Mission-Giving-updated-Feb-2017

Giving

Help Us to Help Others

“Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

The Christian understanding of life is that all we have is from God, and we offer back to him, through his Church, our time and our skills and money.

Personal Giving

The Church receives no state aid, so it has to raise its income to cover its costs, to make its contribution to the diocese for the support of poorer parishes and to enable it to give to charities both in the UK and overseas. Giving in gratitude for God’s love and blessings is an aspect of Christian commitment. Our congregation give either by putting whatever they can afford in the collection plate during the service or by regular pledged giving.

Pledged giving means that you decide how much you can give in a year to support the life and work of the Church. You then sign a form pledging that amount. This is completely confidential and known only to the Parish Recorder. If your circumstances change during the year, you can change or cancel your pledge. You can pay either by standing order (monthly or annually) or through the weekly envelope scheme.

If you pay Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax you are encouraged to make a ʻGift Aid Declarationʼ: under this scheme, which replaces the old Covenant and Gift Aid systems, the Church can benefit from the tax reclaimed on any donation you make, at no extra cost to you. Envelopes for this can be supplied directly to individuals or can be found in Church.

If you would like to know more about the ways in which you can make an offering to God through his Church, then please contact the Parish Recorder, Barbara Clift, in confidence via the Parish Office on 0161 929 1537 or on parishrecorder@bowdonchurch.org.

Mission Giving

CHARITABLE GIVING IN 2016

In 2016 St Mary’s with St Luke’s allocated £10,000 from income received in 2015 to charitable giving. International charities and organisations benefiting from this money included Mercy Ships, the Bible Society, Kashmir Education Foundation, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Tear Fund.

In the UK, Christians Against Poverty, the Church Pastoral Aid Society, Church Urban Fund, the Message Trust and the Fishermen’s Mission all received donations from our charitable giving.

Locally, we supported the Booth Centre, Trafford Youth for Christ and the parish development of St Mary’s in Partington.

At Harvest Time, we joined once again with Bowdon Church School in collecting foodstuff for both the Booth Centre and the Wood Street Mission.

NEWS UPDATE:  January 2017

The following extracts, taken from the thank you letters we have received, will give you an insight into the work we are helping to support or you can go to the charities’ websites which you will find below:

Bible Society:   “Thank you for standing with us as a valued mission partner.  Your donation will help offer the Bible to people everywhere, through Bible apps, via audio devices like the Proclaimer, through theatre or art, or new translations of their work in the media to ensure the Bible is discussed regularly and positively.  It will help to open up the Bible’s powerful story for people of all ages, all backgrounds and all faiths and none.

Our Open the Book scheme goes into more than 2,400 schools in England and Wales each week, giving many children their first ever encounter with the Scriptures.  Here are some of their comments:  ‘Open the Book” brings the stories to life’, ‘I’m hearing these stories for the first time at Open the Book assemblies and the volunteers acting out them out help me to understand them better’ and ‘When you act out the Bible, it splashes a little bit more colour on it.  The Bible doesn’t seem as boring or black and white’.

Please pray for children in our country who are hearing the Bible through Open the Book and for the expansion of the project as we aim to reach all 4.5 million primary schools in England and Wales.”

Booth Centre:  “As a small charity working directly with homeless people in Manchester, we really appreciate your generosity which helps us continue to provide vital support to over 250 people who visit us each week.  Once again, we have seen a huge increase in the number of people visiting the centre for support in the last 12 months.

As well as emergency help like food and showers, we offer support, advice and activities for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  At the Booth Centre they have the chance to get involved with activities such as art, drama, training, music and sports, which helps them to build their skills and confidence, find employment and to work towards a more positive future.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP):   “Thank you for your generous donation.  Every year, over 1000 people accept Jesus into their lives through CAP’s work.  One client said, ‘I am no longer scared about the future;  I am now debt free and I can breathe again.  Since joining CAP I became a Christian and was baptised last May.  I am now proud to say that I have the Lord in my life and in my heart’.  

CAP receives no Government funding and relies on the generosity of churches and Christians who share our passion to bring justice and salvation to those suffering in debt and poverty.  We want to make our vision to see 1000 poverty relieving services, partnered with local churches throughout the UK, a reality by 2021.”

CPAS (Church Pastoral Aid Society):   “Thank you for your generous donation to the work of CPAS as we continue to make new steps in equipping local churches to share the Gospel with everyone, and for contributing to our mission-enabling work across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

The response to our “PCC Tonight” resource continues to make a difference around the country as PCCs are equipped to play a more active lead in the mission and ministry of local churches.

