Chomping for Choppers

The newly-invested 2023 cohort of Metropolitan Grand Stewards has planned a series of events during their year in office through which they hope to raise £20,000 for this worthy cause. The first was “Chomping for Choppers”. W Bro Sami Steinbock MetGStwd explains: “Before we were invested, the Craft Metropolitan Stewards had a social to get to know each other. One of our year, W Bro Will Clayton MetGStwd, is the proprietor of a wine bar, the Cork & Bottle, in Leicester Square, and that’s where we held the first social. After the Investiture, we were inspired both by the Up Against Time appeal, and also UGLE and SGC’s new campaign highlighting the indissoluble links between the Craft and the Royal Arch. We wanted to work with our counterpart Stewards from Metropolitan Grand Chapter to raise £20,000 – to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter.

“Bro Will offered not only to host a fundraising event, but to turn over his wine bar to the cause, providing a three-course Sunday roast and wine to every attendee free of charge, so that 100% of the proceeds from tickets to the event would go to the Up Against Time appeal”

Bro Will says it was “a really important cause to get behind. You never know when someone will need an air ambulance, and to see Freemasons coming together and donating for this cause is just brilliant.”

E Comp Carl Lillington MetGStwd said, from the Chapter Stewards’ perspective, “We all immediately wanted to help. We’ve really enjoyed working with the Craft Stewards and we’re really looking forward to working together long term!”

With Bro Will in charge of preparation and logistics of the day, assisted by Bro Sami, W Bro Tom Currie MegGStwd, and Comp Carl taking the lead on spreading the word and selling tickets, the event was a spectacular success, raising a staggering £7000 – already over a third of the target for the year with just the first event.

The day saw dozens of London Masons, from Right Worshipful Brethren through to some of London’s youngest masons, together with partners, enjoying an excellent roast dinner, some very special wines, and all the camaraderie, humour and warm friendship our fraternity enjoys. E Comp Ian Clark PGSwdB, AMetGSupt said “What a great idea, and such a wonderful way to spend a Sunday, raising money for charity.” W Bro Derek Morley PJGD, MetGInsp concurred: “A worthy charity, a great turnout, I can’t thank everyone enough for turning up and contributing.”

Also attending were Jonathan Jenkins and Tanya Moss from the London Air Ambulance Charity. Tanya admitted, “we weren’t sure about approaching the London Freemasons as we had already been selected as a charity appeal so recently. But speaking with various people from Metropolitan, it became clear that Freemasons’ hearts and minds are still with the air ambulance. I think the fact that you’ve been behind us at every part of our history, funded our cars, funded our helicopters, it made so much so sense to come to you again. If we weren’t to do that, it would feel like we were excluding you from a moment in our history.” Jonathan and Tanya went on to explain that London Freemasons’ support helps allow the service to now cover 99% of London.

Keep your eyes peeled for further events as the 2023 Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter Stewards try to hit their goal of £20,000 for 20 years of Metropolitan!