The formation of the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) heralds the next important step in the provision of centrally organised charitable support by the masonic community.  This is fundamental to the future of Freemasonry generally and its well established charitable reputation. A successful MCF will play an important part in promoting and developing its charitable ethos.  To ensure that the MCF achieves this and the wider set of objectives identified in the Presidents’ review, it requires committed and experienced leadership.

An Appointments Panel, consisting of the Presidents of the four central Masonic charities, with the guidance of an independent Chairman and external consultants, has undertaken a comprehensive recruitment process to select the right person to lead the new charity.

A substantial number of applications were received, of which eight were invited to attend for interview.  The Panel was very impressed with many of the candidates, including all four of our own CEOs, all of whom demonstrated to us that we do indeed employ some great management within our current Masonic charities.

Following a second round of interviews, during which the shortlisted candidates were required to detail their vision for the MCF, the Appointments Panel has made two appointments.


David Innes will be appointed CEO, with the remit to lead the management and staff team in line with the original CEO Job Description. As you know David is currently Chief Executive of the RMBI and has been closely involved in the development of the plans for the new charity.  Having heard his plans for the MCF, the Presidents know that he is excited about the opportunities that await and is looking forward to working with the staff, the Trustees and the wider Masonic community to secure the future of MCF.

Following 34 years in the Army, David joined the charity sector in 2005.  His first job was to set up the Canterbury Cathedral Global Fundraising Appeal before being appointed as Chief Executive of the RMBI in May 2008.  In addition to his principal job he has a number of other commitments including Governor of Mid Kent College and Chairman of Mid Kent College Training Services.  David and his wife live in Kent and have two grown-up children.

The second appointment being made is that of Les Hutchinson, who will be appointed as Chief Operating Officer, to lead most of the operations, services and administration activity of MCF, so vital if there is to be a seamless transition of support to our beneficiaries as well as the introduction of new and improved ones. David is fully supportive of this appointment.

Les (a member of Mountsfield Lodge 6548) has worked for the RMTGB since 1988. Having started as a management trainee, he was appointed Chief Executive in 2008. During his time at the charity he has successfully combined his working life with academic study gaining an MBA and becoming a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.  Les is an active Freemason having been initiated in 1989.  He lives in Kent with his wife and two teenage sons.

Les’s appointment will allow David to concentrate on strategic development, financial, HR and policy issues of MCF, which will be so important in the early years as the new charity creates its own identity.

It is  most gratifying that having gone through a full external recruitment process, benchmarking all our own CEOs against the others from other major charities, we have proved, (if indeed we ever needed to), that our existing charities already have wonderful leadership and that our new one will continue that tradition.

Under this new leadership, the current Presidents and the Trustees of MCF are confident that the new charity and all its staff, beneficiaries and other stakeholders will be in safe hands.  More details on the next steps will be communicated in due course through all available channels.

Richard Hone – President Grand Charity
Mike Woodcock – President Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys
James Newman – President Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution
Willie Shackell – President Masonic Samaritan Fund