Please pray for our work too, including more opportunities for School Ventures with C of E primary schools – creating more holidays to give young people the chance to explore life with Jesus.

The Fishermen’s Mission:   “Please accept our grateful thanks for your donation.  We are planning for a busy time ahead as we look to offer support to our fishermen and their families during the winter.    They often face a difficult and unpredictable time as winter weather can mean missing out on valuable fishing opportunities and can make fishing more dangerous.  We are always on hand to help financially and practically to support them in keeping home and hearth together.

We are also able to arrange visits and social events for retired fishermen and their dependents who may be experiencing isolation and loneliness.  We offer the most practical and speedy response we can to those who need us and, if the worst happens at sea, then we will be waiting on the harbour to provide comfort and hope to the injured, shocked or sick fishermen who are brought to us.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders):  A doctor who was based in Sa’ada in north Yemen in an area that was experiencing almost daily attacks from coalition air forces, writes:   “Thank you for your donation which helps us to provide medical aid where it is needed most – helping a mother to give birth in Yemen, running a vaccination programme in Chad or providing lifesaving surgery in Jordan.  

MSF is running the emergency department operating theatre, inpatient ward and maternity ward of the 93-bed hospital in Sa’ada City….We saw more than 2,000 emergency cases a month and more than 100 surgeries a week.  It was challenging…for our medical staff many of whom were on call 24 hours a day. ..We received a lot of patients with severe injuries, including traumatic amputations.  Many of the wounded had travelled for four to five hours to reach us, as it was the only hospital with emergency surgical capacity in the province….Despite the volatility of the conflict, life goes on.  The maternity ward staff delivered more than 100 babies a week….it was reassuring for the wider population to know that while lives were being lost, new life was being created.”

Mercy Ships:   “In August the Africa Mercy arrived in Benin to deliver free, lifesaving medical care to the world’s forgotten poor. It’s our fifth visit to this country and its wonderful people, giving us an opportunity to build upon previous work done there. It’s astonishing to think that this tiny West African nation currently only has 6 doctors to treat every 100,000 people. Through your support, Mercy Ships will bring life-changing surgeries to Benin, by delivering many programmes including:

  • Over 1,700 surgeries • Over 8,000 dental treatments • Training of Beninese healthcare professionals • Training of an ecologically sustainable agricultural programme.”

Message Trust:    “Thank you so much for your church’s wonderful donation towards the work of The Message Trust.  As a movement, we are totally committed to the local church. Our sole purpose is to reach unchurched young people with the Gospel and connect them to local churches like yours for long-term discipleship. We exist to serve the local church, strengthen its arm and see it flourish. As part of this each year we aim to send out inspiring speakers to visit as many churches as possible to share some exciting testimonies from our prisons, schools and community teams. Our hope is to encourage you and your church in your own mission and outreach as we share the vision God has given us.  

We are seeing hundreds of young people each month respond to the Gospel message, turning their lives around, making better choices and growing in their faith. 

St Mary’s Partington and Carrington:  “Thank you for your generous support.   As you may know, we are awaiting the Revd Dr Andrew Knight to take up position as Priest in Charge.  During the vacancy we have been blessed with many visiting clergy, and our churchwardens have done an amazing job with the day to day running of the parish.”

Trafford Youth for Christ:   “Your generous gift is received with heartfelt thanks and is an encouragement to our ministry as well as a living testimony that Christian giving not only resources God’s work but ‘overflows with many thanksgivings to God’ (2 Cor.9:12).  It will go a long way in assisting us to take the Gospel to more young people in Trafford.  We are busy planning our work and priorities for the year ahead.  We continually seek to grow our presence in the schools across Trafford and our support of local churches who ensure the young people we meet in schools are fed into positive and nurturing church families where they will receive the continual support they need.”

At St Maryʼs with St Lukeʼs we seek to sustain the work of these organisations not only with our giving but also with our prayers.

By taking a look at the charities’ websites below you can find out more about their work and see how God’s love is being shown to millions of people all over the world as their lives are changed for the better.  Perhaps it will inspire you to support them yourself, both financially and in your prayers.

