Winter 2023 MiA Newsletter
Christmas Tree Festival: our entry!
December’s inaugural Christmas Tree Festival proved a great way to showcase the various groups associated with our church.
The Mission in Action team had fun with the invitation to think creatively around the need for an artificial tree—we matched a piece of driftwood with the skeleton of an old umbrella. We then set to work decorating the tree with items illustrating some of the charities the St Peter’s family has supported in recent years.
The dolls house toilet, standing for Tearfund’s Toilet Twinning initiative, was a hit with younger visitors. We ‘twinned’ all our church loos with bush toilets for our Lent Project four years ago.
A satellite dish made from an old plastic tub advertised the Christian broadcasting network Sat-7, which serves isolated and often persecuted Christians across the Middle East and north Africa.
A miniature cardboard tent represented Syria Relief, the initiative of Manchester-based Syrian-British doctors. The charity provides humanitarian aid to displaced families in a country ravaged (still) by civil war.
A padded glasses case became a tiny sleeping bag—we have given ongoing support to Manchester’s Boaz Trust, which offers destitute asylum seekers support and a place to stay.
Children’s garden implements stood for Tools with
a Mission, the focus of our Lockdown Project, when congregation members had mass clear-outs of garden sheds, cupboards and sewing rooms. TWAM sends refurbished items to business start-ups in Africa.
We suspended a small bag of frankincense resin from one of the umbrella spokes, recalling last year’s Lent Project in aid of TreeAid and its work in the endangered Metema Frankincense Forest of Ethiopia.
A tiny book represented Afrinspire’s provision of school materials to children from war-torn South Sudan who now live in camps in northern Uganda.
Playhouse soup tins stood for the food bank at the Partington Hope Centre, while a doll’s dress represented the Wythenshawe Tree of Life Centre, to which we send clean used clothing.
The eagle-eyed will also have spotted Christians Against Poverty (CAP), Solar Aid, the Church Mission Society, Sightsavers, the Leprosy Mission, St Paul’s church, Salford and St Mary’s, Partington, plus the Counselling & Family Centre, Altrincham. Thanks to everyone who has supported our fundraising efforts.
This year’s Lent Project focuses on practical ways to follow Christ’s call to welcome the stranger in our midst.
World Leprosy Day 2023
Leprosy is at least 4,000 years old, making it one of the oldest diseases known to humanity—and one of
the least understood. A bacterial
infection that cannot be caught by casual contact with the skin, it has been curable with a combination course of antibiotics since 1982, and treatment is free worldwide. The challenge is to diagnose and treat it early, to avoid the nerve damage that leads to paralysis, disfigurement, social exclusion and, crucially, loss of earning power.
This year, the Leprosy Mission UK is focusing on tea plantation workers in Bangladesh for its special appeal. Around 600,000 people live or work in the tea estates of Sylhet, where leprosy rates are 20 to 30 times higher than the global average and where most families are affected. Aloka, one of the tea-workers whose story the Leprosy Mission tells, was diagnosed and treated too late to save her nerve-damaged left hand, but with Leprosy Mission support she stays positive, runs a self-help group for other sufferers and a savings group where women pay into a fund, then offer loans to each other when in need. Her dream, understandably, is for leprosy to be a disease of history.
• To find out more visit www.leprosymission.org.uk
We marked World Leprosy Day on Sunday 5 February,
when a retiring collection was taken.
Harvest Project: update
Our 2022 Harvest Project was a special fundraiser in aid of Wythenshawe’s Tree of Life Centre. We already collect clean used clothing for the centre (see the boxes at the back of church). They offer more than clothing, however: there is a food bank and larder, a furniture store (donations, fire-certificated where appropriate, can be collected) and a community café. They also offer exercise classes and other activities, debt advice and support to individuals and families in a range of personal circumstances.
We set ourselves a target of £2,000 for our fundraising drive and came very close to reaching that figure, with a special contribution of £300 from the Academy of St Peter’s lunchtime concert at the Assembly Rooms in November.
Thank you to everyone who gave so generously.
For more information, visit www.treeoflifecentre.org.uk
News in brief
Ploughman’s lunch: 11 March
A date for your diary. The Mission in Action team’s ploughman’s lunch is on the second Saturday in March, 12 noon to 1pm. Please come along for soup, salad and cake plus a raffle—and good conversation. Proceeds will go to the UN Disasters Emergency Committee appeal in aid of the victims of the recent devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey. Entry: £8.
Hope Centre Food Larder
Grocery items for the Hope Centre’s community shop are still needed. All tinned goods are welcome, along with tea bags, instant coffee and Long-life milk. Please place donations in the boxes at the back of church, for delivery to Partington. Visit www.hopecentrepartington.com for other suggested donations.
Styal Women’s Prison
St Peter’s has an arrangement through the chaplain at Styal to donate new underwear for prisoners transferred straight from the courtroom to prison without a change of clothes. Also needed are stapled, lined notebooks (not tear-out ring-binder ones) for use by prisoners to record their life stories, thoughts and reflections as part of a counselling and rehabilitation process through the prison chaplaincy. To donate, please place items in the box at the back of church.
Receipt of used stamps by The Leprosy Mission has ended
Our long-standing arrangement to supply used postage stamps to The Leprosy Mission has sadly come to an end. TLM has reluctantly concluded that the sale of used stamps is not bringing in enough money to make the scheme viable.