In line with many other parishes, we have pledged to give 10% of our freewill giving (that is, any money which is given in collections, the envelope scheme, direct debits, or by other means, which has not been given for a specific cause) to external charities working with the most vulnerable in our world. The majority is given to 4 main charities, agreed by the PCC each year, along with some smaller gifts to other charities.
From the £16,377.00 available for this year, we will be supporting the following charities:
£3600 each to The Mityana Charity, CMS (Church Mission Society), CIRDIC (Churches in Reading Drop In Centre) and Bible Society
£700 to Stepping Stones Project
£700 to Mothers’ Union Overseas Fund
£361 to Finchampstead & Barkham Relief in Sickness Fund£216 to Rashmi
Below is a brief overview of each charity we support. We would encourage you to look at their websites as there is so much more to learn (please click on the logos or the links above).
|The Parish of Finchampstead and California is proud to be a supporter of The Mityana Charity (Reg. Charity 1064825), a Christian charity dedicated to alleviating poverty and promoting education and the Christian faith in Mityana, Uganda – one of the poorest countries in the world. Just some of the projects started by the charity so far have been to raise funds to start a primary school, the lease of a 500 acre farm where it is hoped to develop a self-sustaining unit that will pay the costs of the school, and possibly provide a clinic for the local community, providing mosquito nets, and digging boreholes to provide fresh clean water.|
|A drop-in-centre, established in 1990 because a group of local Christians wanted to respond to the needs of the homeless and clearly disadvantaged people in Reading. Originally the aim was to provide a welcoming place in which to offer food and clothing. Now, in response to growing needs, the Centre offers a wide range of support services such as meals, clean clothing, bath and shower facilities, listening time, access to healthcare services, and also holding sessions on such things as budgeting, cookery, and job seeking. They will always welcome visitors and of course volunteers.|
|CMS was founded in London in 1799, one of their founders being William Wilberforce. From their original commitment to such things as the abolition of the slave trade, and social reform at home they have become a worldwide network of people in mission. The mission of CMS is summed up as ‘Sharing Jesus, Changing Lives’ – achieved through three aims: making disciples, resourcing leaders, and transforming communities.
They have Mission partners worldwide as well as here in the UK, and following a vote by members of our congregation, we have decided to support Kailean and Kim Khongsai working for the Christian Environmental Charity A Rocha, in Southall, Hayes, Middlesex.
For updates on Kailean and Kim’s activities you can read their quarterly newsletters here.
|Bible Society exists because millions lack the Bible in a language they can understand, in a form they can use or at a price they can afford. At the same time millions still have no understanding of the Bible’s value for them and their communities. Bible Society works to provide Bibles in medium that are relevant to their circumstances, such as translating into local languages, audio, signed etc. Bible society works throughout the world to bring the good news of the Bible in their own language. During 2012 Bible Society had the unique opportunity to provide Bibles to the athletes in the Olympic Village’s religious services centre.|
|With 4 million members working in 83 countries, Mothers’ Union is passionate about caring for families all around the world. Their work involves such things as community farming projects in Uganda, running workshops to raise awareness of health issues, income-generating projects in farming or craft production, and work to support families affected by HIV/AIDS, to parenting and marriage preparation courses, family support groups in prisons in the UK, and so much more.|
|The Stepping Stones project is run by the Faith Christian Group (FCG). In 2009 in association with Green Pastures, FCG purchased their first house in Reading to accommodate homeless people who for reasons such as addiction would find it very difficult to be housed. They offer direct support to each tenant and assist them in setting achievable goals to change their lives. This first house accommodated 3 people, and in November 2012 FCG was able to take on 5 more rooms in local flats. FCG takes on the role of main tenant for the houses and provides individual support and supervision of tenants. Funding is always needed to support these people at the level they need.|
|Finchampstead & Barkham Relief in Sickness Fund||Finchampstead & Barkham Relief in Sickness Fund provides financial help to those who live in the Parishes of Finchampstead and Barkham who have disabilities and require or request poverty relief.
One-off grants ranging from £100 to £1000 are available to go towards a wide variety of needs, for example: Electrical goods, Convalescence, Clothing, Living costs, Household bills, Holidays, Travel expenses, Medical equipment, Nursing fees etc.
Referral can be self referral, via Social Services, parents or family, or via voluntary agencies.
Eligibility is for those people who are sick, convalescent, mentally/physically disabled or infirm who live in the parishes of Finchampstead and Barkham
During the year we also support other charities, including Christian Aid, CIRDIC (Churches in Reading Drop In Centre) and Reading Food Bank (with groceries collected at our harvest services), Parents and Children Together (with new toys, books etc. at our annual gift service), Samaritans Purse (in conjunction with Finchampstead Primary School by contributing shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts for Operation Christmas Child), The Royal British Legion (Poppy Appeal collection) and the The Children’s Society (cash collections at our Christingle Services).