Each month the PCC contributes £310 to the Mission of the Month. You can make a contribution too. Make it tax effective by putting your gift in one of the small envelopes in the church, writing your name and details in the spaces on the front, marking it MOM, and putting it in the collection bag or sending it to the Treasurer.
Mission of the Month FEBRUARY
Mission of the Month:
Supporting the Church in Belize
This is the third year of our help for fellow Anglicans in Belize, Central America, concentrating on the work Belize Diocese does for the young.
The latest initiative had the church schools joining the parish youth groups in a jamboree. The theme was stewardship of time, talents, and energies. The slogan was ‘wRap Your Gifts For Stewardship’; the kids wrote the Raps themselves and performed them on stage. Even the primary school children had a go, although the input from the youth groups was probably more stylish. Dancing and traditional drumming had their place too. The Church had prepared for the jamboree by issuing a booklet on stewardship which was praised by teachers as appealing and child-friendly. The thinking behind the whole project clearly emphasized the young people’s abilities and potential, encouraging them to see themselves as givers. ‘You can contribute’ is the message; ‘make the most of what you have—do something good with it, for God and for people in need.’
Producing the literature, preparing the children and young people, staging and staffing the event . . . all of this will have involved much work and cost. The feedback indicates that it was well worth it, and it would be good to do it again, so that other aspects of Christian life can be put across to receptive young minds in a way they will remember. The Church has a huge presence in education in this small country, and deserves every possible aid in realizing its opportunities.
Information from the Diocesan newspaper ‘Anglican News’
At the time of going to press, the website www.belizeanglican.org was unavailable owing to lack of funding.
Sadly, late diagnosis, lack of expertise and family support sealed her fate before her first birthday, and she died in August 2006, aged four.
Opportunities were missed to save Rati’s life in Africa with locally available resources. When she died, Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund began tackling the challenges experienced by families like hers, that cause so much suffering. Life-saving surgery is available in most countries, and many can offer sight-saving therapies when both eyes are affected. The key to cure and saving sight is early diagnosis—parent and primary health worker recognition of a white pupil in flash photos and dim light, or eyes that don’t track together—and rapid referral to specialist care. Support is vital to ensure families can access and accept curative therapy, especially eye removal surgery.
Collaborating with Kenya’s government, our first partnership has established national awareness programmes, rapid referral pathways, medical education, and common standards of care. Our family support programmes reduce emotional, financial, practical, and social burdens, and alleviate pressure on hospital resources. Already we see more children diagnosed with earlier stage cancer, and more children completing treatment.
Responding to the traumas of individual families is emotionally draining, but that is no reason for me to walk away from the potential to save life and sight. The children have no choice but to fight, and they cannot fight cancer alone.
God commands us to love one another and dedicate our lives to serving him, to offer ourselves as tools with which he can perform miracles. We must have courage to serve, grace to listen, and trust to let him guide along the path he defines for us.
Much can be done to improve cancer care for the vast majority of children. Daisy’s courage and wish to share hope helped Rati leave a legacy that has already saved many precious young lives, creating light from the darkness cancer brought to both their lives. Like these two brave girls, we must join hands around the world to ensure another thirty years do not pass before life- and sight-saving opportunities become equally available to families in developing countries.
Thank you for helping us bring the promise of life and sight to children with eye cancer around the world. If you would like to learn more about the signs of retinoblastoma or how you can help, please visit www.daisyfund.org. You can also contact me on 01865 243 654 or email@example.com.
Abby White, co-founder and CEO Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund
Mission of the Month MARCH
Mission of the Month: Ark T Centre
‘The Ark T café is like an invisible cushion offering warmth, welcome, and a gentle support to anyone in need of a bit of a break from their difficulties—affordable, friendly, easy to use, it’s a really special place for anyone feeling isolated or in need of somewhere safe; it’s just a great place to be!’
This is what someone said the other week—and this is what the Ark T is about. Whether young and older are dancing, making art, enjoying the playspace, or sharing in the Youth Music Project we want them to keep benefiting from this too and this is where we rely on individual and group support like St Mary’s.
A project manager of one of the organizations who refers people to our volunteer programme recently said this to us:
‘It is reassuring to know that any person considered for volunteering at the Ark T Centre will be treated with respect and dignity. Staff and volunteers at the Ark T Centre take time to get to know and understand the needs of anyone new, by listening, being genuinely interested in them as a person and their journey without judgement and with empathy. Several volunteers have said that the best thing about the Ark T Centre is the people there. Having a valued role really increases confidence and self worth. I completely trust that the Ark T Centre cares and supports every person I point in their direction.’
The Ark T Centre is based in the premises of John Bunyan Baptist Church and, whilst it’s not a Christian organization nor is it trying to draw people into the Church, there’s a lot in that comment which resonates with the Christian gospel and the Church’s commitment to build community and embrace the most vulnerable. We are grateful for the many ways that St Mary’s has helped us to do that over the years, through giving and through the support of individuals as trustees, volunteers, and visitors. Stephen Patrick has served us so well as Chair of Trustees for the last four years and Roger Wagner is one of our Patrons. Thank you so much for this support.
Last year was a tough one financially but with an appeal launched in June we raised £14,000 in donations, with vitally significant online giving standing at £215 per month currently. This is really heartening and is helping us along the road to the £30,000 target we are so in need of to stabilize; plan ahead; take advantage of partnerships; and have a cushion against the many knocks in the ferociously competitive funding world we now find ourselves in.
However it’s not been all uphill as we begin this year with a refurbished building, made possible from capital grants of £55,000 and £15,000 from John Bunyan Baptist Church which has given us new windows and doors, more light and fewer draughts, and posh toilets. Pop in and see us some time and thank you for all that you do for us.