Word and action are at the heart of charitable giving. One of the most powerful passages in the gospels, is Luke 4: 16-21 which is described as Jesus’ manifesto for his life and ministry. It speaks of bringing good news for the poor, justice and liberation for the oppressed. Jesus lived out these words through his actions and by challenging the religious and political authorities that excluded the weak and the vulnerable. His life was one of serving God and serving his neighbour. Jesus declared these were the most important commandments and commissioned his followers to do the same.
Two thousand years on our commission as followers of Christ remains the same. Is this too awesome a task? Do we feel inadequate? Both of those and more BUT our learning about and praying for our charities and making donations to them are ways in which we can live out the Gospel.
At present St. Mary’s and St. Anne’s churches jointly support four Charities known as our Benefice Charities and as individual churches support a further four.
The Charitable Giving Group recommend charities to the PCC’s that include a wide range of organisations supporting international, national, local, cross-cultural and age-inclusive projects that are a reflection of Jesus’ mission to all peoples.
A budget for each charity is set aside annually and thanks to events organised by the Hospitality Team additional money is also sent throughout the year. The charities are reviewed on a regular basis and suggestions sought from the congregations. At present Covid 19 restrictions have curtailed activities but please continue to pray for our charities and if you wish to make a donation please do this directly. Much of the following information applies to normal circumstances that we hope will resume before too long.
Information is displayed in both churches to highlight charities being supported in a particular month or season with details of their work.
St. Anne’s has a speaker or in-house presentation from each of their church charities during a designated month. St. Mary’s has a designated month for profiling each of their church charities and when seasonal planning allows, a speaker from one charity or an ‘in house presentation’. There is also a prayer line in the weekly bulletin relating to a specific charity.
In addition to budgeted charities there are many activities that are identified with charitable giving - knitting for Christian Hope International, Christmas Shoebox appeal, stamp collections for Birmingham City Mission, postcard collection for Mission Aviation, craft session for ladies befriended by Restore, harvest food donations to Sparkhill Foodbank, Christmas gifts to Anawim, campaigning for justice and equality through petitions and prayer, a one-off campaign for toilet twinning but all supported by generous individuals.
We are immensely thankful for the continuing generosity of our congregations in supporting our charities.
Please click on the name of the charity to navigate to their website.
Benefice Charities for 2020
- Christian Aid: An international development charity working with people, of all faiths and none, in around 50 countries, to eradicate poverty.
- The Diocesan Malawi Fund: Since the establishment of the partnership in 1966, the Anglican Church in Malawi and in Birmingham have developed a mission relationship, seeking to support each other in the work of God in our own contexts.
- Médecins Sans Frontières: Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organisation that treats people where the need is greatest.
- Moseley CDT: Community Development Trust, financing the Moseley Neighbourhood Outreach Worker, Anji Page.
In addition to these four Benefice charities, the collection taken at our annual Christingle service is donated to The Children’s Society.
- The Children's Society: A leading children's charity helping the country’s most vulnerable children and young people, fighting poverty, harm and neglect.
St. Mary’s Charities for 2020
- St. Basils: (with the request that our donation goes to local centres) preventing youth homelessness by providing accommodation and support services locally.
- The Busoga Trust: providing sustainable access to safe water, improved sanitation and comprehensive hygiene and health education to the communities in rural Uganda. This is a long term commitment in memory of the founder of this link, the late Rosemary Berridge.
- Trussell Trust: The Trust runs a network of over 400 foodbanks, (including Sparkhill Foodbank) giving emergency food and support to people in crisis across the UK, where thirteen million people live below the poverty line.
- Storybook Dads (and Mums): ‘Every year in the UK, over 200,000 children suffer the trauma of parental imprisonment. We help to maintain the vital emotional bond between parent and child by enabling parents to make bedtime story CDs, DVDs and other educational gifts for their children. 50% of all prisoners lose contact with their families. Those that maintain contact are up to 6 times less likely to re-offend.’ We have spoken to a volunteer at HMP Channings Wood, Devon and have been assured that although the website is www.storybookdads.org.uk, storybook mums operates from HMP Channing with stories from female prisoners sent to them for editing.
St. Anne’s Charities for 2020
- Mission Aviation Fellowship: A Christian mission organisation that uses planes to deliver relief workers, doctors, pastors, school books, food, medicines - everything that can only be safely and speedily delivered by air to remote and isolated people.
- Practical Action: An international development charity using sustainable technology to challenge poverty.
- Restore: A project of Birmingham Churches Together that aims to welcome, include and assist integration of refugees and those seeking sanctuary from persecution. Restore works to achieve this through befriending, social activities, equipping refugees for work, advocacy and awareness-raising.
- Amos Trust: The ‘Amos Trust is a small, creative human rights organisation, committed to challenging injustice, building hope and creating positive change. We work with vibrant grass-roots partners around the world who are developing local solutions to global issues. Our partners are the experts we learn from – collaboration is therefore at the heart of everything we do.’