One of the most important roles in a Masonic Lodge is that of the Almoner.
An almoner was originally a chaplain or church officer in charge of distributing money (Alms) to the deserving poor. The word derives from the Ancient Greek: ἐλεημοσύνη eleēmosynē (alms), via the popular Latin almosinarius
Caring for others is a key aspect of Masonic philosophy, and the Almoner‘s role is the one where that is put into most direct effect.
The Almoner’s core job is to be the “eyes and ears” of the Lodge, ensuring the welfare of its members and of their widows and dependants.
Specific responsibilities include…
- Maintaining regular contact with sick or distressed Lodge members.
- Maintaining regular contact with Lodge widows/widowers/single members.
- Making contact with families of recently deceased brethren.
- Being alert to the needs and problems of Lodge members and their dependants.
- Making contact with members not attending Lodge meetings.
- Being involved if issues of exclusion of members arise.
- Making new members welcome, in conjunction with the Proposer, Seconder and Lodge Mentor.
- Ensuring that members, partners and dependants are aware of what support may be available.
- Providing support to members in financial difficulty particularly through initiating the process of making applications for help to the Masonic Charitable Foundation.
- Being aware of happier events such as birthdays, births and special wedding anniversaries so that the Lodge can send appropriate greetings.
To perform this role an Almoner needs to possess considerable tact, courtesy, discretion, patience and humour. He needs a sympathetic disposition, a commitment to helping people, and the time and energy to devote to the benefit of Lodge members and their dependants.
Could you do it?