The new deputy head of the district’s freemasons is promising a review of the cash the order spends on charity every year.
Mike Stimson, 66, takes over from Clifford Drake, 67, who has spent eight years in the role, a voluntary but virtually full-time post, aimed at supporting the two lodges and one chapters based at the Masonic Centre in Wing Road, Linslade.
Mr Stimson, a fire safety consultant, said: “Charity is one of the three main masonic principles, along with friendship and decency, so I owe it to the 3,500 freemasons in Bucks to make sure their money is invested wisely.”
He hopes to increase the amount of money given to worthy causes throughout the county, through his chairmanship of the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund, and the Bucks Masonic Benevolent Fund.
The former pledges money to community projects in the area, while the latter gives financial help to individuals facing a variety of personal problems, such as illness, bereavement, or other emergencies.
Mr Stimson said: “Headlines suggest the economy is gradually improving but there are many hundreds of people in our area who are facing a real struggle to make ends meet.
“Our donors, ordinary freemasons, are also facing reduced real incomes so squaring the circle is a significant challenge.
“My priority therefore is to ensure our two local masonic charities are operating as efficiently as they can do, getting the maximum benefit to beneficiaries as soon as is reasonably possible.”
The two Bucks funds which he will chair are independent of the freemasons’ Grand Charity, which works on a national level.”
Mr Stimson joined freemasonry in 1975. He and his wife, Shirley, have three grown-up children and enjoy gardening and social events.
He added: “It’s a real privilege to be given the chance to make lasting changes for freemasonry in Buckinghamshire.
“I also want to publicise the many benefits one gets from becoming involved in the hobby, such as improved confidence, a wider circle of friends, the opportunity to assist others in the community and a great sense of achievement in being able to help others less fortunate than ourselves.”
More details about how freemasons help the community at www.buckspgl.org