Charities

Charities Introduction
Helping to transform the world - The aim of the PCC's 'Transformation Group' is to enable our church community to engage more fully with the community around us in the love and welcome of God. We do this through supporting local, national and international charities as well as encouraging the congregation in the many ways they reach out to others through work, community and family. We also plan local outreach events such as carol singing and giving away mince pies in Victoria station at Christmas.

The Transformation group is always thinking of ways to connect with our parish. As a sign of God’s love in the community we also plan local outreach events such as Maundy Thursday shoe shining in Victoria station. We are a collection point for the Westminster Food bank. We also hold various social events through out the year such as a Barn Dance in aid of Saakshar Saturday the 14th of March.

Charity support in 2019
Congregational giving to charity - Each year St Peter’s supports the work of at least three charities with links to our congregation. As well as holding social fundraising events for these charities we donate 10% of donations given to the church from stewardship and church collections - following the most ancient pattern of giving to those in need from the Sunday collection. We do this out of recognising our responsibility to give generously to others. In 2019 we offered particular support to three Charities: Red Thread (supporting at risk young people in London), New Bridge (befriending prisoners and ex-offenders) and Saakshar (providing education for slum community children in India). The total raised through congregational giving and fundraising activities for these charities was £11,200.

Christmas Charities
Christmas Charities - St Peter’s also supports three charities during the Christmas season. In Christmas 2019 we supported the work of Kids for Kids, Health Poverty Action and St Vincent's Centre. A total of £4675.40 was raised for the work of these charities.

Kids for Kids works in the remote villages in Darfur, where children are living in extreme poverty (image above). https://www.kidsforkids.org.uk

Health Poverty Action acts in solidarity with health workers, activists and communities worldwide to improve health and challenge the causes of poverty. https://www.healthpovertyaction.org

St. Vincent's Family Project is a resource centre for young families in Westminster. https://www.svfp.org.uk The total raised for charity in 2019, including donations for Welcome Boxes and The May Fair was over £30,000.

Charity Support in 2020
2020 Charities - This year 2020 St Peter’s is supporting the Xavier Project, The Passage and Saakshar.

The Xavier Project - The Xavier Project offers support to refugee children in East Africa and has been recommended by our verger Callum. They aim to increase access to quality education delivered in a safe space for refugee children. By working in solidarity with community-run organisations, schools, they successfully deliver pioneering programmes to thousands of students across East Africa. This is achieved through school sponsorship, scholarship programmes and extra-curricular activities that enhance children’s learning opportunities in urban and settlement settings. https://xavierproject.org

The Passage - St Peter’s has a long time connection with The Passage. Each year we, along with St Peter’s school, give a harvest donation of food and clothing and several people from our congregation regularly volunteer with The Passage. Their vision is to offer welcome, dignity and respect whilst providing homeless people with support to transform their own lives. They do this through running London’s largest voluntary sector resource centre helping up to 200 men and women each day. They offer professional advice and help according to the client’s need with the overall goal of supporting people out of homelessness. http://passage.org.uk
Saakshar School Appeal
Saakshar School Appeal - Fr Ralph has supported Saakshar since 2003, soon after it began. Saakshar (‘Literate’) helps slum children in India’s capital city, Delhi, to go to school and complete their education. It particulary helps girls, who are very disadvantaged and often do not go to school in India. For slum children the absence of education is a life sentence of poverty. Parents who cannot read or write work long hours just to survive, and often cannot send their children to school.

Saakshar provides a year of preparation for these poor children, then supports them throughout their school life. Based in four rented classrooms and employing ten teachers, over a hundred young children are given a year of preschool lessons before being 'mainstreamed' into local schools. After that it gives aftenoon tuition as well as guidance and invaluable skills training to help get them into valuable work. Saakshar helps their families too, teaching literacy to parents and providing training in computing and dressmaking. Fr Ralph visits Saakshar each year and will be there in February 2020. For more information see the Saakshar School Appeal website here

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Welcome Churches
Welcome Churches and Welcome Boxes - St Peter’s is part of the Welcome Churches Network in Britain, churches actively welcoming and reaching out to asylum seekers and refugees. And Welcome Boxes, a befriending ministry, is an integral part of this ministry. Volunteers from the church community at St Peter's are trained as befriends who visit refugees and help them find support and friendship. We are pleased to receive new practical items like toiletries, hats and gloves, toys, small household items, mobile phones and Oyster Cards. We also gratefully receive donations of money towards this work.

It has been a joy meeting people from around the world and helping them to feel welcome in their new home. We have 15 visitors from St Peter’s and have visited over 30 people from a multitude of countries. We host regular social events where people come together for fun and mutual support. The greatest aspect of Welcome Boxes, in my opinion, is our focus on building friendships. It is our hope that Welcome Boxes will continue to grow as it seeks to respond to the ever-increasing need to welcome refugees as Christ has welcomed us.

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Contact
Get involved

For more information, to offer support or to join as a volunteer, contact the Priest Missioner - Revd Julie Khovacs:

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or phone 07540 418623

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