December 2020 newsletter

By Mission in Action

On 8 December 2020

Faith, hope and charity in a time of pandemic

The global and local impact of Covid-19 has challenged Mission in Action at St Peter’s to be adaptable and innovative. As doors have closed so new opportunities have arisen.

     All our scheduled bi-monthly meetings have been held, four of them on Zoom. The Lent Project in aid of Tools With A Mission grew into the Harvest Project. Tools donated earlier in the year filled a whole van and were taken to Coventry in October for refurbishment and eventual transport to training centres in Africa. As we could not hold retiring collections in church, parishioners were invited to send donations to TWAM online or by post. This can still be done! For more information, visit www.twam.uk

     Many charities are currently in great difficulties. If you support a charity whose work you wish to publicise, please talk to any of the Mission in Action team.

     Looking ahead, our specific contribution, however small, needs to be seen in the context of a global pandemic, the huge disparities between rich and poor – both locally and globally – and the challenges of out-of-control global warming. General Synod of The Church of England decided to go carbon neutral by 2030, a titanic task. One way St Peter’s can start the journey is to become an Eco Church (see www.arocha.co.uk). Watch this space!  

     As Christians we are called to live by faith in Hope, to take positive actions in whatever ways we can, and resist the temptation to believe there is nothing we can do to address these huge issues.

     Everyone is called to play a part in the Mission of the Church. MiA is a small team and we welcome the involvement of anyone wishing to share ideas on how we can serve our local community in new ways or contribute to needs in the wider world. Thank you.

Keith Neal, Chair, Mission in Action team   

Christian Aid 2021    

In common with charities large and small, Christian Aid faced a huge challenge to make Christian Aid Week 2020 work in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. The week of 10-16 May was in the first national lockdown, when we were all struggling to find our way in this strange new world. Our traditional house-to-house collections and anticipated face-to-face events could not take place. We couldn’t have collections at normal Sunday services, as St Peter’s was closed for communal worship.

Whilst Christian Aid the organisation rose to the challenge and rolled out virtual/online events, here at St Peter’s we floundered in those early days of Zoom calls and online webinars, terms which are now part of our everyday language. Our fundraising efforts in 2020 were therefore restricted to individual online donations direct to Christian Aid for the year’s focus on climate action. Thanks to all who donated in this way.

     Christian Aid Week 2021 is likely to retain the theme of combating the ongoing climate chaos in the poorest countries of the world, where coronavirus is only one of many daily dangers to be faced. As social distancing restrictions may still be in place, house-to-house collections are likely to be replaced with a street collection and perhaps online events, now that we are more comfortable with all things virtual. More news on this in due course!

Funding allocations for 2021: your say

St Peter’s makes  its funding commitments (using the 10% of annual giving that is allocated for this purpose) for three years at a time, allowing the charities we support to forward-plan. The latest three-year cycle comes to an end in December, meaning all our funding commitments, overseas and closer to home, are up for review. If there’s a charity or project you particularly care about, locally or overseas, do please let us know so we can include it in our deliberations.      

If you have ideas for a future Lent or Harvest project, we’d also love to hear from you.  Current team members are: Sara Apps, Kate Barlow, John Farmer, Mary Graham, Caroline Greenwood, Kate Hass and Keith Neal. Please talk to any of us – and you would also be most welcome to the team.

Save your Christmas stamps for The Leprosy Mission

Cut the stamps carefully from envelopes, leaving a border no greater than 7mm (a quarter-inch). If possible, separate British from foreign stamps and place them in the basket on the shelf in the North porch of church, preferably in envelopes or paper bags. Complete stamp collections, foreign coins and used postcards are also welcome. Please talk to Keith Neal if you have any of these.

To find out more about the Leprosy Mission’s work, visit www.leprosymission.org.uk

Afrinspire: Nursery school update

Schools across Africa have had to close during the  Covid pandemic but Afrinspire’s partners in northern Uganda have used  the time to build new classrooms.

The Big Give Christmas
Challenge: 1-8 December

Big Give Christmas Challenge is running from noon on 1 December until noon on 8 December. Hundreds of charities participate, with champions guaranteeing to double donations up to a given amount. SolarAid, one of the charities we support, has £35,000 guaranteed and is aiming to raise this amount itself, including Gift Aid, so that 90,000 people can have access to a solar light. For more information visit

https://solar-aid.org

Lights for sale

Small portable solar lights cost £10 each, which includes a donation to the charity as it provides solar lights to hospitals and health clinics in Zambia and Malawi during the Covid pandemic. Here in the UK a light can be used in the home, car, or the great outdoors —or wherever light is needed. Keith Neal

https://solar-aid.org

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