Click on the link for each charitiy to visit their website

Websites:

Bible Society: www.biblesociety.org.uk

Booth Centre: www.boothcentre.org.uk

Christians Against Poverty: www.capuk.org

Church Pastoral Aid Society: www.cpas.org.uk

Church Urban Fund:  www.cuf.org.uk

The Fishermen’s Mission: www.fishermensmission.org.uk

Kashmir Education Foundation: http://www.kef.org.pk

Medecins Sans Frontieres:  www.msf.org.uk

Mercy Ships: www.mercyships.org.uk

Message Trust: www.message.org.uk

St Mary’s Partington: www.stmaryspartington.org.uk

Tear Fund: www.tearfund.org

Trafford Youth for Christ:  www.traffordYFC.co.uk

Wood Street Mission: www.woodstreetmission.org.uk

Christian Aid

Join us in the week that we love every neighbour.

Nejebar’s story

It is better to die in a camp than to die in a war.

That’s what Nejebar thinks.

It’s better to travel for months, in rain and snow, with young children. To walk until you injure your feet. To risk your children’s lives in a plastic dinghy.  And to leave everything you know behind.

When the alternative is fear and terror, almost anything is better. When the alternative is bombs, bullets and war, almost anything is better.

Fleeing horrors

Nejebar’s husband Noor was a teacher in Afghanistan. Imagine the horror the family felt when the Taliban announced they would kill anyone, like Noor, who worked for the government. Imagine how they felt when the Taliban carried out that threat on another family member, taking out his eyes before killing him.

Almost anything has to be better than that.

But now they’ve arrived in Greece, all they have is a tent. They have no other protection against wind and rain. There’s no school for their five children. And they have no certainty or clear idea of what will happen to them now. They thought they would stay here for 10 days, but it’s already been six months and there’s no end in sight.

Noor describes their initial reaction to arriving in the camp in Greece: ‘It was like suicide for us. But we took the decision that it is better to die here than to die there from war.’

Together

Throughout it all, Nejebar has desperately wanted what is best for her children. But her circumstances make it very difficult.

Her youngest, Sudai, is five years old but looks much younger. He hasn’t been growing as he should. His tummy is swollen and they don’t know what is wrong with him. And because the only on-site doctor is Greek, they haven’t been able to find out. They don’t have the language to explain that Sudai is much older than he looks.

Nejebar’s strength and steadiness make her the rock at the centre of her family, holding them together in this difficult and uncertain situation. But she hasn’t stopped there. Despite her circumstances, she has welcomed two brothers, Faraidoon and Farzad, into her home.

Faraidoon and Farzad don’t know where their parents are, or if they’re even alive. Nejebar has welcomed them into her family, giving them refuge as they wait for news.

An uncertain future

Nejebar says: ‘We still have some hope that one day we will get out of here and we have hope for our children’s future.

‘Our wish is to get out from this situation and to be able to go further. We only want a peaceful life. We want our children to have an education, to go to school. The most important thing is for our children.’

We won’t turn our backs on refugees like Nejebar now

Christian Aid was set up by British churches in 1945 to support the hundreds of thousands of refugees who had lost their homes and possessions in the Second World War. In 1957 Christian Aid Week was launched to raise funds for vital work like this that was still continuing in the long running aftermath of the war.

For 60 years now, tens of thousands of dedicated volunteers have come together for Christian Aid Week each May to raise vital money for those most in need. In Bowdon, our team of house to house collectors aims to visit every home in the parish.  The money we raise for Christian Aid benefits people of every faith – it is not about giving to Christians or trying to convert people to Christianity – it is our Christian response to the needs of the world.  Thanks to you, we’ve been there for refugees, providing essential food, shelter and legal assistance.

Your support is more vital now than ever.

In 2015 the house to house collection in Bowdon raised £6575 (£7605 including gift aid), and in 2016 we raised £6152 (£7043 including gift aid).  Let’s not turn our backs on refugees now.  Please respond generously to Christian Aid week, by volunteering to help us collect and/or by giving generously.  Our target in Bowdon in 2017 is to raise at least £6750.

Thank you!

Kate Stross – Parish Co’ordinator, Christian Aid

Nejebar has fled terrible conflict in Afghanistan. She’s now living in a refugee camp in Greece.

Christian Aid

Nejebar and her husband Noor. They thought they would be in the camp for 10 days, but it’s already been six months and there’s no end in sight.
Christian Aid

Nejebar, with her sons Hinayat (left) and Sudai, outside their home in Agios Andreas, Greece

 Christian Aid

Nejebar has welcomed two brothers, Faraidoon (left) and Farzad, into her home. Christian Aid

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Timothy 1:7

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