norman, David Oliver, Terry Owens and his daughter Zoe, Brian Cox, Linda Ribbands, Phil Warnes and Angela Parsons. Congratulations to all of them!

Crescamus Lodge was well represented by the wife of one of our former Masters who was one of the first to jump! Many thanks to all who jumped, so far they have raised over £22,000 with more money still to come in.

Surrey 2019 RMBI Festival

The R.W. Provincial Grand Master Eric Stuart-Bamford launched the 2019 Surrey Festival at the beginning of the year. In doing so he set an ambitious target of £3.25 million for the Brethren of Surrey to raise for the RMBI.

What is a Festival?

A Festival is a major fund-raising project, spread over several years to help one of the four central Masonic Charities. Either the Freemason’s Grand Charity, the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys or the Masonic Samaritan Fund. It is believed that the Festival system was devised in 1942. Due to the Second World War, there were a great number of disadvantaged Freemasons, wives, widows and children. Each major charity has one Masonic Province or groups of smaller Provinces “In Festival” each year and each province is “In Festival” every 11 years. The period of a Festival is usually between 5 and 10 years.

The Festival System is so called because, at the end of a period of fund raising, there is a Festival banquet. This is attended by as many of the Brethren and their ladies as is possible, at which a symbolic cheque for the total sum raised is presented to the President of the particular charity.

The Surrey 2019 Festival will support the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution. RMBI has cared for older Freemasons and their dependants for over 160 years. It operates seventeen care homes across England and Wales, offering residential, nursing, respite and dementia care. Admission to RMBI Homes is on a fee paying basis but with charitable support towards care fees for those in receipt of Local Authority funding.

Festival Jewel

2019 Festival JewelThe Provincial Grand Master is asking all Brethren and Companions from within the Province of Surrey to support the Festival. This can be by making a financial commitment to the RMBI and supporting any events in aid of the Festival. They can also show their support by wearing a 2019 Festival Jewel.

Most Festivals have a figurehead who presides over the event; the President of the Surrey 2019 Festival is the Provincial Grand Master. The Festival is the climax of five years of fundraising by a Province. It is celebrated by hosting a Festival Banquet, attended by those who have qualified as Stewards together with their ladies. The Province will have raised money and donated to the Festival throughout all this period.

The Masonic Charities

Every year there are four Masonic Festivals, one for each of the four Masonic charities. The Festival system spreads the load evenly over the 47 Masonic Provinces in England and Wales ensuring an annual income for the Masonic charities but also allows those Provinces not in a Festival period to alternatively give to other causes of their own choice.

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the United Grand Lodge of England created what are now four charities to specifically support as the core of our Masonic fundraising, the four Grand Charities:

  • The Grand Charity – making donations to both Masonic and Non-Masonic charities
  • The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution – Helping Freemasons and their dependents with housing and care
  • The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys – Helping with the education of the children of both Freemasons and Non-Freemasons
  • The Masonic Samaritan Fund – Helping Freemasons and their dependents with medical care

Obviously, these charities each need real income to cover their large expenditure. A very high proportion of their annual funding income comes each year from one of the 47 Provinces; that is, from the results of an extended period of charitable giving by the Province’s brethren, called a Festival, over anything from 5 to 7 years.

The members of Crescamus Lodge will be involved in many events over the next five years to support the 2019 Festival and RMBI; so remember to keep a look out for what they are up to.