His role is to keep in touch with, and assist where necessary, members and their families in times of illness or distress.
The Almoner has access to funds from the Lodge accounts for specific purposes, such as providing Christmas cards and gifts to the widows of former members.
Each Almoner has his own method of working, but will typically:
- Maintain contact – by personal visits or by telephone – with members who are unable to attend meetings because they are unwell, in hospital or experiencing other problems
- Organise practical and – if necessary – financial help for members when they or their families are in difficulties
- Maintain contact with the widows (and any other dependants) of deceased members
The Almoner provides a very important link to various sources of assistance, particularly through the Freemasonry Cares initiative which was launched in 2009 to raise awareness of the assistance available to Freemasons and their dependants.
Freemasonry Cares is not a separate charity but pulls together the support available from the central Masonic Charities.
The initiative supports the work of Lodge Almoners through its primary aims of:
- Making more Freemasons and their dependants aware of the financial, healthcare and family help available to them from the central Masonic Charities.
- Providing an additional route for individuals to access the support of the charities and make contact with their Almoner.
Pocket cards and leaflets are available free of charge by calling the Freemasonry Cares freephone telephone number: 0800 035 60 90.