St Barnabas has a strong tradition of charitable giving as a church, and of promoting fundraising and volunteering in support of charities. The church devotes part of its own income to donations to charities, with an emphasis on local and Christian organisations. We offer an opportunity to suggest recipients and the donations list is reviewed by the PCC each November. Three major fundraising events are organised each year:
- A Handyman Sale in May
- A Garden Party (with community involvement) in June
- A Christmas Fair in December
Three overseas charities, all with a direct connection to St Barnabas, have been selected to receive on-going support from the Handyman Sale and Christmas Fair:
Education for Life was founded by Glyn and Jane Davies in 2000 and is located in Mombasa, Kenya, shining the light of Jesus by providing employment for local people; feeding and educating children; providing homes for orphaned and abandoned children and families in need of a helping hand and reaching out to the community through the local church. www.educationforlife.net
Christian Engineers in Development
CED is a group of professional engineers who are committed to using their skills and resources to assist people in developing countries to overcome poverty. They work in a wide range of developing countries, on a wide range of projects, in response to a conviction that there is a need for professional engineers, and others, who were committed Christians to use their skills and resources in overseas development work. www.ced.org.uk
The township of Masiphumelele, about 20 miles south of Cape Town in South Africa, is home to more than 38,000 people. Initially a shanty town, it is now a recognised settlement. Most people live in shacks. Six families or more share one water tap and toilet facility. Roughly 70% have no regular work. ‘Masiphumelele’ is the word in Xhosa that translates to “we will succeed!”.
The money raised by St Barnabas helps in the work of several pre-schools, the primary school and the local hospital, through one of the members of our congregation, Marion, who works as a volunteer in Masiphumelele during our winter months. The picture on the left shows the teddy bears made by St. Barnabas Church members being received at Masiphumelele.
Other Charities Supported:
Donations are also made every year at Christmas from Church funds to a number of local charities or charities with a local connection. In 2013 those charities included: Children’s Chronic Arthritis Assoc, Christian Community Action, Green Shoots, Headway Thames Valley, PACT – Parents and Children Together, Reading Family Aid, REAP – Rural community development in East Africa, RAFT – Reading Autistic Families Together, Reading University Chaplaincy, 89th Reading Scouts, Sightsavers, Yeldall Manor.
In addition to these activities collections from special festival services such as Christmas are passed to charities nominated each year. Examples include:
- Churches together In Reading Drop-In Centre – CIRDIC
- Churches in Reading Women’s Centre
- Reading Family Aid
The proceeds of the Garden Party are usually devoted to a special project within the church.