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The replacement of WMCO envelopes

posted on 22 August 2016


Replacement of WMCO envelopes with Provincial Relief Chest envelopes during July and August 2016.

I am pleased to announce that during August the existing WMCO envelopes are being phased out and replaced by Worcestershire Provincial Grand Lodge relief chest envelopes. This has been done to help Lodge Charity Stewards in the processing of collections and to standardise procedures with the upcoming Festival 2022.

In simple terms, where you would historically have used the WMCO envelopes, you now use the Worcestershire Provincial Grand Lodge relief chest envelopes. The 2022 envelopes should be used for the Festival and whilst these envelopes are very similar (as they are both Relief Chest Envelopes), one is designated Worcestershire Provincial Relief Chest (E0160) and the other Festival 2022 (E2022).

How to process the collection

The envelope slips need to be completed and as Province will no longer be checking them, could I ask that as much care as possible is given when filling them in. Could I ask the Charity Steward to check they have been completed correctly on the evening and rectify any omissions before processing as below.

Once the envelopes have been collected and the money counted, this should be banked in the same way it has been done previously. The Charity Steward should then draw a cheque on the Lodge’s charity account payable to “The Freemason’s Grand Charity”. This is sent to London with the envelope slips and an envelope verification schedule – these are available in the Masonic Halls.

If the collection was for the 2022 appeal, no further action is needed. Province will receive a record of the donation as well as the individual amounts and these will be added towards any honorifics that may apply (both Lodge and individual).

If the collection is for a different charity (one where we would have used WMCO envelopes) the cheque, verification schedule and envelope slips are likewise sent to London. Confirmation must then be emailed to The Provincial Grand Charity Steward (ChrisF@worcestershirepgl.org.uk) detailing the amount as well as the full details of the beneficiary. This must include the contact name and address where the cheque it to be sent (this may be directly to the Charity or to the Lodge Charity Steward for onward submission).

Once London have received the funds and the verification schedule, they will process and claim the gift aid. The Provincial Charity Steward will then request release of monies and a cheque will be drawn payable to the beneficiary and sent to the address as previously notified to him be email together with confirmation of which Lodge made the donation. Depending on timings and when cheques and gift aid are reclaimed, this process could take up to 6 weeks.

I would also ask that those Lodges that have collections using the old WMCO envelopes and yet to be processed look to do so as soon as possible in the manner they usually do and in any event before the end of August.

Many thanks

Chris Firminger - Provincial Grand Charity Steward.