Here’s some examples of the outreach that we do for our local communities and mission giving locally, nationally and internationally.
Local Outreach and Community Work
To make use of the brand new kitchen and meeting space facilities in St Andrews a brand new combined event has been set up for Lent 2018. As part of the benefice lent challenge to ‘do something different this lent’ a community cafe, baby group and bread church have been running on a Thursday morning from 9.30am. The cafe has been open for the community to pop in for coffee and cakes, with free WiFi available, and the baby group has been open for our young babies of the town to join us for play. Bread Church runs at the same time (a group for new Christians and church members) to meet and chat and make and share bread together over coffee! Hopefully some or all of these groups will be operating after the initial lent period, so to check accurate dates please click the event links above, or for more details on what has been happening please click on the flyer.
St Andrews has a visiting team who visit people in the local area when needed. Reasons for visits include recent bereavement, recently moving to the area, returning home from being in hospital, new baby, the elderly and/or lonely, or just because someone might need some company! If you know someone who would like a visit or would like to get in touch yourself, please email Sherry or phone 01984 624628. We also work with Pulsford Lodge in Wivey, a care home which we visit and lead church services for during the year.
Open the Book is a program run by the Bible Society which offers primary school children an opportunity to hear the major stories of the Bible. A team from the local churches (not just the Anglican churches) present the stories during assemblies in Wivey Primary School each term.
Discuss & Donuts is another initiative run by a team from the local churches (again not just Anglican!). It runs during the school lunch hour once a week at Kingsmead Secondary School and allows students the opportunity to discuss some big questions of life – all whilst eating donuts of course!
Messy Church is up and running regularly in St Andrews giving children the opportunity to play, explore, get crafty and creative, eat and sing some songs and hear some stories from the Bible. Messy Waterrow also runs every other month at the Church Hall.
One of our local mission partners is the Beson Project, Taunton. Throughout the year we support the work of this branch of Besom with donations to help them to sweep away suffering.
Christians Against Poverty is a national organisation who offer support to people struggling with debt. We have several trained CAP ambassadors who offer support for anyone in the local area who is finding it hard to manage their finances. There any many people who struggle financially in our rural vicinity with limited jobs and low wages and problems with regular public transort in and out of the area and this is a mission that is close to our heart.
Mission Giving and Wider Outreach
The Semiliki Trust work to support the people of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), supporting communities in isolated parts of the country and helping them to meet their health, educational, care and spiritual needs. 15 years of instability and violence have prevented government and international support reaching these communities and we regularly raise money to provide Bibles and equipment through our breakfasts at St. Andrews. One of our church members acts as a link having visited the DRC for himself, he also provides regular communication on progress being made in the country.
Open Doors is an international ministry serving persecuted Christians and churches worldwide. They supply Bibles, leadership training, literacy programmes, livelihood support and advocacy services. They also seek to mobilise the church in the UK & Ireland to serve Christians living under religious persecution. We have a strong link with Open Doors having supported them financially but also using some of their materials in a Lent course to help us to open our eyes to the persecution of Christians around the world. Additionally one of our church members has visited Jordan, one of the countries where they work, to see first hand the work that they do and the scale of the concerns. Work continues with Open Doors for the benefice and they have visited us early in 2018 to help to develop the link and to explain more about what they do.
Other Mission Partners
There are many other organisations that the benefice supports in many different ways. Examples include Christian Aid, Toybox, The Children’s Society, Church Mission Society, Mission to Seafarers, Scripture Union and Tear Fund. We have also supported some of our parishioners who have made their own journeys with organisations to countries such as Kenya, Nepal and Albania.