May saw Christian Aid week when armies of volunteers tramp the streets, knock on doors, organise sales, coffee mornings, collections and countless other events, with proceeds going to help the work of Christian Aid in many areas of need around the world. It does not just do emergency relief (although that is important). It helps give people a leg-up, to help themselves: with seeds to plant; clean water wells and toilets, hospitals and schools to build; cows, chickens & goats to rear, etc.
Over the years people from churches all over, including North Bradford, have had ideas and inspirations, which have helped to raise funds. They have collected in stores, on street corners and from house-to-house, with thick skins and determination, as well as smiles and cheerfulness. They have organised line dances & concerts, opened gardens etc.
Thank you to all who have done and still do these things and keep the generous spirit alive. I feel that these efforts must be linked with other efforts e.g. those who set up and serve Fairtrade goods each month, thus bridging the gap between those who produce food, etc, and those who buy and enjoy the products.
At St. Andrew’s, we support our Christian friends in Shanti Nagar, Pakistan, sending clothes, money and prayers, and receiving grateful letters and happy photos. I know other churches have links with overseas communities and support them in many ways.
To those who say "charity begins at home" I say “Yes, but it doesn't and shouldn't end there”. Indeed, it certainly doesn't in all the churches I have contact with. I see people week by week bringing essential items and quietly filling carriers and boxes, to go to an ever-growing group of needy people at our local foodbanks.
To all those involved in these and many more worthy activities – “Well done, thanks and keep up the good work”.
Jean MSt Andrew’s