Parish of West Grinstead Charitable Giving
We make a big effort to support many charities in this parish, either by sending a donation from our income or by fundraising separately and sending the money direct to the charity or organisation. All worthwhile causes and it can also put the FUN in FUNdraising and often bring people together.
A few years ago, following an ecumenical lent course, we wanted to do some direct action and the parish set up a project with World Vision which we have maintained ever since. We started raising money for a project in Uganda but lately are supporting a project in Zimbabwe – a country where our support is needed if ever there was one. We collect from our annual activities which include subscriptions, our frugal lent lunches, carol singing round the parish at Christmas and an alternative Christmas card. Instead of sending each other a card, we complete a communal card and give the cost of the individual cards we may have sent to the charity. Also our Sunday school raised money by selling cakes . Over the years we have sent thousands of pounds to World Vision for the project.
Each year in May we also support Christian Aid during their week. We have a little army of collectors all church members (mostly Anglicans but also a handful of other denominations) who collect door to door. Not only does this raise a lot of money for Christian Aid but it also brings the church face-to-face with just about every house. We also support Christian Aid by individuals using their Christmas gifts in kind – e.g. sending a cow or pig somewhere needed and a card to the person to notify them of your gift.
At Christmas time we also send money to the Children’s Society from the very well supported Christingle and Nativity services. An excellent time to support a children’s charity. Other regular giving is to the Earl Haig fund each year at remembrance time for the poppy appeal. Our food, which we collect each week, goes to the Open Door project in nearby Crawley. We also collect toys for Crawley Social Services for disadvantaged children at Christmas time. In 2007 we supported the YMCA. They opened a centre in Horhsam, called the Y Centre, to support and house young men with problems and needing somewhere to live. The parish agreed to fund the equipping and furnishing one of the rooms principally by organising a concert. We have active Friends of both churches in the parish which have funded many projects by subscriptions and fund raising events.
Last autumn we supported the Bishop’s harvest appeal and this year during lent we have collected for the USPG principally for their work in Bangladesh which the course we followed centred upon.
If all that wasn’t enough we are aware that individual church members make direct donations to charities especially the Disaster Emergency Committee, which is when the UK’s leading international charities join their resources together to appeal for funds when there is a particular disaster somewhere in the world. We sometimes collect for this after the service on a Sunday.