Mission is faith in action and St Mary’s actively supports the work of 5 Mission Partners – B@titude, International Justice Mission, Kampala Children’s Centre, Salvation Army and The Message. In addition to prayers and practical help where possible, we donate 10% of our freewill giving to our Mission Partners and enjoy welcoming them to our services.
Our Mission Committee meets regularly and its members share updates from our Mission Partners so that, as a church, we can respond to their spiritual, practical and financial needs. We value the relationships built with our Mission Partners over a number of years, although we do periodically review our partnerships. Our aim is to support the needs of Christian missionaries and organisations in their work, an outcome of which must be the spreading of the Gospel of Christ.
The Mission Committee also administers a small fund to enable St Mary’s to respond to requests for sponsorship for Christian mission activities from members of the congregation. Anybody who is currently on the electoral roll at St Mary’s may apply, including young people (under 25) whose parents are church members. Applications should be made in writing to the Rector.
Mission is supported more generally at St Mary’s with specific fundraising appeals led by church members, our women’s group, Heart and Soul, and our youth groups.
Mission is alive in St Mary’s!
Kampala Children’s Centre
Founded in 2005 by Bishop Arnold Muwonge, Kampala Children’s Centre (KCC) provides a safe and loving family home environment for some of Uganda’s most desperate and vulnerable children, orphaned or suffering as a result of war, HIV/AIDS and poverty.
As a church, we have established close ties with KCC, with members of our church travelling to Uganda to provide “hands on” support and a number of our congregation sponsoring children from the centre and the local community. We also host members of the KCC Destiny Choir on their regular visits to the UK. The Choir has toured the UK, Belgium and the USA, performing in Parliament, at No 10 Downing Street, at the UN building in New York, the Ugandan Embassy in Brussels and in front of the President of Uganda.
Our financial support has contributed to all aspects of the development of the Kampala Children’s Centre including provision of a well for fresh water and the building and equipping of the houses, a kindergarten, primary and secondary schools (complete with kitchen, dining hall and events/conference hall) and a medical centre. Please support KCC when shopping online through http://easyfundraising.org.uk/.
B@titude is a Christian charity committed to loving and serving the community of North Leatherhead through their shop in Kingston Road where they sell quality “as new” clothes and equipment for babies and children at reasonable prices. It has evolved into more than a shop through the years, in one person’s words “it’s a doorway into people’s lives and families” and has become very much a part of the local community. Alongside the shop, B@titude offers a counselling service, staffed by professionals and they also organise days out, holidays, theatre trips, Mother’s Day meals and many more activities. The latest venture is “The Hive”, a space for adults to enjoy and explore art, colour, sewing, knitting, drawing and all kinds of creativity. Learning new skills and discovering creative gifts builds confidence and self-esteem and can help combat loneliness and anxiety.
As well as making donations to the shop, members of St Mary’s congregation have volunteered their time to help in the shop and The Hive.
International Justice Mission
IJM is the largest international anti-slavery organisation in the world. There are more than 40 million people worldwide trapped in slavery, more than at any other time in history, and 1 in 4 of these are children.
IJM is a Christian organisation with a team of lawyers, social workers, community activists and other professionals, working in partnership with local authorities in 20 offices in 13 countries around the world. It seeks to protect people in poverty from sex trafficking, online sexual exploitation of children, violence against women and children, forced labour and police abuse of power.
As well as finding and rescuing victims of slavery, IJM provides ongoing aftercare support to restore their lives. It also works with local law enforcement to bring criminals to justice and to support police, judges and other community leaders to strengthen justice systems so that laws are enforced and the cycle of violence can be stopped.
Salvation Army, Guildford
In addition to financial donations, we support the local Guildford Salvation Army in very practical ways, through food donations and individual church members helping at the Salvation Army drop-in centre. The Guildford centre provides companionship, meals, food parcels and practical help and advice for people who are struggling with homelessness, loneliness, mental health and financial worries. They also run a lunch club for the elderly and a parents and toddler group which is particularly popular with single parent families.
We donate a proportion of our Harvest Festival offering to the Salvation Army each year as well as other items, for example warm clothes and blankets to help people keep warm during the winter months. This relationship is very much mission in action as the connection is practical and relational and the support received from members of the St Mary’s congregation is greatly appreciated by the Salvation Army in Guildford.
If you wish to make an additional financial donation instead of a food donation (via the green box outside The Wheelhouse), please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/guildfordsalvationarmy.
Our newest mission partner is The Message, is a Christian organisation committed to sharing the love and good news of Jesus with the hardest-to-reach
young people throughout the UK. It also has hubs in South Africa, Germany and Canada.
Through Creative Mission (bands, tours and gospel events), The Message brings the gospel to young people in schools in partnership with local churches. Eden sends and supports teams of urban missionaries to live sacrificially in the most deprived neighbourhoods, sharing the gospel and building community. The Prisons and Enterprise teams help people find Jesus in prisons and youth offenders’ institutions, helping ex-offenders break free of the cycle of offending by providing full-time jobs and training on release. The Message Academy and Advance programmes train, equip and support the next generation of evangelists.