All five of our churches are committed to supporting the work of the wider church both internationally and throughout the UK. We support various organisations through prayer, financial giving, as well as direct involvement.
In the January 2015 edition of Evangelicals Now, Chris Sugden made the following comment:
We must make clear to our churches which organisations are definitely supporting the persecuted Christians, since, as often happens, the Christians otherwise get help from no one. The UN-related and government-supported agencies refuse to ‘discriminate’ — stating that to single out Christians would be to do ISIS’s work for them — and of course Muslim agencies/governments will not support Christians. The Christian NGOs who attempt to fill the gap left by political intrigue include Barnabas Fund, Open Doors, Aid to the Church in Need, World Vision and Andrew White’s FRRME. Others such as Christian Aid and TearFund are constrained by DFID’s strings, focussing ostensibly on humanitarian aid to all, but often resulting in non-Christians getting help from all around the compass (UN, Muslim organisations, etc.) and Christians getting little or nothing. As Christians we quite rightly support religious freedom for all. But Paul draws an important distinction; in Galatians 6:10 he calls on us to do good to all people, but especially to those of the household of faith. If we do not care for our own brothers and sisters in Christ what confidence might people have that we would also care for others?
Our “Mission of the Month” is intended to support the witness of the Church both in the UK and around the world through prayer and financial support. Whilst we also support other organisations during the year the focus for our “Mission of the Month” are those organisations who work with or through the local Church to provide aid to suffering Christians, or who seek to grow the Kingdom of God through the Word of God, and whose basis of faith is in accord with the Doctrinal Basis of the churches of the FIEC. In this way we seek to put into practice the Biblical mandate to care for our brothers and sisters in Christ in both spiritual and physical ways.
We support each mission through prayer and financial giving over a period of 3 months. We currently support the following:
- Barnabas Fund
- SAT-7 (UK)
- Mission Aviation Fellowship
- Open Doors
- Wycliffe Bible Translators
- Anglican International Development (AiD)
- Release International
- UCCF The Christian Unions
- Compassion UK
- Mosaic Middle East
- Africa Inland Mission
- Prison Fellowship
The Southwell & Nottingham Diocese has a close link with the Diocese of Natal in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The Southwell-Natal Companion Link began in 2002 after Bishop Rubin (from Natal) and Bishop George (from Southwell & Nottingham) and representatives had visited each other’s Dioceses. The aim of the link is to express in word and deed what it means to be one body in Christ, praying regularly for each other, learning from each other, sharing skills and resources as we play our part in God’s mission.
As the A453 churches we are very proud of the fact that in 2007 we were the first in the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham to set up a direct parish link with the parishes of Richmond, iNdaleni and Byrne. Our weekly news sheet has a section where we share news and prayer requests; and the Connection magazine also includes items of Natal news.
In June 2008 we hosted the then Natal link officer and his family for a month. Then in November 2009 we welcomed Rubin, Bishop of Natal, to our Shoebox service, where after enjoying his roast beef and yorkshire pudding he issued a formal invitation for us to visit them in Natal.
In January 2011 a small group of parishioners from our churches visited Natal and a number of personal friendships were forged during that time. Then in September 2012 those relationships were deepened as Frankie, the Rector of Richmond, iNdaleni and Byrne, along with her husband Mike, spent the month with us and with the wider Diocese.
And in 2013 following on from Richard’s visit to Natal, we have produced a 20 minute DVD telling the story of our partnership, called “Linking Up …”
The Trussell Trust’s UK foodbank network works in partnership with local churches and communities to open foodbanks in local communities providing emergency food for local people in crisis. Members of our congregations support our local foodbank at Clifton by buying food items for them. At Gotham Church we have a collection box for people to place food items which are then taken up to Clifton by volunteers.
Items that can be donated are:
- Milk (UHT or powdered)
- Fruit juice (carton)
- Pasta sauces
- Sponge pudding (tinned)
- Tomatoes (tinned)
- Rice pudding (tinned)
- Tea bags / Instant coffee
- Instant mash potato
- Rice / Pasta
- Tinned meat / fish
- Tinned vegetables
- Tinned fruit
- Biscuits or Snack bar
Care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, CAB and police identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher. Foodbank clients bring their voucher to a foodbank centre where it can be redeemed for three days emergency food. Volunteers meet clients over a cup of tea or free hot meal and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problem. Our foodbank also runs a rural delivery service, which takes emergency foodboxes to clients living in rural areas who cannot afford to get to a foodbank. Find out more …
The charity Compassion has a child sponsorship scheme through which children are released from physical and spiritual poverty through the sponsorship of Christians in the UK, who sponsor individual children for less than £1 a day. Through their local church, the sponsored children learn about the love of Jesus and of their need to turn to him in repentance and belief for their own salvation, as well as receiving clothing and care and an education which will help to lift them out of poverty and make a difference in their communities and country. Through letters and photos sent to and from the child a relationship is built that will change that child’s life for ever.
A number of our congregation sponsor one or more children through Compassion, either as individuals or with another person to help share the costs. And for a number of years now children from the area have put on a little concert to raise money for Compassion. Find out more …
Love Russia …
Since 1993 this local Christian charity has worked closely with orphanages, orphanage leavers, families in crisis, disabled children and young people with learning difficulties. All are battling with traumatic life circumstances and extreme poverty. Love Russia is committed to improving the lives of thousands of orphaned and abandoned children and young people living in Russia as well as providing care for the elderly and those that are disabled or have learning difficulties. Their aim is to provide relief of poverty, suffering and distress, by demonstrating practical Christian compassion and where appropriate, sharing the Christian faith. Find out more …
The Friary Drop-in …
The Friary offers advice, support and friendship services to disadvantaged people over the age of 16 in and around the Nottingham area, and strives to tackle poverty caused by homelessness and unemployment by offering person-centred advice and support which is free to all those who require it. Find out more …
Framework exists to help homeless and vulnerable people by providing high quality housing, support, prevention, and training services, enabling people to live independent lives by offering choice and opportunity across the East Midlands, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire. Find out more …
The Children’s Society …
The Children’s Society is committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including safeguarding children in care and young runaways, giving a voice to disabled children, helping young refugees to rebuild their lives and providing relief for young carers. A number of our churches hold Christingle services in December and collect money for this vital work. Find out more …