Charity news 2017

Church Mission Society
- we support David and Shelley Stokes in Argentina

Just after Easter in April 1999 Dennis, Henry and I (Elizabeth Wilmot) left the UK to begin a 12 month sabbatical travelling around the world. We spent eight of those 12 months in Salta Province in Argentina, 1,600km northwest of Buenos Aires, in the foothills of the Andes.  We were warmly welcomed into the Anglican church of San Andres in Salta, the provincial capital, and met many inspiring people there and through the church, including David and Shelley Stokes. At that time they were serving with the South American Missionary Society living and working with the Wichí people, a group of indigenous Indians, in Misiòn Chaqueña where we stayed with them overnight and had a chance to see the work they were doing there.  After a decade back in England where David was ordained, they were invited to return to serve in northern Argentina with the Church Mission Society in 2010 and shortly afterwards they were partnered with St James’s and we help to support the work they do by contributing through our charities and links.

They are now based in Juárez, a small town in the remote north of Argentina, but a relatively central location for visiting the 150 or so small Anglican churches scattered across the area known as the Chaco. All are led by local leaders. 

Living in Juárez is challenging; the climate is very hot, and in this settler town there is an uneasy mix of Criollo (Argentine settlers), Wichí and Toba cultures. Travelling on dusty or muddy roads and staying in communities is always an adventure.

David has been coordinating the training for new and existing church leaders, as well as helping revise the service book for Wichí-speaking church members which St James’s helped to finance through the Lent Appeal in 2014.  A recent training course in Juarez saw a group of 70 new students, and following heavy rain that left the roads very muddy, the usual 2 hour journey back to their homes took the students 30 hours! Shelley has been working with AMARE, which is the Argentine branch of Mothers’ Union. AMARE encourages women to put their faith and love into action and now has over 1000 members in many different communities with many different challenges.

Do take a look at David and Shelley’s regular newsletters which are displayed on the Charities Board in Church or read their latest newsletter at www.churchmissionsociety.org/our-stories.  We are very pleased to announce that they are coming to St James’s in October and will be giving a talk about their work over a fish and chip supper in the hall on Saturday 28th, and speaking in church on Sunday 29th at the 9.30 service.  Please save these dates in your diaries now.

Guests at Upper RoomThe Upper Room

Many readers will know that St James is a long-term supporter of the Upper Room, typically through the Harvest Festival collection. From its base at St Saviour’s Church in west Hammersmith, this front-line charity gives a helping hand to homeless people, destitute migrants and ex-offenders, enabling them to improve their lives and conditions.

The Bishop of Kensington, Graham Tomlin, is a patron of the Upper Room and commends the fact that this small community based charity gives a human face to those in need of its compassionate outreach.

There are three main strands to the charity’s work:

UR4Meals Project provides free evening meals five days a week to between 80 and 120 people, in a warm and hospitable environment. Annually this comes to around 26,000 meals and 6,000 takeaways.

The meal service depends on volunteers from the local community. Andrew, the head chef, is very creative and talks about his work at www.theupperroom.org.uk/ur4meals.

UR4Jobs Project helps to break the vicious circle of homelessness and unemployment, by providing a multilingual and holistic mixture of support, entry level skills training and access to jobs.

UR4Driving Project helps improve the employability of ex-offenders and reduces their risk of re-offending. Candidates who exhibit the utmost commitment and pass their Theory Test are given free driving instruction and take the practical test to obtain a full driving licence.

Guest speaker on 17 September at 9.30am

Simon Tuke (Chair of Trustees since 2005) will be speaking at our 9.30am service and will have first-hand knowledge of all these projects. Please be in church to welcome him.

Harvest Festival on 1 October at 11am

St James will be collecting certain long-life food items and toiletries, so call in and pick up a flyer of what is required or phone the parish office. It really helps if people donate what is most needed.

There will also be a money collection at this service to help the Upper Room with their many expenses. Please give generously and use gift aid if you can. If you’re not in church that day, please hand in your donation to the parish office by mid-October.

Tools with a Mission (TWAM)

Janet Nunn has been a collecting centre for Tools With A Mission (TWAM) since 2010 and has used her garage to store tools for carpentry, electrics, plumbing, gardening, anything connected with sewing or knitting, laptops and computer monitors — and even bicycles.

In April she had her 20th collection with the charity’s new van. Everything is done by volunteers; from collecting to driving the vans to Ipswich, unloading and sorting the equipment, repairing where necessary, and then making boxes or kits ready to be shipped by sea to their destination.

TWAM’s current project is focussing on providing people with boxes of tools. It is amazing to see how a simple selection of tools can change someone’s life. One tool kit costs roughly £25 to send to Africa and may be given to a newly-trained parent so they can work and pay for their children’s education, put food on their table and keep a roof over their heads.

This year, St James’s is giving the charity a donation of £400 from the budget.

TWAM are about to send another two huge containers to Lubumbashi in the war-torn area of the Democratic Republic of Congo. These will immeasurably help people and communities scarred by war, giving them the chance to work themselves out of poverty.

Janet has recently had the offer of a whole garage of tools from a house that is being cleared – this is what makes TWAM so worthwhile. The loan of her garage to collect tools is the first step to helping so many people.

