The Bailiff with the Grand Prior at the House of Lords
On the afternoon of 10 November, almost 70 members and guests from England and Wales gathered in the splendid surroundings of the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace of the House of Lords for tea with our new Grand Prior, the Marquis of Lothian.
Despite the gloomy weather outside, the atmosphere was animated, and the views across the Thames as spectacular as always. New acquaintances were made and old ones renewed over a sumptuous tea, rounded off by a glass of Prosecco before departure. 11 of our 15 commanderies were represented and special guests included Peter Walker, Chief Executive of The Leprosy Mission and James Wells, Chief Executive of EMMS International (2 of the major charities supported by the Order’s charitable giving)
Lord Lothian welcomed visitors to the House and spoke of his pleasure at being invited to take on the role of Grand Prior. He was honoured to follow in the footsteps of his uncle, Lord Ferrers, who had always held the Order in the highest regard and had served as Grand Prior with great distinction until his death in 2012.
Lord Lothian also spoke of his great interest in the charitable work of the Order, undertaken through the new combined charity, the St Lazarus Charitable Trust. He welcomed particularly the practical nature of the projects supported by the Order, such as the support for the Rainbow and Bankura Homes in India, which would be forced to close without the funding provided by the Order, and thanked members for their ongoing generosity.
In December, the Bailiff announced that the Grand Priory of England and Wales had identified, through its two charitiable bodies, two specific projects that we have promised to support. These are the Bankura Old People's home in West Bengal, which provides a safe home for 46 elderly people who are affected by leprosy, and the Rainbow Children's home at Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh. This provides care for 44 children from leprosy colonies in the region, and will also enable the rescue of a further five children affected by leprosy.
Commanderies were asked to support these two projects in a special appeal so that we can help to keep them open. Both projects are run by the Leprosy Mission, but our financial support for them both is essential.
You can view the Project sheets by clicking on one of the following links:
In March 2013, we received a progress report from the Rainbow Project, which can be read here.
We are delighted to announce that the commission raised by our members through our easyfundraising link has now reached the £300 mark. This is a fantastic achievement considering that we have been in the scheme for only twelve months.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with easyfundraising, you can find out more by clicking here. Essentially, though, it is an incredibly simple way of raising funds for our charity every time that you purchase goods on the Internet.
At the end of January we had 37 people registered on our easyfundraising page, but it easy to become forgetful, and we need to remind those 37 to keep using the site for their shopping, and to ask other members to consider registering. There is nothing dodgy or suspicious about this - the retailers are happy to pay a small commission in return for shoppers using their site.
You can now help us without doing any shopping yourself simply by referring other organisations. Surely everybody knows a church, scout group, charitable organisation, etc, which is constantly holding fundraising events. If you refer them to easyfundraising using our unique reference number and they sign up (free of charge), then St Lazarus Foundation will receive 20% of all their commission! (They still receive the full commission). So don't delay, refer today! Click here to find out our reference number.
If you read the article under Charitable Aims about online shopping, you will see that we have links with Easyfundraising and The Giving Machine to enable the St Lazarus Foundation to receive donations every time you shop online. I have just made my first purchase using this link with Scotts of Stow, and it is so easy - it takes you to the retailer's standard site - you just have to remember to go through this site to do your shopping and earn a donation. Although I spent only £10, their donation is 5%, so our charity will receive 50p. Perhaps you could do the same? Click here to go to the page.