Charity news 2016
20 charities helped by St James in 2016
Many donations were from the £10,000 set aside in the parish budget for charitable grants, with half of this sum supporting the work of charities here at home, such as the Greenwood Centre, the Church Urban Fund and SPEAR. The other half went to support our overseas connections including Milo hospital in Tanzania and our mission partners, David and Shelley Stokes, in 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. Almost £700 came from the Children’s Society collecting boxes that parishioners have in their homes.
Giving in kind is very important too. Many people continue to donate a wide range of items to Tools with a Mission via our parish contact, Janet Nunn. The main costs of this fine charity are in shipping the goods overseas and St James is glad to help with a donation of about £400 each year.
Money collected from the local community during Christian Aid Week in May typically raises over £3500 for a charity that works with people of all faiths and none to combat poverty and injustice. This is a great addition to all the donations St James makes from its own income.
The Children's Society
Last year, we passed on a request from The Children’s Society, in response to declining collection box income, to see if new box holders would come forward – their request was positively received and continues a long history of St James’s supporting their work.
There is more to be done. The charity recently released their first report on the link between poverty and mental health among youngsters. It revealed that children who live in poverty are at serious risk, yet only 1 in 10 mental health trusts see them as a priority group for access to mental health services.
Christingle’s candle collection boxes are another way of helping the charity. Perhaps you might make it a more permanent arrangement through the regular collection boxes too. Speak to Nicky or David Hetling to find out more.
St Luke's Hospital in Milo, Tanzania
The photo shows matron Saraphina with her son Moses. While she is on maternity leave, Flora Kilwale is acting matron. Flora’s father was our dear friend Benaiah who died in 2011.
The parish of Milo belongs to the Diocese of South West Tanganyika where Bishop Matthew Mhagama is doing a fine job. The transfer and accountability of funds is managed by our friends in Wales and we always hear when any donation reaches the hospital. This year they intend to put our gift of £750 towards buying a second oxygen concentrator.
Tools with a Mission (TWAM)
One such example is Daniel, a 19-year-old student at TWAM’s Ugandan partner, Kira Farm. He spent much of his life fending for himself, earning a pittance making mud-bricks until Kira staff invited him to join a carpentry course. At the end of his training he was given his own carpentry kit and proudly returned home with more tools than he could ever have dreamed of. He opened a workshop and now employs a friend. They make beds, chairs and sideboards and Daniel’s dream is to have a big workshop training young people. It is heartening to think that tools like Sid’s will end up changing lives, enabling others, like Daniel, earn a living.
By supporting the development of local skills, USPG seeks to effect change from within and thereby avoid dependency. Rachel Parry spoke about tea plantation workers in Sri Lanka, where for generations people have seen this arduous work as their only option. One young man, who is not a Christian, has been helped to train as a doctor and many more lives are being transformed through education.
Church Missionary Society
David is involved in training church leaders across 150 churches in the indigenous part of the diocese, scattered over three provinces. David worked with a group of Wichi leaders on the revision of hymn books in the Wichi language, Lhatenekhi, and St James’s Lent Appeal in 2014 raised £2100 for printing more copies. Shelley works mainly with the women, helping with conferences and encouraging parenting groups. She has helped set up AMARE, a women’s group affiliated with the Mothers’ Union. It now has 750 members in 11 zones. The teaching for new members is based on loving God and our neighbour, including forgiveness and reconciliation where there are relationship problems. There are regular reports about them on the charities board.
London Churches Refugee Fund
The charity was set up in response to the needs of organisations in the London Churches Refugee Network (LCRN). LCRN members range from individual churches assembling food parcels to large drop-in centres offering a range of services, advice and counselling. Though they achieve miracles with gifts in kind and free help, some items need cash.
Church Urban Fund
Central to the Fund’s work is its support and development of capacity for action at the local level through a network of partnerships with individual dioceses called the Together Network. Its partnership with the Diocese of London was launched at St Paul’s Cathedral last November and is called Capital Mass. The participation section has a very long list of wide ranging projects where volunteers are working hard to make a difference. They include the Upper Room in Hammersmith, whose work we support and admire.
The Diocese of London’s Lent Appeal for persecuted Christians in Iraq and Syria has raised funds for two charities (Open Doors and Aid to the Church in Need) that are running vital projects among the beleaguered Christian communities in those countries.
Start your day the Fairtrade way
Yet despite our dependence on farmers and workers around the globe, many don’t earn enough to provide sufficient food for their families.
We must remember that every time we buy a product with the Fairtrade Mark, we help to improve their lives. Remind yourself of lives improved during breakfast and commit to buying Fairtrade products whenever you can.