Giving in 2016

Charities & Links20 charities helped by St James in 2016

It is very good to report that in 2016 St James continued its proud tradition of giving one tenth of its income to charity. About twenty causes benefited from the total sum of £15,148 as can be seen on the list displayed in church.

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

St James’s recently sent a cheque to The Children’s Society for nearly £700, the combined total from our generous collection box holders. This was a terrific total, representing an increase on last year’s total of well over 20%. Thank you so much to those who collect their loose change for this important charity – you can see how quickly it mounts up!

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 HospitalSt Luke's Hospital in Milo, Tanzania

Dr Adrian Murray visited St Luke’s hospital in September, thanks to the twinning link between Milo and his home parish of Bala in north Wales. He spent a lot of time with Dr Benedict Sandigila and other hospital staff and even performed two Caesarean deliveries! Adrian says the number of babies delivered has been going up thanks to Dr Sandagila’s presence. New solar cells have been installed for lighting and land is being prepared for the construction of a new laboratory.

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.  

TWAMTools with a Mission (TWAM)

Back in July, volunteers from Tools with a Mission arrived at Janet Nunn’s house for their 18th collection of donated tools, sewing machines and bicycles from her garage. The tools were taken to the charity’s store in Ipswich for refurbishment, before being sent abroad. This was a particularly poignant collection as it contained tools donated by Graham Heaford from his father’s garage in Uxbridge Road. Sid had been an enthusiastic carpenter and had a wonderful collection of tools. Now they will be used by TWAM to train future carpenters.

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.

USPGUSPG

In April we welcomed Rachel Parry to speak about the work of USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) throughout the Anglican Communion. The parish has since made a donation of £825 to help their support of two Palestinian hospitals, one in Nablus and one in Gaza. USPG goes back to 1701, with some name changes along the way. It works with church partners around the world who are mostly Anglican, but it also works ecumenically and with other faiths. Its programmes have a deep impact because they are run by churches embedded in the communities they serve. 

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.

CMSChurch Missionary Society

St James’s has contributed to the work of Church Missionary Society for many years. Since 2010 our support has been to David and Shelley Stokes’ work with the indigenous Wichi-speaking people in the Diocese of Northern Argentina. The couple lived and worked in a Wichi community in the 1990s and returned to work in Juarez in 2010 following David’s ordination.

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.

Churches Refugee FundLondon Churches Refugee Fund

This year St James’s is giving £400 to the London Churches Refugee Fund, which raises money to give small grants of up to £750 to churches and community groups assisting destitute asylum-seekers in the London area. More than 20,000 people claim asylum in the UK each year and over two-thirds are initially rejected. ‘Failed’ asylum-seekers are not allowed to work and receive no state benefits. They struggle to stay alive with the help of friends or faith groups.

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.

The Fund was launched at Westminster Abbey in June 2007. It has no staff and all activities are carried out by the trustees and other volunteers. Its funds are restricted to those who are destitute and it will typically give about £20,000 per annum in small grants. Rowan Williams will be the keynote speaker at their AGM on 21 June at St Martin’s Gospel Oak.

Church Urban FundChurch Urban Fund

St James’s is supporting the Church Urban Fund (CUF) with a donation of £800 this year. The Fund was established by the Church of England as a practical response to unmet need and has been active in local communities for over 30 years. All over England, local churches and groups are doing excellent work in their communities to address poverty and deprivation, through initiatives such as night shelters, refugee support, meal provision and debt advice. Many of these initiatives will have benefitted from a CUF grant and advice.

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.

Lent AppealLent Appeal

Total raised - it is very good to report that St James raised £3,034 (including gift aid). Huge thanks for all your donations. The amount raised by churches across the Diocese of London has gone beyond £90,000, well over double the expected sum. A wonderful result all round.

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.

FairtradeStart your day the Fairtrade way

What do you have for breakfast? It probably begins with a cup of tea or coffee, followed by toast and jam, or perhaps cereal, fruit or muesli. Martin Luther King Junior said: ‘Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world.’

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.

SPEARSPEAR

This year St James’s has given £500 to SPEAR, our local charity that helps homeless people on their journey to independence. Each year SPEAR manages the street count for homeless people for the Borough of Richmond, which feeds into the government’s statistics on homelessness. The most well known of its services is the hostel near Richmond roundabout, called Penny Wade House after the inspirational lady who did so much to establish a temporary night shelter in 1986. The hostel has rooms for 14 people and its training room enables clients to access services that include cooking, IT, employment support and gardening.

SPEAR’s outreach team visits rough sleepers at their sleeping sites, building relationships and assessing needs. The rough sleeper helpline (020 8404 1481) receives calls from rough sleepers and concerned members of the public. As expected, the biggest challenge for the team is to find accommodation for the huge numbers of homeless people who approach the service. Volunteer and fundraising help is welcome.