But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18
At St John’s we seek to provide for those in need in a number of different ways, and many of our congregation give up their time and skills for a wide range of charitable activities throughout the year.
Christian Aid is supported at St John’s during Christian Aid week each May. Volunteers from St John’s deliver collection envelopes and collect donations in the local area, and we hold an annual Christian Aid service offering the congregation the opportunity to donate. Commitment for Life is the URCs programme working in association with Christian Aid, dedicated to projects in four partner countries; Bangladesh, Central America, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Zimbabwe. We hold an annual Commitment for Life service to raise funds and alongside this some members give regularly by standing order.
We have been holding a Traidcraft stall regularly after Sunday Services for many years selling fairly traded food and handicrafts. The profits we make we give back to Traidcraft Exchange, helping them to further support those across the world to work their way out of poverty. Retiring offerings are made quarterly towards the Benevolent Fund which then provides St John’s with the opportunity to financially support members of the church in times of need or at specific milestones such as leaving to attend University.
Bromley Borough Foodbank provides food packages to those in need in the Borough and sign posts individuals to organisations that can help to get them out of poverty. Each week our notice sheet gives details of the particular items the foodbank is in need of and collections are facilitated by Andy Clare.At our Nativity Service each year we have a Gift Service where we collect unwrapped toys and gifts for children in need at Christmas time. Fiona Drysdale, our TGIS coordinator, organises where the gifts are taken to.
The St Johns Pre-school has been running for over 25 years providing care for 2.5 - 5 year olds during term time. The pre-school relies on additional funding each year to continue and an Annual Quiz Night amongst other events helps to provide this.
Individual members of the congregation who have a heart for other projects have also held regular fundraising opportunities such as collections, coffee mornings and dinners.
Masikule creches in Cape Town have been supported for a number of years by raising funds which have provided equipment and essential equipment. Collections for refugees living in the Calais migrant camps Used stamps for Hearing dogs are collected.
Over the last 10 years we as a congregation have successfully raised a total of nearly £30,000 for three huge international projects; funding a well in Brazil, supporting a school in Sri Lanka and building a toilet block in Malawi. The projects motivated the whole community around St John’s to come together to reach our ambitious targets and we are grateful to everyone who got involved in any way.
Going forwards we are going to take a break from supporting big international projects, but would be interested to hear about any causes local to St John’s that need support either financially or in terms of peoples time and gifts that might be a longer term partnership opportunity for our church.