Thoughtful talk shows how the Boaz Trust makes a difference
Tim Emerton’s address at our 10am service on 21 November highlighted the complex needs of refugees and asylum-seekers in Manchester — and what is being done to help them
St Peter’s supports Manchester’s Boaz Trust with a share of the 10 per cent of annual giving to our church that is put aside for charitable causes. So we were keen to hear more about the Trust’s work with refugees and asylum-seekers.
We learnt that by the end of 2020 more than 80 million people around the globe had been displaced from their homes by war, famine, persecution or natural disaster. Those who arrive in the UK, a tiny fraction of that total, can wait many months for asylum claims to be processed and, if they are turned down, many end up destitute on the streets when all support is stopped.
Inspired by the Old Testament story of Boaz’s compassion for the foreigner Ruth, the Boaz Trust offers asylum-seekers practical and emotional help. Those who have been granted refugee status or other leave to remain are also helped to find accommodation, access education and find jobs.
As a result of Covid, the Trust’s night shelter has had to close, but this has prompted new ways of working. ‘Floating support’ teams now meet sanctuary-seekers in hotels and hostels to assess their situation. Asylum claims can be looked at by a solicitor and, where appropriate, help is given to find relevant paperwork or evidence. Help to access GP and dental services is also offered. It’s a holistic approach and it’s helping to transform desperate lives.
•Find out more at www.boaztrust.org.uk
Harvest Project update
Thank you to everyone who gave so generously to our Harvest Project in aid of the satellite broadcaster SAT-7, which reaches 25 million people across the Middle East and North Africa. In September, we were pleased to welcome Bishop John Hayden to tell us more about the network and the role it plays across a troubled region. To date, we have raised almost £1,175 to help SAT-7 keep broadcasting. When Gift Aid is added, this rises to around £1,400. The folk at SAT-7 send their love and thanks to everyone.
The Leprosy Mission needs your used postage stamps! Please cut them from envelopes, leaving a border of 7mm (a quarter-inch), and place them in the basket in the North porch of church. If possible, separate British and foreign stamps and place them in small paper bags. More information: see Keith Neal.
For your diary: we mark World Leprosy Day on Sunday 23 January 2022.
Syria Relief: Winter Emergency Campaign
After a decade of conflict, millions of Syrians are still living in overcrowded displacement camps where poverty and disease are rife. At St Peter’s, we have been supporting children’s education in Syria via the Manchester-based charity, Syria Relief. But this winter the priority will be to provide for basic survival.
In some camps, the temperature drops as low as minus 10°C in winter. With the economic situation worse than it has ever been, for most displaced people basic items such as fuel are now simply unaffordable. In their attempts to keep warm, some refugee families are burning toxic rubbish to heat their tents. Parents make impossible choices, such as deciding which child should eat on the basis of who is the most fragile or sick. Many are forced to choose between spending what money they have on blankets or on medicine.
Syria Relief’s Winter Emergency Campaign is in support of workers on the ground delivering emergency winter relief to families across Syria, the surrounding countries and in Yemen. If you can, please help.
• To donate, please visit www.syriarelief.org.uk
Afrinspire: a promising school report
Afrinspire helped set up six schools in New South Sudan between 2006 and 2016, starting with the simple act of erecting a roof — creating both a school and a community meeting point. Since 2016, against the backdrop of ongoing civil war, Afrinspire has helped to create seven schools inside the South Sudanese refugee settlement in Uganda. Our support has been a key element in moving this work forward.
Ninety per cent of fuel used for cooking in countries such as Uganda is wood or charcoal. But one Afrinspire women’s group in the Isingero region has taken delivery of a machine for making smokeless briquettes from charred biomass mixed with clay and cassava flour. Not only does this avoid felling trees; the stoves are more efficient, and clean. Find out more at www.afrinspire.org.uk
Hope Centre: your tins please
Last year’s fundraiser in aid of the Hope Centre in Partington was a great success, but now it’s grocery donations they need, for their community shop. All tinned goods are welcome, along with tea,
instant coffee and Longlife milk. Please place any donations in one of the plastic boxes at the back of church, for delivery to Partington.
Eco church: going for bronze
The Eco church concept challenges parishes like St Peter’s to work out their carbon footprint and take practical steps to clean up their act — starting with an inventory of energy use. The St Peter’s Eco working group is moving to apply for Eco church Bronze status, all too aware that climate change is behind so many of our world’s current problems. Find out more at https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk
To download a PDF of the Mission in Action Winter 2021/22 newsletter click here