DDP partnerDisability and Development Partners (DDP)

Disability and Development Partners (DDP) has reached its 25th year of helping to improve the lives of disabled men, women and children in developing countries. St James’s has been a loyal donor and continues its support this year.

Originally known as the Jaipur Limb Campaign, the charity focused on providing rehabilitation services to amputees and campaigning for the ban on landmines. The change of name in 2005 reflects its expanded scope to other disabilities, including the deaf and mentally ill.

DDP is a small charity with an annual income of about £675,000. Its office has just relocated from London to Norwich and there are typically three members of staff. It does not have offices or staff overseas, working instead with local partners in the various countries to help them deliver programmes and initiatives that benefit disabled people. People with disabilities can be easily overlooked in any society, but all the more so where there is poverty.

DDP currently supports partners in Nepal, India, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Burundi and you can read about their life-enhancing work at www.ddpuk.org

The Greenwood Centre

Many of you will have heard of the Greenwood Centre. You may also be aware that a loved member of our church – Hannah Stanton – was involved in setting up the Community Care Group locally.

It was so successful that it soon needed larger premises. St James’s was partly responsible for the building on the present site. This is where our church hall used to be. Selling the land enabled us to build our hall next to the church and the Greenwood Centre was opened in 1992.

There are over 200 volunteers who help the 400 people requiring assistance in various ways; of these 100 people are supported through the befriending service. The key thing is the volunteers are mainly local. They may well know those they help. This leads to community cohesion and the charity can respond quickly to a problem.

An example is an elderly lady whose family no longer live locally. They approached the Greenwood Centre, who found someone to befriend the lady. This started with phone calls and was soon followed by regular visits. Do look at their website for more information on all they do and perhaps consider volunteering there – they also need an editor for their newsletter.

Money is always needed, which is why St James’s gives the Centre an annual donation. The council does give some support, but this is not long - term funding and could easily stop. You, too, could donate an annual sum. Who knows, you may be one of those they help in your old age!

St Richard’s Church (Project Grow)

We are also pleased to be supporting our near neighbour, St Richard’s Hanworth, in their Project Grow. This church, just two miles away, is set in one of the most deprived parishes in England, but the Christian community is thriving and outward looking. The church has a strong connection with families through its children’s work. As evidence of its good reputation, in 2015 the local community primary school became St Richards’s Church of England School.

The church building is becoming increasingly dilapidated. Built in 1965, it has been repeatedly damaged by thieves. St Richard’s has developed a vision for a new building that will be fully accessible and large enough for all the local groups that need space. The project will cost more than £1.3m million; as well as looking for grants the congregation are active in raising money locally.

St James’s has given gifts towards the cost of fundraising as well as towards the overall target.Members of St Richard’s will be visiting St James’s on Sunday 11 June at 0930 to share the latest news. project-grow.org.uk

CA Week 2017Christian Aid Week
Nejebar and her family have fled horrors in Afghanistan, where her husband was threatened  with torture and death for being a government worker. But now they’ve arrived in Greece, all they have is a tent, with no other protection against wind and rain. There is no school for their five children and they have no certainty of what will happen to them. Nejebars strength and steadiness  makes her the rock of the family, holding them together in this difficult and uncertain situation.

Christian Aid has been there for refugees like Nejebar since 1945 providing essential food, shelter and legal assistance. This Christian Aid Week, St James is continuing this support by our door to door collections. Thanks to our collectors we raised £3603 last year. Please give generously when you receive the Christian Aid envelope through your door.

We are always grateful to our collectors and if you would like to join them in supporting Christian Aid please contact the church office on 020 8941 6003.

Skola and Bishop MatthewVisitors from Tanzania
The parish was delighted to welcome Bishop Matthew Mhagama and his wife Skola on 2nd April. They brought news and greetings from Milo hospital, which St James has supported for over 30 years. Bishop Matthew has many plans for income generating projects in his Diocese of South West Tanganyika and will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in September to help fund them. Have a look at the photo album Visitors from Tanzania.

Lent Appeal for ALMA (Delighted to report the appeal raised £2300)
Sowing Seeds for Tomorrow in Angola and Mozambique
St James is supporting the Diocese of London’s Lent Appeal to help its three partner dioceses in Angola and Mozambique. The partnership link is known as ALMA  (Angola London Mozambique Association).

The African bishops all chose projects with an educational theme. Their churches are vibrant and growing and need well trained leaders at all levels, both ordained and lay. We will be joining in with the three educational priorities they have identified as critical for the future of the church.

  1. Angola is increasing the number of classrooms in its church schools to meet the huge need for school places and to meet new government requirements, thereby ensuring a continuing Christian presence.
  2. Lebombo (Southern Mozambique) is initiating a significant project to create a new accredited seminary outside Maputo to train the next generation of church leaders.
  3. Niassa (Northern Mozambique) is building a church training hub with accommodation in Nampula for the huge Lurio region. The hub will be used for training locally ordained priests, lay leaders, Mothers’ Union workers and community development fieldworkers.

These are all ‘church’ projects which would find it difficult to attract other funding, so please help to sow seeds for tomorrow by giving generously. Please put your donation in an envelope, write Lent Appeal on the outside, and bring it to church before the end of April. Cheques payable to St James PCC (Lent Appeal 2017).