The Mark Benevolent Fund was established in 1868, on the suggestion of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, the Reverend George Raymond Portal, (in 1881 Canon Portal) who served in that Office for four years. They are responsible for raising and distribution of funds nationally. They hold annual Festivals around the Provinces, and the money raised by these and other efforts is used for both Masonic and none Masonic charities.

In East Lancashire we have the ELMBF (East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund) our own Provincial Mark Charity who administer and distribute funds raised within the province of East Lancashire and any National donations provided by the Mark Benevolent Fund. The ELMBF is administered by a committee of  Management who formulate policy and direct the affairs of the Fund. They are also responsible for the administration of two groups of properties in East Lancashire, provided to give affordable accommodation to elderly Masons, their Widows and dependents; one is in  Bolton, and named Canons Close and the other called Priors Close is in Blackburn.

East Lancashire is unique in being the only Province to provide this facility for its members