Giving in 2018

Helping two very different projects

Each Lent, St James’s makes a point of identifying ministries or charities to support by giving and prayer. Often members ‘give up something for Lent’ and any money saved is donated to the good cause. This year we have picked two contrasting partners.

WelcareWelcare Although we live in an affluent area, not everyone enjoys a comfortable income, good housing or a happy family life. The poverty rate in Richmond is the lowest in London, but still four children out of a class of 30 live in poverty. When life is hard it can be difficult for parents to cope, and for children to flourish. Growing out of the social action of London churches over 100 years, Welcare invests in families in crisis and need. The SW London (Richmond and Kingston) centres operate from East Sheen and Southfields. They both offer visits from a Family Support Worker, a parenting course, and help with mental health, domestic abuse and substance misuse. Across the whole organisation last year, 417 children and 238 families were given intensive support, and a further 916 children and families received help.

David and Shelley Stokes (Church Mission Society) St James’s has supported David and Shelley for a number of years. Since 2010 they have been based in Juárez in remote North Argentina and in that time their role has developed from being ‘missionary leaders’ to training and enabling Argentians to lead within the Anglican church. David works with the ordained ministers and produces written materials in Wíchi (the predominant native language). Shelley works with the Mothers’ Union (called AMARE). They both visited St James’s in the autumn. We were impressed by their commitment to the church in Argentina, working with so few resources and in difficult conditions. They will serve for three more years before retirement. 

A sewing machine given by TWAMNews

Following the PCC’s difficult decision to suspend charitable grants in 2018 (to help tackle the parish deficit), there will be various fundraising initiatives to continue to support our charities. The first opportunity is our annual Lent Appeal. It typically raises over £2000, and this year we hope to do even better. The sum raised will be divided between Welcare (for their work with families in south west London) and our mission partners in northern Argentina, David and Shelley Stokes. Details will follow in next month’s Spire and on flyers in church, but please note the importance of your donation to help the parish continue its support to both causes.

In 2017 St James’s Church made donations totalling almost £15,000 (a list in church gives details of all the charities we supported). Many donations were from the £10,000 set aside in the parish budget for charitable grants, with half supporting the work of local charities, such as Project Grow at St Richard’s, Hanworth, and the Greenwood Centre. The other half went to support our overseas links, including Milo hospital in Tanzania and the work of David and Shelley Stokes in northern Argentina.

The additional £5000 came from the Lent Appeal, collections at Harvest and Christingle, and from our young people in Shell Seekers who held two fundraising events for the charities of their choice. The Lent Appeal raised £2300, Children’s Society boxes and Advent candles a very pleasing £1000 and the Shell Seekers’ wonderful contribution was almost £500. During Christian Aid Week in May parishioners collected over £3600 from the local community to help this charity continue its ongoing work with people of all faiths and none in combating poverty and injustice.

Many people continue to donate a wide range of items to Tools with a Mission (TWAM) via our parish contact, Janet Nunn. This fine charity refurbishes our surplus goods and ships them to developing countries to enhance the livelihood opportunities of many families. The picture above shows a refurbished sewing machine put to use via TWAM.