Charitable giving is an integral part of the fabric and mission of St. Helen’s. In addition to ad hoc collections and personal giving, St Helen’s has supported five designated charities in 2018 – three overseas: the Barnabas Fund (£1000 pa), the International Refugee Trust(£1,000 pa) and the Dorothy Springer Trust in Sierra Leone (£1,000 pa), and two local: the Be Free Young Carers (£1,000 pa) and The Abingdon Bridge (£1,000 pa). The role of the Charitable Giving Group is to oversee, publicise and engage with this planned giving.

The Barnabas Fund is a UK based charity supporting persecuted Christians. It funds projects supporting persecuted Christians in 34 countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe as well as encouraging prayer, raising awareness and contesting injustice. Susan Scott is the congregational representative.The International Refugee Trust has been supporting work with refugees since 1989. It works with partners in Syria, South Sudan, Uganda and Jordan improving health care and helping people to become self-supporting. Tom Hardy does voluntary work with the Trust and is the congregational representative.

The Dorothy Springer Trust is providing employment skills for the disabled in Sierra Leone. Peter Penfold is the patron of the UK charity and visits Sierra Leone regularly. The charity is run in Freetown by Dr Abdulai (Abs) Dumbuya, who visited St Helen’s in 2015.  

The Abingdon Bridge provides support and counselling for vulnerable young people in its recently opened new offices on Bridge Street. Our congregational contact is Fiona Tonks. Our commitment to support TAB continues until the end of 2018. 

Be Free YC (previously South and Vale Careers Centre) is a long established local charity providing help and support for carers. There is currently no provision for young (<25 years) carers.  BFYC is working with approximately 200 young carers in the Abingdon area giving them individual counselling and helping with socialisation, friendships, skill development and looking to the future.  Lesley Legge is the charity’s Chairman and is the congregational contact. St Helen’s commitment to support Be Free YC continues until the end of 2018.

The group’s missions statement is:

The charitable giving group act as custodians with regard to charitable donations received from the St. Helen’s congregation by either planned giving or ad hoc collections. The group is not a fund raising organisation but rather there to ensure any monies received are diligently given to worthy causes locally, nationally and internationally.

Further information about our charitable giving, including details of the designated charities, is available on the notice board in the church and in the newsletter and The Window from time to time. 

St. Helen’s charitable giving is organised by the Charitable Giving Group (CGG), which makes recommendations to the DCC, usually after consultation with the congregation. Its present membership is Chris Brown (Chairman) Peter Penfold, Tom Hardy and Ben Tonks. The CGG welcomes suggestions from members of the congregation for future giving, funds permitting.

July 2018