Our charitable giving is organised by the Social Responsibility Group within the PCC. Our vision is to be informed, generous and faithful in caring for the poor and needy, and to be involved in issues of social justice in this country and throughout the word by prayer, action and by further increasing our giving.
We nominate charities for special collections throughout the year, being mindful of suggestions from individual members of the congregation and also responding to emergency international appeals. We also commit to supporting one local and one overseas charity for a period of a few years at a time which helps to strengthen our links and understanding of their work. We aim that the total annual giving to all charities matches 10% of the Parish’s unrestricted income.
Last year, we supported the following charities:
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During the year, we responded to some of the world’s major disasters, including :
- the Disasters Emergency Fund East Africa Appeal where drought and conflict left 23 million people in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia in urgent need of food, water and medical treatment.
- the Red Cross, in response to their appeal for the victims of Hurricane Irma
- Christian Aid’s Rohingya’s Crisis Appeal, when over 600,000 Rohingya people were forced to flee from appalling atrocities in Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh, forming the biggest refugee camp in world and in desperate need of basic provisions and health care.
In addition, we continue to maintain our connection with the Sharp Memorial School for the Blind in India, through a parishioner who used to teach there, and regularly send funds to support the work of the School.
Homelessness is on the increase. As in past years we contributed to The Porch in Oxford through our special collections at our Harvest services. The Porch aims to help homeless, recently re-housed homeless or vulnerably housed people by encouraging them to move forward towards a more positive lifestyle. At Christmas we remembered the homeless and hungry by collecting for Crisis.
Our Christmas services had two other beneficiaries: Parents and Children Together (PACT), a local charity, whose adoption and fostering service finds secure and loving families for some of the 65,000 children in care, and provides specialised therapeutic post-placement support. The other beneficiary at Christmas was The Children’s Society, with additional funds provided through the Children’s Society Boxes.
Our nominated local charity in 2017 was See-Saw. Established in 2000, it works to meet the needs of bereaved children and young people in Oxfordshire. Since then it has supported over 4,300 children and their families.
The Social Responsibility Group also takes the lead, both within the Town and our group of Parishes, during Christian Aid week. It organises house to house collections, a collection in Wallingford Market Place and invites representatives to talk to the congregations in St. Mary’s and St. Leonard’s about the focus of their annual appeal.
In March we concentrated on Fair Trade Fortnight, bringing the issues to the attention of the congregation.